ORONO — Hockey standout Jimmy Howard and former track and field student-athlete and coach Jim Ballinger lead a prestigious class of seven former student-athletes slated for induction into the 2011 University of Maine Sports Hall of Fame, the school announced Tuesday.
Football All-American Mark Coutts, basketball captain and benefactor Dick Collins, women’s soccer great Linda Consolante-Hathorn, cross country captain William Hunnewell and Tim Tobin of the riflery team will also be inducted at a ceremony on the Orono campus on Friday, Sept. 30.
Ballinger was captain of the 1965-66 indoor track team. He set Yankee Conference records in the 45, 65 and 440 hurdles as well as winning state championships in the 440 and 120 hurdles. He won the Alan Hillman Memorial Trophy in 1966, awarded annually to the most outstanding track and field athlete in the state at the MIAA meet. He holds the 120-yard high hurdles record of 14.8 seconds set in 1966.
Ballinger was also a track and field and cross country coach at Maine for 30 years. The list of outstanding track and field athletes who competed for him are endless. In 1992, he led the men’s cross country team and the indoor track teams to the ECAC championship. The women’s team won the 2003 New England championship, while the 2004 men’s cross country team won the America East championship. Ballinger has received numerous coaching awards, including conference cross country coach of the year honors in 1992, 1994 and 2004.
Collins was a letterwinner for the men’s basketball team from 1956-1959. He served as captain of the team during in 1958-59 when he led Maine to a 15-7 record. The team set a school record for wins that season. Collins has made multimillion dollar gifts to the university, including contributions to the Buchanan Alumni House, the Collins Center for the Arts, the Alfond Arena and Memorial Gymnasium.
Consolante-Hathorn is arguably the greatest women’s soccer player in Maine history. She was an America East first-team selection in 2001, 2002 and 2005, while earning a spot on the second team in 2003. She earned America East Defender of the Year in both 2002 and 2005. She was a NSCAA/Adidas regional All-American in 2002, 2003 and 2005. She was also a four-time Maine Scholar-Athlete Award winner and was named to the America East Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll five times. She was named to the ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA All-Regional Team in 2005. She is currently an assistant women’s soccer coach at Maine.
Coutts was captain of the 1985 Maine football team. He played on the 1982 Yankee Conference championship team under Ron Rogerson. In 1984, Coutts was a second team All-Yankee Conference selection where he led the team in tackles with 151. The 151 tackles are the third highest in program history. In 1985, Coutts was a first team All-Yankee Conference, All-New England and All-American.
Howard was named an All-American in 2004 and was also named to the Hockey East first team, Hockey East top goalie, the Hockey East tourney MVP in 2004. He led the Black Bears to a berth in the NCAA title game that year against Minnesota. He was also named All-New England and that season. Howard holds NCAA records for goals against average in a season at 1.19 in 2003–04 and best save percentage with a .956 mark also in 2003–04.
Howard set a school record with 63 saves in a triple overtime victory against UMass in the 2004 Hockey East title game. He holds Maine records for career shutouts with 15 and single season shutouts with six. He is currently the starting goalie for the Detroit Red Wings of the NHL.
Hunnewell was a standout in cross country in the mid-1930s. He served as captain during the 1935 and 1936 seasons. In 1933, he was the freshman national champion. He finished third in the IC4As in 1936, fourth in 1935 and 11th in 1934. He won the New England championship in 1935, finished second in 1934 and seventh in 1936.
Tobin was a two-year captain of the rifle team in 1977–78 and 1978–79. He was named a first team All-American in 1978–79, one of only two Maine riflemen to be selected. He was the New England individual champion in 1977–78 and 1978–79. The team compiled a record of 56-2 during his career. Maine was the New England team champion during all four of Tobin’s seasons.
The criteria for selection into the Hall of Fame is achievement in the athletic program, but other factors are also considered. They include character, leadership and integrity, as well as non-athletic service to the university community and achievement later in life.
After their induction on Sept. 30, the honorees will be recognized at halftime of the Maine football game against Delaware the following day. Tickets will be available starting July 15th at the University of Maine ticket office. Tickets may be purchased by calling 581-BEAR or 1-800-756-TEAM.