November 6, 2013 - NHIAA Hall of Fame Inducts Seven Outstanding Individuals
The 13th Annual NHIAA Hall of Fame Induction will be held on Sunday, November 17, 2013. The event will be held at the Grappone Conference Center Courtyard by Marriott in Concord beginning with a reception at 12:30 p.m. Cost of the event is $55.00. Tickets can be purchased by contacting the NHIAA at 228-8671 or via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please be sure to include a full name and return address in your message. Tickets will not be sold at the door.
The Class of 2013 includes seven individuals who have distinguished themselves serving high school athletics. The inductees are:
Mike Abbott -Contributor
Although born in Pittsfield, MA to Abbott and Josephine Abbott and having traveled the world throughout his K-12 schooling because of his father’s career as an Army Officer; New Hampshire was fortunate to have Mike eventually settle in the state where he served as an educator, coach and official from 1970 until 2000. His move came after graduating from Longmeadow High School in Longmeadow, MA in 1966 and Brown University in 1970. A life long learner, he also completed his degree in Educational Administration from Keene State College in 1986.
As an athlete he competed for Brown University at the varsity level for both football and wrestling. Upon graduation he began a lengthy and distinguished career as a teacher, principal, soccer and basketball coach at Hinsdale High School in southwestern NH where he remained as principal until 2000. At the same time, Mike began officiating basketball in NH and VT, starting in 1980 and continuing to this day.
While staying busy as a championship coach with a lifetime varsity boy’s soccer record of an incredible 106-9-2, Mike’s soccer teams won four soccer championships and one runner up trophy between the years of 1978 and 1985. The NHSCA Coach of the Year in 1979, 1980, and 1982, he also coached the NH Lion’s Club Team from 1981-1983.
In spite of his busy schedule and his wife, Sharon, and daughter Alyshia to care for, Mike served tirelessly in numerous capacities for the NH School Principal’s Association, the State Department and Board of Education, and NHIAA. In terms of the NHIAA, he served two terms on the Council, one year as President, and 15 years as the Chairman of the Soccer Committee during a time of unparalleled growth.
NH and Hinsdale are lucky to have such talented individual serve school based athletics in the state. Aside from enjoying his wife, brother, a niece and nephew, Mike has two grandchildren, Margaret and Colin Sinnot.
Dave Barry - Coach
“We only get to go this way once. Do it right.” is a phrase any former athlete or student of Dave Barry would remember for it spoke to his expectations relative to a successful experience in high school or life for that matter. Success for Coach Barry was measured by having fun, working your hardest, and playing in a sportsmanlike manner. Students and student athletes alike benefited from this mantra from when Dave started his career at Sunapee High School in 1971 and until his retirement in 2006.
Although raised in North Walpole, NH, Dave attended Bellows Falls High School in Vermont where he was a three sport athlete and captain of both the football and basketball teams. From Bellows Falls he attended Plymouth State College where he played varsity lacrosse for three years. This began a long and distinguished career as a varsity coach at Sunapee High School.
Dave served as the baseball coach at Sunapee from 1972 – 2006 winning six Class S titles and three runner-up trophies. In 1977 he also co-founded the volleyball program at Sunapee serving as the only coach from 1977 – 2006. Once again his team enjoyed great success winning four state titles and nine runner-up positions. Overall, his coaching record was 892 wins against 206 losses yielding a winning percentage of .812%.
For his outstanding efforts he was named both the baseball and volleyball Coach of the Year for New Hampshire in 2006 and the Region I Baseball Coach of the Year as well. He has also been inducted to the NH Coaches’ Hall of Fame and the Plymouth State College Hall of Fame. He also served ten years on the NHIAA Baseball Committee and fifteen years on the NHIAA Volleyball Committee. His legacy to his students, peers, and especially his student athletes will always be ingrained in the culture of Sunapee High School.
