Homecoming weekend saw the induction of the latest class of the Allegheny College Athletic Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame Class of 2017 includes John Carman, ’57, the members of the 2000 Allegheny College Baseball Team and volleyball head coach Bridget Sheehan.
John Carman was recognized for his excellence in football, track and field and baseball. Carman was no stranger to adversity, and as a young child, he was devastated by leg injuries. However, Carman recovered and became a multi-sport athlete.
During the 1956 season at Allegheny College, Carman was named co-captain of the football team by head coach Red Moore. Offensively Carman was positioned as a guard, and on defense he was positioned as both a safety and a cornerback. He earned letters as the pitcher on the baseball team and as a javelin thrower on the track and field team.
Carman earned 11 letters during his time Allegheny, while also being voted Athlete of the Year for 1956-57. John Carman passed away in 2016 and was represented by his eldest son Jeff Carman. Jeff Carman spoke passionately about his father’s ability on and off the field, as well as his excellence as a father.
“He taught us to do your best, take pride in your commitment and your performance, regardless of the outcome. Be gracious in defeat and be gracious in victory,” Jeff said.
The Allegheny College 2000 baseball team is one of the most successful in the program’s history. The team was the only Allegheny team to advance to the NCAA Division III World Series. The team finished with a 38-10 season and were third in the semifinals in the World Series.
Individually, nine of the team’s members were named All-North Coast Athletic Conference. Three members of the 2000 baseball team have previously been inducted into the Allegheny Hall of Fame, including Jeff Mountain, Brad Hensler and Kevin Davidson.
The team’s coach Mike Ferris gave remarks to the team.
“I believe that there are characteristics of this team that best defined them. Their ability to overcome, bounceback from and fight through any kind of adversity they were faced with,” Ferris said.
Women’s volleyball head coach Bridget Sheehan was inducted as well. Sheehan served as head volleyball coach from 1986 to 2017. She retired as the winningest coach in the history of Allegheny College athletics, with a record of 635-484.
Sheehan was the only volleyball coach in the North Coast Athletic Conference history to surpass 600 career wins. She was named NCAC Coach of the Year three times, leading the Gators to four NCAC titles.
Sheehan is continuing her battle with cancer, which began last year, so she could not attend the event. She was represented by 2012 Hall of Fame inductee, Renea Surrena Gaus, ’92. Surrena spoke highly of Sheehan.
“[For Sheehan, coaching] was about sharing with young women the sport she loved and hav[ing] a positive impact on their lives, along the way, teaching them important life lessons through sport, such as hard work, dedication, determination, teamwork, leadership [and] respect,” Gaus said.
President James Mullen enshrined the inductees into the Hall of Fame with a rousing speech about the importance of athletics.
“When we honor the 2000 baseball team, when we honor Bridget Sheehan, when we honor John Carman, we honor every single athlete across generations who has written their own chapter,” Mullen said. “I congratulate each and every one of our inductees and I challenge our current athletes to write their own chapter on the field, in the arena, in the classroom and as alumni of Allegheny College.”