Alfred University welcomes five to Athletics Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame 2012

by Mark Whitehouse

Alfred University inducted five former student-athletes into its Athletics Hall of Fame during an on-campus banquet Saturday, Oct. 6, during the University’s annual Homecoming celebration.

Members of the Hall of Fame Class of 2012 are: former cross country/track standout Jim Smith ’85; swimming All-American Rich Hymes ’88; two-time men’s lacrosse All-American Pete Colburn ’95; men’s basketball star Brian Quinlan ‘99; and three-time national-qualifying equestrian team member Jennifer (Brown) Smith ’02.

Jim SmithSmith was a four-year member of the cross country team (1981-84) and indoor and outdoor track and field teams (1982-85), serving as captain for cross country and track his senior seasons. He was a national qualifier in the 1,500-meter run, competing in the 1984 NCAA indoor championships in that event, and was the Independent College Athletic Conference (ICAC) champion in the outdoor 1,500-meter run in 1984. 

He was runner-up in the 1,000-meter and 1,500-meter runs at the 1984 ICAC indoor championships and was also a two-time ICAC all-star in cross country (1983, 1984). 

Smith holds the school records in the indoor and outdoor 1,500-meter runs (3:58 indoor; 3:53 outdoor) and once held the school mark for the indoor 1,000-meter run (2:34). He was a member of the team that holds the school record in the indoor distance medley relay (10:37, set in 1984).

“I’m honored and humbled, and very proud,” Smith said as he accepted his plaque commemorating his induction. 

He thanked his coaches at AU – Hall of Famer Cliff DuBreuil and Chris Brown – for their part in his success. “They really pushed me to succeed,” he said.

Smith earned a bachelor’s degree in ceramic engineering from AU in 1985. A resident of Grand Island, NY, he is product manager (fiber products) for ANH Refractories, a Pittsburgh, PA-based company that provides high-grade fireproof ceramic refractory products and services for high-temperature applications in the cement and lime, energy, chemicals, non-ferrous metals, glass, iron and steel, and environmental technology industries.

Rich HymesHymes was a four-year member of the AU men’s swimming and diving team (1985-88) who earned All-American certification 13 times during his illustrious career and served as a team captain for the Saxons as a senior in 1988.

Hymes spoke of the tradition of the AU swimming and diving team and how much it meant for him to be a part of it, as an athlete and student. He cited his coach at the time, Mike Schaeberle, himself an AU Hall of Fame inductee, as being instrumental in his success.

“I came up in the AU swimming and diving team, which is such an outstanding program,” he said. “Coach Schaeberle really made it fun. I truly enjoyed it.”

He was an All-American in two individual events (200 freestyle, fourth place; 500 freestyle, eighth) and three relays (400 freestyle, ninth; 800 freestyle, sixth; 400 medley, eighth) in 1985; two individual events (200 freestyle, 14th; 200 butterfly,  15th) and two relays (400 freestyle, 13th; 800 freestyle, 16th) in 1986; and one individual event (100 butterfly, 14th) and three relays (200 medley, 13th; 800 freestyle, 16th; 200 freestyle, ninth) in 1988. Hymes was a member of the team that at the 1985 NCAA championships set a school record (since broken) in the 800-yard freestyle relay.

He expressed his gratitude for being inducted into the AU Athletics Hall of Fame, which only helped add to the experience he had as a student-athlete at Alfred. “From my standpoint, it’s really a beautiful experience, having this come together like this.”

In 1988, Hymes graduated from AU with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He is vice president and regional sales manager for John Hancock Retirement Services in New York City.

He and his wife, Rosemary Fanelli, live in New York. The couple has three children: daughters Caroline and Rachel and son Matthew. He continues to swim competitively for the NYC -based Asphalt Green Unified Aquatics Master’s Swim Team.

Peter ColburnColburn played two seasons on the AU men’s lacrosse team (1994 and 1995) after transferring to Alfred from junior college. He came to AU after two years at Herkimer County Community College, where twice he helped lead his team to a junior college national title (1992 and 1993) and was a junior college All-American in 1993. 

In both his years in a Saxon uniform, he earned All-American honors (honorable mention). He helped lead AU to the NCAA championship tournament in 1994, when the team went 12-3, and as a senior in 1995 helped lead the Saxons to a 13-4 record and an ECAC Upstate title. Despite playing only two seasons at Alfred, Colburn ranks fourth on the school’s career goals list with 109. His 62 goals in 1995 and 47 in 1994 rank second and fourth, respectively, on the school’s single-season records list and his 75 points (62 goals, 13 assists) in 1995 is the sixth-most in a single-season at AU. He shares the school record for goals in a game with nine (vs. California-San Diego in 1995).

