Last year was the first time Brooks School celebrated its Athletics Hall of Fame ceremony during Alumni Homecoming. This year, the new tradition kept going strong when four 2019 inductees were honored during Brooks' Homecoming event a few weeks ago on campus.
The Hall of Fame induction — Brooks' 16th — kicked off the November 9 festivities, which also included a luncheon and opportunity to watch the current student field hockey, football, soccer and volleyball teams take on Tabor Academy.
Head of School John Packard P'18, P'21 began the ceremony in the Frank D. Ashburn Chapel by congratulating each of the honorees: Liz Bruno '08, Peter Crowley '08, Bill McEvoy P'81, P'83, P'89 and Bill Turner '65 for their "exceptional contributions to the quality and tradition of athletics here at Brooks."
All Hall of Fame winners must "exhibit exemplary sportsmanship, athletic excellence, versatility, character, leadership and commitment," he said. And that's exactly what Bruno, Crowley, McEvoy and Turner have done, as Director of Athletics Roberta Crump-Burbank P'11 detailed when she took the stage to share each honoree's achievements and present them with their award.
LIZ BRUNO '08
The class of 2008 soccer, hockey and lacrosse player's "energy, demeanor, and skill had an immediate impact on three varsity programs," said Burbank. "Her sheer love of sports, coupled with her competitive nature, made her unstoppable."
A Lawn Ceremony Athletic Prize winner during her graduation, Bruno was also a recipient of the school's top athletic award on her Prize Day, the Frank D. Ashburn Athletic Award. The coaches who led her during 12 varsity seasons had shared remarks about her "fierce and decisive" skills, which Burbank relayed. "I can honestly say that she was one of my favorite players to coach over my 30-year career," noted former coach Bob Morahan, whose 2002 girls 1st soccer squad was inducted last year and with whom Bruno earned the program's first No. 1 seed in the New England Tournament. "She played the game with great passion. In addition, she was well liked by her teammates and brought a very positive energy to practice each day."
Bruno's former ice hockey coach Jenelle Ries praised the inductee's "nerves of steel" and described her as "the ultimate competitor." Reflecting on the honoree's time on Brooks' ISL Championship lacrosse teams, assistant coach Casey Bobo chimed in, "[Liz] is every coach's dream."
After Brooks, Bruno continued playing lacrosse at Trinity College, where the four-year All American and her team won the NCAA Division III Women's Lacrosse Championship, and NESCAC Championships in 2011 and 2012 — and she herself was named to the NESCAC All-Conference Team as well as the All-Regional Team four years in a row. Further, Bruno was 2012 NESCAC Women's Lacrosse Player of the Year and Division III Women's Lacrosse National Midfielder of the Year.
Hear Bruno's acceptance speech below (at the 6:22 mark):
PETER CROWLEY '08
Another member of the class of 2008, Crowley also stood out in three Brooks sports: soccer, basketball and crew. Described by former soccer coach Dusty Richard as "one of the very best goalkeepers we've had over the last forty years," Crowley "was a lot of fun to coach," Richard added, noting that "the earnestness with which he approached all things athletic was truly inspiring to his peers."
John Packard served as assistant coach during Crowley's years. He weighed in: "I would find it hard to believe the boys' soccer program has ever had a better goalkeeper than Peter. ...His performance in the New England tournament, his senior year in the fall of 2007, was the finest stretch of goalkeeping I have ever seen. He carried us to the final. And, in that game, the KUA players referred to him as 'Superman' for the plays he was making."
On the basketball court he was no less formidable. As one of the team's top rebounders and screeners, coach John McVeigh recalled that, "in Peter's senior year, he played a crucial role in helping the team qualify for the New England tournament. Peter was a terrific teammate and a joy to coach thanks to his attitude and effort."
Also a captain on the crew team at Brooks, he still holds the school's all-time 2K erg time of 6:12.5. Burbank shared that former coach Brian Palm reported, "While Peter was certainly blessed with significant natural talents, one of the attributes that made him so successful through his lengthy athletic career was his interest in 'putting in the time' outside the season ...He was always the type of athlete who asked, 'What more can I do today?'"
