Six to be Honored at UNH Athletic Hall of Fame Ceremony

DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire athletic department released the names of the six people who will be honored at the UNH Athletic Hall of Fame ceremony in 2012. The announcement was made Wednesday by UNH Director of Athletics Marty Scarano.   

The inductees will be honored Saturday, June 23, 2012 at the Hall of Fame ceremony, which will be held in Lundholm Gymnasium. The event is set to begin at 6 p.m.

This year’s class includes: Greg Blaisdell ’03 (alpine skiing), Darren Haydar ’02 (men’s hockey), Stephan Lewis ’02 (football), Nicole Mullins ’94 (gymnastics), Ellen Weinberg-Hughes ’91, '94G (women’s hockey, women’s soccer, women’s lacrosse & coach) and Jim Jeannotte (longtime radio & television voice of the ‘Cats), who is the winner of the Joan Leitzel Award.

Greg Blaisdell ’03 (Manchester, Maine) was a four-time NCAA All-American in alpine skiing and was named to the All-East Team all four years. He is the UNH record holder for most points scored both in a season and career as he led the team in points all four years. Blaisdell was honored with UNH’s Jim Urquhart Award in 2003; that honor is bestowed upon the University’s student-athlete of the year.

Blaisdell placed fifth in the giant slalom at the 2003 NCAA Skiing Championships to earn All-America status. He won the giant slalom at the Dartmouth Winter Carnival and had six other top- 10 finishes during the carnival season.

As a junior in 2002, Blaisdell skied to third place in the slalom at the NCAA Championships to earn recognition as an All-American. He also finished 12th in the giant slalom at the NCAAs and had six top-10 efforts during the carnival season.

In 2001, Blaisdell garnered All-America accolades with a seventh-place finish in the slalom at the NCAA Championships. He claimed three first-place finishes in six slalom races during his sophomore carnival season and had three top-10 performances in the giant slalom.

As a freshman in 2000, Blaisdell placed ninth in the giant slalom at the NCAAs to earn All-America Team honoros for the first time. He also skied to 14th place in the slalom at that meet and recorded eight top-10 finishes during the Eastern circuit.

In addition to his athletic accomplishments, the three-year captain was also a four-time recipient of the UNH Student-Athlete Academic Achievement Award, and he was given the Dean Williamson Award in Spring ‘03 for outstanding accomplishments in the University community. Blaisdell was a three-time NCAA Skiing All-Academic Team honoree and was named to the CoSIDA University Division Academic All-District I At-Large Team in 2003.

During his four-year career, UNH recorded three Top-10 finishes at the NCAA Skiing Championships with eighth place in 2001, ninth in ’02 and 10th in ’03; the Wildcats placed 11th in ’01.

In a program rich in tradition, Darren Haydar ’02 (Milton, Ontario) left Durham as one of, if not the, best player in UNH hockey history. He was a standout on the Frozen Four teams in 1999 as a freshman and 2002 as a senior.

As a senior, Haydar had one of the greatest years by any Wildcat player. He was named to the Hobey Baker Hat Trick in 2002 as one of the nation’s top three players. His list of 2001-02 awards includes Hockey East Player of the Year, Hockey East All-Conference First Team, Hockey East All-Tournament MVP, Hockey East All-Tournament Team, Hockey East Player of the Month (twice) and Hockey East Player of the Week (five times).

Some of Haydar's highlights from that season include winning the regular season scoring title in Hockey East play with 15 goals 27 assists and 42 points and recording a 17-game point-scoring streak (Nov. 17 to Jan. 27) in which he amassed 19-23-42. With 76 points, Haydar became just the fifth skater in UNH history to record 70 (or more) points in a season.

Haydar, who at the time broke the school's record for most consecutive games played with his 157th game in the NCAA East Regional, is third on UNH's all-time scoring list with 219 points. He ranks second on New Hampshire's all-time goal scoring list with 102, and his 117 assists place him third on the all-time list. In addition, Haydar was the Hockey East Rookie of the Year as a freshman when he scored 61 points, including 31 goals in 41 games. He was also an All-America First Team selection as a senior and was named UNH’s Jim Urquhart Student-Athlete of the Year in 2002.

