March 26, 2012

Jefferson Hall of Fame Inductees

Class of 2014

Mr. John P. Day, Sportswriter

John has covered sports for the Watertown Daily Times for 41 years, SU Basketball for 30 years, including 3 final four tournaments, Frontier League Section 3, NYS high school championships, two PGA Championships, and, of course, the Cannoneers.  He received the Frontier League’s Meritorious Service Award and the Associated Press Sports Editors Top Ten Story Award.  A graduate of SUNY Oswego with a Bachelor in Arts in English, he is a member of the Sportswriters Association and the US Basketball Writers Association.  He and his wife, Melanie, have two grown children, Ryan and Christopher and he enjoys golf and traveling – especially his two trips to Hawaii.

Mr. Michael F. Delaney, Class of 1970

Mike played on the men’s basketball team for two seasons, 1969 and 1970.  He was a great infielder and batted well over 300.  He was also an outstanding point guard and had a great turn-over to assist ratio.  He is currently the Athletic Director and Guidance Director at Immaculate Heart Central Junior/Senior High School and he has been with IHC for more than 38 years. Michael and his wife Lori have four grown children and 14 grandchildren.

Ms. Jennifer (Podvin) Richmond, Class of 2003

Jennifer is a two-time All American in basketball (1991 & 1992) and scored over 1000 points during her two seasons.  She returned to JCC in 2002 where she played lacrosse and led the young team in a bid for the national championship in 2003.  In between her two times at Jefferson, Jennifer spent ten years in Florida working in chiropractic care and as a police officer.  She recently moved to Colorado Springs with her husband, Drew, an active duty soldier who has been deployed four times, and her 2 ½ year-old daughter Madison. 

Class of 2013

Steven H. Brown, Learning Skills Specialist, 1985-2011

Steve is a dedicated Cannoneer fan. He spent many hours announcing and keeping score for the men’s and women’s basketball teams. He has worked with student athletes, individually and in groups, to help them meet their potential for their academic studies. He holds a bachelor of arts from SUNY Binghamton and a Master of Arts from Syracuse University. Steve retired in 2011 after 26 years. In 2002, Steve received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service.

Steven A. Howard, Class of ’99

Steve’s statistics on the basketball court are remarkable. His 51 points scored in a single game and his Cannoneer career total of 1,566 are records that still stand. He continued his education at St. Francis College where he helped the NCAA Division I Terriers win their first Northeast Conference. He currently teaches physical education and is the student activities coordinator at Rambam Mesivta High School in Lawrence, Long Island and runs the basketball program at Camp Seneca Lake in Honesdale, Pennsylvania during the summer.

Class of 2012

Kenneth R. Puffer, JCC Coach and Athletic Director, 1967-1990

Ken joined the Jefferson Community College faculty in 1967 when he was appointed as a Physical Education Instructor, Intramural Director, and Varsity Baseball coach.    Then in 1967 just after a couple of years  of working for the Physical Education Department he was named as the Director of Physical Education and Athletics, replacing the late D. Rene Valentine, who was one of the first inductees to the Jefferson Hall of Fame.  During Ken’s time as AD he introduced the following programs Cross Country, Men’s Lacrosse, Bowling, Skiing, Men’s Soccer, Tennis, Women’s Basketball, Volleyball, Softball, and Women’s Soccer.  He also coached various sports such as Baseball, Cross Country, Golf, Women’s Basketball, and Volleyball. In 1986 he stepped down as Director of Physical Education and Athletics, but still continued to teach the physical education courses.

In May of 1990, Ken decided to retire from his 23 years of service at Jefferson.  Ken now resides in Valdesta, Georgia with his wife Jane, where he enjoys playing golf.  They have a son, Hal Puffer and a daughter, Maureen Rothenberg. 

