Before Saturday afternoon, Harford Community College's sports Hall of Fame could not properly be described as an active institution, with the last enshrinement ceremony more than two decades ago, in 1993.
With the efforts of the school's current administration, however, the 21-year lull of inductions was snapped when four of HCC's athletic icons were honored during the halftime break of the women's basketball team's weekend matchup with Cecil Community College.
Called out at the beginning of the halftime intermission were Judy Davlin, Dick Fordyce, John Haggerty and Jack Nichols. The four former coaches and administrators, all major players in HCC's athletic programs getting to where they are today, made up the 2014 Hall of Fame class.
HCC Athletic Director Ken Krsolovic, who was sitting at the scorers' table for both the women's and men's basketball games on Saturday, said the decision to revive the Hall of Fame had been floating around for several years, but that some matters had to be sorted out before a new class could be inducted.
"The six years I've been here, it was always on our minds, getting the Hall of Fame back up and running," Krsolovic said shortly after the halftime ceremony. "The biggest thing we had in front of us was getting the new arena [APGFCU Arena] built, and once that was done last year we said, 'let's go.' We would really like to keep this going year to year. We're not sure yet if it will be an annual event, but we'd like to keep having induction classes. It's really a good way to keep connected with HCC alumni."
Davlin, seated in the third row of the arena during the women's basketball game, was the head coach of HCC's field hockey team during her 30 years with the school, and helmed the Fighting Owls during their rise to national prominence in the 1990s, which culminated in a National Junior College Athletic Association Championship run in 1995. Flanked on both sides by her former players, including a good number from the 1995 title-winning squad, she said Saturday was the first time she had attended at game at the new arena.
"This is a gorgeous venue, really," Davlin said. "It's great to honored at a place that's meant so much to me, that's been such a big part of my life. It meant a lot to me to get that call and hear I was going to be inducted. I'm hoping this kicks off a revival in the Hall of Fame, because there are a lot of people, athletes and coaches, who deserve recognition."
Fordyce, the lone inductee among the four who is still teaching at HCC, echoed Davlin's statements when speaking about the Hall of Fame.
"This won't be the last [induction class], I'm pretty sure of that," he said. "We have a very strong athletic program here, and there are a lot of people who deserve to be honored. There are athletes playing right now who, after they graduate, could be inducted."
With HCC for more than 40 years, Fordyce, an associate professor of health and physical education, served as the school's athletic director and was head coach of the football team for 14 years. His football teams went undefeated four times and finished at the top of the national junior college rankings twice. Fordyce said he plans to retire after the 2014 school year.
"This is just icing on the cake for me," he said after the induction ceremony. "I've had a lot of good years here, and with retirement coming up in the spring, I'm really happy to have been honored like this in my final year. I couldn't ask for a better send off."
Haggerty, who has served on the school's Board of Trustees since retiring in 2007, held the titles of athletic director and associate dean of health and physical education. It was during his tenure as HCC's athletic director that the school's first sports complex, Thomas Run Park, was completed.
Nichols, who spends his winters in Florida and could not make it to Saturday's event, was with HCC for 32 years, during which he served as athletic director and head coach of the basketball, football, tennis and golf teams.
"The four people that were selected this year, they were just naturals for the Hall of Fame," Krsolovic said. "We wanted to get the people who helped build Harford Community College's athletic program, who made it what it is today. John, Jack, Judy and Dick were here when we were just getting started, and you couldn't pick four people who had more to do with the success we've had."
Those attending the induction ceremony on Saturday were treated to a pair of very different basketball games, with the women's team clubbing Cecil Community College, 106-26, and the men's team losing a tight one to the visiting Cecil squad, 86-82.