UB to induct five new members to Athletic Hall of Fame on November 5

University of Bridgeport Director of Athletics Jay Moran announced today that five new members will be inducted into the UB Athletic Hall of Fame, and Vito Montelli will receive the inaugural Fran Bacon Award for Lifetime Achievement in Coaching on Saturday, November 5.

The members of the Hall of Fame Class of 2011 are Efrian “Chico” Chacurian (coach of men’s and women’s soccer teams) and four standout student-athletes: Winston Jones ’94 (men’s basketball), Norman Taylor  ’88 (men’s basketball), Lilja Valthorsdottir ’06 (women’s soccer), and Mark Windsor ’76 (baseball)

The 2011 University of Bridgeport Hall of Fame Dinner will be held at 6 p.m. in the Mr. and Mrs. Henry B. duPont Tower Room of the Arnold Bernhard Center, 84 Iranistan Avenue.

For ticket information, contact the UB Athletic Department at (203) 576-4017.

The UB Athletic Hall of Fame was formed in 1981, and this year marks the sixth year of a revitalization that began in 2006 after 15 years without a class being inducted. This year’s five inductees bring the total number of members to 75.

About the Hall of Fame Class of 2011:

Efrian “Chico” Chacurian is a legend in soccer circles who played a significant role in the success of the men’s program in the late 1980’s.  Along with coaching at the University of Bridgeport, Chico has also shared his knowledge of the beautiful game with players at Yale and Southern Connecticut State Universities.  Born in Cordoba, Argentina in 1924, Chacurian signed with the famed Racing Club of the Argentine First Division at the age of 15.  He came to the United States and played for New York Armenians, Brooklyn Hispano (American Soccer League), New York Swiss (German American Soccer League) and for Bridgeport legendary Vasco da Gama.  During 1953-54, Chacurian earned four caps for the United States National Team and faced off against England, Mexico and Haiti.  In 1992, Chacurian was enshrined into the U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame in Oneonta, New York.  Chacurian is also a member of the Connecticut Soccer Hall of Fame.

Winston Jones earned the reputation as a punishing rebounder and a tenacious presence inside the paint for the Bridgeport men’s basketball team from 1990-94.   A four-year starter, Jones played an integral role in getting UB to back-to-back NCAA Division II National Championship Games in his freshman and sophomore seasons. As a sophomore, Jones was named the Chevrolet Most Valuable Player of the nationally-televised NCAA title game by scoring 23 points and grabbing 12 rebounds in the loss to Virginia Union.  A team leader and two-time team captain, Winston currently ranks number five all-time in career points with 1799.

Hailing from New York City and standing 6’7”, Norman Taylor was a dominant force for the Purple Knights on the hardwood between 1984-88.  As a freshman during the 1984-85 season, he was a key component in leading the Purple Knights to a New England Collegiate Conference Championship and an NCAA Regional Appearance. During his junior season, Norman led UB in scoring averaging 22.0 points per game and 12.1 rebounds per game.  He became only the seventh all-time Bridgeport men’s basketball player to be selected as an NABC All-American.  Taylor still ranks second all-time in career points, with an impressive 2,170 and is one of only three Bridgeport players to eclipse the 2,000 career-point plateau.  Upon graduation in 1988, Norman starred professionally for the Wollongong Hawks of the National Basketball League of Australia.  He still holds the Hawks’ single-game scoring record netting 54 points during the 1990 season.

Lilja Valthorsdottir was a key component in bringing the Purple Knights women’s soccer program into the national spotlight and starting a winning tradition that continues to grow today.  During her time in a UB uniform from 2002 – 2005, Valthorsdottir was a four-time All-Conference player, a three-time NSCAA All-Region selection and in 2005, the first UB women’s soccer student-athlete to be honored as an Academic All-American, exemplifying her excellence both in the classroom and on the field.  Lilja currently ranks number three all-time for career goals scored (56), assists (25) and total points (137 points).  She is the first women’s soccer player to be inducted into the UB Athletic Hall of Fame.

Mark Windsor concluded his UB baseball career as one of the most reliable, consistent and total baseball players in school history.  During his four years as the team’s primary catcher, Windsor backstopped the Purple Knights from 1973-76 and played a key role in the success of the Purple Knights, who at the time, played one of the most challenging schedules in the East Region.  Over the course of his four years, Mark was one of the leaders in games played, batting average and runs batted in.   In addition, Windsor was a defensive force behind the plate, as he threw out 63 percent of runners trying to steal.

Vito Montelli was a three-year basketball player at Arnold College from 1950-53, and after the merger of Arnold College and the University of Bridgeport just before his senior year, Vito was asked to direct the UB freshman hoops.  After leaving UB, Montelli honed his skills as a basketball coach at Notre Dame High School of Bridgeport until 1963.  Vito then accepted the head coaching job at Saint Joseph’s High School in Trumbull and has been there ever since as the only head coach the boy’s program has ever known.  Coach Montelli has been inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame (2003), the National High School Coaches Hall of Fame (2005), and the Fairfield County Sports Commission Hall of Fame (2010).

Media contact: Chuck Sadowski,(203) 576-4726, csadowski@bridgeport.edu