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Seven alumni were inducted into the Saint Leo University Athletic Hall of Fame during homecoming weekend in November. Since 1986, the athletic hall of fame has honored former students, coaches, and administrators who excelled in Saint Leo athletics throughout the university’s history. Please join us in congratulating the following alumni.
 

Ernie Robinson ’68 was a dual-sport athlete, competing for the men’s basketball and baseball programs as a Monarch at Saint Leo. During his senior year, Robinson was voted as the J. Barthle Scholar-Athlete of the Year for carrying a 4.0 grade point average in the classroom. He was the 1968 captain with a .335 lifetime batting average on the baseball team where he caught for Saint Leo Athletic Hall of Fame pitchers Thomas Crosby, Fred Cambria, and Raymond Korn. Today, Robinson is retired from a 33-year teaching career in New York. In 1973, he was named teacher of the year in New York where he helped bring several cross country, basketball, and baseball championships. He was a founder of a baseball camp, which gave free instructions in baseball and life skills for 41 years in New York.

Brian Dayett ’78 was a member of the 1978 NCAA tournament baseball team and a two-year student-athlete, where he led the team in multiple categories. In two seasons, Dayett logged 197 total bases, 78 runs batted in, 26 doubles, 11 home runs, and 10 triples. During his sophomore season, in which he played every game, Dayett put together a .311 hitting percentage. He followed with a .381 average his junior season. In 1978, the New York Yankees selected Dayett in the 16th round of the draft. In 1982, he was named the AA Southern League Player of the Year, with 96 runs batted in and 34 home runs—a Nashville Sounds single season record that still stands today. In 1983, he was named New York Yankees Minor League Player of the Year. After playing five years in the major leagues with two clubs (the New York Yankees and Chicago Cubs), Dayett played in the Japanese Pacific League before beginning to coach in 1997.

Pierre Augustin ’90 remains as one of the top all-time leading scorers in Saint Leo men’s basketball history, competing for the Monarchs for two seasons during which he amassed 1,037 points. His highlight night was against the University of Tampa. On January 25, 1989, he scored 40 points—the program’s first ever win over the Spartans. While competing on the hardwood for the Monarchs, he played in 53 games with a .483 shooting percentage and a .417 three-point percentage. Augustin hauled in 272 rebounds in two seasons and dished out 126 assists. He was the executive secretary and founding father of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity chapter at Saint Leo. Following his time at the university, Augustin started Universal Distributor Inc. in 2003.

Eusebio Herrera-Montoya ’09, who was named a National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-American as a senior, was a four-year member of the Saint Leo men’s soccer program. He ranks third in the Saint Leo record book for career goals with 46, and career points with 115. He was a three-time All-Sunshine State Conference (SCC) honoree, including a pair of first team nods, and the 2005 SSC Freshman of the Year, helping the team win its first championship and No. 2 national ranking. As a sophomore, he received the Personal Improvement Award at the Saint Leo athletic banquet. Herrera-Montoya works at Saint Leo as a Financial Aid manager.

Ashley Urbanik ’09 enjoyed a strong four-year career with the softball program, both at the plate and inside the circle. A two-time All-Sunshine State Conference selection, Urbanik ranks among the top 10 in 10 career categories inside the Saint Leo record book, including seventh as a pitcher and third as a hitter. She sits in second for career homeruns; third in wins, shutouts, strikeouts, and appearances; fourth in runs batted in (RBIs) and complete games; fifth in innings pitched; and sixth in earned run average and at bats. She helped lead the team to a pair of NCAA tournament appearances in 2006 and 2008 and ranked among the top in NCAA Division II in 2008 in her earned run average, wins, hits allowed per seven innings, home runs per game, and strikeouts per seven innings.

Kyle Marceau ’10 is the first Saint Leo men’s lacrosse student-athlete to enter the university’s athletic hall of fame. Despite only playing for three seasons, Marceau put his name all over the Saint Leo record book. He scored 77 career goals in just three seasons, while dishing out 53 assists. He still ranks among the top 10 at Saint Leo in points, goals, assists, shots, shots on goal, and man-up goals. He was named the Saint Leo Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year as a senior and was also a United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) Academic All-American that season. A 2010 US Lacrosse All-American, he was a two-time, Deep South Conference first team selection and was named to a pair of Deep South All-Tournament teams. He was Saint Leo’s first representative for the USILA North/South All-Star game following his senior campaign. Marceau works for Lincoln Financial Group in Concord, NH, and is an assistant lacrosse coach for Concord High School.

