Brockport State Hall of Fame & Wrestling 50 Year Celebration Recap
October 02, 2019


BROCKPORT, NY -- This past weekend The College at Brockport hosted its annual athletic Hall of Fame ceremony and also celebrated 50 years of the wrestling program under the guidance of Head Coach Don Murray. The weekend included a welcome to the wrestling alumni on Friday night and continued with a special halftime ceremony at the football game dedicated to the wrestling Hall of Fame inductees and Coach Murray. The signature event was on Saturday night in the Seymour Union Ballroom where over 300 attendees enjoyed the Hall of Fame induction ceremony and a celebration of Coach Murray's 50 years.

Saturday night's program was dedicated to longtime Brockport wrestling assistant coach Walt Peterson who passed away earlier this year from Lou Gehrig's disease.

The ceremony included a cocktail hour followed by introductions from Vice President for Advancement Mike Andriatch and President Heidi R. Macpherson, PhD.

Following dinner, Director of Athletics Erick Hart took to the podium to introduce the Hall of Fame inductees, which included the team inductions of the 1980, 1982, 1983 and 1992 wrestling teams. It also included individual inductions of wrestlers Rich Sippel, Jeffrey Cox, Scott DeTore, Eric Vaughn, Frank Palumbo, Lenny Baker and Artie Weidler.

The ceremony came to an end with concluding remarks from 50 year Head Coach Don Murray.

Hall of Fame Inductees:

1980 Wrestling Team
1980 team was Coach Murray's first team in his tenure to be ranked No. 1 in the nation during the season. They ended the season with a dual match record of 12-1. The 1980 team won the national championship team for the second time in four years and marked the first time a Division III wrestling team had won two national championships.

1982 Wrestling Team
The 1982 wrestling team won the SUNYAC Conference team championship and then set their sights on the NCAA Division III National Championship. Brockport would not be denied as they produced three individual national champions, a team championship and the NCAA's most outstanding wrestler in Frank Famiano. This was the first time Brockport had produced three individual national champions and the team's third National Championship in a six year span.

1983 Wrestling Team
The 1983 team went on to win its fourth straight SUNYAC title and sent eight wrestlers to the NCAA Division III National Championship. The 1983 team won its second straight National Championship in dramatic fashion, defeating rival Trenton by a mere five points, to become the first team to win back-to-back National titles.

1992 Wrestling Team
This team went 9-0 in dual meets during the season and seven Brockport wrestlers earned bids to the NCAA Division III national Championship. This team produced six All-Americans. The Golden Eagles dominated the national tournament in convincing fashion and won their first national title since the back to back championships in 1983-1983. Coach Murray had claimed his fifth national championship overall and was named the National Coach of the Year in 1992.

Rich Sippel
Undergraduate Degree: Business Administration '79
In 1977, Rich Sippel fought his way from an unranked qualifier in the NCAA Tournament to NCAA Champion. His heroics led Brockport to their first team National Championship title. Sippel went on to earn All-American honors in 1978 and 1979. He was also a three-time SUNYAC champion in 1977, 1978, and 1979 and a member of the two Empire Conference Championship teams in 1977 and 1978.

Jeffrey Cox
Undergraduate Degree: Physical Education '85
Jeffrey Cox's first tournament championship came in dramatic fashion, winning the NCAA National Championship title in 1982. Cox earned multiple accolades during his career including All-American honors in 1982 and 1983, Empire Conference Runner-up in 1982, and was a member of Brockport's Empire Conference Championship team in 1982, 1983, and 1984. Cox was also a member of Brockport's New York State Championship team in 1983.

Scott DeTore
Undergraduate Degree: Physical Education '89
A four-year member of the Brockport wrestling program from 1986-1989, DeTore was a m1985 National Champion, earning All-American honors in the 134 pound weight class. He placed second at the NCAA National Tournament in 1986, earning All-American Honors for the second time. DeTore was also a two-time SUNYAC Champion, Empire State Games Gold Medalist, and NYS Intercollegiate Runner-Up. He currently teaches physical education at Selvin Middle School on Long Island.

Eric Vaughn
Undergraduate Degree: Physical Education '00
Eric Vaughn was one of the most decorated members of the Brockport wrestling program. The three-time NCAA All-American was a National Champion in 1998 and runnerup in 1999. During his time at Brockport, Vaughn earned additional honors as an Empire Conference Champion in 1998 and led Brockport's team to three Empire Conference Championships in 1997, 1998, and 2000. Vaughn was also a three-time letter winner on the football team.

Frank Palumbo
Undergraduate Degree: Physical Education '02
Palumbo was a four-year member of the Brockport wrestling team from 1998-2002 achieving All-American status in 1999 and 2000 and the title of NCAA National Champion in 2001. Palumbo repeated as Empire Conference champion in 1999 and 2000 and was a member of the NCAA Dual Meet Championship Team of 2000. Additionally, Palumbo was a member of the All New York State team in 1998 and 2001 and earned the title of New York State Champion in 2001. Palumbo currently assists in coaching the Saranac high school wrestling team in Northern New York and works at the Champlain Valley Physicians' Hospital in Saranac Valley.

Lenny Baker
Undergraduate Degree: Physical Education '05
Lenny Baker was a highly decorated wrestling student-athlete at Brockport from 2001-2005. The highlight of Baker's outstanding career came in 2001 when he earned the NCAA National Champion title. Other major awards during his career include New York State Collegiate Wrestler of the Year, Section 2 Collegiate Wrestler of the Year, SUNY Brockport Male Athlete of the Year, and he was a 2x Empire State Games Gold Medalist. Baker was inducted into the Section 2 Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2017. He currently coaches at Curby Wrestling Club in Albany and teaches at Albany Academy.

Artie Weidler
Undergraduate Degree: Physical Education '05
Before arriving at Brockport, Artie Weidler earned All-American status at Nassau Community College in 2003. Weidler was an integral part of the wrestling program from 2001-2005, earning All American honors in 2003 and the National Championship title in 2004. Also in 2004, Weidler was the Rochester Athlete of the Year (RACA). Other accolades during his illustrious career include 4x New York State Collegiate Champion, 5x Empire State Games Gold Medalist, New York State Wrestler of the Year, SUNY Brockport Male Athlete of the Year, Empire Conference Champion, and he was a 7x Brockport Athlete of the Week. Following his tenure at Brockport, he began coaching at Farmingdale High School for the wrestling program. Has earned multiple coaching honors throughout his career, such as the Assistant Coach of the Year for Nassau County, Rookie Head Coach of the Year for Nassau County, and he was also a 2x Conference Coach of the Year.