The University of Maine Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2018 was announced on April 4, 2018. The 10 member class, selected by the M Club and approved by University President Susan Hunter and Interim Athletic Director Jim Settele, will include standout point guard and current women’s basketball coach Amy Vachon and the entire 1964 baseball team that finished third at the College World Series.
John Gillette (Class of 1965) will be honored posthumously. Gillette was a standout on both the basketball court and the baseball field, scoring 17.3 points a game to finish as the fifth highest scorer in program history with 1,072 points. He also finished with the second most rebounds in program history, pulling down 632. As a baseball player, Gillette served as the first baseman, finishing with a career fielding percentage of .992.
Ray Jacques (1985) served as the first captain of any of Shawn Walsh’s men’s hockey teams. Over 125 games, Jacques scored 46 goals while adding 82 assists, leading the Black Bears in scoring over the course of two seasons. Jacques would follow up his UMaine career with a short stint on the Detroit Red Wings.
Jesse Labreck (2013) won 12 America East titles during her UMaine career while competing in the NCAA Championships. By the time she graduated, Labreck held nine different records in the 60 meter hurdles, high jump and pentathlon during the indoor season, while setting outdoor records in the 100-meter hurdles, high jump, triple jump and heptathlon. She holds conference records in the pentathlon, 60-meter hurdles and triple jump.
Ron Lanza (1966) was not only the top RBI producer for that 1964 squad, but also led the football team to a Yankee Conference title and a birth in the 1965 Tangerine Bowl against East Carolina. Lanza was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the first Major League Baseball draft. After UMaine, Lanza would serve as a first lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps, earning two Purple Hearts and a Naval Commendation Medal for his services.
Mark Letendre (1978) served as a medical trainer for both the San Francisco Giants and the New York Yankees. He currently serves as the director of umpire medical services for the Major Leagues, and served as the trainer for the National League All-Star teams in 1987 and 1994. Letendre earned the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society President’s Distinguished Service Award in 2011, followed by the President Abram W. Harris Outstanding Alumni Award in 2014.
Bill Livesey (1962) was a two time first-team All-Yankee Conference player. He followed that up with coaching stops at Worcester Academy, Brown and Eckerd College before making a name for himself as a manager in the Cape Cod league, winning six league titles before his induction into the Cape Cod Baseball League Hall of Fame in 2002. Livesey served as a scout for the Yankees and was part of bringing the core of that mid to late 1990’s dynasty to the Bronx. He would also make stops in Tampa Bay, Toronto, back to New York with both the Yankees and Mets and Pittsburgh. In 2012, Livesey was honored with the George Genoese Lifetime Achievement Award from the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation.
Phil McGeoghan (2008) finished his time with the UMaine football team with the fifth most receptions (151) and receiving yards (2343). In track, he set the program record in the high jump for both indoor (7 feet) and outdoor (7-0.25), with the outdoor record still standing. McGeoghan spent four seasons with four different teams in the NFL, and has followed that with coaching stops at both the college and professional ranks.
Will Spencer (1961) lettered six times in track and took home three Yankee Conference titles in the 880-yard run. He set the program and building record in the 600-yard run with a 1:12, and was a key part of the 4-x-400-yard relay that set another program record. Spencer would set the university and state record in the 880-yard run during the outdoor season with a run of 1:52. After his track career, Spencer would serve in the US Army for 25 years, reaching the rank of lieutenant colonel. He earned a Purple Heart, a Silver Star, a Bronze Star and the Legion of Merit during his two tours in Vietnam.
Vachon (2000) led the Black Bears to four straight NCAA tournament appearances as a player, including a first round win over Stanford in 1999. UMaine went 87-35 during her last two seasons as a player, including back-to-back conference titles. Vachon had previously been inducted into the Maine Sports Hall of Fame in 2016, and holds the Maine record for most assists in a season with 234, as well as school and conference records for assists with 759. Currently active, Vachon just completed the 2017-2018 season by leading the Black Bears back to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2004, falling in the first round to Texas.
The 1964 baseball team became just the second team inducted into the hall, joining the 1993 men’s hockey team that won the national championship. Maine finished the season 21-8, and eliminated Southern California and defending champion Arizona State before falling to Missouri in the final round. Pitcher Joe Ferris (1964) won three games during the tournament and was named Most Valuable, while third baseman David Thompson (1964) was named an All-CWS pick.
The banquet and induction ceremony will take place on Oct. 5 at the Black Bear Inn and Conference Center in Orono.