Paul Bellavance - Coach
Possibly the result of being one of four boys born into a family of twelve, Paul Conrad Bellavance appeared to have an interest in the sports of football and wrestling from the start of his career as an educator and coach. While a three sport athlete at Nashua High School in the early 1950’s Paul was the Nashua High School Athlete of the Year in 1955 and an initial inductee to the Nashua High School Hall of Fame in 1991. He then went on to excel in football and baseball as a student athlete at the University of New Hampshire where he graduated in 1964. Although a successful collegiate baseball player, Paul was a Mid Bracket All American and member of the All Yankee Conference Football Team.
After successfully teaching and coaching at a number of top rated schools in NH and MA from 1962 – 1970 he finally landed the job that would create his real legacy as a high school coach, not in football or baseball but rather in the sport of wrestling. He perfected his coaching skills and reputation during his outstanding career as the head coach of wrestling at Nashua High School. A career that began in 1971 and lasted until 1995. His impact and success in promoting high school wrestling in NH is seen by many as the key to the present day success of the sport across the state.
It would be literally impossible to list all of the awards he and his teams amassed during his tenure at Nashua High School. With six state championships and an equal number of runner-up titles Coach Bellavance also produced 60 individual state champions and numerous top place finishers in the New England Tournaments and numerous Invitational Tournaments out of state.
Here again, his accolades and awards as a coach would cover five pages of paper with everything from five Coach of the Year Recognitions, several Hall of Fame Inductions, and the host to dozens of major Championships. Clearly he and his wife, Dolores, now deserve to have time to enjoy their three daughters, their husbands, and their 10 grandchildren.
Duane “Joe” Clement - Athlete
Joe Clement attended school in Henniker, NH where he was a standout basketball and baseball player starting as an 8th grader and 7th grader respectively in each sport. It was in baseball however that Joe would accomplish his greatest achievements. In over five years of baseball he threw numerous no hitters and as a senior pitched every game of the year including three tournament games in one week before losing the Class C Championship in extra innings. Obviously, this predated the pitching rules of today and speaks to his physical and mental toughness.
From Henniker Joe attended the University of Connecticut having a standout freshman year followed by three years on varsity due to rules prohibiting freshman from varsity participation. He pitched in two games as a sophomore in the College World Series in Omaha before going on to set numerous records at UConn, many of which still stand today. He also was selected to serve on the UConn Athletic Advisory Committee, a testament to his leadership skills. A 1961 All American, Joe signed with the Houston Colt 45s, later known as the Houston Astros. After five years as a professional Joe returned to Henniker and purchased the Henniker Pharmacy where he would practice his original academic training for 48 years.
Married to his wife Patricia in 1961, the Clements had three sons, one daughter, and a brother and sister who were foster children. Tragically, their youngest son Jeffrey was killed in an avalanche in 1998. Brother Jim and his wife have, however, presented them with three grandchildren.
Frustrated with the losing ways of the Henniker basketball program Joe started a clinic for boys in grades 5 – 8 which after 14 years under Joe’s direction was picked up and continued by others in the town. Joe taught these young men the excitement of experiencing success, but more importantly he always stressed the values embedded in high school athletics. A strong advocate for the value of exercise to this day, Joe stressed the life lessons associated with winning and losing and the principles of good sportsmanship.
Carol Dozibrin - Administrator
A Salem NH native, Carol Dozibrin is probably one of the most recognizable athletic directors in the state of NH. Her promotion of school based athletics and visible presence at seemingly every event in the state has made her a NHIAA Icon. A three sport high school athlete, Carol obtained her BS from Plymouth State College in 1977 and a Master’s Degree from Norwich University in 1987. As a committed life long learner she has taken numerous credits beyond her Master’s Degree, attaining the title of a Certified Athletic Administrator. She has taken and/or taught twenty-eight Leadership Training Courses for the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrator’s Association.
Carol has participated in too many NHIAA and NIAAA committees and panels to possibly list. Clearly, her leadership capabilities have been consistently recognized both at the national and state level as she has chaired many NHIAA Committees and served as a leader at numerous NHIAA national meetings. A former President of the NHIAA Council, Carol has been involved in education, officiating, skiing, gender equity, finance and football. Having served on the NHIAA Football Committee since 1998, she is currently the chair of this committee, a position she has held since 2010.
