Quincy University will induct the 1954-55 men’s basketball team and former women’s soccer coach Bill Postiglione into the Athletics Hall of Fame at an honorary brunch on Saturday, February 18, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. The brunch will be held in the Hall of Fame Room located in QU’s Health and Fitness Center (20th & Oak). Reservations can be made for $20.00 each by calling Alumni Services at 217-228-5226. The 1954-55 team and Postiglione will also be recognized during halftime of the QU men’s basketball game against William Jewell that afternoon.
While the 1954-55 basketball team was the first in the school’s history to qualify for a national tournament, their accomplishments and the adversity they faced as a team served a greater purpose. The Hawks, under head coach Harry Forrester, fielded a team with four black players, unprecedented in the racially segregated United States of the 1950s.
“This year’s Hall of Fame class consists of pioneers in the field of athletics,” said Linda Moore, chairperson of the QU Athletic Hall of Fame Committee. “The 1954-55 men’s basketball team met challenges that so many teams faced after them. They overcame those challenges with dignity, pride, and the Franciscan spirit that permeates throughout our alma mater.”
The players on the 1954-55 team include Bob Bender, Edsel Bester, Ed Crenshaw, Pat Flannigan, George Gruendel, Jim Hubbard, Bill Lemon, Frank Longo, Dick Overheul, Dick Thompson, Sidney Tucker, Art Willenburg and Edmund Wisz. Forrester, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005, was in his first of three seasons as a coach in 1954-55.
The team finished with a 17-9 overall record and had the highest winning percentage in the school’s history at that time and qualified for the NAIA national tournament in Kansas City for the first time.
Postiglione is among the greatest coaches in the University’s history, having launched the women’s soccer program and bringing it to national prominence in the mid-1990s. He coached Quincy’s women’s soccer team for 23 seasons, launching the program in 1983 and leading it through the 2005 season. He led the Hawks from the club and NAIA ranks to the NCAA Division II Level and took QU to two consecutive Division II semifinals in 1994 and 1995. He won four regional Coach of the Year honors in his career, and coached four All-Americans and 18 all-region players. Postiglione finished his career with a 176-172-24 overall record. The legacy of those teams still last with the program, which has continued to have success on the regional and national levels.
For more information contact Hall of Fame Committee Chairperson, Linda Moore at 860-227-3979.
Founded in 1860 by Franciscan friars, Quincy University (www.quincy.edu) is a Catholic, co-educational, residential university offering undergraduate, graduate, and adult education programs that integrate liberal arts, active learning, practical experience, and Franciscan values. Quincy University’s intercollegiate sports are members of the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Valley Conference for men and women. For more information, please contact the Quincy University Office of Community Relations by calling(217) 228-5275.