Babson Inducts Five Into Hall Of Fame To Highlight Athletics Alumni Celebration
BABSON PARK, Mass. -- Babson College hosted its first annual Athletics Alumni Spring Celebration this weekend, bringing nearly 300 former players, coaches, and family members to campus. Highlighting the spectacular weekend was the 12th Babson Athletics Hall of Fame dinner and induction ceremony on Friday night, where longtime baseball coach and administrator Frank Millerick, baseball great David DiGangi '94, soccer stars Jim Fischer '83 and Dan Pucci '98, and hockey standout Jim Creamer '90 were enshrined among the department's elite.
A four-year letter-winner, Pucci enjoyed one the finest soccer careers in Babson history. A four-time All-Conference selection, he won Constitution Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year honors in 1994 and the league's Player of the Year award in 1996. He also was an All-New England selection in each of his four seasons, and in 1997 he was the only Division III athlete in the region and one of only six in the country to earn Umbro Senior All-Star status. Pucci was named NSCAA All-America First Team as a junior and Second Team as a senior, making him one of only seven players in program history to earn multiple All-America selections. With 29 goals and 34 assists in 73 games, Pucci graduated as Babson's all-time leading scorer with 92 career points. Today, he remains the program's single-season (15 in 1997) and career assist leader, he is third on the all-time points list, and he is one of only five men in team history to have earned All-America First Team recognition. With Pucci leading the way, the Beavers improved from 16-12-4 in his first two seasons to 26-10-6 in his final two years, culminating with the program's first ECAC New England Championship in 1997.
A corner infielder and pitcher, DiGangi turned in a spectacular four-year career for the Babson baseball program. He graduated in 1994 with eight Babson career records to his credit, and he still ranks in the program's top seven with a .355 batting average (fifth), six triples (seventh), 16 home runs (fifth), 99 runs batted in (eighth), a .550 slugging percentage (fifth), and six saves (fourth). While his first three years on the diamond were stellar, his senior campaign stands out as one of the greatest all-around seasons in Babson baseball history. That spring, DiGangi batted .445 and slugged an incredible .742-both of which still rank second among the program's single-season leaders-while also saving a single-season record six games on the mound. As a result, he was named All-Conference First Team and All-New England First Team, and was chosen as the Constitution Athletic Conference Player of the Year. During his career, Babson posted a fantastic record of 75-54-the greatest four-year stretch in program history at the time-including a school-record 22 victories in 1994. In addition, the Beavers earned four consecutive ECAC New England Tournament bids-the first four postseason appearances in program history.
One of the finest defensemen to ever don the Green and White, Creamer was a standout at the blue line during one of the greatest four-year stretches in Babson hockey history. Missing just three games in his brilliant career, he amassed eight goals and 57 assists for 65 points in 117 contests, and was the team's top-scoring defenseman in each of his final two seasons. With Creamer anchoring the defense, Babson posted a magnificent combined record of 81-31-10 during his career, qualifying for the NCAA Tournament for four straight years and advancing all the way to the Frozen Four in 1988, 1989, and 1990. He was named AHCA All- America Second Team as a junior and First Team as a senior-making him one of only six players in program history to earn national honors in multiple seasons- and in 1990 he became Babson's first J. Thom Lawler Award recipient. He remains one of only eight Babson hockey players to earn All-America First Team recognition.
A four-year standout during the most successful stretch in Babson Athletics history, Fisher left an indelible mark on the men's soccer program. Individually, he was a NEISL All-Star Selection and a First Team All-New England honoree in 1981 and 1982, and after the latter season was named NSCAA All-America First Team- a distinction only four others share in Babson soccer history. His 15 goals and 12 assists for 42 career points ranked 11th on the Beavers' all-time list upon his graduation in 1983 and are tied for 26th today. However, where Fisher truly left his mark was in the NCAA Tournament, where he propelled Babson to two consecutive National Championships in his first two collegiate seasons. As a freshman in 1979, he scored the game's only goal in the fourth overtime of a 1-0 victory over Lock Haven State in the National Semifinals, and followed that up by netting the game-winning goal in a 2-1 win over Glassboro State in the National Championship game. Fisher's flair for the dramatic continued the following year, as he assisted on the game-winning score in a 1-0 overtime victory over Scranton in the 1980 National Championship game. As a result, Babson became the first Division III school in the country to have three national titles to its credit. In total, Fisher helped Babson post a spectacular 52-13-9 record while earning four straight NCAA Tournament bids during his career.
Millerick came to Babson in 1986 and over the course of the next 19 years took the Athletics programs to tremendous heights as both a coach and administrator. Beginning as a sports information director and assistant baseball coach, Millerick was promoted to assistant Director of Athletics in 1990, Associate Director of Athletics in 1995, and Director of Athletics in 1997. In 1993, he took over as head coach of the Babson baseball program, and during the next nine seasons led the Beavers to an outstanding record of 178-144 as well as Constitution Athletic Conference Championships in 1994, 1996, and 1997. Still the program's all-time wins leader, Millerick also guided Babson to seven ECAC New England Tournament berths, including the Beavers' first ECAC Championship in 1998. He was named conference Coach of the Year in 1996 and 1997, and was selected as the New England Coach of the Year in 1996. In his eight years as Director of Athletics, Millerick was instrumental in many of the department's most successful initiatives, including the construction of MacDowell Field, the renovation of Hartwell-Rogers and Alumni fields, the establishment of Babson's full-time assistant coaching positions, the creation of the varsity weight room, and the partnership with Irving Oil to fund the Babson Invitational Hockey and Basketball Tournaments. Also during his tenure, Babson boasted 16 conference championships, won five ECAC New England titles, sent 10 teams to national tournaments, and claimed an individual NCAA Tournament Championship.
Saturday featured another huge event for the Athletics Department, as hundreds of alumni attended an afternoon BBQ on the Upper Fields. Several programs hosted alumni games in the morning, including women's lacrosse, field hockey, men's soccer, men's and women's tennis and ice hockey while Babson also played host to seven home varsity events.