Since beginning her career teaching at Farmington High School in 1977, she has taught, coached, and served as the athletic director at Timberlane High school, Newport Middle High School, and most recently at Winnacunnet High school in Hampton, NH. Her coaching has included Track and Field, Cross Country, Basketball, and Softball.
In terms of achievements and awards, once again they are too extensive to list in this forum. To highlight a few; she has received the NHIAA Advancement of Girl’s Sports Service Award, Class M and NH State Athletic Director of the Year, NFHS National Citation, NIAAA State Award of Merit, and the NH Secondary Physical Educator of the Year Award. Few people have achieved such success while retaining the admiration of their peers like Carol Dozibrin.
Earl Mills - Coach
Earl Mills began his passion for athletics as a four year athlete at Rochester High School in Rochester, Vermont. The 1966 graduate participated in four sports each year; cross country, soccer, basketball, and baseball. He and his wife of 43 years, Nancy, both attended and graduated from Plymouth State College. Following college Earl was hired as a teacher and coach at Newfound High School in Bristol, NH where he has spent the past 43 years leaving his mark on hundreds if not thousands of young student athletes.
Although a baseball and soccer coach initially, he ultimately found his passion in the sports of cross country along with track and field. He started the cross country program in 1976 and track and field in 1978 at Newfound. According to information provided by athletic director, Peter Cofran, Coach Mills has coached 75 teams in eight different sports. During his tenure as a coach he has won three Divisional Cross Country State Championships and his girl’s track team was the runner up in their Division in 2005.
Aside from staying up with his educational certifications, Earl has received numerous awards and recognitions. These awards include the Manchester Union Leader/Sunday News Walter A. Smith Award, induction into the NH Coaches’
Association Hall of Fame as well as the Outdoor Track and Field Coaches’ Association Hall of Fame.
In his nomination letter Earl was described as easy going, but someone who pushes his student athletes to always do their best both on the track and in the classroom. His commitment to the integration of academics and athletics, and the importance of that relationship has made him a positive role model for many young new coaches.
Known as the “Godfather” of cross country and track in the Lakes Region, his legacy will be everlasting at Newfound High School and across New Hampshire.
Rick Zecha - Official
A well known figure in the Monadnock Region of New Hampshire, Rick was born and raised in Keene. Rick still resides in Keene with his wife of 20 years, Darcey and daughter, Alexis and son, Erick. Alexis is a freshman at Keene State University while Erick will be a three sport athlete at Keene High School this year as a sophomore.
Following his graduation from Keene High School in 1975, Rick attended the University of New Hampshire where he received a BA in Psychology in 1980. A 29 year manager for Smiths Medical, a global manufacturer of anesthesia, critical care, and needle safety products Rick actually began his lengthy career as an official while still in high school. As a high school student he officiated youth baseball, basketball, and football. It was at this early stage of his career in officiating that Rick started to evolve his philosophy as an official, one that continues to serve him well even today and has made him a role model for his peers older and younger alike.
As a member of the NH Basketball and Football Officials’ Associations since 1977 and the NH Baseball Umpires Association since 1976, Rick has demonstrated his commitment and leadership by holding the President’s position and Coordinator’s position in all three organizations. At the same time Rick has been the Council Chair of his local church as a director in both the Cal Ripken and Babe Ruth organizations in Keene.
During his distinguished career to date, Rick has officiated over forty NHIAA Basketball Finals, over fifteen football finals, and several baseball finals. One of his fondest memories however continues to be when he was called out of class as a student at Keene High School to cover a double header in baseball at Keene State College.
Not surprisingly, Rick has been a John Clark Award Recipient, a member of the Joe Yukica NH Chapter of the National Football Federation, and a Shrine Bowl Official in 1991. A strong advocate for considering every contest any official oversees as the most important game for those participants ever. He has been a voice of reason in terms of encouraging strong and positive relationships between the officials, the NHIAA, coaches, and, student athletes.