Haydar’s accomplishments continued after graduation. He is one of the most decorated players in the history of the American Hockey League and spent time in the National Hockey League with Nashville, Atlanta and Colorado. In 2010, he was named the AHL’s Player of the Decade, while he was tabbed as the league’s Rookie of the Year in 2003 and was the top scorer and league’s most valuable player in 2007. He has amassed over 700 points in his AHL career and won Calder Cups in 2004 with the Milwaukee Admirals and 2008 with the Chicago Wolves.

Stephan Lewis ’02 (Coatesville, Pa.) graduated from UNH as the best combination rusher/receiver in school history.  As the only student-athlete to ever rank among the top-10 in both rushing yards (No. 3) and receptions (No. 6), Lewis totaled 3,679 yards on 732 carries (No. 4 all-time) and hauled in 164 catches for 1,602 yards. He rushed for 1,390 yards, the fourth-highest total in school history, as a junior and added 1,152 yards (No. 9 all-time) in his senior campaign.

The Coatesville, Pa., native is a three-time winner of the prestigious Bill Knight Trophy as the MVP of the UNH/UMass game –in 2000, 2001 and 2002-all Wildcat victories. He was named the Wildcats’ 2002 MVP in his senior season, the same year he was tabbed to the AFCA All-America First Team, was awarded the Coca-Cola Gold Helmet as New England’s top player, made the All-New England Team for the third time, garnered a spot on the All-Atlantic 10 First Team and was named All-ECAC.

As a senior, Lewis averaged 104.7 rushing yards a game and scored a team-leading eight touchdowns on the ground to go along with his 41 receptions for 419 yards and team-high five receiving TDs. He also averaged 23.9 yards per kickoff return and led the Wildcats with 27 returns for 645 yards. The tailback earned his third consecutive Bill Knight Trophy when he compiled 260 all-purpose yards and scored three times in a 31-14 win over the Minutemen at Cowell Stadium. He ran the ball an incredible 47 times for 186 yards and two scores and caught five passes for 50 yards and a TD.

As a junior Lewis garnered All-America Second-Team honors from The Sports Network and was a finalist for the Walter Payton Award for the national player of the year in Division I-AA football. The tailback secured a second straight berth on both the All-Atlantic 10 Second Team and the All-New England Team. He was twice feted as the National Player of the Week: in the season-opening 45-29 victory over Hampton, Lewis carried 36 times for 248 yards and tied a school record with five rushing touchdowns; he subsequently won his second straight Bill Knight Trophy by virtue of his 25-carry, 258-yard, three-touchdown performance in UNH’s 35-24 win at UMass. All three of his TDs came in the fourth quarter, as the Wildcats rallied past the Minutemen. His 364 all-purpose yards that afternoon remain a school record to this day.

Stephan was tabbed to the All-New England Team and the All-Atlantic 10 Second Team as a sophomore in 2000.  A high-ankle sprain suffered during UNH’s upset victory of Delaware forced him to miss the final two games of the season and prevented him from breaking the 1,000-yard rushing plateau. He completed the campaign with exactly 200 carries for 953 yards and an average of 105.9 yards/game. His nine TDs led the team, and he ranked second on the squad with 515 receiving yards, as he hauled in 51 catches and four touchdown receptions. On Oct. 28, 2000, Lewis carried 35 times for 245 yards and two touchdowns while also making three catches for 28 yards and a TD in UNH’s 24-16 win against UMass to claim his first Knight Trophy.

As a true freshman in 1999, Stephan rumbled for 184 yards and a touchdown on 41 carries. He tacked on 18 receptions for 141 yards. His first career TD, a 17-yard rush, occurred in the Wildcats’ 31-20 defeat of Maine on Nov. 20, 1999, at Cowell Stadium.

Nicole Mullins ’94 (Dixfield, Maine) worked her way from walk-on status as a freshman to becoming one of the most decorated gymnasts in UNH history by the conclusion of her senior year in 1994. The Dixfield, Maine, native led the Wildcat gymnastics team to the ‘94 ECAC Championship, the University’s one and only NCAA Regional Championship and a school-record No. 12 national ranking.

During that memorable senior season, Mullins was named the ECAC Gymnast of the Year and took home the ECAC individual championships in all-around, uneven bars and balance beam. She was named ECAC All-Conference in all three of those events and was tabbed to the NCAA All-Northeast Team after winning the AA Regional Title.

