By Bailey Knecht, sports editor
Six former student-athletes were inducted into the Northeastern Athletics Varsity Club Hall of Fame in a ceremony on Friday evening.
“There’s a rich history of athletics at Northeastern, so this is a great night for people to celebrate that, as well as pay homage to the people that did great things,” Northeastern Athletic Director Peter Roby said.
Bill Cotter, men’s ice hockey ‘73; Mike Genetti, football ‘85; John Maslowski, men’s rowing ‘74; Adam Ottavino, baseball ‘08; Tramaine Shaw, women’s track and field ‘09; and Kristin Ursillo Prosser, volleyball ‘04 joined the elite group of Husky greats in the Hall of Fame.
Cotter was a three-year letterwinner in hockey and was awarded the Friends of NU Hockey Fernie C. Flaman Award in 1999. Genetti, a two-time football captain and Most Valuable Player, earned All-New England honors during his time at Northeastern. Maslowski was part of a crew that won a national championship and is a two-time winner of the Eastern Sprints Regatta. He also competed in the Grand Challenge Cup of the Henley Regatta two years in a row. Ottavino holds Northeastern records for career strikeouts and single-season strikeout totals. Shaw still holds records in the pentathlon and the 100-meter hurdles, in addition to a number of relay records. Prosser is a three-time America East Setter of the Year and holds records in assists, games played and and serving aces.
Many of the inductees have continued their involvement with the university after graduation. Cotter has been on the Board of Trustees for two decades and works with the Torch Scholars program. He said he enjoys staying connected and watching the school and hockey program develop.
“I’ve just met an awful lot of great people,” he said. “I was here when the school wasn’t anywhere near as popular or as strong as it is now, and I actually can’t believe what’s taken place. It’s an enormous transformation.”
Shaw has also stayed associated with the school. After breaking a variety of school records and winning numerous league championships in track and field, she now serves as an assistant coach for the team.
“I wanted to give back,” the former Colonial Athletic Association Track Athlete of the Year said. “I wanted to be effective in a way that would allow more student-athletes to have the type of experience I had.”
Many of the former student-athletes spoke about the values of teamwork and selflessness that Northeastern Athletics taught them.
“You win together and lose together – there are no superstars,” said Maslowski, a former member of one of the most successful crew teams in school history.
Another important aspect of Northeastern Athletics, according to Roby, is the wide spectrum of people involved.
“We want [our athletes] to have a diverse experience and to meet people from all types of walks of life,” Roby said. “Northeastern has become such a global institution, and I think it’s important that we recognize that people that we meet are going to be different, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. That’s the beauty of playing on a team, is that everybody brings certain skills and experience to the team and that we have to celebrate that and utilize it.”
Shaw echoed Roby’s sentiments, saying being a part of a diverse culture gave her skills that helped her later in life.
“College was my first time being on a team with people from different backgrounds, different walks of life, different socioeconomic classes,” she said. “Learning how to work and communicate with people, understand them and be able to meet them halfway where they’re coming from – that was a skill that was really helpful.”
All the inductees have gone on to find success, even after their collegiate careers ended. Ottavino was picked in the first round of the 2006 MLB draft by the St. Louis Cardinals. He now plays as a relief pitcher for the Colorado Rockies.
He said his time at Northeastern helped prepare him for his professional career.
“I learned a lot when I came here in terms of my work ethic. I got a lot bigger and stronger,” he said. “I also remained mentally tough. It really helped me manage my time really well, and that served me really well in the minors, and it helped me going forward.”
The honorees join a number of big-name former Huskies in the Hall of Fame, such as Reggie Lewis, who went on to be an All-Star for the Boston Celtics; Ernie Arlett, a Northeastern rowing legend; and George Matthews, whom Matthews Arena is named after for his numerous contributions to Northeastern Athletics.
The athletes, while known for their collegiate accomplishments, vowed to continue to honor the Northeastern name.
“I promise to continue to embody what this award stands for and continue to pay it forward,” Shaw said.
Photo by Scotty Schenck