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Campus Update

(October 15, 2007)

University at Albany Athletic Hall of Fame Enshrined Class of 2007

Three former athletes were enshrined into the University at Albany Athletic Hall of Fame on Friday, October 12 at the 24th annual HOF Dinner and Induction Ceremony. 

The new inductees and their sports: Alan Cornfield '85, lacrosse (posthumously); Mike Grever '99, football; and Kelly Poynton '99, softball.

With this year's class, there are 114 former athletes, coaches, and administrators who have been inducted into the University at Albany's Athletic Hall of Fame.

Alan Cornfield (1982-85) -- One of the top goalkeepers in the history of the men's lacrosse program, Cornfield is being inducted into UAlbany's Athletic Hall of Fame posthumously. He died, at the age of 38, in a tragic boating accident on October 1, 2001. He completed his college career as the school's all-time saves leader with 941, plus scored two goals and had two assists.

A native of Oceanside, N.Y., Cornfield established the single-season saves record of 301 as a senior captain in 1985. He had a .632 save percentage with 74 ground balls. The 5-foot-10, 175-pound goalkeeper piled up 30 or more saves twice, including a career-high 35 against Vermont. He stopped 19 shots in a 13-6 victory against Siena on April 26. Cornfield averaged 23.2 saves per game and probably would have earned All-America recognition, according to his head coach Rick Flanders, if the team had a winning record.

In 1984, Cornfield led the Great Danes to a 7-6 campaign as a Division III program, including wins over local rivals Rensselaer, Union and Siena, winning the unofficial "Capital Cup." He posted a season-high 20 saves, including 12 in the second half, in a 12-9 triumph over the Saints on April 6. Cornfield recorded double-figure saves on 10 occasions, including victories against Vermont, Oneonta and Potsdam.

As a sophomore in the cage, Cornfield totaled 196 saves and 55 ground balls and registered a .660 save percentage. He made 20 or more saves in five games, including a season-high 24 against nationally-ranked Cortland. He also turned aside 21 shots in a 17-10 victory over Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and 20 in an 11-5 win against Oswego. UAlbany posted an 8-4 record under head coach Mike Motta, the team's best record in nearly a decade.

Cornfield made an immediate impact as a freshman when he accounted for 286 saves, the second-best single-season total in school annals, and had a .678 save percentage with 45 ground balls. He made 20-plus saves against five opponents, including a season-high 32 vs. Siena and 29 against Oswego.

Cornfield, who earned his B.S. in psychology, went on to own a mortgage banking and brokerage firm with his father-in-law in Garden City on Long Island. He also became the commissioner of the Dix Hills Fire Department after coming up through the ranks as a volunteer firefighter, and was a volunteer at Ground Zero following the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

Cornfield, who is survived by his wife, Donna, and two children, Danny and Paige, spent his summers as a lifeguard in Long Beach, N.Y. An experienced fisherman, he competed in shark fishing tournaments.

Kelly Poynton (1997-99) -- Poynton, the softball program's top pitcher during the NCAA Division II era, led UAlbany to the 1999 ECAC Mid-Atlantic Championship and 1998 New England Collegiate Conference title. She finished her career with a 40-13 record, 15 shutouts, 399 strikeouts, 46 complete games and a 1.60 earned run average.

In 1999, Poynton was chosen the UAlbany Co-Female Athlete of the Year after earning the ECAC Championship's most valuable player award. She fired a no-hit shutout and struck out 10 in the opening round and went the distance in a 2-1, nine-inning victory over Dowling in the championship game. The right-hander recorded 16 strikeouts in the two-day tournament. Poynton, who averaged 7.72 strikeouts per seven innings, was named All-NECC for the second straight season with a 15-4 record, five shutouts, two saves and a 1.41 ERA. Her 142 strikeouts led the conference. The Great Danes established a then school-record 33-14 mark.

