Four former student-athletes and the founder of the athletic training education program will be enshrined into the Salisbury University Hall of Fame on Friday, October 23, as part of Homecoming 2009. The five inductees are Amy M. Cooke, Michael M. Giuffrida, Megan H. Block (Hopper), Kyle R. Jefferson and Hunter Smith. A reception and banquet will be held on Friday evening at the Guerrieri University Center in the Wicomico Room in their honor.
The Salisbury University Hall of Fame Induction is one of the premier events of the year for the SU Athletics Department. The formal event recognizes the men and women, past and present, whose contributions to Salisbury University Athletics has been deemed worthy of induction into the SU Hall of Fame.
A brief description of this year's inductees:
Amy Cooke (Class of 1999) was a four-year letterwinner for the women's basketball team, two-time team captain and team MVP and was an honorable mention All-American in 1999. Cooke became the first SU women's basketball player to record over 1,000 points and 500 assists in a career. She finished her career as the all-time SU leader in assists with 731 and ranked 11th in scoring with 1,138 points. Her assist total is fourth best all-time in NCAA Division III history. The East Windsor, N.J., native started every game in her career (106 games) and was the Capital Athletic Conference leader in assists for the '96, '97 and '98 seasons. She is a two-time All-CAC first team selection and was named to the all-region second team in 1998-99. Cooke's 16 assists in a game in 1999 ranked in the top five in NCAA Division III history upon her graduation. That same season she led the nation assists with 8.2 per game. In addition, Cooke was named to the CAC All-Academic team all four years.
Michael Giuffrida (Class of 1999) was a four-year letterwinner for the men's soccer team, two-time team captain and team MVP and was a third-team All-American selection in 1998. The Fallston, Md., native was a leader for the Sea Gulls on the field and in the classroom. Giuffrida is the only two-time recipient of the SU Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year honor (1998, '99) and was the first Sea Gull to be named the Capital Athletic Conference Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year (1999). He was named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Scholar All-American first team his senior season. On the field he was named to the All-CAC first team twice (1997, '98) and the second team in '95. His junior season he was named CAC Player of the Year as he scored 16 goals, four assists for 36 points. The forward finished his career among the leaders in goals (37), assists (19) and points (93) in program history.
Megan Hopper (Class of 1999) was a four-year letterwinner in both field hockey and softball where she helped both programs to a combined seven Capital Athletic Conference championships. For the field hockey program, Hopper was a two-time first-team All-American, three-time All-Region and All-CAC selection (twice on the first team). Her senior season the team captain was named the 1998 CAC Field Hockey Player of the Year. She helped the Sea Gulls make the NCAA tournament all four seasons she wore the maroon and gold. She finished her career in the top 10 of the program's history for goals (50) and points (114). The Millsboro, Del., native also performed excellent on the softball field where she was a four-time All-CAC first team performer at second base. She led the Sea Gulls to three NCAA tournament appearances and the first NCAA championship round appearance in '98. Hopper capped her career when she was named the 1999 CAC Softball Player of the Year, named a third-team All-American and took home Team MVP honors. That season she led the team in five different offensive categories including batting average (.467), hits (70), runs (61), stolen bases (12) and triples (seven). She earned All-Region honors all four years of her career as she was named three times to the first team. Hopper finished her career with 198 runs, 24 doubles, 70 runs batted in and 63 stolen bases in 166 games.
Kyle Jefferson (Class of 1996) was a four-year letterwinner for the men's basketball program where he earned National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) All-American honorable mention his senior year (1994-95). During his senior season, Jefferson was named the Capital Athletic Conference Player of the Year, was selected to the All-CAC first team, named to the NABC All-Middle Atlantic Region first team and earned a spot on the ECAC first team. In addition he was named ECAC Player of the Week four times, brought home MVP honors in the Sea Gull Classic and scored 20 points in 23 of SU's 25 games. The Sea Gulls won 72 games during Jefferson's four years at SU as the Sea Gulls captured a second straight Eastern States Athletic Conference (ESAC) championship his sophomore year (1992-93). Jefferson played behind the great Andre Foreman his freshman year as the Sea Gulls won a school record 28 games, advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals and finished the season ranked No. 2 in the nation. The Columbia, Md., native logged over 2,179 minutes in 104 games where he scored 1,419 career points (eighth all-time in SU history upon his graduation). The 6-foot-3 forward grabbed 656 rebounds, made 108 assists, 97 steals and 58 blocks in his career for the Sea Gulls.
Hunter Smith founded the Salisbury University Athletic Training Education Program in 1972 as he served as the first-ever head athletic trainer for the Sea Gulls. Smith served the University for 10 years where he was also an assistant professor in physical education. The Salisbury, Md., native then served one year at The College of William & Mary as the head athletic trainer before he landed with the Baltimore Colts in the National Football League (NFL). He spent 26 years with the Colts organization, 25 as the head athletic trainer, and was a member of the NFL Super Bowl Champion Indianapolis Colts. The Colts defeated the Chicago Bears 29-17 in Miami on February 4, 2007 in Super Bowl XLI. He earned his bachelor's degree in physical education from Florida State University in 1971 and a master's degree in physical education and health from Tennessee Tech University in 1972. In 1990, he was honored with the Pro Football Athletic Training Staff of the Year as selected by the Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society and named Professional Athletic Trainer of the Year and Colts Man of the Year. He served on the Board of Directors of the National Athletic Trainers Association from 1982 to 1984. In 2007, he was inducted into the Indiana Athletic Trainers Association Hall of Fame.