Francois Bouchard, Jack Capuano lead UMaine sports hall inductees

Posted May 14, 2013, at 6:44 p.m.

ORONO, Maine — Former men’s basketball standout Francois Bouchard (1994), hockey star Jack Capuano (1989), track and field record holder Gerard LaFlamme, swimming standout Susan Herrick Lizzotte (1999), football player Carleton “Speed” Merritt (1924) and baseball All-American Chad White (1993) will be inducted into the University of Maine Sports Hall of Fame this fall, the school announced in a press release Tuesday.

Bouchard was a four-year letterwinner on the men’s basketball team. He was one of two players in Maine history to earn Rookie of the Year honors in 1990-91 and also earned a spot on the All-Rookie Team. Bouchard was a North Atlantic Conference second-team selection in 1993-94 and also earned a spot on the all-tourney team that same season. He ranks fifth on Maine’s all-time scoring list with 1,541 career points. He ranks fifth on Maine’s all-time rebounding list with 792. Following graduation, Bouchard played professionally in France.

Capuano was captain of the 1987-88 men’s ice hockey team. He scored 32 goals and added 89 assists for 121 points in 124 career games as a defenseman. In 1987-88, he was named a first team All-American. He was a first team Hockey East selection in 1987-88. He holds Maine records for career goals by a defenseman (32) and single season goals by a defenseman (13). He played three years in the NHL for Toronto, Vancouver and Boston. He is currently the head coach of the New York Islanders.

LaFlamme was a multi-time captain and record-setter in track and field and cross country during the mid 1970s. For indoor track and field, LaFlamme was the individual Maine state champion in the mile and the two-mile during the 1973-74 season. In 1974-75, LaFlamme was the state champ in the mile, setting a meet record. He was also a member of the two-mile relay team that won the state title. He was the state champ in the mile and three-mile runs for both the 1974 and 1976 seasons. In 1976, he won the Alan Hillman Memorial Trophy, awarded annually to the most outstanding track athlete in the state at the MIAA meet.

Lizzotte was a two-year captain of the women’s swimming team. She was the America East champion in 1995-96 in the 200 butterfly, the 200 individual medley and the 400 individual medley, setting a meet record with a time of 4 minutes, 31.97 seconds. In 1996-97, she was the America East champion in the 200 butterfly. She was named most valuable swimmer at Maine from 1996-1999. She is currently the head men’s and women’s swimming coach at the University of Maine, after serving as an assistant coach from 2000 to 2010.

Merritt was an All-Maine quarterback and was UMaine’s first professional football player in 1924. He was a three-sport coach at Cranston High School in Rhode Island. Merritt won 10 State Championships as a high school coach. He was a top New England collegiate basketball official. He also officiated major college football games. Merritt was a past president of the “M-Club” and received the Black Bear Award from the Alumni Association. He founded the Marion Farrington Merritt Fund that provides scholarships for UMaine student-athletes.

White was captain of Maine’s 1993 baseball team and went on to earn North Atlantic Conference Player of the Year honors in that season. He was named a second team All-American, named to the NAC All-Conference Team and also named to the NAC All-Tournament Team in 1993. He earned a spot on the 1991 NCAA All-Regional Team. During the 1992 season, he led Maine in home runs and RBI. White was drafted by the Houston Astros in 1993.

The six will be inducted on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013. There will be a reception in the Hall of Fame lobby in the Memorial Gym at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at Wells Conference Center at 7 p.m. and the induction. The honorees will be recognized at halftime of the Maine football game against Bryant the following day.

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