Finney, Fridge, and Gulotta to join Loyola Hall of Fame

Tue, 01/15/2013

(New Orleans, La.) Wolf Pack Athletics and the Loyola University New Orleans Alumni Association will welcome three new members to the Wolf Pack Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony will take place Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. in the Danna Student Center, with a reception preceding at 5:45 p.m.

The 2013 inductees are Peter Finney, Sr. ’49 (Basketball 1948–1949, Freshman Basketball Coach 1949, Sports Information Director 1950–1960), Kelly Fridge ‘06 (Volleyball 2002-2006), and Michael Gulotta ’04 (Cross Country 2000-2004). Erwin Caswell, Jr. ’56, J.D. ‘70 will also be honored with the St. Sebastian Award for his outstanding efforts on behalf of Loyola athletes off the field of play. WDSU reporter Travers Mackel ‘98 will emcee the induction ceremony.

Attendees are also invited to watch the Loyola basketball teams take on Spring Hill in The Den. The Wolf Pack women will play at 2 p.m., followed by the men’s game at 4 p.m.

Admission to all Hall of Fame events is $25 per person, open to the public. Registration is available at www.alumni.loyno.edu/hof13.

Peter Finney, Sr. (Basketball 1948–1949, Freshman Basketball Coach 1949, Sports Information Director 1950–1960)

After graduating from Jesuit High school at the age of 17, Peter Finney began his career as a journalist covering sports for the Times-Picayune (The States Item). During the course of his career, Finney has chronicled the history of the New Orleans Saints. The Nov. 1966 edition of the paper trumpeted the arrival of the franchise: “N.O. Goes Pro!” The byline was Finney’s. He also covered the Saints Super Bowl title in 2010. In addition, he has given fans of New Orleans sports an on-going perspective of LSU football, including the national championships in 1958, 2004, and 2007. Finney has interviewed numerous legendary athletes, including Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams and Mohammed Ali. During his tenure, Finney served as the Sports Editor at the Times-Picayune and his 67 year career continues today as a columnist for the Times Picayune.

As a student-athlete at Loyola University New Orleans, Finney was a starter on the basketball team as a junior and senior year for the Wolf Pack. After graduating as a two year letter winner, Finney took the helm as head coach of the “Wolfpups”, Loyola’s freshmen basketball team. He led the squad to be the New Orleans SAAU Champions. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Finney served as the Sports Information Director for the Wolf Pack, providing game results and stats to local media outlets.

Finney received the Dick McCann Memorial Award from the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010. He has also been inducted into the LSU Manship School of Communications Hall of Fame, New Orleans Sugar Bowl Hall of Fame and the Louisiana Sports Writer’s Hall of Fame. He has been named the Louisiana Sports Writers Association Columnist of the Year four times and in 1989 he received the Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism. He was also named Sportswriter of the Year for Louisiana from the National Sportscasters and Sports Writers Association 17 times. In 1971, he was named the Jesuit High School Alumnus of the Year.

Kelly Fridge (Volleyball 2002-2006)

Kelly Fridge participated in the most wins (96) of any player to don the maroon and gold. During her tenure the Wolf Pack won 20 or more matches in each of her four seasons. As a defensive player, Fridge still owns the Loyola record for most digs, 2,849 and is 3rd on the NAIA’s all time career dig list. She also holds the Wolf Pack record for matches played with 148 and sets played with 490. Three of her four years, the team appeared in the NAIA Regional Championship. The 2002 squad won 31 matches, the second most in Loyola history, and advanced to the NAIA National Tournament. The next season, Fridge again led the team in digs, 700 (6.08 per game) and helped the team reach a 20-15 record. Kelly again led the team in digs in the 2004 season, 692. She also was named All-GCAC libero and the GCAC libero of the year. Leading as Team Captain in 2006, Fridge was named the GCAC libero of the week 6 times and the Region XIII libero of the week 5 times. She was named to the All Louisiana Team and the Defensive Player of the Year in the Louisiana Sports Writers Association. She is a graduate of Chapelle High School.

Michael Gulotta (Cross Country 2000-2004)

One of the most decorated Student-Athletes of the new era, Michael Gulotta was a four year letter winner for the Loyola cross country and track team from 2000-04. Gulotta is the only runner to date to qualify for the NAIA Cross Country National Championships in each of his four years competing for the Wolf Pack. He was also a four year All-GCAC performer. In his senior season, Gulotta was named All-GCAC, All-NAIA Region XIII, and the Louisiana Sports Writers Association named him All-Louisiana. Gulotta was the quintessential student athlete as he maintained a 3.92 GPA and was twice named NAIA Scholar Athlete. He still holds two Loyola cross country records- a 15:52 performance in the 5,000 meters and a 15:54 time in the three miles. The Maroon considered the 2003-2004 team as “one of the best in sports history at Loyola,” and they also named Gulotta the Athlete of the Year in 2003. Gulotta is a graduate of Archbishop Hannan High School.

Erwin Caswell, Jr. ’56, J.D. ’70 – 2013 St. Sebastian Award Recipient

Erwin Caswell entered Loyola’s College of Business Administration in the fall of 1952 on a Breaux Scholarship. He lettered four years with the track team, was elected captain of the team in 1956 and was voted Most Valuable Trackman that same year. Following his graduation from Loyola, Caswell was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army and spend six months on active duty and the next seven years in the Army Reserve. He was honorably discharged in 1964 with the rank of captain. In 1966, Caswell entered the Loyola College of Law and graduated in 1970.

Caswell worked for thirty-five years with Shell Oil Company and the Louisiana Land and Exploration Company. He later spent 15 years as a landman. Caswell is devoted to working with non-profits, and has been for most of his life. He was a founding member and officer in the Resurrection of Our Lord’s Men’s Club and the New Orleans East Y.M.C.A. He is also currently an officer in the St. Catherine of Sienna Knights of Columbus Council and the St. Vincent de Paul Society. Caswell also spends several days a week working with the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry. He is also a member of the St. Catherine Rosary Altar Society.

Caswell is the founding member and chair of the Coach James “Big Jim” McCafferty Basketball/Track Scholarship Committee. Through his guidance, the committee has raised over $100,000 for the endowed scholarship that will give tuition aid to a basketball or track student-athlete every year. He also serves on other committees with Loyola Athletics. Caswell is a strong supporter of all of Loyola’s teams and student-athletes by sharing of his time, talent, and treasure. Erwin was also inducted into the Loyola Hall of Fame in 2000.

Dr. Michael Giorlando, director of Athletics and Wellness, and head men’s basketball coach, says of Caswell, “Erwin Caswell has been a constant, positive influence for Loyola University Athletics for many years. His dedication to our present and former student athletes over the years has been outstanding and we are honored to recognize Mr. Caswell as the 2013 St. Sebastian Award recipient.”

For more information, please contact the Office of Alumni Relations at (800) 798-ALUM, (504) 861-5454, or alumni@loyno.edu

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