RCC Sports Hall of Fame to Enshrine Four New Members
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: January 11, 2017
CONTACT: Dan Keeley
RCC Sports Hall of Fame to Enshrine Four New Members
Induction set for January 21, 2017 at Nyack Seaport
RAMAPO, NY – An ice hockey standout, a baseball star, and a stalwart soccer coach and player highlight this year’s class of inductees into the Rockland Community College Sports Hall of Fame, announced by the RCC Athletic Department. The 10th annual induction gala is set for Saturday, January 21, 2017, at 7 pm at the Nyack Seaport in Nyack, NY.
The four former athletes are being honored along with the recipient of the Dr. Cliff L. Wood Service Award, joining the 45 members, four Service Award winners and one team already enshrined.
Admission of $65 includes a cocktail hour, hors d’oeuvres, salad, pasta, prime rib, coffee, dessert and dancing. For reservations or more information please call the Athletic Department at 845-574-4452 or 4512. Checks can be made payable to the RCC Association.
This year’s honorees include:
Andre Chiavelli, Class of 1981, Baseball
At Spring Valley HS, Chiavelli captained the baseball and football teams and in 2015 he earned induction into that school’s Sports Hall of Fame for his athletic prowess. During his two seasons of baseball at RCC, under Coach Bob Nadal, Chiavelli was the team’s Most Valuable Player both years and captured All-Region 15 and All-Mid Hudson Conference honors each year as well.
During his freshman season, Chiavelli hit .358 and led the team in hits, runs, stolen bases, doubles and triples. He struck out just once the entire season and played flawless ball in center field. The following year, he batted a robust .410, collected 38 hits, led the team in multiple offensive categories, and again had a perfect fielding percentage in center field. He helped lead the Rockets to a combined 30-15 record in the 1979 and 1980 seasons.
While playing at RCC, Chiavelli starred during the summer for the Spring Valley OTB Pirates en route to the Rockland Big League title in 1979. Among his top achievements was rapping two hits off future New York Mets closer John Franco. Chiavelli was offered a pro contract by the New York Yankees but declined the offer and instead played baseball at Mercy College, hitting a solid .350 during the 1981 season and exhibiting stellar play in center field.
Chiavelli currently works as executive global vice president of sales marketing education and public relations for Farouk Systems, a Houston-based manufacturer of hair care products. When the Yankees won the World Series in 2009, he won a World Series ring as a store vendor of official memorabilia at Yankee Stadium. In 2014 he launched “Rockland’s Greatest” Facebook page chronicling Rockland sports history, drawing more than 3,000 weekly visitors.
Jerry Elicks, Class of 1977, Hockey
Elicks, a Clarkstown North HS graduate, led the Rams to the 1975 Hudson Valley Hockey League Championship and earned first-team All-County honors. His first year at RCC was spectacular, as he paced the Rockets to the Metropolitan Collegiate Hockey League championship and led the team with 44 goals and 41 assists for a record-breaking 85 points. The team, coached by Dick Gutwillig, won all 26 of its league games and lost only two of 33 games overall. The following year, Elicks again spearheaded the team with 25 goals and 27 assists, and the Rockets went 15-5 in league play and 20-11-1 overall.
"I was merely one of many good players on a team that had a short but remarkable run at a time when hockey was booming in Rockland County," Elicks said.
At SUNY Binghamton, Elicks led the Bearcats in scoring in the Finger Lakes Collegiate Hockey League in 1977-78. He later enrolled at St. John’s University School of Law, passed the bar exam and worked as a litigation attorney for eight years with Congdon, Flaherty, O’Callaghan in Garden City, NY. Elicks then joined Wright Risk Management, an insurance management and consulting firm where he was eventually named president in 2000, reporting to the chairman/CEO and in charge of 185 employees. He is currently a private practice attorney and insurance consultant.
Elicks and his wife, Susan, live in Port Washington, Long Island, and have two grown daughters, Lauren and Meaghan. A 20-year member of the North Hempstead Country Club, he is the Senior Club golf champion in the 50+ category.