Kaitlin McKenna ’11 was a four-year standout on the Saint Leo volleyball team and holds the career records for attack percentage and block assists, while ranking in the top 10 in four other categories. She is second in total kills, total blocks, and games played, and seventh in solo blocks. She posted the best single season attack percentage in program history as a freshman at .452. As a junior, she was a College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-District First Team selection for her prowess in the classroom and on the court. In 2007, McKenna was named the American Volleyball Coaches Association South Region Freshman of the Year and the Sunshine State Conference Freshman of the Year. She is also an honorable mention and two-time All-Sunshine State Conference selection and three-time NCAA South Region All-Tournament Team honoree. McKenna works for Ernst & Young in Detroit.

Celebrating Four Championship Appearances

This spring, the Saint Leo University men’s lacrosse, men’s golf, women’s track, and softball teams all competed for NCAA Division II National Championships—two of which were first-time appearances for the programs.


Making Sunshine State Conference History

This past spring, former Saint Leo University President Dr. Arthur F. Kirk Jr. was one of nine members inducted into the Sunshine State Conference Hall of Fame. Kirk, who served as the university’s president from 1997-2015, became the 16th Saint Leo Sunshine State Conference Hall of Famer. A two-time president of the Sunshine State Conference, Kirk raised Saint Leo’s national profile by placing 18th in the Learfield Director’s Cup in 2014, increasing to eighth in 2015, and second in 2016. Under his leadership, the Athletics Department doubled in size and captured its first Mayor’s Cup, while adding a tennis facility, softball stadium, parking garage with a lacrosse field installed on top, a soccer-only facility, and lights at each of the new venues.
 


Fran Reidy Named Athletic Director of the Year

For the third time in six years, Saint Leo Vice President and Director of Athletics Francis X. Reidy was named the Division II Under Armour Athletic Director of the Year. Reidy was one of 28 athletics directors to earn the award this year from the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA). The ADOY Award highlights the efforts of athletics directors at all levels for their commitment and positive contributions to student-athletes, campuses, and their surrounding communities.


Saint Leo Athletics Places Fourth in Learfield Directors’ Cup

Saint Leo University Athletics placed fourth in the 2017–2018 Learfield Directors’ Cup Division II, a program that honors institutions for achieving success in sports. This marks the third time in four years that the Lions placed in the Directors’ Cup top 10.
Saint Leo also placed as the top Sunshine State Conference institution. For two of the last three years, the Lions have claimed a top-five finish. A total of eight Sunshine State Conference institutions were ranked among the top 100 in the latest Directors’ Cup standings report.

“We have an incredible staff and student-athletes who strive for excellence,” said Francis X. Reidy, vice president and director of athletics. “Our five-year run of great finishes is a remarkable feat when you consider where Saint Leo was just a short time ago. We are proud of our two top-five finishes over the last three years as we strive to be one of the best all-around programs in Division II.”


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After climbing seven spots at the NCAA Division II South/Southeast Super Regional, men’s golf earned a spot to advance to Muscle Shoals, AL, for the 2018 national championships. In the end, the Lions fell 3-2 to Sunshine State Conference foe and No. 3 seed Barry University. Men’s golf player Alberto Castagnara (sophomore)

adamson_katieKatie Adamson
Volleyball • Senior
Nelson, New Zealand
The middle blocker was a force at the net in the 2015 season, leading the team in both total blocks, at 103, and blocks per set, averaging 0.87. She tallied a career-high eight blocks in three different matches last season. Offensively, Adamson put away a total of 159 kills in 2015, tallying a career-best 11 against Eckerd College (FL). As one of three seniors, Adamson will help the young Lions squad build off a 21-11 season and an NCAA Second Round appearance.

 

hannah-beardHannah Beard
Women’s Soccer • Class of 2010
Grassendale, Liverpool, England
Hannah Beard is a former Lions women’s soccer player. Originally from England, she is playing professionally with the Western Sydney Wanderers in the Australian W-League. She was one of the best players in program history to date, winning several individual honors and helping the team reach the NCAA tournament in each of her four years at Saint Leo, and the program’s first Sunshine State Conference Tournament Championship.

 

tyreece-briceTyreece Brice
Men’s Basketball • Junior
Rock Hill, SC
Tyreece Brice made an instant impact on the court for the Lions in the 2015-16 season as the sixth man. Brice averaged the second most points on the team, 15.5 per game, and finished the season as a 2015-16 Sunshine State Conference All-Newcomer team selection. He played in 31 games with 14 starts and tallied 481 points in 977 minutes for the Lions. Along with his 15.5 points per game, Brice averaged 4.2 rebounds per game and 3.6 assists per game. Brice scored a career-high 31 points against Alabama-Huntsville in the first round of the NCAA South Regional tournament. Brice helped lead the Lions to a 19-12 record and a fourth-place finish in the SSC with a 10-6 mark.

