Late UMass Coach Sortino Part Of Inaugural ECAC Hall Of Fame Class

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Late NFCA Hall of Famer and longtime UMass softball coach Elaine Sortino will be part of the 25-member inaugural class of the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Hall of Fame, presented by Webster Bank, the conference announced. The ECAC is honoring student-athletes, coaches, administrators, teams, officials, support staff and supporters who have made significant contributions over the organization’s 75 years of existence.


“It is truly an honor to induct this special group of people as the inaugural class of the ECAC Hall of Fame,” ECAC President & CEO Dr. Kevin T. McGinniss said in a press release. “These 25 individuals have left an indelible mark on this organization and will now be forever recognized for their outstanding contributions and achievements.”

The class will be inducted on April 17 at the ECAC Hall of Fame Gala and Induction Ceremony at the Matrix Conference & Banquet Center in Danbury, Conn.

Sortino won 1,185 games over 34 stellar seasons at UMass, capturing 23 Atlantic 10 Conference titles and making 21 NCAA regional appearances and three trips to the Women’s College World Series. She was also an 11-time Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year and honored with her staff as the NFCA Coaching Staff of the Year six times.

In 2002, the Minutewomen won 33 straight games from March 23 to May 9, tying for the eighth-longest streak in NCAA history. During Sortino’s time in charge, UMass posted 25 30-win seasons, nine 40-win campaigns, one 50-win season and just one losing season.

She was inducted into the UMass Hall of Fame in a special ceremony two months after her death in August 2013 at age 63 and has the school’s softball field named in her honor. She is also a member of the Hall of Fame at SUNY Oneonta, her alma mater.

Her love of softball endured even when weakened by cancer her last two seasons, leading to her arranging a car ride to be in the dugout at the 2012 Atlantic 10 Tournament in St. Louis and the NCAA regional in Columbia, Mo., after being banned from flying with the rest of the team by her doctor.

Sortino also served as the Associate Athletics Director for Sports Programs and Student Services at UMass, as well as the school’s Senior Women’s Administrator. She was the UMass women’s volleyball coach from 1979-86, compiling a 218-134-1 record and oversaw numerous sporting events during her career, including the 1995 NCAA Women’s Volleyball Championships, the 1998 Men’s Gymnastics East Regional and the 2003 NCAA Field Hockey National Championship.

The other honorees joining Sortino are:

  • Eve Atkinson – Athlete/Coach/Administrator (Women’s Swimming & Diving, Lacrosse, Field Hockey)
  • Mary Barrett – Administrator
  • Charles Brown – Coach/Athlete (Basketball, Cross Country, Track & Field)
  • Asa S. Bushnell, ECAC Commissioner
  • Lou Carnesecca – Coach (Men’s Basketball)
  • Clayton Chapman – ECAC Commissioner/Athlete (Rowing)
  • Bill Cleary – Athlete/Coach/Administrator (Ice Hockey, Baseball)
  • Don Cook – Athlete/Coach/Administrator (Baseball)
  • Joe Dudek – Athlete (Football)
  • Tom Ehrhardt – Athlete (Football)
  • Jayne Finst – Athlete (Gymnastics)
  • Doug Flutie – Athlete (Football)
  • Bill Flynn – Athlete/Coach/Administrator (Ice Hockey)
  • Dave Gavitt – Coach/Administrator (Men’s Basketball)
  • Amber James – Athlete (Track and Field)
  • Jack Kaiser – Coach/Administrator (Men’s Basketball)
  • Rebecca Lobo – Athlete (Women’s Basketball)
  • Bill Moore – Coach/Administrator (Men’s Basketball, Football)
  • Ron Perry, Sr. – Athlete/Administrator (Men’s Basketball, Baseball)
  • Sue Peterson Lubow – Athlete/Coach/Administrator (Swimming & Diving)
  • Larry Schiner – Coach/Administrator (Men’s Basketball)
  • Sharon Taylor – Coach/Administrator (Field Hockey)
  • John Toner – Coach/Administrator (Football)
  • Scottie Whitelaw – ECAC Commissioner/Coach/Administrator/Athlete (Baseball, Football, Track & Field)

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