The Pace University Department of Athletics announced that a Pace professor, Nicholas Catalano, PhD, has been selected as this year’s Peter X. Finnerty Leadership Award recipient. Catalano will be honored as part of the Pace Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2013 and awards dinner on Friday, April 12 at the Tudor Room of Pace’s White Plains Law School Campus. The evening will feature a reception starting at 6:00 pm followed by dinner and the induction ceremony starting at 7:00 pm.
This year marks Catalano’s 50th year at Pace University. He was a pioneer in the formation of the Pace Football program in the late 1960’s. At the request of the student government Catalano became the faculty general manager to the Pace Football club and was active in coaching, hiring personnel, recruiting new players and establishing academic standards. He also led the effort t to transition the Pace Football program from a club team to NCAA Division III status in 1978 to provide the program with better competition against local rivals Fordham University, Iona College, Hofstra University and Marist College among others during the late 1970s. Pace President Edward Mortola, PhD, Peter Finnerty and Catalano brought the New York Football Giants to the Pace campus for preseason camp for many years. The deal they negotiated included funds to build the athletic field house and resources for field improvements. Catalano served as the “Voice of the Setters” for 32 seasons as the public address announcer and was instrumental in getting the games broadcast on local radio.
Catalano has gone on to a successful career as a professor and novelist. He is a professor of Literature and Music at Pace. Catalano is a former director of the university’s Patricia O. Ewers Center for Music. He is author of “Clifford Brown: The life and Art of the Legendary Jazz Trumpeter”, “New York Nights” and “A New Yorker at Sea” that documents his trip around the world in a sail boat in 1988. Catalano also writes regular columns about jazz music for the web site “All About Jazz.”
Peter X. Finnerty, former Director of Athletics, Director of Alumni Relations, athlete, professor, coach, and inductee of the Pace University Hall of Fame, established the Athletics and Recreation Program at Pace University in 1947. Finnerty served the University and its students for over 40 years. He was the Director of Athletics from 1947-88 as well as the men’s basketball coach from 1948-60 and the baseball coach from 1948-64. He personified the values of discipline and hard work and, in keeping with the University motto, Opportunitas, committed to helping students realize their potential.
The Peter X. Finnerty Award is presented to a member or members of the Pace University athletics community for outstanding leadership and service to the University or to society as a whole. The individual/s selected shall exemplify those characteristics for which Peter Finnerty was best known: hard work, a spirit of competition, and the ability to serve and lead with integrity and to inspire others to do the same. This honor has only been awarded twice since its creation. The first recipient was in 2001 to former Board of Trustee Charles F. Jacey Jr. The second recipient was former Pace student-athlete and longtime supporter Garrett DeGraff Jr. in 2002.
The newest members to the Pace Athletics Hall of Fame for the Class of 2013 are Kim DePaola-Napier (Softball ’89), Brian Finnerty (Baseball ’72), Rich Middlebrook (Football ’87), Fred Oglesby (Men’s Basketball ’83) and Michelle Seeley-Flannory (Volleyball ’99). Pace Athletics Hall of Fame was started in 1997 with this year’s ceremony marking the twelfth induction class.