Scott K. Wilson, Basketball Player, 1982-1984

Scott came to Jefferson in the fall of 1982 after a very successful senior year at Lyme Central School where he established the Frontier League record in high school basketball for points in a single game, with 74.  He also completed his high school career with 2,391 points, finishing as New York’s all-time leading scorer.   His basketball success did not end there though, in his two seasons at Jefferson, Scott became the Jefferson Men’s Basketball all-time leading scorer with 1,249 points.  He also had a 38 game streak where he scored in double figures for the Cannoneers.  From JCC he went on to play at Ithaca College where as a junior averaged 15.3 points and 4.2 rebounds per game, which earned first team honors in the Independent College Athletic Conference.

Wilson was also named as one of the Watertown Daily Times North Country top 100 greatest all-time athletes.  He continues to teach the game he loves as an assistant coach to his brother Leo (Jefferson Alum) at Lyme Central.

Scott is employed by Craig security Systems, Watertown and resides in Chaumont with his wife Michele and their two sons Troy and Tyler.

Amy Jo Sipher, Basketball Player, Class of 1992

Amy Jo was a member of the 1990-1992 Jefferson Women’s Basketball Team that finished 2nd Nationally ranked in the NJCAA, 2nd Nationally in Defense, and 3rd Nationally in Offense.  During her time as a Lady Cannoneer she was named the NJCAA Women’s Basketball Player of the Year as well as 2nd Team All-American.    After graduating from Jefferson, Amy Jo continued her basketball career at Potsdam State University where she was named to the All-Conference Selection team.  During her time at Potsdam, she served on the Potsdam Recreation Board and also mentored first year students by planning events for students in the FYE program.  She graduated from Potsdam with a B.A. Degree in Psychology and then received her Master’s degree in Counseling from St. Lawrence University. 

In 2007 Amy Jo was inducted into the SUNY Potsdam Athletic Hall of Fame, and in 2011 she was inducted into the Gouverneur High School Athletic Hall of Fame. 

Amy Jo resides in Queensbury, NY with her husband Justin and their two children Cody and Camryn.  She enjoys running, camping, skiing, coaching her kids, and traveling.  She plans on participating in the Disney half marathon this fall.

Class of 2011

Malcolm C. Biedekapp, Teacher/Coach

From 1965 to 1995, Malcolm Biedekapp offered Jefferson students opportunities to develop athletic and leadership skills through participating in intercollegiate sports programs. He was the head coach of men’s soccer and baseball for more than 20 years, coached women’s basketball, and assisted in coaching men’s basketball. For less competitive students, he developed a diverse intramural program which provided friendly competition and an opportunity to embrace a healthy lifestyle. And that was on top of teaching Physical Education to thousands of students! Many of the All-American Student/Athletes during his tenure would call him mentor and he taught them how to play for the pure enjoyment of competition.

Malcolm’s relationship with Jefferson was shared with his children and grandchildren who also attended Jefferson. He now enjoys a warmer climate seven months out of the year, having retired to Gulf Shores Plantation in Alabama.

Terry L. Biedekapp, Student Athlete

A passion for sports derived from his dad and a skill for soccer developed through hard work and discipline helped Terry Biedekapp rise to a level where he was invited to Yale University to try out for the U.S. Olympic Soccer Team. This First Team All-Region student/athlete spent the mid-1970’s helping to make JCC’s soccer team one of the most successful in Jefferson history. A leading scorer, he was also an All-American honorable mention and was an Empire States Game athlete. His life-long love of the sport is evident through his participation in the Watertown United Semi-Pro Soccer League, where he was a four-time leading scorer, and in his volunteer coaching positions.

Stuck on campus during the cold and snowy Blizzard of ’77, Terry met a fellow student who would soon become his wife, Aimee. They had two beautiful children who also attended Jefferson.

Melvin J. Busler, Sports Announcer

How do you turn your hobby into your profession? Ask Melvin Busler! He did just that when he became a sports reporter. For 29 years he has been reporting on local sports news in Northern New York, first with WATN Radio and then as Sports Anchor at WWNY TV, sharing the successes and tribulations of coaches and athletes with their fans. With camera in hand, he can often be found pacing the sidelines to get the story. Since 1979, he has reported on hundreds of Cannoneer games, sharing Jefferson sports news with our community. What athlete doesn’t tune into the news when they’ve seen him at their game?

