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Pace University Football Hall of Fame Inductees

Pace University Football

Hall of Fame Inductees


Michael Buonassisi

Induction Class of 2001

Accomplishments:
Michael was a premier offensive tackle in Northeast.

  • Four year letter-winner 1973-76
  • 1976 Co-captain
  • Met 8 Offensive Lineman of the Year 1975
  • Met 8 Offensive Lineman of the Year 1976
  • Winner of 1976 “coaches award”
  • Member of the Met 8 Championship team in 1976

Dennis Carpenter

Induction Class of 2012

Accomplishments:

  • 1969 Most Valuable Player
  • 1969 Most Valuable Player of the Metropolitan Bowl
  • Led the Nation in total offense during the 1969 Metropolitan Bowl Winning Season
  • Won 1969 Metropolitan Bowl
  • “Outstanding Offensive Player” of the first Metropolitan Club Football Bowl
  • 1974 National Club Football All-American
  • Won 1974 Metropolitan Bowl vs. St. John’s.

Kevin Enterlein

Induction Class of 2008

Accomplishments:
Kevin Enterlein was one of the finest quarterbacks in Pace University history. He holds nine school passing records, including:

  • Most passing yards in a game (456 on 10/17/87 vs. Trenton State)
  • Most passing yards in a season (2,892 in 1986)
  • Most passing yards in a career (6,365)
  • Most pass completions in a game (32 on 10/17/87 vs. Trenton State)
  • Most pass completions in a season (207 in 1987)
  • Most pass completions in a career (502)
  • Most touchdowns in a game (6 on 10/17/87 vs. Trenton State)
  • Most touchdowns in a season (20 in 1986)
  • Most touchdowns in a career (41)

Accomplishments:

  • Recorded nine (9) 200-plus yard passing games in 1986
  • 1986 Homecoming MVP
  • 1987 Homecoming MVP
  • 1986-87 Male Athlete of the Year
  • 1987 ECAC Division II All-Star
  • 1987 All-Liberty Conference First Team member

Thomas Grega

Induction Class of 2014
Played for the Pace club football team from 1969-73 and was a versatile player for the football program. Was one of the key members of the squad that helped put the team on the map. Made his biggest mark on the Setters program as a tight end, a position from where he would make “The Play” as it has come to be known in Pace lore in which he caught a pass from fellow Hall of Famer Dennis Carpenter and fought off tacklers for a 63 yard winning touchdown against the previously unbeaten Westchester Community College. The win placed Pace in the first-ever Metropolitan Bowl… Scored the winning touchdown to help lead team to ’69 Metropolitan Bowl Championship… That win was the impetus for the building of a field on the Pleasantville campus and the elevation of the sport to varsity status in 1978.


Rich Johnson

Induction Class of 2016
Rich Johnson, one of the best wide receivers in Pace football history, appears all over the football record books. During his playing career, he helped Pace to marquee victories over programs such as Iona, Fordham, Stony Brook, C.W. Post, Marist, Wagner, and St. John’s.
Accomplishments:

  • 1986 Liberty Conference First Team Offense
  • 1986 ECAC Division II All-Star
  • 1986 Football News Second Team All-American
  • 1986 Pizza Hut First Team All-American
  • 1987 Liberty Conference Offensive Player of the Year
  • 1987 Liberty Conference First Team Offense
  • 1987 ECAC Division II All-Star
  • 1987 Football News First Team All-American

Records:

  • Most Career Receiving Yards (2,614)
  • Most Career Receptions (188)
  • Most Single Season Receiving Yards (1,143)
  • Most Single Season Receptions (75)
  • Most Single Game Receiving Yards (222)
  • Most Single Game Receptions (20)
  • Second-longest passing play in Pace history (97 yards)

  • George Maier

    Induction Class of 2006
    George Maier was the first coach in Pace University football history, holding the position for 16 seasons from 1973 to 1988. He led the program from club team (1973-77) to varsity status in 1978. In his 16 seasons, he posted an overall record of 79-59-4 for a .570 winning percentage. He is the all-time winningest coach in Pace football history, posting a 52-48-2 varsity career record for a .520 winning percentage. In 1973, he led the Setters to their second Met Bowl Championship. In 1978, Maier led Pace to the Metropolitan 8 Conference Football Championship and was named the ECAC Coach of the Year in 1979. Under coach Maier, 45 individual records were set while 25 single season records are held by teams that he coached. Maier’s teams posted a losing record just three in 16 seasons and holds the individual coaching records for consecutive wins with seven straight starting with the final two games of the 1978 season and concluding with a tie on October 13th, 1979.


    Rich Middlebrook

    Induction Class of 2013
    A team captain, Rich Middlebrook was one of the top defensive players in the history of the football program as he played from 1983-86.
    Accomplishments:

    • 1984 All-Metro Area Defense
    • 1985 Liberty Conference First Team Defense
    • 1985 CoSIDA Academic All-District selection
    • 1985 Homecoming Co-MVP
    • 1986 Liberty Conference First Team Defense
    • 1986 Defensive Player of the Year
    • 1986 Football News Second Team All-American
    • 1986 CoSIDA Academic All-District selection

    Records:

    • All-time sack leader with 28
    • Second on the single season sack list with 13 in 1986
    • Third on the single season sack list with 12.5 in 1985

    Currently working as a CPA, Rich and his wife Patricia, also a Pace alumna, have four children and currently live in Ridgefield, CT.


