Rockland Announces Inductees to 4th RCC Sports Hall Of Fame0


The SUNY Rockland Community College Athletic Department is pleased to announce the 2011 Sports Hall of Fame Inductees. The induction dinner and celebration will be held at 7 pm on January 22, 2011 at the Italian-American Social Club in West Haverstraw. Admission is $50 and will include hors d’ oeuvres, cocktails, salad, pasta, prime rib, coffee, dessert and dancing.


Richard Johnston, ’67, Wrestling/Cross Country

After a stellar career at Suffern High School, Richard Johnston continued his excellence on the wrestling mat for two seasons at RCC. Most notably, he was NJCAA runner-up at the National Tournament in the 160 lbs. division. During his two-year career as a Rocket, “Dickie” also ran on the Cross Country team and took second at the 1966 Junior College Regional Cross Country Championship.

Following Rockland, Johnston went to Arizona State University.He was a two-year letter-winner for the Sun Devils wrestling squad.

John Tirino ’65, Soccer

John Tirino played soccer while the RCC athletic program was still in its infancy.His teammates voted him “MVP” for his efforts on the 1963 team.The team played a limited amount of games, with their on campus contests taking place in what was once an overgrown tomato patch.He later attended Dominican College and earned his B.S. Degree in 1977.

Born in Italy, Tirino moved to the United States at age 13.He was the captain and RCPSAL All-County selection on the 1962 Haverstraw-Stony Point High School football team. He retired in 2005 after working in management for PepsiCo, Inc., and Infinity Radio Corporation.He now serves as a consultant for the Monte Group.

Steven Torsoe ‘90, Golf

After graduating from Suffern High School in 1988, Steve attended RCC on an academic scholarship.He continued to excel on the golf course helping the Hawks to a third place finish at the 1990 NJCAA National Tournament in Scottsdale, Arizona.Torsoe earned All-American honors following the 1990 season.

Steve received a golf scholarship and attended Virginia Commonwealth University.He transferred to Bucknell University where he graduated in 1993. Currently, Steve works in Real Estate and is President of the Hollow Brook Golf Club in Cortlandt Manor, New York.

Robert Nadal, Coach

Coach Bob Nadal is credited with laying the foundation for the success of the RCC baseball program.Upon his arrival in 1979, Coach Nadal immediately implemented policies, procedures and strategies necessary for both individual and team success.During his eleven years at the helm of the RCC program, he coached thirteen players that later went on to play professionally.More importantly, 78 former student-athletes went on to continue their playing careers at four-year colleges, with most of them earning scholarships.

Nadel guided Rockland to eight Mid Hudson Conference titles, and his 1983 squad won the Region XV Championship. Prior to his arrival at the College, Coach Nadal was an ultra-successful baseball and football coach at North Rockland High School.His 1972 baseball team won the County and Section Championship.

He retired from teaching in 1995 from the North Rockland Central School District.

Howard “Howie” Pierson, Coach/Athletic Director

Coach Pierson or “Pro” as he was known landed back in Rockland County in 1960 after a brief professional baseball playing career with the Philadelphia Phillies organization.Although he spent four years as a teacher and coach at Tappan Zee High School, he almost immediately found a home at RCC.In 1965, he began a long career as a coach and later as Athletic Director.He handled both the head coaching duties for the baseball and basketball teams from 1965-1969.He passed over the baseball coaching reigns to Emil Willis in 1969, but continued to build the men’s basketball program.Coach Pierson fondly recalls an era in the early 1970’s where the basketball team flourished under the stellar play of Larry Frazier and Wade Pittman.

From 1972-1997 Howie served as the RCC Athletic Director.In the late 1970’s he traded in his whistle for a golf club.He stopped coaching basketball and began a storied career as the RCC golf coach.From 1974 to 2008, under his direction, the team collected 21 Mid Hudson Conference Championships and participated in numerous NJCAA National Tournaments.It is safe to say that Howie’s name was synonymous with the RCC golf program.He retired from his duties as Athletic Director and Physical Education teacher prior to the 1998 school year.But he continues to work closely with the golf team today.

As an African-American athlete, Howie has amassed numerous awards and honors including being the first black high school coach in Rockland, the first black athletic director of a New York State Junior College, the first black baseball captain at Manhattan, and the first black to play in the U.S. Amateur Golf Tournament.

Since 1960, SUNY Rockland Athletics has produced 50 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) All-Americans and more than 50 former student-athletes have become coaches after their playing careers.

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