“What a great day,” Colburn commented on his induction. “It’s awesome to be back here.”

He offered his thanks to former AU coach Al Brown, a 2008 AU Hall of Fame inductee, for recruiting him to Alfred from Herkimer County Community College. He thanked the University for the honor, and for the time he spent at AU as a student-athlete.

“It speaks a lot about the college,” he said. “There are great people here, so many great professors who contributed to me success. The experience I had here greatly helped me in my career.”

Colburn graduated from AU in 1995 with bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice and sociology and he also earned a master’s degree in Community Services Administration from AU in 1997. He is an investigator and police officer for the Town of New Hartford Police Department. He has served with the New Hartford PD since 2000, with the exception one year (April 2005-April 2006), when he was as a special agent with the United States Secret Service. He has also served since 2004 as an adjunct instructor in the Criminal Justice program at Mohawk Valley Community College. 

Colburn coaches first and second graders on a youth team that competes in the Brine Upstate Lacrosse League. He and his wife, Wendy, live in New Hartford with their son, Peter.

Brian QuinlanQuinlan played four seasons (1995-99) on the AU men’s basketball team and ended his career as one of the most prolific scorers in team history.

A two-year team captain (1997-99), Quinlan was the Presidents Athletic Conference (PAC) Rookie of the Year as a freshman in 1995-96. The following season, he helped lead the Saxons to a 15-11 record, the PAC conference crown and a berth in the NCAA Division III national tournament. As a senior in 1999, Quinlan helped lead the team to an 18-10 mark and a runner-up finish at the ECAC Upstate tournament. 

He was a Second Team National Association of Basketball Coaches district all-star as a senior, an honor given to only 80 Division III players nationwide that season. Following his senior year at Alfred, he was honored with the ECAC Merit Medal. He holds AU career records for three-point field goal attempts (624) and three-pointers made (247) and ranks fifth all-time in scoring at AU with 1,487 career points.

“I’m very honored to be here, very fortunate to be here,” Quinlan said. Several of his former teammates, and his former coach (Jay Murphy, now the AU women’s coach) were in attendance.

“I was fortunate to have the teammates I had,” he said. “Every one of them, when they found out I was going to be inducted, called and congratulated me. I’m very grateful, very lucky.”

Quinlan graduated from Alfred University in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in ceramic engineering. He went on to earn a master’s degree in ceramic engineering from AU in 2001. He is a senior materials process engineer at IBM Microelectronics in Hopewell Junction, NY. He and his wife, Tracy, live in Poughkeepsie, NY, with their children, Aiden and Griffin.

Jen Brown SmithJennifer (Brown) Smith is the most accomplished rider in AU equestrian team history, three times competing in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) national championships.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to be celebrating with my fellow inductees,” said Smith, the first member of the AU equestrian team ever to be inducted into the University’s Athletics Hall of Fame.

Smith placed in the top eight in the country in the Open Division of the IHSA hunt seat class all three times she competed at the national level. As a freshman in 1999, she was eighth in Open Equitation on the Flat; in 2000, she was seventh in that same event; and in 2001, as a junior, she placed fourth nationally in Open Equitation Over Fences.

She qualified for the IHSA Regionals in Open over fences and on the flat all four years at AU and each year she qualified for the Zone championships in the Open Division. In 2000, she was second at Zones in Open on the flat and was second at Zones the following year in Open over fences. She qualified for both events at the 2001 Zone championships. In 2001, she was the Reserve High Point Rider in Region II, qualifying to compete in the Cachionne Cup Invitational at the Zones finals, where she placed sixth.

Smith thanked her parents for the support they showed her growing up and participating in a “very expensive and difficult sport,” and expressed her appreciation to her equestrian coach at AU, Becky Backer. 

Smith lives in Freehold, NJ, with her husband, William Smith (a 2001 AU graduate who was a standout point guard for the Saxons’ basketball team) and their daughter, Olivia. She graduated from AU in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in communications studies, with minors in business administration and equestrian studies, and  went on to earn a master’s degree in communications from Ithaca College in 2003. She is executive director of the Riverview Medical Center Foundation in Red Bank, NJ. 

Smith credited her time as a student-athlete at Alfred University with helping her find success after college.

“My time at AU and with the equestrian team has really shaped who I am today,” she said.



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