Villanova, Pa. -
The Villanova University Varsity Club has announced the 2017 Hall of Fame Class. Eight former Villanova student-athletes, along with the Jake Nevin Special Award winner, will be recognized at the 42nd annual Hall of Fame Dinner at Villanova's Connelly Center on Friday, March 2.
This year's class features athletes from eight different sports. Each of the inductees had outstanding achievements throughout their careers to earn this prestigious honor.
The 2017 Hall of Fame Class inductees are Rob Cafiero (Baseball), John Celestand (Men’s Basketball), Brett Gordon (Football), Paul Paternoster (Men’s Lacrosse), Jim Curtin (Men’s Soccer), Keri Stoller (Softball), Elizabeth Lauwaert (Women’s Swimming), Stephen Howard (Men’s Track and Field) and Joan McGuckin (Jake Nevin Award).
In the coming weeks, information regarding purchasing tickets for the banquet will be made available, please call 610-519-6514 for further information.
Rob Cafiero (Baseball, Class of 2002)
Rob Cafiero was one of the premier baseball players to ever attend Villanova. Cafiero ranks in the top 10 in school history in nine batting categories. He ranks second in in total bases (405) and third in hits (240). During his career, he played in 202 games, which is third most in Villanova program history, and posted a .335 batting average with 196 RBI, 34 home runs, and 99 runs scored. He was named second team All-Big East in 2002 and was a Big East All-Rookie team selection in 1999.
John Celestand (Men’s Basketball, Class of 1999)
John Celestand was a key leader on Villanova’s basketball team during the years of 1995 to 1999. He played on three NCAA Tournament teams that won 93 games over his four seasons as a Wildcat. He served as captain on the 1998-99 team and was named third team All-Big East the same year. During his career, he tallied 1,227 career points, 450 assists which ranks 10th all-time, and he led the Wildcats in scoring during his junior (13.2 ppg) and senior (14.9 ppg) seasons.
Brett Gordon (Football, Class of 2002)
Brett Gordon was one of the best quarterbacks to ever step on the field for Villanova. He holds the single-game (460 yards, 39-62, 3 TD vs. Delaware on 11/23/02) and single-season record for passing yards (4,290 yards, 389-579-14, 36 TD) and he ranks third in career passing yards (9,639 yards). Gordon holds single season school records for completions (386, in 2002) and completions per game (25.7, in 2002). He also holds career records for single season completions per game (21.3) and completion percentage (66.8%). He ranks second in school history in total offense with 9,317 yards. Gordon earned first team All-Atlantic 10 honors and was the league’s Offensive Player of the Year in 2002, as well as being named to the Atlantic 10 All-Academic Team.
Paul Paternoster (Men’s Lacrosse, Class of 1990)
Paul Paternoster graduated from Villanova in 1990 and was an elite lacrosse player during his four years as a Wildcat. During his Villanova career, Paternoster posted 64 goals, 54 assists and 118 points. His career stats rank in the top 20 all-time in three different categories, including 10th in career points, 12th in assists, and tied for 19th in goals. He earned BIG EAST Rookie of Year honors during his freshman season in 1986.
Jim Curtin (Men’s Soccer, Class of 2001)
Jim Curtin played for the Wildcats from 1997-2000. He earned BIG EAST Rookie of the Year honors in 1997 and was a first-time All-Big East selection in 1997 and 2000. During his senior season he was chosen as the Philadelphia Soccer Seven Player of the Year. Curtin became the first Wildcat to be drafted to the MLS when he was chosen by the Chicago Fire. He went on to play more than 200 games for the organization and was named to the MLS All-Star Team in 2004. Curtin currently serves as the head coach of the Philadelphia Union.
Keri Stoller (Softball, Class of 2001)
Keri Stoller was one of the top pitchers in Villanova softball program history. She is tied for the program lead in wins (69) and ranks second in career strikeouts (718). Stoller also ranks third in both complete games pitched (57) and in career shutouts (16), as well as tied for fifth in career no-hitters (2). She posted a career earned run average of 1.55 during her Wildcat career which helped the team compile a 157-58-3 record and earn two BIG EAST Tournament appearances during her four year career. She earned NFCA Academic All-American Awards in 2001 and 2002, as well as the Villanova Senior Student-Athlete of the Year Award in 2001.
Elizabeth Lauwaert (Women’s Swimming, Class of 1999)
Elizabeth Lauwaert was a top swimmer at Villanova from 1995-1999. At one time she held four school records, including two individual events and two relay records. In the 100 meter butterfly, she registered a record time of 55.95 in 1999, while in the 100 meter freestyle she set a school record with a time of 50.12 during the 1999 season. She was a member of two record setting relay teams in the 400 and 800 meter freestyle relays (3.23.00 in the 400 in 1998, and 7.22.23 in 1999). Lauwaert was also a 10-time Big East champion during her Wildcat swimming career.
Stephen Howard (Men’s Track and Field, Class of 1997)
Stephen Howard was a top runner at Villanova from 1993-1997. He ran a sub-four minute mile (3:58.80 on May 14, 1997) which propelled him to becoming an All-American in 1997. He was a three-time Big East Indoor Champion during his senior season in the mile, 3000 meters and Distance Medley Relay. Howard also earned two Big East Outdoor Championships that same year, in both the 1500 meter and 3000 meter races. He is a two-time IC4A Indoor Champion in the Distance Medley Relay (1996, 1997), as well as an IC4A Outdoor Champion in the 5000 meters (1997).
Joan McGuckin (Jake Nevin Special Recognition Award)
Joan McGuckin is in her 41st year at Villanova and in her 20th year as the Coordinator of Football Operations. Before joining the football staff, she was the Villanova Athletic Department Travel Coordinator from 1983 until the spring of 1997. Her Villanova career began in 1976 when she worked as the football secretary under former Wildcat coach Dick Bedesem. She held that position until 1981.