MUTTONTOWN, N.Y. — NYIT President Hank Foley opened Monday's Hall of Fame Enshrinement Dinner by highlighting the value of athletics to the university.
"It helps bind us together as a community," Foley said at The Woodside Club.
NYIT Athletics then inducted four deserving members into the program's Hall of Fame: men's soccer alums Eduardo Anacleto and Peter Antoniades, track and field sprinter Patrick Jarrett, and former athletic director and men's basketball student-athlete Clyde Doughty Jr.
Men's soccer coach Carlos Delcid recalled that Anacleto, upon arriving from Brazil, told him: "Coach, as long as I'm here, you will never have a losing season."
Added Declid: "And we never did."
The Bears went 85-15 with Anacleto during his four-year playing career at NYIT.
"I didn't write a speech because I wanted to go like I did on the field — all heart," Anacleto said upon accepting the award.
Former teammate Peter Antoniades, recruited from London, lightheartedly noted he still has the recruiting email from Delcid touting the school's proximity to Manhattan.
Antoniades then recalled arriving at the airport and getting picked up in a van by assistant coach Pablo Posada to travel to the Central Islip campus.
Antoniades noted with a laugh about the view of the Empire State Building: "It's getting smaller. … It's getting smaller. … It's getting smaller. … It disappears."
Antoniades also amused the 200-plus attendees by noting that Hall of Fames aren't something that exist in his native United Kingdom.
"I asked my father to come over for this," Antoniades said. "He said, 'What's the Hall of Fame?'"
Jarrett, a two-time Olympian, had an emotional reaction upon being introduced by Hall of Fame coach Pete Zinno.
"Thanks, Z, for making me cry," Jarrett said.
Zinno told the story of Jarrett, who had the fastest 60-meter collegiate time anywhere in the nation, having a disappointing NCAA indoor championships in Indianapolis. Jarrett responded by carrying the team to second place nationally in the NCAA spring championships. He won the 100- and 200-meter sprints and also emerged victorious as the second leg of the 4x100 relay. Then, despite being a sprinter, he filled in for an injured teammate in the 4x400 and helped the team score in that relay.
Doughty recalled the transformation of NYIT Athletics from his time as an undergraduate on a men's basketball team that reached the championship game in 1980 through his longtime tenure as an athletic director at the school.
"NYIT is one of the best things that ever happened to me," he said.
Meanwhile, NYIT also honored Dr. Jerry Balentine with the "Big Bear Award" for his contributions to the athletic program. Balentine spearheaded the launch of the Center for Sports Medicine upon arriving at NYIT three years ago.
"To this day the Center for Sports Medicine is one of my proudest achievements at NYIT," Balentine said.