As a junior in ’93, Nicole was the ECAC champion in all-around and uneven bars, was an NIT All-America First Team member on bars and floor and a Second Team honoree in AA.  She was additionally honored as the ECAC Academic Gymnast of the Year, the Wildcats’ team MVP and went on to earn All-Northeast recognition in all-around and on beam.

During her sophomore season in ’92, Mullins became just the third student-athlete in UNH history to qualify for the NCAA Championship after capturing the bars crown at the Northeast Regional.  She collected UNH’s Most Improved and Most Inspirational awards.

Nicole walked on to the UNH gymnastics program as a freshman and earned a full scholarship after a stellar rookie season. She was the gymnastics team’s first-ever, four-time NACGC/W Scholastic All-American, was a two-time UNH Academic Athletic Achievement recipient (1993, ‘94) and was feted as a Wildcat Winner’s Circle Scholar-Athlete in ’93.

Ellen Weinberg-Hughes ‘91, '94G (Dallas, Texas) was a three-sport standout at New Hampshire, where she lettered in ice hockey, soccer and lacrosse and was a UNH Athlete of the Year finalist in 1991 after overcoming an injury that sidelined her for the entire 1988-89 academic year. As a senior, she served as captain of both the soccer and ice hockey teams. That 1990 soccer team advanced to the ECAC title game, and the 1991 hockey team won the ECAC championship. She won two other ECAC hockey titles with the ‘Cats (in 1987 and 1990).

In 79 games as a defenseman on the ice hockey team, Weinberg-Hughes recorded 38 points on six goals and 32 assists. Beyond her point contribution, she excelled as a quarterback defenseman by effortlessly moving the puck out of the defensive zone with deft passing and smooth skating. Weinberg was named to the 1991 ECAC Division I Women’s Ice Hockey All-Star Team, which was the highest honor at the time.

Weinberg-Hughes also starred as a midfielder and forward on the soccer team, where she received All-New England Team recognition as a freshman in 1986 by leading the ‘Cats to the ECAC championship game. Her other accolades included NSCAA All-Region Team and ISAA Senior All-Star Game. In 70 career games, she tallied 38 points on 11 goals and 16 assists.

In lacrosse, Weinberg was a member of the 1987 squad that advanced to the national semifinals.

Weinberg-Hughes continued her days as a Wildcat beyond graduation as an assistant coach on both the soccer and ice hockey teams for the 1991-92 and 1992-93 seasons. During that time, she attained a master’s degree and earned a silver medal at the 1992 World Championship as a member of the U.S. National Team; she was voted to the All-Tournament Team as one of the top two defensemen in the world in ice hockey

Jim Jeannotte (Concord, N.H.) was named the recipient of the Joan Leitzel Award, which is given to a person who has made key contributions to the lives of UNH student-athletes. Jeannotte is being honored for his service as the long-time radio voice of the UNH football and basketball teams. A New Hampshire record 23-time Sportscaster of the Year, he has been calling UNH athletics for over 35 years. Jeannotte, who won his first Sportscaster of the Year award in 1969,  began his UNH broadcasting career alongside Jock McKenzie in 1974, working as football color commentator for five years.

After spending two seasons broadcasting at Dartmouth College, Jeannotte returned to Durham as the “Voice of the Wildcats” in 1981, a position he has held ever since. Along the way, the native of Concord, N.H., was inducted into the NHIAA Hall of Fame in 2002 and serves on the board of directors of the Joe Yukica New Hampshire chapter of the National Football Foundation, including more than a decade as the chairman of its scholar-athlete committee.  In December  2010, Jeannotte was honored with the 59th George C. Carens Award, presented annually by the New England Football Writers for contributions to New England college football.

In addition to his radio experience, Jeannotte served as the play-by-play announcer for UNH hockey on NHPTV’s Channel 11. Outside of sports, Jeannotte gained state-wide fame as the long-time host of Granite State Challenge, a trivia show where New Hampshire high school teams compete head-to-head.

All of these inductees will be honored Saturday, June 23, 2012 at the Hall of Fame ceremony, which will be held in Lundholm Gymnasium. The event is set to begin at 6 p.m. For more specifics regarding the Hall of Fame dinner and induction ceremony, please contact Amy Sheehan, Athletics Development Office, (603) 862-8641.

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