Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 10/31/12
From Press Release
three former lacrosse players highlight the 2012 University of Delaware Athletics Hall of Fame induction class.
The 16th induction class will be honored in a ceremony and reception at the Bob Carpenter Center Auditorium this Friday, Nov. 2, and will be introduced on the field at halftime of the Delaware vs. Towson football game at Delaware Stadium the following afternoon, Nov. 3. Friday’s ceremony will also be streamed live on the Delaware athletics website at www.bluehens.com.
The Class of 2012 features five male and five female student-athletes and coaches representing every decade since the 1950’s and the sports of baseball, field hockey, football, men’s track & field, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, volleyball, women’s lacrosse, and men’s lacrosse.
The 10-person class includes all-time NCAA men’s lacrosse faceoff record-holder Alex Smith, field hockey and lacrosse all-conference standout Megan Fortunato (Fisher), Delaware’s first field hockey head coach Aggie Bixler (Kurtz), All-American football wide receiver Eddie Conti, 1950’s high-scoring men’s basketball player Skip Crawford, volleyball record-holder Renee DuFlon (Elsman), 1950’s football and baseball standout Bob Hooper, all-time great women’s basketball performer and current UD assistant coach Tiara Malcom, clutch-hitting All-American baseball infielder Jeff Trout, and record-setting women’s diver Julie Van Deusen (Savage). Crawford will be inducted posthumously.
Below are biographies of the lacrosse players of the Class of 2012:
AGNES “AGGIE” BIXLER (KURTZ): A true pioneer of women’s athletics not only at the University of Delaware but on the national level as well, Bixler had a brief but significant career with the Blue Hens as the program’s first field hockey coach. She taught physical education at UD from 1968-72 and played a key role in the formation of the Blue Hens women’s varsity sports program that quickly became nationally-recognized. She served as head coach of the first UD field hockey team in 1969 before taking a year off to compete for the U.S. Lacrosse Team. She returned in 1971 and led the UD team to a 7-1 mark. She moved on to Dartmouth College where she helped form the women’s athletics program, serving as director of women’s athletics and lacrosse head coach from 1972-89. A 1962 graduate of Smith College, she was inducted into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2003 and is part of the inaugural Smith Athletics Hall of Fame in 2012 this fall. She was also a member of the U.S. Squash Team, was a nationally-rated lacrosse umpire, and wrote several books on women’s lacrosse. She and her husband, Tom Kurtz, are retired and reside in Hanover, N.H. She has three stepchildren and nine grandchilden.
MEGAN L. FORTUNATO (FISHER): One of the most successful two-sport stars in Delaware women’s athletics history, Fortunato served as captain and earned all-conference and all-region honors in both field hockey and lacrosse. One of the last student-athletes to play both sports at UD, the Hatboro, Pa. native competed in a combined 151 games, led teams to a record of 92-57-4, earned all-conference honors six times, and all-region recognition four times. In lacrosse, she led Blue Hen teams to America East conference titles in 1998 and 1999 and to an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2000 for coach Denise Wescott. She earned all-conference and IWLCA All-Region honors three times each and upon graduation ranked No. 4 all-time at UD in assists (70), No. 8 in points (188), and No. 9 in goals (118). In field hockey, she was a three-time all-conference and two-time all-region pick who led the 1997 team to an America East conference runner-up finish. She played in a UD record 82 games for head coach Carol Miller and registered 9 goals and 15 assists. She earned her degree in health and physical education from Delaware in 2001 and her master’s degree in education from Wilkes (Pa.) University in 2006. She has taught health and physical education at Upper Moreland (Pa.) High School since 2002 where she also coached field hockey and lacrosse in 2002-08. She has also completed four marathons, including two Boston Marathons. She and her husband, Toby Fisher, reside in Lansdale, Pa. with their infant daughter, Kate.
ALEXANDER F. “ALEX” SMITH: The top faceoff specialist in the history of the sport of men’s lacrosse, Smith revolutionized the position while setting records and leading the University of Delaware to national prominence under coach Bob Shillinglaw. A native of Timonium, Md., Smith rewrote the records books as he led the NCAA in faceoff winning percentage each of his final three seasons and led the nation in groundballs as a senior. He established NCAA records for faceoffs won in a season (311) and career (1,027), faceoffs attempted in a season (430) and career (1,484), groundballs in a career (553), and faceoff pct. in a game (21 for 21 vs. Manhattan in 2006). He was a three-time All-American who earned All-Colonial Athletic Association honors four times and was the 2007 CAA Player of the Year. The 2007 UD Outstanding Senior Male Athlete of the Year, he led the Blue Hens to two NCAA Tournament appearances, including the school’s first-ever berth in the NCAA Final Four in 2007. In 2010, Alex was selected as the men’s lacrosse representative to the CAA Silver Anniversary Team, becoming the lone UD student-athlete to earn the award. Smith has enjoyed an outstanding professional lacrosse career in both the National Lacrosse League (indoors) and Major League Lacrosse (outdoors) and led the Chesapeake Bayhawks to the MLL title this past summer. He also was a member of the United States team that captured the gold medal at the FILA World Games in Manchester, England in 2010. He resides in Baltimore, Md. and is an owner and operator of several eateries in the area. In addition, he continues to conduct face-off camps to teach his trade through his Company, FOGO Lacrosse.