The University of Scranton will induct the six newest members into its athletics department Wall of Fame on Saturday in a ceremony held between games of the men’s and women’s basketball doubleheader against Juniata in the John Long Center.
This year’s class includes Daniel Amspacher (men’s soccer, 1976-79), Sara (Suchoski) Carroll (women’s soccer, 2001-04), Tom Hughes (men’s lacrosse & men’s basketball, 1998-01), Kathy Coleman O’Brien (women’s tennis & women’s basketball, 1977-81), Brian O’Donnell (men’s basketball, 2001-05) and Kristin Thomas (field hockey, 2003-05).
The Wall of Fame was founded in 1970 to honor student-athletes, administrators and those in the community who have been instrumental in the overall development of the University’s athletics program. This year’s class brings the Wall’s membership to 244.
Saturday’s ceremony will take place at approximately 2:35 p.m. The men’s basketball game begins at 1 p.m., and the ceremony will begin approximately five minutes following the conclusion of the game. Admission to Saturday’s game is $5 for adults (18-60) and $3 for senior citizens (61 and older) and non-University of Scranton students and children (ages 8-17). All University of Scranton students, faculty and staff, and children 7 and younger accompanied by an adult are admitted free of charge.
Daniel Amspacher – Men’s Soccer, 1976-79
Amspacher had a standout career for the University’s men’s soccer program during a time when the Royals were among the top programs in the nation. He was a National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) all-region honoree in 1979, and was a three-time all-Middle Atlantic Conference selection (1977, 1978, 1979).
Amspacher was the leading scorer on the 1976 and 1977 teams that won Middle Atlantic Conference North and overall championships. He went on to finish his career with 28 goals and 14 assists for 70 total points. His 70 points are tied for 11th, his 28 goals are 12th, and his 14 assists are tied for 23rd in program history.
The Royals won 57 games during Amspacher’s four seasons, and also captured the Middle Atlantic Conference North and overall championships in 1978. The team appeared in the NCAA tournament in 1977, 1978 and 1979, which began a run of 11 straight appearances in the NCAA tournament.
Sara (Suchoski) Carroll – Women’s Soccer, 2001-04
(Suchoski) Carroll was one of the top players in Scranton women’s soccer history, earning All-American honors from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) in both 2001 and 2003, and also earning NSCAA Scholar All-American honors in 2003. In addition, she was named first-team all-region by the NSCAA in 2001, 2002 and 2003, and earning third-team honors in 2004.
She was one of the best players in Freedom Conference history, winning Player of the Year honors in 2002, 2003 and 2004 and Rookie of the Year honors in 2001, while being named first-team all-conference in each of her four seasons.
She is the program’s all-time leading scorer, ranking first in goals (69) and points (172), and second in assists (34), totals she amassed while leading the Royals to 65 victories, four Freedom Conference championships and four NCAA Tournament appearances, including trips to the Elite Eight in 2001 and 2003.
She capped her career at the University by receiving the O’Hara Award as the outstanding female athlete in the Class of 2005.
Tom Hughes – Men’s Lacrosse & Men’s Basketball, 1997-2001
Hughes was a three-time all-Middle Atlantic Conference selection on the men’s lacrosse team, earning first-team honors in 2000 and second-team honors in 1999 and 2001. He was a key part of a Royals’ defense that sparked the team to a then-program record 11 victories in 1999.
In 58 career games, Hughes finished with 19 goals and 21 assists for 40 total points, the most by a defensive player in Royals history. Had had a career-high seven goals during his sophomore season after posting a career-high 10 assists as a freshman. Hughes helped the program post 28 victories over his four seasons and was part of the 1999 team that played in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) playoffs.
Hughes was also a four-year member of the men’s basketball team from 1997-2001 under legendary former head coach Bob Bessoir (Wall of Fame Class of 1976), playing in 47 career games while helping the Royals post 70 wins over those four seasons. He made 20 starts during his senior season of 2000-01, finishing in the top 12 in the Middle Atlantic Conference in 3-point percentage (35.8). For his career, he averaged 7.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.1 assists.
Kathy Coleman O’Brien – Women’s Tennis & Women’s Basketball, 1977-81
Coleman O’Brien was a standout on the tennis courts during her career, finishing with a career singles record of 41-4 while playing at or near the top of the Royals’ lineup during her entire career. Those 41 career victories are tied for fifth in school history and her .911 winning percentage is the best in program history.
She helped the Royals post 38 wins during her career and capture Middle Atlantic Conference Northern Division championships in 1979 and 1980. She posted winning singles records in each of her four seasons, going 11-0 as a freshman, 14-1 as a sophomore, 9-2 as a junior and 7-1 as a senior. Her 14 wins in 1978 are tied for second most in a single season in Royals history.
On the basketball court, she played in 90 games for legendary former head coach Mike Strong (Wall of Fame Class of 1987), helping the Lady Royals win three Middle Atlantic Conference championships (1978, 1979 and 1980) and advance to the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) national tournament four times, including a spot in the Final Four in 1980. (The AIAW sponsored a Division III women’s national tournament until the NCAA began doing so in 1982.)
She capped her career by receiving the O’Hara Award as the outstanding female athlete in the Class of 1981.
Brian O’Donnell – Men’s Basketball, 2001-05
O’Donnell was a four-year standout on the men’s basketball team, earning second-team all-Mid-Atlantic region honors from the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and second-team all-Middle-Atlantic region from D3hoops.com after his senior season.
He was named Freedom Conference Rookie of the Year in 2002, earned second-team all-conference honors in 2003 and was a first-team selection in 2004 and 2005. In his four years, the Royals won 61 games, including two seasons of 20-or-more wins. He was instrumental on the 2002-03 team that went 24-6, won the Freedom Conference championship and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
For his career, O’Donnell ranks second in Royals history in rebounds with 962, and is the only player in program history to lead the team in rebounding in four consecutive seasons. He ranks 16th in points (1,532) and steals (115), 20th in blocks (81) and 30th in assists (206) in Royals history.
O’Donnell capped his career by receiving the O’Hara Award as the outstanding male athlete in the Class of 2005.
Kristin Thomas – Field Hockey, 2003-05
Thomas was named second-team All-Regional by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association in two of her three seasons with the Royals (2003, 2005), making her one of just four players in program history to twice earn all-region honors. She was also twice named Freedom Conference Tri-Player of the Year (2004, 2005), and was also a three-time first-team all-conference selection (2003, 2004, 2005).
From her position as a defender, Thomas finished her career with nine goals and five assists for 23 career points, and three of her goals were game-winners. She also had 12 defensive saves while helping the Royals win 26 games in her three seasons, which included two Freedom Conference playoff berths (2004, 2005) and an appearance in the title game in 2005.