The six former student-athletes selected for induction into the Central Connecticut State University Alumni Athletics Hall of Fame were announced Wednesday, making up the next group of Blue Devils greats to be recognized by the university.
The induction ceremony will be held in Alumni Hall on the CCSU campus at a date to be announced.
The Hall of Fame class includes Jamie Crowley (women's swimming), Laura Duncan '05 (women's soccer), Aaron Radden '13 (track and field), Ted Stoneburner '92 (football), Bob Wittneben '72 (football/wrestling), Paul Wright '99 (soccer) and the 1987 wrestling team.
"It gives us a great sense of pride to be able to recognize the successes of this outstanding group of former Blue Devils student-athletes," said interim Director of Athletics Tom Pincince. "We look forward to being able to gather the Central Connecticut family and honor the newest members of our CCSU Alumni Athletic Hall of Fame. This is always a great evening to come together and recognize the accomplishments of our great student-athletes and celebrate what it means to be a Blue Devil."
A date for the induction ceremony as well as ticketing information will be announced at a later date.
Crowley was a two-time NCAA championships qualifier in 2005 and 2006. She set the school record in the 50 and 100 freestyle, while also setting Northeast Conference marks in the 500 freestyle and 100 breastroke. Crowley earned the 2005 NEC Championships Outstanding Swimmer and the 2006 ECAC Swimmer of the Year honors, while winning six NEC individual championships and two ECAC titles. She helped the Blue Devils win eight NEC relay championships and was the first CCSU FINA World Cup finalist and the first CCSU swimmer to score at the US Open.
Duncan captained the Blue Devils to three consecutive NEC championships from 2002-04. The 2003 team became the first program in any sport at CCSU to win an NCAA Tournament game, defeating Boston College 1-0 in the first round. She would score the first goal in the second round game against UConn. Duncan was named First Team All-NEC (2002-03), NSCAA All-Region (2003), All-New England (2003) and Soccer Buzz All-Northeast Region First Team (2003). Duncan was a four-time winner of the CCSU Clubman of the Year, which is given to the player who does the most to help her teammates off the field. In 2016 the award was renamed The Laura Duncan Award. She is currently the head coach at the University of New Haven.
Radden won five individual titles at the NEC Indoor Championships and four individual titles at the NEC Outdoor Championships during his career. He placed 10th in the 200-meter at the 2012 NCAA Indoor Championships and was a four-time New England Indoor champion. A highly-decorated sprinter, he earned All-NEC honors 14 times and was twice named NEC Indoor Championships Most Outstanding Performer and Most Valuable Performer, while also earning Most Outstanding Track Performer at the 2013 NEC Outdoor Championships. Radden set records in three events (55 meter, 60 meter, 200 meter), while setting the outdoor mark in both the 100-meter and 200-meter. He was also the 2010 NEC Indoor Outstanding Rookie and a USTFCCA All-Academic selection in 2013.
Stoneburner graduated with the all-time scoring record, having scored 22 career touchdowns from 1979-81. He led the Blue Devils in rushing in 1979 (624 yards) and 1981 (586 yards). His career rushing total of 1,509 yards was sixth-best in school history when he finished his playing career. A star in the CCSU backfield, he led the team in scoring with 51 points in 1981 and 44 points in 1979.
Wittneben was a two-sport standout for Central, playing football and wrestling at the school from 1968-72. An exemplary student-athlete, he was honored with the Frederick M. Gladstone Award, which is given annually to the most outstanding senior male athlete to recognize their academic, athletic and citizenship achievements. A starting linebacker in football, he captained the team to an 8-3 record as a senior. He earned All-Eastern Football Conference all-star honors as a senior and went on to sign professionally with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League. He went on to coach at Southington High School where he launched the wrestling program and posted a .744 winning percentage.
Wright was a standout on the soccer field, scoring 23 goals during the 1996 season which is the second-highest single-season total in program history. A two-time All-New England and All-Mid Continent Conference selection during his career, Wright tied an NCAA single-game record with eight goals and 17 points in a game against UMES in 1995. He scored 14 goals during each of his freshman and junior seasons, which are among the top 10 single-season goal totals at CCSU and his 50 points in 1996 is the third-highest single-season total. Following graduation, Wright went on to play professionally in both the U.S. and Spain. He was also an assistant coach for the 2007 Blue Devils squad that advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament and is currently the head coach at the University of Saint Joseph.
The 1987 wrestling team won its first 16 matches and finished 17-1 in its first Division I season. The Blue Devils were crowned the New England champions and sent five wrestlers to the NCAA National Championship where it finished 51st out of 118 represented teams. Sal Profaci, Ryan Johnson, Jim Sloan, Mike Gibbons and Dennis Leanord all competed at the national tournament. Co-captain Richy Shook was the only senior on the squad that excelled under the guidance of head coach Ken DeStefanis.
The CCSU Alumni Athletics Hall of Fame recognizes and honors former outstanding CCSU student-athletes for their contributions and achievements in athletics. Nominees, in general, must be of good character and worthy of the award, and individuals, who, through their actions, have shown support for the ideals of the University. Nominees shall have represented CCSU in a positive manner both on and off the playing arena. Including the Class of 2020, there are 161 members of the CCSU Alumni Athletics Hall of Fame, and five teams.