New England Basketball Hall Of Fame Chooses Middlebury Women's Basketball Program As "Scholar-Athlete Honor Program"

March 24, 2009

The New England Basketball Hall of Fame has announced that the Middlebury College Women's Basketball program has been selected as the New England Basketball Hall of Fame "Intercollegiate Women's Scholar-Athlete Honor Program." The Scholar-Athlete Honor Program Award, which is considered by many the most significant New England Basketball Hall of Fame recognition, is given to one intercollegiate women's program and one intercollegiate men's program who have combined excellence on the court with distinguished undergraduate academic achievement and post-graduate career success.

The Backus, Fulcher and Pecsok Years at Middlebury

In announcing the women's program selection, the New England Basketball Hall of Fame paid special tribute to the "Backus, Fulcher and Pecsok years" at Middlebury. Under former head women's basketball coach Amy Backus, who served as head coach from 1987-1994, Middlebury College compiled a 106-41 record. Under former head women's basketball coach Jennifer Fulcher, who served as head coach from 1994-1998, the team compiled a 79-23 record. Present coach Noreen Pecsok has been in her position since 1998, and has compiled a 143-106 record. Since 1988 the Middlebury College women's program has competed in a post-season tournament in every year except two.

The New England Basketball Hall of Fame Executive Committee made note of the remarkable accomplishments of the players who competed under these three outstanding coaches, both as undergraduate student-athletes and in career accomplishments following graduation. With great distinction, graduates of the Middlebury Women's Basketball Program have gone on to highly successful careers in law, business, medicine, higher education, athletic administration, and coaching.

Erin Quinn, Middlebury College Director of Athletics, stated, "On behalf of Middlebury College and our women's basketball program, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the New England Basketball Hall of Fame for honoring us. The recognition gets to the heart of exactly what we hope to embody at Middlebury, the "scholar-athlete." We are proud of the record of success our women's coaches and players have demonstrated on the court, but even more importantly, our players have achieved great success in the classroom, in the community and in their lives after Middlebury College."

Middlebury College President, Ronald Liebowitz, stated, "This is a wonderful acknowledgement of our women's basketball program, and the liberal arts tradition that guides our students' efforts on and off the court. I am particularly pleased that the Hall of Fame has honored coaches Amy Backus, Jennifer Fulcher, and Noreen Pecsok for their outstanding role as mentors to students who have gone on to lead lives of distinction after graduating from Middlebury."

Dan Doyle, Founder and Director of the New England Basketball Hall of Fame stated, "We consider this to be the most important award given by the New England Basketball Hall of Fame. The Middlebury Women's program embodies the very best of intercollegiate athletics. Middlebury faculty, administrators and alumni should be very proud of the Women's Basketball program, and what the program has meant to the College."

The Assumption College Men's Basketball program has been named Intercollegiate Men's Scholar-Athlete Honor Program. Both programs will be recognized at the New England Basketball Hall of Fame ceremony on October 9, 2009 at the International Scholar-Athlete Hall of Fame at the University of Rhode Island.

For more information, contact Erica Wheeler at: ewheeler@internationalsport.com or 401-874-7408.