Poynton was named the NECC Pitcher of the Year in 1998 after posting a 17-3 campaign on the mound with nine shutouts, including two no-hitters. She also had a one-hitter against Concordia and threw three two-hit shutouts versus Franklin Pierce, Sacred Heart and Rensselaer. Poynton ranked eighth in strikeouts (164) and 19th in earned run average (1.06) among the NCAA Division II national leaders in leading the Great Danes to a 32-9 record and their first-ever NECC championship and an ECAC Mid-Atlantic tournament berth.

Poynton was voted to the All-Northeast Region, All-ECAC North and All-NECC squads. At one point in her junior season, she threw 42 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run. She struck out 10-plus batters seven times, including a career-high 15 against Bridgeport.

As a sophomore, Poynton went 8-6 in the circle with a 2.61 ERA after transferring from Seton Hall University. She led the pitching staff in innings (94), complete games (13) and strikeouts (93). Poynton, who fanned 10 or more on five occasions, fired a pair of three-hitters in NECC victories over Franklin Pierce and Stony Brook. The Great Danes finished 23-15 overall.

A native of Orchard Park, N.Y., Poynton received her undergraduate degree in English with a minor in secondary education. A Dean's List student who was named to the Kappa Delta Phi Honors Society, she has completed some classwork towards a master's in the same discipline. Poynton is currently an English and reading teacher at Coral Springs Charter School in Coral Springs, Fla. She previously coached the school's varsity softball team for three years. Poynton and her fiance Ken McLaughlin are scheduled to be married on February 17, 2008.

Mike Grever (1996-99) -- Grever, a fierce competitor on the gridiron, was one of the top linebackers to ever wear a UAlbany uniform. He helped the Great Danes capture two conference championships on the NCAA Division II level and captained the first Division I-AA (now Football Championship Subdivision) squad to a winning record in 1999.

A 5-foot-11, 215-pound defender, Grever was named the 1999 Football Gazette Division I-AA Non-Scholarship Linebacker of the Year as the Great Danes went 7-2 in their inaugural I-AA campaign. He was chosen the Northeast Conference Defensive Player of the Year when he totaled 88 tackles, three interceptions, five pass break-ups and two blocked kicks. A first-team All-NEC selection and team MVP, Grever was also voted to the Football Gazette All-America first team. UAlbany ranked 15th nationally in scoring defense at 17.3 points per game.

A native of Syosset, N.Y., Grever was a key figure in UAlbany winning its second consecutive Eastern Football Conference championship with a 10-1 record in 1998. He made 16 tackles in the EFC title game, a come-from-behind 25-24 victory over American International at University Field. Grever was tabbed the Football Gazette Division II Non-Scholarship Linebacker of the Year. He also earned Daktronics All-Northeast Region second team, first-team All-ECAC-North and first-team All-EFC recognition. Grever made 129 tackles, the first UAlbany defender to record 120-plus in back-to-back seasons since 1982, as the defense ranked in the top 10 nationally in points allowed and pass efficiency against. He added six pass break-ups and three interceptions.

Grever, who was a fullback as a freshman, made a successful transition to defense in 1997, when he helped the Great Danes set a school standard with an 11-1 record. He recorded 12 tackles, including 10 unassisted, and picked off a pass in the last minute to preserve a 27-20 win at American International for the program's first Eastern Football Conference championship. Grever, who accounted for 122 tackles, three interceptions, three sacks and two fumble recoveries, was named to the All-ECAC-North and All-EFC squads. He had a career-high 17 tackles in a 42-16 triumph over conference opponent Stony Brook.

Grever finished his collegiate career as the program's all-time tackles leader with 351 (now No. 3 on the career list) and tied for ninth in career interceptions (9). He posted double-figure tackles in 24 games. Grever was also a member of the school's club ice hockey team.

Grever earned his undergraduate degree in a dual major of English and education. He became a graduate assistant football coach at Springfield College in Massachusetts, where he received a master's in physical education. He coached the linebackers and defensive ends for three seasons. From 2003-06, Grever was a physical education teacher at Simsbury (Conn.) High School. He also served as the football program's defensive coordinator and head coach of the junior varsity ice hockey team. He is currently running a family-owned business in Jackson Heights, N.Y., but plans to get back into coaching on the high school level.


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