Hofstra University’s athletic director and a trailblazer for young female athletes in the 1940s are the two 2020 Suffolk County Sports Hall of Fame inductees with ties to the Greater Sayville area.
Annamae McKeever-Kress, who lived in Sayville, is part of a quartette of pioneering females coaches and athletics administrators being recognized for helping to develop and organize the Suffolk County Girls Athletic Association (SCGAA) in 1949.
McKeever-Kress, a 1941 Ithaca College graduate who went on to teach physical education in Sayville schools, would have turned 100 on Jan. 2, according to Suffolk County Sports Hall of Fame Executive Director Chris Vaccaro.
“For the SCGAA, these four women developed the constitution, policies and rules, guidelines for scheduling and officiating games; envisioned and created a senior athletic awards program; and developed the coveted Gold Key Award to recognize outstanding senior high school athletes,” he said.
“Their persistence and dedication led to countless opportunities for girls to play and coach sports in Suffolk County.”
Oakdale resident Rick Cole Jr., vice president and director of athletics at Hofstra, is also among the inductees. He previously was vice president of athletics at Iona College, vice president of athletics at Dowling College, senior associate athletic director for external affairs at St. John’s University and associate athletic director for external affairs and advancement at Stony Brook University.
“I am incredibly honored to be among the inductees into the Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame. I have been quite fortunate during my athletic and professional career to be surrounded by many incredible teammates and colleagues and I share this honor with all of them,” Cole said in a statement posted on Hofstra’s website.
“I am humbled by this recognition from the Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame and I thank the selection committee immensely for this honor. I congratulate my fellow inductees and I am privileged to stand with them as part of the next induction class,” he added.
This year’s class of inductees will be honored during a 30th anniversary ceremony May 26 at Watermill Caterers in Smithtown. Click here for a complete list of all the inductees.
“This is a very special year for the Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame,” said Chris R. Vaccaro, Executive Director of the Hall. “We are celebrating our 30th anniversary, while honoring an all-star induction class.
“These are some of the finest individuals to represent not only Suffolk County, but their respective sports and organizations at-large,” he added.
Click here to purchase tickets to the induction ceremony.
Induction Ceremony Information
- Date: Tuesday, May 26, 2020.
- Location: Watermill Caterers,711 Smithtown Bypass, Smithtown, N.Y.
- Time: 6 p.m. dinner and cocktails; 7:30 p.m. induction.