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VPA announces Hall of Fame class of 2011

The Vermont Principals' Association announced its annual Hall of Fame class which includes 14 members, including administrators, coaches, players, media and referee/officials.

The Class of 2011 members are:

Stanley J. Amadon (referee/official): Amadon began his officiating career in football, skiing and track while a student at Lyndon Teachers (State) College in the late 1940s. He served the Vermont Football Officials Association as an active referee for 44 years and on numerous committees, including secretary-treasurer 1994-2004. Amadon officiated at high school ski meets as a gate keeper, judge and timer from 1947-1965. The annual sportsmanship award for Northern Vermont high school football is named for Amadon. He resides in Waterbury Center.

Spaulding “Bis” Bisbee III
(coach): Bisbee taught and coached at Bellows Falls Union High School for over three decades. His coaching records in football (33 years) include eight Vermont State Championships and six titles in the Connecticut Valley League. For baseball (31 years) he won one Vermont State Baseball crown and multiple championships in various leagues: Southern Vermont, Marble Valley and Connecticut Valley. Bisbee is known for his motivation and discipline, getting each player to achieve his upmost potential. He lives in Westminster.

David A. Capman (coach): Capman has served Poultney High School for well over 40 years. He is the Athletic Director and has coached five sports – football (43 years), basketball (33 years), baseball (7), golf (12) and softball (3). His teams earned nine Vermont State Championships and numerous titles in New York State. Capman, who played football for the University of Vermont, is known for his dedication to student-athletes. It has earned Capman numerous awards in both Vermont and New York. He lives in Poultney.

Charles “Chuck” Clarino Jr. (media): Clarino has had a distinguished career covering a wide range of high school athletes, coaches and games throughout Vermont. The Rutland native began as a freelance news writer at the Addison Independent in 1980 and later at the Rutland Herald, but soon switched to sports and was hired fulltime in 1984. Clarino has been honored by Vermont coaches in wrestling, field hockey, soccer, and by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association and multiple times by the Vermont Press Association. Clarino, a frequent invited color analyst for radio stations, lives in Rutland.

J. Peter Coffey (coach): While coaching soccer at Champlain Valley Union, the high school was dubbed “Soccer Central”, and Coffey was known as “Mr. Soccer.” In 22 years, Coffey’s Crusaders won five Division I state titles and were runners-up eight times. The former teacher, coach and administrator won numerous coaching awards and was named Principal of the Year. He continues to serve the state as deputy director for Vermont Emergency Management. Coffey, a Johnson State College graduate, resides in Bristol.

Heather Taft Garrow (athlete): A 1989 graduate of Essex High School, Heather Taft Garrow performed at an extremely high level in field hockey, gymnastics, and track and field. She earned honors and records at the district and state levels and appeared in “Faces in the Crowd” in Sports Illustrated. Taft continued her academic and athletic career at the University of Vermont with similar successes. She is a teacher and varsity field hockey coach at Essex High. She lives with her family in Colchester.

Gerald Gingras (referee/official): Gingras has officiated soccer in Vermont and New Hampshire for 51 years, and served the sport of lacrosse for 50 years as well. He was considered one of the best with a whistle for high school and college games. Gingras held leadership posts in both soccer and lacrosse organizations. He remains active at the youth level today. He continues to serve as the assignor and a referee for Vermont Special Olympics each fall at Norwich University. Gingras lives in Barre.

Marilyn Gray (coach): Gray is credited with starting and building successful programs in both field hockey and softball at Spaulding High School in Barre. As a coach, Gray’s career spanned 25 years in field hockey and 23 years in softball. Her teams won four Vermont state championships in field hockey and two in softball. As a longtime physical education teacher and coach, Gray served as a mentor to students in the classroom and on the field. She resides in East Barre.

Milton L. “Buck” Hard (coach): Hard was a successful coach in basketball and football at Burlington High School. From 1923 to 1953, Hard was 536-164, a winning percentage of 72 percent. His teams attained 10 state championships, was twice runner-up, and appeared in two other Final Fours. His 1927 team went to the National Basketball Tournament in Chicago. His football teams had similar success. Both the gymnasium and football field at BHS are dedicated in his honor. Hard, a Middlebury College graduate, is deceased.


Robin Benjamin Noble (coach): Noble coached field hockey at Essex High School for 29 years. Her teams won five Vermont state championships and earned numerous league championships. Noble, now retired as a teacher, also has served as an assistant coach in the girls’ basketball program. More importantly, Noble served as mentor and role model for hundreds of Essex athletes, many of them continuing on to compete at the college level. Noble, a graduate of Middlebury Union High and the University of Vermont, resides in Essex.

Michael J. O’Day (administrator): O’Day, a three-sport star at South Burlington High, returned to his alma mater in 1984, and has served at the Director of Student Activities for 26 years. O’Day is the “go-to guy” for many new athletic directors and also serves the greater community with the Vermont Principals’ Association, the Vermont State Athletic Directors’ Association, and the Vermont Interscholastic Football League. The National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association honored O’Day with one of its top excellence awards in 2009. He and his family reside in South Burlington.

Antonio “Tony” Orciari (athlete): In the mid-1990’s, Orciari was simply known as “Tony O”. While attending St. Johnsbury Academy, Orciari scored 1,722 career points. He was selected to the Vermont High School All-State Basketball Team by The Burlington Free Press in 1995, 1996, and 1997 and named its “Mr. Basketball” in 1996 and 1997. Other honors include Gatorade Player of the Year for Vermont (1996 & 1997) and a McDonald’s All American nominee in 1997. Orciari went on to an outstanding career at the University of Vermont. He resides in Brattleboro.

Paul Pecor (athlete): A four-year varsity basketball player, Pecor was the first 1,000 point scorer in Mount Mansfield Union history. He still is the career leader in assists. In his senior year, Pecor averaged 26.1 points per game, twice eclipsing the 40-point mark. His trademark hustle and leadership helped him win various All-Metro and All-State Team honors. Pecor represented Vermont on the Alhambra team in 1993. He had a Hall of Fame career at Norwich University where he was the all-time leading scorer (over 2,000 points). Pecor, a teacher in Colchester, lives in South Burlington.

Frank P. Spencer (administrator): Spencer has been a pillar in the Wilmington/Twin Valley High School community for 40 years. In his career, he has enthusiastically served as history teacher, athletic director, basketball and soccer coach, and provided administrative leadership as the principal for 23 years. Spencer served on both the Activity Standards Committee and the Executive Council of the VPA for many years. He is a graduate of Harvard University and the University of Vermont. Spencer resides in Wilmington.

This year’s class will be formally welcomed to the Hall of Fame at the induction ceremony on Friday, May 13, at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Montpelier. Tickets are available by calling the VPA at (802) 229-0547.

The VPA established the Hall of Fame in 2003 with its first class as a way to recognize, preserve and promote the heritage of interscholastic athletics and activities in Vermont by honoring individuals who have made extraordinary contributions on behalf of students.

Nominees must exemplify the highest standards of sportsmanship, ethical conduct and moral character, according to Burr and Burton Assistant Headmaster Steve Houghton, chairman of the Hall committee. Nominations are sought throughout the year by the VPA and reviewed by a statewide panel, Houghton said.

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