 

sommer-pollardSommer Pollard
Softball • Junior
Clearwater, FL
Sommer Pollard was the everyday starter behind the dish for the No. 1 pitching staff in all of Division II, owning a 0.93 earned run average. Pollard played in all 47 games, with a .991 fielding percentage with only three errors on the season. She recorded 300 putouts behind the plate, with 19 assists. A Second Team All-Sunshine State Conference selection, Pollard finished the season with a .366 batting average (41 hits in 112 at-bats) while scoring 24 runs and driving in 17. She recorded one triple during her sophomore campaign against Colorado Christian, where she went 2-for-2 from the plate. Pollard recorded 15 stolen bases over the course of the season.

 

rivera_brandonBrandon Rivera
Men’s Soccer • Senior
Orlando, FL
The local product out of Lake Nona High School in south Orlando has come a long way since his freshman season when he saw action in just two matches. In fact, in his junior campaign, Rivera saw action in all 18 games for the SSC regular season champion, including making 13 starts. He scored a career-best four goals on the season, adding a career-high four assists, including his first career assist that came against Lees-McRae (NC) in a 4-1 victory where the midfielder saw three passes find the foot of the goal scorer. Rivera’s breakout game came in the SSC Tournament Semifinals, where he tallied two goals in the Lions 2-1 win over the 2014 reigning NCAA National Champion Lynn (FL), earning himself a spot on the SSC Tournament team.

 

maftuna-tuhtasinovaMaftuna Tuhtasinova
Women’s Swimming • Sophomore
Tashkent, Uzbekistan
A native of Uzbekistan, Maftuna Tuhtasinova competed in the final four regular season events and the Sunshine State Conference Championship for women’s swimming and made an immediate impact on the team. The freshman was a finalist in three events at the SSC meet, including a third-place finish in the 200 Backstroke with an NCAA “B” cut mark and Saint Leo record time of 2:02.01. Her 100 backstroke time also qualified as an NCAA “B” cut time, and Maftuna was a part of 200 medley relay and 400 medley relay teams that set new Saint Leo records.

 

zach-whitakerZach Whitaker
Baseball • Senior
Land O’Lakes, FL
Zach Whitaker was Saint Leo’s top pitcher in 2016, recording a 4.38 earned run average over 72.0 innings pitched, with a 6-1 record and one save. He finished among the top 10 in the Sunshine State Conference in ERA, and held opponents to a .277 batting average. Whitaker fanned 62 batters over the course of the 2016 season, tied for most on the team.

 


jim_cerbieJim Cerbie ’79 got his 400th win as head baseball coach for The Providence Day School in Charlotte, NC, on April 5, 2016. During his 29-year baseball coaching career at Providence Day, he has seen 28 of his players sign to play college baseball at some of the most prestigious programs and schools in the country.


jim-jacobsenJames Jacobsen ’70 is the golf coach at Bergen Catholic High School (NJ), where he won his 1,000th match on April 22, 2016. This gave him an overall 34-year coaching record of 1023-33-1. He was named Coach of the Year by the Star Ledger, The Record, and The Bergen County Coaches Association.

 

 

The 2015-2016 year was a remarkable one for Lions Athletics, with multiple conference and tournament championships, as well as the Sunshine State Conference Mayors’ Cup (above right) for the men’s program.


Men’s Program Captures SSC Mayors’ Cup
For the third time in four years, Saint Leo University captured the Sunshine State Conference Men’s Mayors’ Cup, representing overall supremacy among SSC institutions in men’s conference competition.

The Lions finished second in the race for the Women’s Mayors’ Cup for the second year in a row.

Points in the Mayors’ Cup race are earned based on order of finish in the final Sunshine State Conference standings in league sports. The Men’s Mayors’ Cup competition awards points in soccer, cross country, basketball, swimming, golf, tennis, lacrosse, and baseball, while the Women’s Mayors’ Cup is decided by competition in the sports of volleyball, soccer, cross country, basketball, swimming, golf, tennis, softball, and rowing.

Saint Leo walked away with the Men’s Mayors’ Cup with 46 points, besting its nearest rival in the standings, Florida Southern, by 10 points. In the Women’s Mayors’ Cup final standings, Nova Southeastern came out on top with 53.5 points; Saint Leo was close behind with 48 points.


