Seven coaches, one athletic director, one media member and a legendary military member and state athlete will be honored as 2016 inductees to the Connecticut High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame at its 40th annual ceremony on Nov. 17 at the Aqua Turf in Southington at 7 p.m.
Athletic Director Elaine Biercevicz Piazza, coaches Barbara Hedden, Howie Hewitt, Rich Langer, Martin deLivron, Edward Michael Faulkner, Ricky Shook, Robert Mastroni, military member Major Stephen Charles Reich, posthumously, and media member Rich Coppola will be inducted.
Piazza was athletic director at Lyman Hall in Wallingford and at Sacred Heart Academy in Hamden, where she also coached basketball for 12 seasons. She was also a member of the legendary National Champion Raybestos Fast Pitch softball team for five seasons (1966-70). She has served as president of the New Haven Tap-Off Club since 1979 and was inducted into its Hall of Fame in 2005, the New England Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015, the Connecticut Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2012 and the ASA Softball Hall of Fame in 2006.
Hedden has been the Cheshire girls track and field coach since 1992. She has a 220-51 dual-meet record in track and has coached two state runner-ups (1995 and 1999). Her teams have also won four League/Division Championships: Housatonic, 1992, 1993, and Southern Connecticut Conference 1995 and 1999.
Mastroni coached football at Bunnell in Stratford from 1977-2000 and also coached softball from 1986-1999. His coaching record in football over 24 seasons was 152-90-3. His teams won three Cross County Interscholastic Athletic Conference championships (1983-85) and the South-West Colonial title in 1991. His softball career record of 178-25 included the 1999 CIAC Class LL state title over Fitch 7-1.
Hewitt has coached boys basketball since 1985 and baseball since 1995 at Maloney in Meriden. In 1,060 total coaching games, Hewitt has a career record of 654-406, 401 basketball victories and 253 in baseball.
His basketball team won the 2007-08 state championship and was runner-up in 2006-07. His baseball team was a runner-up in 1995.
Langer coached girls volleyball at Haddam-Killingworth for 40 years (1975-2014) and girls track for 11 years (1992-2002). He compiled 656 total coaching victories: 580-225 in volleyball; 76-14-1 dual meet track.
His volleyball teams won two state championships, 1991 and 2004, and had six runner-up finishes.
deLivron coached boys soccer for 22 years (1983-2014) and baseball for 37 (1978-2014) at Avon. He had 813 total coaching victories: 330-68-4 in soccer; and 483-256 in baseball. His soccer teams won six state championships: 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1989 and 2001. He had five state runner-up finishes.
Faulkner coached girls basketball for 30 years (1978-2008) and softball for 22 years (1986-2008) at McMahon in Norwalk. He has 614 total coaching victories in the two sports. His girls basketball team won the Class L State championship in 1994 and was a state runner-up twice. Faulkner was also named CHSCA Softball Coach of the Year in 2007 and was given the CIAC Girls Basketball Merit Award in 2015.
Shook has coached wrestling at Danbury for 17 years (2000-2016), posting a career record of 324-19, including 13 Class LL state championships and 12 State Open Championships.
Major Stephen Charles Reich (1971-2005) was an outstanding baseball player for Shepaug Valley in Washington before attending West Point, where he also had an excellent baseball career. Major Reich was killed in action in Afghanistan while leading a rescue mission on June 28, 2005.
Coppola has been the Sports Director at FOX 61 since March, 1989. He began his broadcasting career in radio at KC 101 in New Haven. He has worked as a field producer for ESPN and was a sportscaster for an NBC affiliate in Springfield, Mass. A University of New Haven graduate, Coppola was inducted into the East Haven High Alumni Hall of Fame in 2000.
Tickets for the dinner are $46 and available in advance by contacting the CHSCA office at P.O. Box 632, Southington, CT 06487 or by calling 860-628-4122 or e-mailing John Fontana at firstname.lastname@example.org. Doors open at 6 p.m.