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Baron Hall of Fame to Honor Five Outstanding Athletes, Coaches


The Hall of Fame Ceremony will take place before Sunday's Family Funfest and Rugby Ruckus.

Posted:  2014-08-20  

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Hall of Fame Arches
The arched hallway in the new portion of Finnegan Fieldhouse where will hang the Baron Hall of Fame plaques

STEUBENVILLE, OH—Franciscan University of Steubenville will induct five giants in its athletic history into the Baron Hall of Fame. The ceremony will be held on Sunday, August 31, in the Tony and Nina Gentile Gallery of the J.C. Williams Center, with a reception at 2:00 p.m., followed by the induction ceremony at 3:00 p.m.

Inductees include Charles "Chuck" Zerger '63, Father Tim Hirten '75, Jeremy Treece '05, and posthumously Coach Vince Lamatrice and Jim Garrigan '74.

"This year's honorees come from both the early years and the 'new era' of sports at Franciscan," says Athletic Director Chris Ledyard. "All five men played unique and vital roles in the continuing legacy of Baron athletics."

Chuck Zerger played not even three full seasons with the Baron basketball team, yet more than 40 years later, he remains among the top 10 all-time Baron athletes in both rebounds and points scored. Zerger was the first of two athletes in Baron history to be named MVP multiple times. His post-college basketball career ended early with a knee injury, and Zerger went on to teach grades 3-12 for 41 years. He currently lives in Canton, Ohio, and has an active puppet show ministry, putting on close to 130 shows each year to support mission work.

Father Tim Hirten was a key element of the Barons' run to the NCAA Division II Regional Championship game in 1974. Hirten made a place for himself in the starting lineup even as a freshman; he was a leader in scoring and rebounding during his years with the Barons, and is the number 8 all-time scorer and number 11 all-time rebounder. After playing basketball professionally overseas and with the Washington Generals for several years, he entered the U.S. Air Force and was ordained to the priesthood. Father Hirten is now a military chaplain with the rank of major.

Jeremy Treece brought rugby to Franciscan University in 2000, laying the foundation for the team's continued success. Treece both played and coached in the team's first years, growing the program from nothing into a team capable of defeating the reigning Division II Allegheny region champions in just a year. Treece now coaches New England College's rugby team, which this year won the NSCRO national championship in 7s and took second place in 15s.

Vince Lamatrice coached Baron club baseball from 1989-99, keeping afloat the school's only athletic program during the years without NCAA sports. Lamatrice's team once soundly defeated Carnegie Mellon University's Tartans 10-2 in a fundraiser game at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh. A well-known figure in Steubenville youth sports, he coached Little League and Babe Ruth teams and youth softball and basketball. He passed away this year at the age of 77.

Jim Garrigan set the tone for his basketball career with the Barons early, leading the team in scoring from his freshman year on. With Hirten, Garrigan led the Barons in their quest for the 1974 NCAA Division II Regional Championship. He is the number 3 all-time top scorer for the Barons. He coached basketball for Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania, while earning his MBA, and went on to have a successful corporate career in telecommunications and satellite networking. Garrigan passed away in 2009.

Tickets for the Hall of Fame induction ceremony are $15 in advance or $20 at the door. Register by calling Maura Conant at 740-284-3745 or email her at mconant@franciscan.edu.

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