Spring 2016 SCC Championships

softball

Saint Leo captured four Sunshine State Conference spring championships with regular season crowns in softball (above), men’s tennis, and women’s tennis, and men’s tennis also claiming the SSC tournament championship.

These were the first SSC championships for the tennis teams. It was the second title in program history for the softball program, with the first earned in 2013. The 2016 senior class has now been a part of the two SSC championship teams at Saint Leo, its freshman year in 2013 and its final season in the Green and Gold.


Lions Take Second in Learfield Directors’ Cup

directors-cup-logo-_top-fiveSaint Leo University finished the 2015-2016 academic year ranked second among 307 NCAA Division II institutions for the Learfield Directors’ Cup, presented by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA).

The Lions finished the year with 723 points, trailing only Grand Valley State (MI), which earned 1,070 points and won its second-straight Division II Learfield Directors’ Cup and 11th overall.

Saint Leo’s second-place finish eclipses the previous high of eighth, set in 2015.

“This is an incredible moment for Saint Leo Athletics. The class that entered Saint Leo in August 2012 arrived when we had broken the top 100 in the Directors’ Cup standings for just the second time in program history. That class graduated this past April as part of the second-best overall athletics program in all of Division II. Those student-athletes believed in our goals and mission, as did our coaches and staff and university administration, and together they made this achievement possible,” said Francis X. Reidy, Saint Leo’s director of athletics.


Troy Sieber Chosen by the Houston Astros

sieber
Saint Leo junior first baseman Troy Sieber was selected by the Houston Astros on the third day of the 2016 Major League Baseball Draft. He was taken in the 24th Round, and was the 727th pick of the draft.

“We’re very proud of Troy and all the hard work he has put in to make this happen. We wish him all the best and we will miss him,” said Sean O’Connor, Saint Leo’s head baseball coach. Sieber is the fifth Saint Leo player drafted under O’Connor, who recently completed his fourth season as the Lions head coach.

An ABCA/Rawlings Second Team All-American and finalist for the 2016 Tino Martinez Award as Division II Player of the Year, Sieber batted .457 this season, leading the Sunshine State Conference and ranking fourth in all of Division II.


Anthony Crocitto Named Head Women’s Basketball Coach

crocitto-anthonyA veteran Division II head coach with experience at all three levels of NCAA women’s basketball, Anthony Crocitto has been named Saint Leo University’s new head women’s basketball coach.

”We were looking for a coach with a proven record of success in Division II women’s basketball, and out of an incredibly deep pool of applicants we found an ideal fit in Anthony Crocitto,” said Francis X. Reidy, Saint Leo’s director of athletics. “I believe that Coach Crocitto’s passion for the game, coupled with his experience at identifying, recruiting, and developing talent at this level, will quickly lead to greater success for Saint Leo women’s basketball.”

Crocitto comes to Saint Leo from the New York Institute of Technology (NYIT), where he has served as the Bears’ head women’s basketball coach for the past seven seasons. Under Crocitto’s guidance, NYIT has logged three 20-win campaigns over the last four seasons, rejuvenating a program that was 4-23 in the year prior to his arrival at the Old Westbury, NY, campus.

Ask Coach Erin (Brunt) Kinberger ’07 about how the 2015 Saint Leo softball season ended, and you get no visible reaction. No expression in her face, nothing glistening in her eyes, no slumping of shoulders.

But, sitting in the same chair in Saint Leo’s Student Community Center where she learned in early May that the Lions’ 39-12 record would not send them to a seventh NCAA tournament appearance, it all comes out in her voice.

“I knew, based on the research that my assistants and I had done, that the odds were against us,” said Kinberger, delivering a sigh. “It was kind of gut-wrenching to see them eager to find out, and yet there were seven seniors I knew were probably going to be crushed. I mean, how do you feel when you’re 39-12 … and there’s only a slim chance you’re going to the post-season?”

That ending only slightly diminished what was otherwise a spectacular freshman campaign at the helm of Lions softball for the Saint Leo alumna. Erin Kinberger—or Erin Brunt, as she was known when she was behind the plate for the Lions from 2004 to 2007—guided the Lions to a 10-win improvement over their 2014 tally, perfecting a winning chemistry with players recruited by predecessor John Conway.

In the Sunshine State Conference, the Kinberger-led Lions posted a 15-9 record, just the second winning record in conference play over the past seven seasons.

Other milestones piled up along the way.