A former Jefferson student and Honorary Alumnus, Mel is a member of the American Football Association Hall of Fame and the Red & Black Hall of Fame. He and his wife Rose co-chair the American Cancer Society Relay for Life and have been associated with the Muscular Dystrophy Association since 1984. He delivers Meals on Wheels and is a member of the Disabled Persons Action Organization Board of Directors.

Peter N. Gaskin, Teacher/Coach

Jefferson has been privileged to consider Peter Gaskin a member of the JCC community for most of its 50 years as he arrived on campus just a few years after its founding. Teacher, mentor, coach, and friend are but a few of the words used to describe this individual whose passion for all things, from biology to music to sports, has been shared with Jefferson students. It was this passion that allowed him to accept a request by students in 1968 to advise their newly formed Lacrosse club sport. Considered the “father of JCC Lacrosse,” this advisor, coach and midfielder was very good on ground balls. He liked contact and led the team in “hits” for the club’s first two years. He helped to build the program to its current NJCAA status. 

Generations of Jefferson students knew Professor Gaskin.  Many of them first met him as kids slogging through creeks to sample water when they participated in the 3C’s summer program.  While he formally retired from Jefferson in 2002, his enthusiasm for learning would not allow him to end his teaching career. He continued to team teach through the Spring 2011 semester.  His death this past May has left a large hole in the Jefferson family.

John F. Penrose, Teacher/Coach

Professor of Chemistry John Penrose really knows how to get the right reaction from his players. This coach of JCC’s first Region III Women’s Basketball Championship team in 1992 recruited locally to build teams that excelled not only on the court but in the classroom as well. His approach to coaching included a strong focus on academics and leadership which created a strong bond among the individual players and a strong team performance. His tenure as Women’s Basketball coach spanned 10 years, including three undefeated years in the Mid-State Athletic Conference. He received recognition for his coaching skills when he was awarded the Mid-State Athletic Conference and Region III Coach of the Year honors.

A member of the Jefferson family since 1979, John was also an assistant Men’s Basketball coach, and served as the interim Athletic Director and Sports Information Director at Jefferson. He is married to Betsy and they have two daughters, two step-daughters, and two granddaughters. 

Joy Williams Zimmerman, Student Athlete - Class of 1992

Member of the class of 1992 and of that year’s Region III Women’s Basketball Championship team, Joy Zimmerman may not have won a National Championship, but she did succeed in accumulating a wealth of experience as a Cannoneer. This All-Conference, All-Region, and 2nd team All-American athlete played for two seasons at Jefferson and led the team in rebounds and blocked shots. She traveled with her teammates to Mexico to play against the Mexican National Team and to Florida to hone skills that helped them to achieve their unmatched record. 

Hailing from the small town of Boonville, Joy received a B.S. in Physical Education from SUNY Cortland and is an American College of Sports Medicine certified fitness professional and an ACE certified lifestyle and fitness consultant. She is the Director of the Ontario Health and Fitness Center, competes in Relay for Life walks, and has coached many youth sports programs, such as the Jefferson Lady Spartan Youth Basketball Program. She received national recognition for developing a health and wellness program for Fulton Boiler Company of Pulaski.  Married to Jefferson Alumnus Justin, they have two children who share their love of sports.

Class of 2010

Cheryl A. Clark, Class of 1986

Cheryl graduated from Jefferson in 1986 with an associate’s degree in Criminal Justice. While at Jefferson she played softball and soccer. Cheryl was recognized with multiple honors for her involvement with the Cannoneer Softball team in 1984 and 1985.

After attending the Police Academy in the St. Lawrence Valley, Cheryl began working for the Watertown City Police Department in 1986. She is currently the Commanding Officer for the B Platoon.

Lawrence “Hank” Darden, Class of 1971

Lawrence began his career at Jefferson in 1969, after transferring from Houston Baptist College. He moved to the North Country from the New York City area. He quickly became a star player on the men’s basketball team. Lawrence was also the first Jefferson athlete to receive recognition from the National Junior Athletic Association.

Lawrence resides in New York City and is the head of security at the Majestic Theater.

