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Green Mountain College Inducts Three New Members to Athletic Hall of Fame

On Friday, Sept. 28, Green Mountain College hosted a ceremony to welcome three new members to the Athletic Hall of Fame. Daniel Gustafsson '02, Rick Stainton, Jr. '98, and Warren Mackey '89 were all inducted in the celebration.

College President Paul Fonteyn kicked the evening off by welcoming everyone to the event, recognizing the current student-athletes and introducing the various teams to the attendees. He finished his welcoming speech with an introduction of new Athletic Director

Keith Bosley who acted as master of ceremonies for the evening.

After Bosley thanked everyone for welcoming him to the College so warmly, he officially started the ceremony by honoring the first inductee, Daniel Gustafsson.  Gustafsson lives in Sweden these days and helps operate a large ski business with international ties. Because of these responsibilities, Gustafsson was unable to attend the ceremony, so the award was graciously accepted by Chris Eder, Daniel's assistant ski coach. Eder reminisced about Daniel as a competitor, saying that he encapsulated the terms "dedication" and "determination."

"Daniel was an NCAA Division I caliber ski racer, but chose GMC over other institutions because of the community and people," related Eder. "He loved it here and the time he spent at Green Mountain was the best years of his life. Daniel's dedication and competitiveness really helped establish a reputation for himself and the College which subsequently aided the recruiting process for the program even after he graduated." 

Bosley returned to the podium after Eder's acceptance speech and reflected on his experience coaching against Green Mountain on the soccer pitch. He demonstrated through several examples how absolutely powerful the soccer teams were at Green Mountain during the mid-90's.  That segued well into the introduction of the night's second inductee, Rick Stainton, Jr.

Since graduating, Stainton has been engrossed in an illustrious career as a soccer coach.  He currently serves as the first assistant coach at Seton Hall and was formerly the head coach of the Sky Blue women's professional soccer club. On top of his coaching accolades Rick also is the owner and president of his own business.

Rick began by revealing that he began his collegiate athletic career with GMC's club rugby team and had no intention of playing soccer until he was urged to talk to Coach Gilmore after kicking the ball around with some of the players on the team. The first conversation did not go particularly well, but Stainton was later given a chance to prove himself on the pitch and did not disappoint. He became very focused and driven to put forth the requisite effort to be successful in the classroom and on the field. That desire to achieve was responsible for the championships and national recognition that he and the team shared.
Stainton also was appreciative for his opportunity to play lacrosse. Being a member of the lacrosse team, having never touched a stick until he got to GMC, taught him an important lesson that you are capable of whatever you put your mind to. He became one of school's first all-conference players in a time when the program was struggling and fighting to exist. 

"Through my experience at Green Mountain, I built great relationships which turned me into the person I am today," remarked Stainton. "If I could give one piece of advice, it would be to not let opportunity pass you by, experience everything you can and enjoy your time while you are here." 

After Stainton's final words, Bosley then shifted the focus to the final inductee of the night, Warren Mackey. This final induction would be historical in nature as Mackey is the first African American to be inducted into the GMC Hall of Fame. This fact was highlighted by teammate and long-time friend Rick Martin who introduced Mackey.

Martin is a fellow Green Mountain Hall of Fame member and stated that his friendship with Mackey was born as soon as Warren stepped on campus and he immediately knew he had a true teammate in the Hall of Famer. Martin emphasized that although Mackey was a tremendous athlete and 3-point shooter, he sacrificed his game to play the role his team and coach asked of him.
"Warren was the only minority on the team," said Martin. "He was the Jackie Robinson of Green Mountain College. Mackey is one of the reasons that GMC has the diversity it does today. His great interpersonal skills have influenced many people who have attended the College."

Mackey was very inclusive in his address to the audience. Many of his former coaches, mentors and teammates were brought up on stage as a sign of his appreciation for the effort each put in to help him become the man he is today.

"There are two things you need to go somewhere in life…a vision and a village," proclaimed Mackey. "I had a vision of becoming a talented basketball player growing up in Albany. I got to where I did as a basketball player because of the support of my village; my family, my educators, my church members, and friends all helped me arrive where I am today and they are here supporting me again tonight."
                                                 
Hall of Fame Inductees

Daniel Gustafsson '02
A member of the ski team from 1999-2002, Gustafsson notched 23 career downhill victories during his tenure and finished on the podium 40 times in all. He earned a 1st place overall finish at the 2000 USCSA Eastern Regional Championships by winning the giant slalom event and placing 9th in the slalom event.  He went on to narrowly miss finishing on the podium by placing 4th in the National Championships in 2000. Gustafsson twice earned the ECSC Thompson Division Skier of the year ('99, '02), was a 3-time All-ECSC Team member, and was also named USCSA All-American numerous times. As part of the ski team he helped GMC to 2nd and 3rd place finishes in 2000 and 2001, respectively.

 

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Rick Stainton, Jr. '98
Stainton was a standout two-sport athlete in men's soccer and lacrosse. During his senior season, Stainton claimed the starting goalkeeper position for the men's soccer team, leading the squad to a NAIA Regional Championship and a berth in the National Tournament.  Rick's tremendous efforts in goal received wide acclaim as he was recognized with a place on the 1997 Mayflower All-Conference Team and was named the 1997 NAIA Northeast Region's Most Valuable Player.

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Warren Mackey '89
Mackey was a leader on the court and a defensive stalwart for the men's basketball teams during his tenure from 1986-89.  He captained the team during his junior and senior seasons while providing lockdown defense for the team.  Mackey was recognized for his defensive prowess earning team defensive player of the year in the 1988-89 season.  He was honored with a selection to the Mayflower Conference All-Defensive Team in addition to being on both the Vermont State All-Star Team and NAIA Regional All-Star Team in 1989.  Mackey was a member of the first team in GMC history to defeat the vaunted Castleton squad and also the first team in GMC history to go to the playoffs.