By Maddie Mulkigian, Asst. Sports Editor
The Manhattan College Athletic Department recently announced the eight Jasper alumni who will be entering the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame as the Class of 2022 on Nov. 12. The Class of 2022 honorees includes Jeanine Hanratty, John Kennelly, Malin Marmbrandt, Dan Mecca, Jaci Rahey, Tiffany Schettig, Steve Trimper and Conrad Weiden.
Each of these inductees has achieved success in their college athletic careers at Manhattan College and has continued to attain success after leaving Manhattan. All eight individuals cover an array of sports and a wide timeline of when they each achieved their success as a Manhattan College Jasper.
John Kennelly, a Manhattan graduate from the tennis team in 1978, was a team captain from his sophomore year through his senior year. Kennelly made an immediate impact in leading the team to win the conference as a freshman, but he was also a two-time most outstanding performer in the conference.
“I loved competing. I loved the camaraderie. I loved playing for the school and representing the school. Therefore, I loved being a Jasper,” Kennelly said.
While Kennelly took the academic skills he learned and the accounting degree he earned at Manhattan to eventually become a personal financial designation specialist, he still finds the time to pick up the racket and play tennis with his past Jasper teammates.
“I’m still in touch with a number of people from my days at Manhattan — classmates and teammates. Most recently, I partnered with a teammate of mine, Gerard Smith, who is also in the Manhattan College Athletic Hall of Fame, and we won a national tennis platform tournament in February,” Kennelly said. “A few of my tennis teammates even got together a few years ago for our 40th anniversary and played some doubles together.”
Kennelly’s masterful skills on the tennis court and his drive to succeed in his career have gotten him to this point and he will forever represent Manhattan College through his induction into this year’s Hall of Fame class.
Another academic and athletic star, Jaci Rahey, is getting inducted for both softball and volleyball.
“Deciding to go to Manhattan was the best decision I ever made,” Rahey said. “Academically, athletically, socially, I knew it was the right fit off the bat. I really enjoyed that it was so close to Manhattan and I think it opened up a lot of career opportunities for me in terms of interning. I think that’s something that Manhattan offers that other schools can’t.”
Rahey not only balanced playing two Division I sports, she also jump-started her career with collegiate internships at ESPN and the New York Mets.
“The internships that were brought to me at Manhattan College opened a lot of doors for me professionally after I graduated,” Rahey said. “I was able to secure a big radio network job one week after I graduated and then I continued my career at ESPN for almost ten years after that. If I was at a different school, I think that I would have had a different career trajectory.”
While Rahey’s career is impressive in itself, she is also second all-time in MAAC history in home runs and RBIs and dominated on the volleyball court with over 300 kills per season.
Another inductee with an impressive resume from their time at Manhattan is Tiffany Schettig, who graduated from Manhattan in 2003. As the holder of second all-time for three-pointers in program history, fourteenth in assists, and thirteenth in points, there is not an aspect of the game that she did not excel in.
“I came to Manhattan to expand my horizons. My time as a Lady Jasper is still one of the best moments of my life,” Schettig said. “My teammates are still some of my closest friends to this day. The things we were able to accomplish in my four years were unbelievable and when I look back I have no regrets.”
In her senior year, Schettig led the Jaspers to win the MAAC Championship against Siena and then traveled to New Mexico to compete in the NCAA tournament.
One of two coaches who are being inducted into this year’s class, Dan Mecca was the first coach to lead the combined men’s and women’s cross country and track and field team in 1993.
“The philosophy was always the same. The goal was quality product. You wanted a winning program with kids who did well in school, had a high team GPA, and a high graduation rate.
Not only did Mecca enforce a relentless work ethic and strong academic performance, but he also led Manhattan’s team into earning 61 MAAC titles in his 33 years as a head coach. While Mecca is a cross-country and track and field legend at Manhattan, he continues to coach at the United States Military Academy at West Point.
“The best thing I can tell you is that I got to live the American dream,” Mecca said. “People paid me to do what I wanted to do.”
Honoree Kennelly perfectly captured the feeling of being inducted into Manhattan’s Athletic Hall of Fame: “I’m very proud to be inducted and join the other members. I’m thankful to the committee for accepting me and I will continue to represent the school and make everyone proud in every way, shape, or form going forward.”
Joining these four successful and impressive individuals on Nov. 12 will be Jeanine Hanratty who graduated in 1995 from the volleyball program, Malin Marmbrandt (Otterling) who graduated in 2010 from the women’s track and field program, Steve Trimper who was the head baseball coach from 1999 to 2005, and Conrad Weiden who graduated in 1980 from the men’s swimming program. Along with these eight individuals, the ceremony will honor the 1973 NCAA indoor track and field national championship team as well as the 1992 men’s basketball team.