Dianne D. McCargar, Class of 1978

Dianne attending Jefferson from 1976 to 1978 and was a member of three Cannoneer teams - volleyball, basketball and softball. While at Jefferson she was selected to try-out for the USA Olympic Volleyball team in 1978.

She received scholarships from the University of Florida for softball and volleyball. Currently, Dianne is a Physical Education teacher with the Indian River School District.

Dianne attending Jefferson from 1976 to 1978 and was a member of three Cannoneer teams - volleyball, basketball and softball. While at Jefferson she was selected to try-out for the USA Olympic Volleyball team in 1978.

She received scholarships from the University of Florida for softball and volleyball. Currently, Dianne is a Physical Education teacher with the Indian River School District.

Thomas W. Myers, Class of 1968

Since his graduation from Jefferson is 1968, Tom has always had a soft spot for the Cannoneers. He began working fulltime for JCC in 1970 in the FSA Bookstore. He also became the statistician and scorekeeper for the Men’s Basketball team that same year and held that position until 1997.

Not only was Tom involved with the Cannoneers for many years, he also was a valued member of the Commencement, Retirement & Recognition and Inauguration Committees. Tom retired from Jefferson in December 2007.

Class of 2009

Robert F. Williams, Sr., Professor Emeritus

Bobby Williams was a long-time basketball coach, Athletic Director and administrator at Jefferson from 1968 to 1996. In that time, Coach Williams was only the 2nd intercollegiate men’s basketball coach at JCC and went on to coach the Cannoneers for 27 seasons. Coach earned over 300 collegiate victories while at JCC and is the all-time leader in victories for men’s basketball coaches at the College. Bob has had a positive influence on hundreds of young men while leading the basketball program at Jefferson.

Daniel P. Woodward, Class of 1977

Graduating from Jefferson in 1974 Dan was involved with both the Men’s Basketball and Baseball teams from 1972-1974. Dan was named All-American for his outstanding 1973-1974 basketball season and only six former Men’s Basketball players have received the NJCAA All-American honor. Dan also reached a huge milestone while a Cannoneer, scoring 1,000 points during his career! He has also been actively involved with many Alumni Basketball games; both as a player and coach.

Jerry B. Flanders, Class of 1966

Graduating in one of the first classes at JCC, Jerry Flanders has always had a soft spot for Jefferson, especially the athletic program. He began running the time clock at the basketball games in 1967 and continues that job to this day. In addition to the numerous years that Jerry has run the clock at Jefferson for the Men’s and Women’s home games, he has also operated the time clock for Frontier League playoffs, special tournaments and the occasional Section III high school events.

Marcia J. Laidlaw, Class of 1969

Marcia received an associate’s degree from Jefferson in 1969. While at Jefferson, Mar­cia was part of the first women’s basketball team. The team was unique, not just be­cause it was the first organized women’s intercollegiate team at Jefferson, but because of their personalities and work ethic. Marcia have been teaching physical education and coaching at Canastota High School since 1975. In her first years at CHS, she began the girls’ varsity volleyball program. She retired in 2005, but couldn’t stay away! In 2007, she returned to coach the girls’ varsity volleyball team.

Elizabeth “Bippy” Luckie, Class of 1982

Elizabeth played point guard for the Lady Cannoneers and made her mark on the team with her scoring, passing ability and toughness. The Cannoneers went 14-3 and 10-8 in the two years Bippy was a part of the team. She was an All-American in basketball and softball for the Cannon­eers. Bippy serves as Director of Budgets for Enrollment Planning and Student Af­fairs, as well as co-head coach of the soft­ball team, at Sacred Heart.

D. Rene Valentine, Dean Emeritus

In 1964 Rene became athletic director, physical education director and head basketball coach at JCC. He held all three positions until 1968, when he became the Dean of Continuing Education. He instituted programs for the start of the athletic program as it is today. As the first Athletic Director, Rene was able to build the foundation for JCC athletics and successfully mentored the first set of full-time coaches and physical education instructors. Rene passed away in November of 1997, leaving Jefferson with his legacy of commitment and dedication.