A 23-3 record at University Softball Stadium, best home record since 2008. An 11-game winning streak to end the season, with 50 consecutive scoreless innings and seven straight shutouts. Three-game sweeps over SSC rivals Eckerd, Lynn, and Florida Southern. Individually, junior Alana Tabel was Division II’s top pitcher with a 0.94 earned run average, after posting a 3.40 ERA the previous year.

But first on the agenda for Kinberger upon her return was changing the culture of the program.
Saint Leo softball is no stranger to post-season success, with an SSC title and six NCAA tournament appearances to its credit. But those six NCAA tourney trips have been buckshot across a span of 16 seasons, with sustained success having eluded the Lions.

Kinberger, her reputation built in part as a fiery competitor on two of those NCAA-bound teams, has brought purpose and passion to the diamond as Saint Leo’s head coach with the goal of making the Lions a consistent post-season player.

The purpose has taken the form of structure and paying attention to details—a John Wooden-esque requirement for players to wear the exact same T-shirts to practice, for example—while the passion came out in everything Kinberger and her staff did, from encouraging their outfielders to dive for balls to simply asking the young women how they were doing each day.

“At first, the kids were probably a little intimidated by that, but it really felt like overnight they just bought into it,” said Kinberger about her staff’s approach. “Bring in three young women who are passionate about the game and can’t imagine their lives without it, and that becomes contagious to the athletes.”

With newfound values having taken root in the program, Kinberger hopes that lessons and accomplishments of this past season have set the table for Saint Leo softball to rise to the top of the conference. No SSC team has reached the Division II national championship game since 2005; Kinberger’s Lions would love to break that streak.

“It comes down to building a tradition and a mentality,” said Kinberger. “Teaching them to believe what we’re capable of and post-season is where we belong, and turning it into an expectation.”

Jake Gilmour

Jake Gilmour
Men’s Lacrosse • Sophomore
Pickering, Ontario, Canada
Jake Gilmour had an immediate offensive impact for the Saint Leo men’s lacrosse team in his rookie campaign with 28 goals and a team-best 14 assists for 42 points, second on the team in scoring. He scored at least one goal in all 14 of the Lions’ games in 2015, and charted four goals in games against Adams State and Lynn. A Sunshine State Conference All-Freshman Team honoree, Gilmour’s five assists versus Lees-McRae was one shy of the school record.

Jonathan Glenn

Jonathan Glenn
Soccer • Class of 2011
Iceland
Jonathan Glenn was a member of the Trinidad & Tobago men’s national team that reached the quarterfinals of the recent CONCACAF Gold Cup. Glenn was one of the leading scorers in the Icelandic Premier League in 2014 and recently moved to Breiðablik.

Amanda Jakobsson

Amanda Jakobsson
Women’s Golf • Sophomore
Gothenburg, Sweden
Amanda Jakobsson joined the Saint Leo women’s golf team for the Spring 2015 semester, and immediately became a dynamic force on the team. She finished the season with a team-best 76.11 stroke average over 18 rounds, and was tied for fifth at the Sunshine State Conference Women’s Golf Championship with an eight-over 224. Jakobsson went on to shoot a 227 over three rounds at the NCAA Super Regional, finishing 19th overall.

Jordan Pendleton

Jordan Pendleton
Baseball • Sophomore
Palm Harbor, FL
Jordan Pendleton started off his freshman year battling for the third spot in Saint Leo baseball’s weekend rotation, and finished the year in the No. 2 spot with a stellar freshman season. He logged a 7-1 record with a 3.73 earned run average over 60.1 innings pitched, including Sunshine State Conference wins over Eckerd, Rollins, and Barry. Pendleton finished the season with 34 strikeouts, and was a Second Team All-SSC selection.

Abbie Ross

Abbie Ross
Women’s Lacrosse
Sophomore • Orlando, FL
Abbie Ross turned into a scoring machine for Saint Leo women’s lacrosse, charting a team-best 29 goals and three assists for 32 points in her rookie season. She scored in all but two of the Lions’ 15 games in 2015, including hat tricks against Pfeiffer, Bloomsburg, Newberry, and No. 10 Limestone. A Second Team All-Sunshine State Conference selection, Ross scored 29 goals and is tied for second among single-season goal leaders in the program’s 4-year history.

Alana Tabel

Alana Tabel
Softball • Senior
Loxahatchee, FL
The No. 1 pitcher for Saint Leo softball, Alana Tabel finished her junior season ranked No. 1 in all of Division II with her 0.94 earned run average, after allowing just 18 earned runs over 134.0 innings pitched. Tabel posted a 16-5 record during her junior campaign, and recorded 105 strikeouts in 2015 after recording 144 Ks during her first two seasons combined.