Loren Green, Soccer Coach
Green earned multiple All-Section and All-Region awards as a standout soccer player at Nyack HS, from which he graduated in 1970. At SUNY Morrisville he was twice nominated for first-team All-America honors. He later played for the Eastern Olympic Team in a recruiting tournament in Colorado Springs for the 1976 Olympic Games. Green extended his playing career professionally by competing for the Washington Diplomats and the New York Apollo of the American Soccer League.
Green started his coaching career at RCC in 1982. After serving as assistant coach for two years, he launched a successful 32-year career as head soccer coach, from 1984 to 2015. During that time his teams won several Mid-Hudson Conference and Region XV championships and reached the NJCAA Div. III national tournament in 1993. In addition, his teams made the regional finals in both 1995 and 1996. Under Green’s direction, RCC soccer was ranked in the top 20 nationally for five straight years in the early 1990s, and during his RCC tenure he coached nine All-Americans.
Coach Green earned the respect of his players by setting high standards for competitive play and absolute boundaries for on-field conduct, and giving them every opportunity to achieve those standards. He also garnered the respect of his fellow coaches by becoming the first soccer coaches’ representative in the region.
Green continues to head up an annual indoor youth soccer tournament at the RCC Fieldhouse, and is a U.S. Soccer Federation C-licensed coach for the Clarkstown Sports Club. He lives in Chester, NY, with his wife, Gale. They have a son, Loren Jr., and a granddaughter, Ta’mera.
Jo Rene Valentin, Class of 2006, Soccer
Born in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince, Valentin learned soccer at an early age like many of his peers. As a teenager in 1998, he represented his town in a national tournament. Valentin lived with his grandmother in Jacmel and attended Centre Alcibiade Pommayrac for his schooling. After graduating high school in 2003, he moved to the US to live with his parents and his younger brother, Freud.
Valentin was recruited to play for RCC after Coach Loren Green spotted him playing soccer at a Spring Valley park. He was named first-team All-Region and first-team All-American in 2005, and the following year led his team to the regional semifinals. He paced the team in goals scored during his time at RCC. Academically, he was a member of Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for two-year colleges.
After being heavily recruited by many area colleges, Valentin committed to play at New Jersey Institute of Technology to be closer to home. At NJIT, he led his team in goals scored and was second-team All-Region. In 2007, he transferred to play for St. John’s University, but got injured and couldn’t play for the Red Storm. At St. John’s he earned his bachelor’s in Math and Science with a minor in Business Management.
Valentin lives in Airmont, NY, with his wife, Melodie, and their children, Holdy and Jo Preston. He has worked for People’s United Bank since 2010.
Dr. Cliff L. Wood Service Award
Michael J. Gill, EdD, Class of 1991
It wasn’t until halfway through his senior year at SUNY Binghamton that Michael J. Gill, EdD, decided to pursue a career in education. Initially majoring in pre-law, he switched and followed his calling into teaching, leading to his position now as principal of North Rockland High School for the past 10 years.
Previous education positions include serving as a Special Education coordinator at North Rockland, an assistant principal at Farley Middle School in Stony Point, and principal at West Haverstraw Elementary School.
Dr. Gill pursued a Liberal Arts course of study at RCC’s Honors Program under mentor Dr. Sam Draper. Interestingly, Dr. Gill’s father, Michael F. Gill, was enrolled in the Nursing program at RCC at the same time.
In his role as principal at North Rockland, which he describes as his “dream job,” Dr. Gill collaborates with the College in RCC’s High School Program. North Rockland offers some 50 advanced-level or college courses through its five college partners, of which RCC is “our No. 1 partner,” he says.
Dr. Gill also serves as an adjunct professor at Manhattanville College and The College of Mount St. Vincent, teaching master’s degree candidates in Special Education. He earned his Doctor of Education from Fordham University. He lives in Garnerville with his wife, Colleen, and daughters Emily and Julia.