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Six Terrier legends have been named to the BU Athletic Hall of Fame and will be honored at the 52nd induction ceremony on November 4. The Class of 2017 roster includes veteran BU distance running coach Bruce Lehane, who died on September 23, 2017, former Athletics administrator Dick Fecteau (SED’51), and four accomplished athletes, Bob Danville (MET’82), Matt Gilroy (MET’09), Robyn Kenney (CAS’02, GRS’07), and April Setterlund (Questrom’11).
They join 249 other Hall of Fame athletes, coaches, and administrators.
“I will definitely be back for the ceremony. I’m looking forward to the excuse to see the coaches and get some teammates together, but I am also really looking forward to meeting the other inductees,” says Setterlund, who is credited with helping boost the Terrier softball team to its first appearance in an NCAA regional final in more than a decade, in 2009. “Many of them have amazing life stories and have been positive influences to those around them. It makes me proud to be a Terrier.”
All of this year’s athletes earned All-America honors as Terriers, two of them, Setterlund and Gilroy, attained that distinction three of their four years at BU.
Setterlund was named America East’s top player in both 2010 and 2011, and left BU as the all-time leader in hits, doubles, RBIs, runs, batting average, and slugging percentage. Now working as a business analyst and training for her second marathon, she was honored as the 2011 BU Athletics Woman of the Year for her overall excellence on and off the field.
Gilroy became only the second BU player in history to win the Hobey Baker Award, men’s college hockey’s top honor, in 2009. He earned All-America first team honors from the American Hockey Coaches Association junior and senior years and the 2009 Walter Brown Award, given each year to New England’s best American-born hockey player. Currently a Kontinental Hockey League All-Star with Sparktak Moscow, Gilroy has played more than 200 games with a variety of NHL teams, including the New York Rangers, the Ottawa Senators, the Tampa Bay Lightning, and the Florida Panthers.
Danville, a native of Birmingham, England, was a track and field star at BU and still holds the New England 400m hurdles record, with a time of 50.66 seconds. He earned All-America status in 1982 with a time of 50.53 seconds in the 400m hurdles. His prowess in the hurdles is credited with helping BU win four straight New England indoor titles and three outdoor titles between 1979 and 1982.
“Coming from England, you didn’t have that type of a close bond with a team from an athletic standpoint,” Danville says, and being at BU was “completely different. The whole feeling of being a part of a huge organization such as BU was pretty special.” Now living in Atlanta, Danville is enjoying his recent retirement after a long career with General Electric and time spent working for Home Depot.
Kenney, a two-time All-American who helped the women’s field hockey team earn back-to-back conference titles and NCAA appearances during her BU career, is one of just seven field hockey athletes to earn National Field Hockey Coaches Association Regional First Team honors in three separate seasons. A member of the United States Under-20 National Team in 1999, she was only the third Terrier to compete with the national team in international competition. Before her retirement in 2006, she helped the United States reach the 2006 World Cup, with a fourth place finish at the qualifier.
Currently a high school field hockey coach at TC Williams High School in Alexandria, Va., Kenney says she was elated when she learned she’d been named to the Hall of Fame. “I was screaming and jumping up and down, like oh my God, I’m in the Hall of Fame,” she says. “It was wonderful.”
She credits longtime BU field hockey coach Sally Starr with some advice that she passes on to her own student-athletes.
“One quote has stuck with me that Sally Starr would always say,” she says. “‘No excuses, find solutions.’ I now use that quote with the team that I coach.”
A teammate of the legendary Harry Agganis (SED’54), Fecteau played offensive line for the now disbanded BU football program. He is being inducted not only for his accomplishments on the gridiron, but for the impact he made on hundreds of Terrier student-athletes during his tenure as assistant director of athletics, from 1976 to 1989. In that role, he was a mentor to students and helped raise funds for the athletics department. He joined the athletics staff after retiring from a 25-year government career.
Fecteau, who worked for the CIA, was captured during the Korean War when his plane was shot down during an attempt to rescue an informant. Held captive in China for 19 years, from November 1952 to December 1971, he was later awarded the Distinguished Intelligence Cross, the CIA’s highest decoration, for refusing to hand over names and information to his captives. Instead, he substituted the names of former BU teammates.
Lehane, who died of the neurodegenerative disease ALS, was head cross country coach for 35 years. He arrived at BU in 1982. Under his guidance, the BU men’s cross country team won 11 conference championships, qualified for the NCAA Championship field 10 times, and earned 3 top-10 finishes. The women’s cross country team won 11 conference titles under Lehane, the latest being Patriot League titles in 2013 and 2014.
Lehane coached 50 All-Americans, 2 national champions, and a pair of Olympians. In addition, nine of his athletes have qualified for the World Cross Country Championships.
“To be named to Boston University’s Athletic Hall of Fame fills me with pride and gratitude,” Lehane said last summer. “I think back to the hundreds of wonderful people I had the honor and privilege to work with—students, administrators, coaches, and staff—whose spirit and commitment made for such an inspiring environment. I cannot say thank you enough to those wonderful people and to God.”
At the November Hall of Fame luncheon, men’s tennis player Jake De Vries (COM’17) and women’s lacrosse player Charlotte Castronovo (Questrom’17) will receive this year’s Aldo “Buff” Donelli Memorial Leadership Awards, presented annually to a male and a female senior who have demonstrated outstanding leadership on and off the field; the winners of this award were announced during the Rhettys awards ceremony in May.
A number of other awards will also be presented at the ceremony: the annual William French Award, bestowed on a current or former coach or graduate who has distinguished himself or herself in coaching over the past year; the Murray Kramer Memorial Award, given to an individual or organization in recognition of outstanding media coverage or publicity of intercollegiate sports; and the Roger “Moose” Washburn Award, presented each year to an alum who has demonstrated “continuous, unselfish support” to the athletics program. The winners of those awards have not yet been announced.
For all of the recipients, the Hall of Fame ceremony is a time to reflect upon what their time at BU has meant to them and how it has shaped the course of their lives.
“My fondest memories of BU were those everyday moments with the team spent off the field—when we played games in the airport, listened to music on the bus home, or walked between our apartments like the entire building was one big house,” Setterlund says. “I made the best friends of my life playing softball at BU, and it was those small moments that made all the difference. I have walked away from BU having forged lifelong friendships with strong and talented women, whose successes postcollege have continued to inspire me.”
The Boston University Athletic Hall of Fame 52nd induction ceremony and banquet is Saturday, November 4, at noon, in the Francis Burke Club Room at Agganis Arena, 925 Commonwealth Ave. The banquet is open to the public. Tickets are $70 per person. Contact Brittany Kane at email@example.com or 617-353-4631 for more information or to purchase tickets.
Taylor Raglin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.