    George Pinkham

    Induction Class of 2015
    Dr. George Pinkham played for the football team from 1982-85 and was one of the top defensive players in program history.

    Records:

    • All-time interceptions leader in school history with 16
    • Two interceptions for touchdowns in one game was an NCAA record at the time
    • Tied for third on the single season interception list with six in 1985
    • Single season record for punting average with 38.6 yards in 1984
    • Longest punt of 60 yards ranks in the top-10 all-time.

    Accomplishments:

    • 1983 led the Metro Conference in punting
    • 1984 Metro Conference All-Star
    • 1985 Liberty Conference Offense First Team selection
    • 1985 Liberty Conference Defense First Team selection
    • 1985 Pizza Hut Honorable Mention All-American
    • 1985 Team Co-MVP
    • 1985 Pace Letter Winner of the Year
    • 1985 CoSIDA Second Team Academic All-American

    Upon graduating from Pace, while attending veterinary school at Cornell University, he served as a Graduate Assistant on the coaching staff of the 1988 NCAA Division III National Championship football team at Ithaca College.


    James “Pudge” Stewart

    Induction Class of 2017
    James Stewart, known by his teammates as “Pudge,” is highly-regarded as one of the original leaders of the Pace football program. Stewart had a personality that took the forefront as the program was just beginning back in 1968. He played as the left defensive tackle for the Setters, and was a force to be reckoned with on Pace’s defensive line.

    With Stewart’s leadership, the Setters showed swift improvement through their first few seasons, including a Met Club Bowl victory in 1969, just the second season in the program’s history. The Setters knocked off Iona College by a score of 16-7 in front of a crowd of over 5,000 fans to capture the championship. Stewart and the defense posted three shutouts that season, allowing only 10.6 points per game, as the team finished 5-3 overall. Stewart was seen as a coach on the field for a lot of the younger players, and welcomed anyone who joined what he called his “Doomsday Defense.” He gained a reputation as unblockable, and despite his large stature, he was as fast as anyone on the team for 20 yards.

    Many have said that Pace football may not have gotten off the ground if not for Stewart, who is also commonly called the “Face of the Pace University Football Team” through its formative years. The Setters went on to find great success throughout the 70s, and many credit Stewart, along with numerous other Hall of Famers, for laying the foundation of the program.


    Doug Woodward

    Induction Class of 1999

    Accomplishments:

    • Three-time All-League honoree
    • 1978 Homecoming MVP
    • 1979 Homecoming MVP
    • 1979 All-ECAC
    • Signed with the Dallas Cowboys in 1980
    • Played professionally in the NFL, CFL and USFL

    Statistics:

    • Recorded three 1,000-yard passing seasons
    • Led Pace to three Metropolitan Conference titles (1976, 1978 & 1979)
    • Passed for 1,095 yards with six TD’s, while also rushing for 224 yards and two TD’s in 1977
    • Passed for 1,359 yards with eight TD’s, rushed for 113 yards and six TD’s in 1978
    • Passed for 1,046 yards with eight TD’s, rushed for 149 yards with three TD’s in 1979
    • Lead the Setters to a 25-7-1 (.773) record in his four years

    Teams of Distinction

    The purpose of this award is to pay tribute to Pace University intercollegiate teams of the past for their outstanding achievements in their respective athletic arenas and for their contributions to the athletic legacy of Pace University.

    A Team of Distinction has won a conference, regional or national championship; or been undefeated over the course of its season; or considered to be one of the “very best Pace University teams ever” in the respective sport; or has overcome exceptional challenges to be successful. Other considerations could be teams with membership that have gone above and beyond the typical call of duty to maintain a strong bond with Pace University and its student-athletes.


    The 1976 Team

    Induction Class of 2017
    The early years of the Pace University football program saw growth and unparalleled success. Led by legendary Pace Hall of Fame coach George Maier, the 1976 team made its mark in the history books by putting together an outstanding 7-1 overall record, averaging 25 points per game, while allowing a meager 6.5 per game. The Setters registered three shutouts in eight outings that year, including a 27-0 triumph over St. John’s, a 28-0 victory versus Marist, and a convincing 21-0 margin against Saint Peter’s. Pace also appeared in a Sports Illustrated story about Brooklyn College, which the Setters ran past by a score of 36-14 and went on to capture the Metropolitan Conference Championship.

    The 1976 roster featured 45 team members, including Pace Hall of Fame quarterback Doug Woodward who would go on to play professionally in the NFL, CFL, and USFL, and fellow Hall of Fame member Mike Buonassisi who was a team captain along with Jim Fenty, Jeff Nagy, and Dennis Holland. All totaled, 11 Setters were named All-Conference, five on defense and six on offense, while Buonassisi was selected as Offensive Lineman of the Year, and Maier was recognized as Coach of the Year.

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