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Dec 05, 2017

RBR Inducts Foundation Members into Inaugural Athletic Hall of Fame

For years, the Red Bank Regional School district, through its educational and then its BUC Backers Foundation, has inducted alumni into its Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame. This year, however, a separate and distinct Hall of Fame was established, exclusive to its athletes.

The inaugural class, or foundation class, was huge, as the school district, with a 100 + year history, had a lot of catching up to do. The class inductions began with four sport athlete Joe Irwin in 1923 and continued through girls’ lacrosse superstar Brie Moran in 2006 for a total of 20 individual athletes. They read as a roster of exceptional Who’s Who in high school, college, and professional sports history.

Among them, most additionally distinguished themselves in exceptional collegiate athletic careers. Irwin lettered in two sports at Rutgers University. Peter Foster, Class of 1950, played basketball for Rutgers and the U.S. Navy. Eugene Booth, Class of 1953, helped Dartmouth win in the 1956-1957 Ivy League Basketball championship. He went on to become an assistant basketball coach at Brandies University. Douglas Patton, Class of 1957, earned three varsity letters in both basketball and baseball at Rutgers while continuing on to a teaching and coaching career at the collegiate level. Vincent Ciaglia, Class of 1959, also played baseball and basketball for Rutgers and earned three varsity letters for basketball. William Horlacher, Class of 1965, became a member of Villanova’s Big Five Basketball Championships from 1966-1967. Tomora Young was inducted in the Rutgers Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. RBR’s famed twin track superstars Amanda and Katy Trotter both blazed their way at Stanford University to a national championship and All American and National ranked honors.

Two RBR swimmers, Ken Winfield, Class of 1969, and Dana Morton-Emery, Class of 1979, achieved Olympic status. Winfield, who attended the 1968 and 1972 Olympic Trials, was world ranked in the top 10 swimmers in 1971 and 1972 and won a bronze medal in the 200 butterfly in the World Games in Turin, Italy. Emery, a member of the Stanford University National Swim Championship in 1980, qualified the same year for the Olympic Trials.

Two baseball stars, John Overton, Jr. and Jack Lewis, entered the professional baseball system, playing for several years in the farm team system.

Many of the players remained active in the Red Bank community supporting its programs, like James “Pete” Reeves, Class of 1951, who coached at Red Bank Middle School for many years and Edward “Hussy” Winrow, Class of 1963, an ardent RBR sports fan to this day.

Four of the 20 went on to professional football careers. John Lee, Class of 1972, played with the San Diego Chargers for five years and later joined the New England Patriots. Danny Stubbs, Class of 1983, began a stellar career with the San Francisco 49ers, where he was named to the NFL All-Rookie team; he took part in the 1988 and 1989 Super Bowl winning teams. He also played for the Dallas Cowboys, Cincinnati Bengals, Philadelphia Eagles, and Miami Dolphins. Greg Montgomery, Class of 1983, played professional football for nine seasons with the Houston Oilers, Detroit Lions, and Baltimore Ravens. He led the NFL three times in average yards per punt and was named All Pro three times. Eric McCoo, Class of 1998, once described as the “fastest football player in New Jersey, played for the Chicago Bears and Philadelphia Eagles.

Additionally, the inaugural hall of fame class included coaches Herb Reed and Frank Pingitore (he later became an RBR athletic director). They were honored along with longtime athletic trainer Dan “Doc” Porzio, who began RBR’s longstanding student athletic trainer program.

Three legendary teams were included in the inaugural class.  This includes the much-celebrated 1971 BUCs Football “dream team,” who were football state champions. Lonnie Allgood, a member of this team, went on to a six-year career in professional football playing for the Cincinnati Bengals. The 1982-83 Boys’ Basketball Team was also inducted. They remain the last Shore Boys’ basketball team to finish with a perfect record. Finally, the undefeated 1995 State Champion Field Hockey Team, led by head coach Wendy Turnock, is considered one of the greatest defensive teams in school history.

A celebratory dinner was held in honor of the first RBR Athletic Hall of Fames Inductees on Wednesday, October 25 at the Doubletree Hotel in Tinton Falls. Asbury Park Press sports reporter Stephen Edelson, who was covering the event, called it “one of the greatest collections of athletic talent from one school ever assembled at the Jersey Shore.”

The committee responsible for creating the RBR Hall of Fame – RBR Athletic Director Del Dal Pra, RBR Athletic Trainer Christina Emrich, Bill Galatro of Red Bank, Charles Taylor of Red Bank, Lou DeGeorge of Red Bank, and Nick Pizzulli of Oceanport – all made presentations at the dinner.

RBR Athletic Director Del Dal Pra addressed the inductees, stating, “Thank you for giving RBR athletic programs a source of pride, a sense of great accomplishment, and a vision for future generations of BUCS to believe that anything is possible.” The class was additionally honored at halftime on the RBR football field during the Buccaneer vs. Casey game on October 27.