Five exemplary individuals and one national championship team have been named to the 2015 class for the Garnet Athletics Hall of Fame and will be inducted on the evening of Friday, Oct. 23, during the College's annual Garnet Homecoming and Family Weekend celebration.
The fourth class to enter the Garnet Athletics Hall of Fame consists of Shepard "Shep" Davidson '86 (tennis), Kristen English '01 (field hockey, basketball, lacrosse), Ernie Prudente (basketball and baseball coach), Jessica Heimbach Raymond '56 (field hockey, basketball, lacrosse), James "Jim" Reilly '50 (basketball), and the 1905 men's lacrosse team.
Established in 2012, the Garnet Athletics Hall of Fame honors the student-athletes and administrators who have contributed to the College's success. The 2015 class was chosen from more than 200 nominations by a selection committee of administrators, coaches, and alumni for their significant and distinctive impact on Swarthmore College athletics and the College itself.
2015 Garnet Athletics Hall of Fame Class
Shepard "Shep" Davidson '86 was a five-time All-American for the men's tennis team during one of the program's most successful runs. In 1984, he earned singles All-America honors for the first time, while the team was ranked number one during the regular season and finished third at the NCAA Division III Championships. The 1985 season brought further individual and team success. The team claimed its third national title with a 5-4 win over Kalamazoo College, Davidson reached the finals of the singles tournament, and he teamed with Jeff Krieger '86 to win the doubles championship. In 1986, Shep was named an All-American in both singles and doubles for the second consecutive year and capped off his career when the NCAA named him the Division III Senior Player of the Year. After Swarthmore, he earned his J.D. from Northeastern University and currently is a partner in the business litigation department at Burns & Levinson in Boston
A standout for the Garnet in field hockey, basketball, and lacrosse, Kristen English '01 is one of the only Swarthmore athletes to earn All-American status in multiple sports. English was selected as a National Field Hockey Coaches Association All-American in 2000 after earning Centennial Conference Player of the Year honors. In lacrosse, the Plymouth Meeting, Pa., native earned First Team All-American honors in 2000 and 2001 and was tabbed as the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches' Association Defender of the Year as a senior. A two-time academic All-American, English was one of only 10 finalists for the 2001 NCAA Woman of the Year Award and was the representative for Pennsylvania. She was also distinguished on the basketball court and ranks fourth in program history with 101 three-point field goals. English earned her Master's in counseling psychology and doctor of psychology from Chestnut Hill College and currently works as a staff psychologist at Ursinus College. From 2003 to 2009, she also served as an assistant coach for the Swarthmore women's lacrosse team.
With nearly 30 years of service to the College, Ernie Prudente is a Swarthmore institution. Prudente first came to the College in Fall 1969 as a basketball and baseball head coach and a line coach for the football team. On the hardwood, he led the Garnet to its first winning season since 1950-51 and claimed eight consecutive victories over rival Haverford. In 12 seasons with the team, Prudente compiled 81 wins, second-most in program history. On the baseball diamond, his teams enjoyed continual success, but no squad was more accomplished than the 1985 team that finished with a 27-6 record and made the program's only appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Prudente was also named the MAC Southern Division Baseball Coach of the Year for his efforts. He became a full professor of physical education in 1992 and, upon his retirement from baseball coaching in 1995, had amassed a program-best 216 wins. Prudente is also the namesake for the Athletics Department's sportsmanship award, given annually to the male and female athletes that, through their participation, have demonstrated the characteristics he exemplified: sportsmanship, love of the sport, and respect for their teammates.
Jessica Heimbach Raymond '56 was a versatile, multi-sport athlete who earned 12 varsity letters in field hockey, basketball, and lacrosse. She was a four-time member of the All-Philadelphia Area College Team in field hockey and made the second team in her junior and senior years for a chance to compete in a national tournament. Raymond captained the field hockey team in her senior year and also served as a co-captain for the basketball squad during the 1955-56 season. In Spring1956, she was selected to play in the National Lacrosse Tournament. After graduation, Raymond coached all three sports at the Westtown School from 1968 to 1972 and served as a lacrosse and field hockey official in the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association from 1972 to 1980. In 2000, she was inducted into the Pennridge-Quakertown Sports Hall of Fame.
James "Jim" Reilly '50 (1928-2005) is one of the most prolific scorers in Swarthmore College men's basketball history. The first Swarthmore player to reach 1,000 points, Reilly finished his career with 1,507 points, a program mark for nearly 50 years that was achieved without the benefit of a shot clock or three-point line. He still holds program records for career points per game at 19.7 and single-season points per game with 27.6, which he averaged during the 1948-49 season. That year, he was the recipient of the Palumbo Trophy, given to the highest point scorer among Philadelphia-area colleges and universities, beating out future National Basketball Association (NBA) Hall of Famer Paul Arizin of Villanova. A three-time member of All-Philadelphia Team, Reilly was also named All-State for the 1949-50 season after leading the Garnet to a Middle Atlantic States Athletic Conference championship. After graduation, he was drafted by the Minneapolis Lakers in the ninth round of the 1950 NBA draft.
The 1905 men's lacrosse team claimed the Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association national championship for the second consecutive year and finished the campaign with a 7-1 record. The Garnet outscored its opponents 67 to 28 and routed perennial contender Johns Hopkins by a 16-4 margin. The team also posted wins over Cornell, Harvard, and the University of Pennsylvania with its only loss coming to the University of Toronto, the Canadian national champion. Eight of the Garnet's 12 starters also played for the 1904 national championship team, including Philip Lamb, Class of 1906, who was enshrined in the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1965.
If you would like to nominate a former student-athlete, coach, or administrator, please send your nominations to the Garnet Athletics Hall of Fame.