Following graduation (during which he, too, was honored with Lawn Ceremony's Athletic Prize), Crowley continued playing soccer at Babson College. The four-year starter helped his team win four regular-season championships and three outright championships. In Crowley's senior year (during which he was named an All-American), Babson finished #13 in the nation. To date, Crowley holds the all-time wins record at Babson with 59 career wins.
Hear Crowley's acceptance speech below (at the 6:20 mark):
BILL TURNER '65
Crew, ice hockey and soccer were this class of 1965 standout's sports at Brooks — and he was also known as an exceptional skier and golfer. "His teammates' detailed and memorable testimonials to Bill's impact as an athlete, leader, and teammate are so powerful one could easily forget that he made his mark on Brooks athletics 55 years ago," marveled Burbank. She shared an example from classmate John McArdle '67. "The bottom line is he was outstanding in any sport he chose to play," McArdle declared. "He was a gifted athlete."
During his sixth-form year, Turner's boat won the B Flight finals at the New England Interscholastic Rowing Association Championships, yet it was ice hockey in which the athlete continued to compete after Brooks — at the University of Pennsylvania (with Barney Hallingby '65, who described him as "absolutely outstanding" and "a prolific goal scorer.").
"Bill was a starting center man, a goal scorer and contributor at both ends of the ice," said Hallingby. "During his four years there, Penn became a Division I team and joined the Ivy League in hockey. These were challenging times for the team but Bill was a leader who kept the team focused in both victory and defeat."
In 2019 "it is not uncommon to have people say that yesteryears' athletes could not compete today," McArdle added, reflecting on Turner's athletic career. "But Billy Turner could compete with any generation. He was that good."
Hear Turner's acceptance speech below (at the 4:42 mark):
BILL MCEVOY P'81, P'83, P'89
For more than 24 years — within the years 1963 to 1991 — this longtime coach and faculty member "had a dramatic positive impact" on numerous alumni's development as athletes, students and people," said Burbank of the late athletic director, whose children graduated in the classes of 1981, 1983 and 1989. "Although he served the school over multiple decades, each dramatically different ... the lessons he imparted have proven relevant no matter the years in which they took place."
Burbank shared a thought from Gene Clapp '68 that paid tribute to McEvoy (deceased in 2006). "As a coach, athletic director and friend, his enthusiasm and dedication to Brooks was, and remains, legendary," he said. "A passionate basketball coach, Bill cared deeply about the Brooks community and he was a tireless advocate for Brooks and its students."
"Mr. Mac," as LJ Harrington '80 recalled McEvoy was nicknamed, "was a completely selfless individual who gave more than he received and cared deeply for students and their athletic experiences. Ironically, he was the driving force behind establishing this Hall of Fame, thus making today's honor particularly special."
Accepting the Hall of Fame award on McEvoy's behalf, former Brooks basketball captain Willard Witherspoon '69 described just how important the athletic director was to Brooks students, including him. "Coach McEvoy taught me how to succeed at Brooks, athletically and socially," Witherspoon said. "Early on, he made me feel welcomed. Coach helped me transition from a playground player to a team player. Whenever I coach, I use the same plays and run the same drills we did at Brooks. I have truly been blessed and loved by the entire McEvoy family."
Hear Witherspoon's remarks on behalf of McEvoy below (at the 7:06 mark):
See an album of photos from Alumni Homecoming and the Hall of Fame event at brooksschoolphotos.com.
OTHER RECENT STORIES
200 Women Exhibit Engages All
An international photographic exhibition, featuring portraits and interviews with 200 women around the world, challenges and inspires students with stories of strength and hope.
Teachers as Students
Professional development throughout the school year allows educators to learn and grow so they can best help their pupils do the same.
Celebrating Brooks Diversity
Students recognized United Nations Day with a fun, and personal, flag ceremony.