BALTIMORE — Loyola University Maryland’s Athletics Hall of Fame Committee has selected eight individuals and one team to comprise the Class of 2020 induction group.
The cohort joins the prestigious group of 130 individuals and two teams previously inducted to the Hall of Fame since 1978. Loyola plans to honor the class with a formal induction in Spring 2021.
The eight individuals include student-athletes, a former administrator and a student-athlete who later became a Loyola assistant and head coach. The 1997 Loyola women’s lacrosse team will become the third team enshrined in the Hall of Fame, commemorating the first squad in program history to reach the NCAA Championship Game.
Joe Boylan (director of athletics, 1991-2010), Brendan Fry ’96 (men’s lacrosse), Brandon Luckett ’96 M’98 (golf), John M. McConnell ’03 (men’s tennis), Cara (Mooney) McElderry ’97 M’99 (women’s soccer), Carolyn Pilkington Sklar ’04 (women’s tennis), Martin C. Pilsch, Jr., ’63 (men’s swimming and men’s lacrosse), and Charley Toomey ’90 (men’s lacrosse student-athlete and coach) are the eight honored individuals.
“It is a great honor to recognize the contributions of this impressive group of athletes, administrators and coaches with their inclusion in the Loyola Athletics Hall of Fame,” said Donna M. Woodruff, Loyola’s assistant vice president and director of athletics. “I look forward to celebrating the many accomplishments of this prestigious group.”
Meet The Inductees
Joe Boylan was Loyola’s director of athletics from 1991-2010, leading the department during a time in which eight teams earned NCAA Championships bids under coaches he hired, retained and mentored. The Greyhounds won more than 65 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Championships while Boylan was at the school, and he also hired the three coaches – Patty Coyle (women’s basketball, 1994 and 1995), Skip Prosser (men’s basketball, 1994) and Jimmy Patsos (men’s basketball, 1995) – who have taken the Greyhounds basketball teams to the NCAA Tournament. Boylan also oversaw the department as it added four varsity sports: women’s soccer, women’s track and field and men’s and women’s rowing.
A three-time United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) All-American, Brendan Fry was a defensive stalwart for the men’s lacrosse program as it advanced to four NCAA Tournaments (1993-96) and earned three berths in the quarterfinals (1993-95). Fry was a three-year starter, earning All-America honors in each of those seasons. He finished his four years with 115 ground balls, picking up a career-high 42 as a junior in 1995. Fry also came from the defensive side of the field to contribute two goals and five assists during his career as Loyola went 37-17 in his time with the Greyhounds.
Brandon Luckett graduated from Loyola as one of the most successful golfers in school history after being named the program’s Most Valuable Player three times. He won the 1995 MAAC Individual title and was a member of three conference championship-winning teams. Luckett put together 16 top-10 finishes during his career and won three invitational titles – the 1995 Davis & Elkins Invitational, the 1995 James Madison Invitational and the 1997 Loyola Invitational. He was a standout in the classroom, earning GTE Academic All-America honors twice and adding Golf Coaches Association of America Academic All-American accolades.
John M. McConnell finished his men’s tennis career at Loyola as the program’s leader in single-season singles wins (23), career singles wins (66) and doubles victories (49). McConnell, who played No. 1 singles for three years, helped Loyola to the four winningest years in program history (49). He led the Greyhounds to their best MAAC finish since 1996 as a senior in 2003, helping the Greyhounds to a third-place finish as he wrapped-up his career as a four-time winner of the team’s Most Valuable and Most Dedicated Player awards. He was the recipient of the athletic department’s Medal of Merit as a senior, and he earned the Greyhounds’ award for posting the top grade-point average for a senior male student-athlete. McConnell also received notoriety nationally, garnering 2002-2003 Verizon/CoSIDA Academic All-District II First Team honors.
Cara (Mooney) McElderry achieved many firsts for a fledgling women’s soccer program, leading the Greyhounds to considerable success during her time at Loyola. She was Loyola’s first women’s soccer player to earn All-Region honors, garnering recognition on the Mid-Atlantic team from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) in 1995 and 1996. She was a three-time First Team All-MAAC player – the second in program history to be so honored – and the two-time captain graduated in 1997 ranked in the top-10 of several statistical categories.
Carolyn Pilkington Sklar played a key role in the Greyhounds’ last two NCAA Tournament teams for women’s tennis, winning 45 matches as a freshman and sophomore from 2000-2002. She graduated from Loyola as the winningest doubles player in school history, putting together 70 victories. Pilkington also set a Loyola record by winning 26 doubles matches as a sophomore along with partner Kaitlin Russo. The left-handed player was a three-time MAAC All-Academic Team selection and a captain of the Greyhounds in 2003-2004.
Martin C. Pilsch Jr. had an accomplished career for the Greyhounds in not just one sport, but two. He earned lacrosse All-America honors in 1962 and 1963, and he was a conference champion and top point-scorer for the Greyhounds swimming team. On the field, Pilsch scored 20 goals as a sophomore in 1961 before raising his goal and assist totals to 22 and 12 while earning All-America recognition in 1962. He then capped his career by finishing seventh in points (22) in the southern division in 1963 to repeat as an Honorable Mention All-American. He was a standout in the pool, as well, opening his career in 1959-60 as the team’s highest point scorer and winning the 220- and 440-yard freestyles at the 1960 Mason-Dixon Conference Championships. He came back to win the 440 in record time as a sophomore before finishing as the team’s highest point scorer again in 1962-63 while winning the conference 1,650 title.
Head Men’s Lacrosse Coach Charley Toomey has been a part of the Loyola community since 1986 when he came to the school as a goalkeeper for the program. During his time as a player for Loyola, he was a two-time All-American, and he backstopped the Greyhounds to their first-ever appearance in the NCAA Championship Game in 1990. As a three-year starter, he was 25-5 between the pipes, and he still ranks among Loyola’s all-time leaders in saves and goals-against average. He transitioned to the sideline as an assistant to then-head coach Dave Cottle in 1991, beginning a career path which has continued ever since. He was named the Greyhounds’ head coach before the 2006 season and has since put together a 150-71 (.679) record, and he is one of only two men’s lacrosse coaches (Cottle) to win 100-plus game at Loyola. The Greyhounds reached the pinnacle of college lacrosse in 2012 when Toomey led the program to the school’s first-ever NCAA Division I Championship when Loyola went 17-1. He has been involved in 18 of Loyola’s 26 NCAA D-I Tournament appearances in program history – three as a player, five as an assistant coach and 10 as a head coach. As a head coach, the team has spent time ranked No. 1 in four different seasons, something never before accomplished at the school.
Led by Hall of Fame coach Diane Geppi-Aikens, the 1997 Women’s Lacrosse Team is the only squad in program history to reach the NCAA Championship Game. The Greyhounds reeled off nine-straight wins to start the season, rising to No. 2 in the IWLCA national poll. Despite a pair of one-goal setbacks to Virginia and James Madison, Loyola rolled into College Park to face the University of Maryland and promptly defeated the top-ranked Terrapins, snapping their 50-game winning streak. The Greyhounds topped sixth-ranked William & Mary, 11-2, in the NCAA Quarterfinal before beating No. 8 North Carolina, 10-8, in the Semifinal. Loyola was then narrowly edged, 8-7, in the NCAA Championship Game by Maryland. Five Greyhounds earned IWLCA First or Second Team All-America recognition in 1997. Kerri Johnson, Michelle Meyer and Stephanie Roberts were named to the first team, while Krystin Porcella and Allison Valentino garnered second-team nods.
— Loyola Athletics press release
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Loyola Athletics