Rider Athletics announces 2019 Hall of Fame class
A three-time MAAC and ECAC Diver of the Year, a two-sport star that earned MAAC Women's Soccer Player of the Year in 2003, Rider's all-time hits leader in baseball, one of the greatest coaches in NCAA wrestling history and one of the best all-around players in the school's men's basketball history comprise the 2019 Rider Athletics Hall of Fame induction class.
Amanda Burke '10 of swimming & diving, Tami Coyle '05 of women's soccer and basketball, Jamie Hayes '09 of baseball, Gary Taylor of wrestling and Ryan Thompson '10 of basketball will be inducted on June 8, 2019.
Rider's men's swimming & diving teams from 1979-80 through 1981-82 that won three-straight New Jersey Intercollegiate Swimming and Diving Championships will also be honored with the Clair Bee Outstanding Team Achievement Award.
Burke was a three-time Rider Female Athlete of the Year and a two-time National Champion in her post-graduate career. She became Rider's first-ever diver to qualify for Nationals and was a three-time NCAA qualifier. She earned three MAAC and ECAC Diver of the Year honors, taking home seven MAAC and seven ECAC gold medals. Burke owns all five Rider team diving records and all four Rider Pool diving records, as well as both MAAC diving records.
She was named to the Mid-Major All-America Swimming and Diving Team by collegeswimming.com and continued her diving career for six years after college, earning National Champion honors in the one-meter dive at the 2011 AT&T National Championships, as well as three-meter synchronized diving at the 2014 AT&T National Championships with Ariel Rittenhouse. Burke reached the finals of the U.S. Diving Olympic Trials in the 3-meter springboard in 2016. In 2012, Burke also qualified in the 3-meter Synchronized Springboard dive and placed third, with the top two teams going to the Olympics.
Burke competed as a member of the Olympic Performance Squad as a synchronized diver, representative of the top 25 divers in the nation. She placed seventh in the world at the 2013 FINA World Aquatic Championships in Barcelona, Spain, and placed third at the 2013 AT&T National Diving Championships in the 1-meter in Iowa.
Coyle earned Rider Female Athlete of the Year for 2003-04 following her selection as MAAC Women's Soccer Offensive Player of the Year. She led the league and finished 15th in the nation in goals per game with 16 goals in 19 games. She ranks second in program history with 40 goals and 94 points, one behind teammate Sarah Artale, albeit in eight fewer games played.
Coyle was a four-time All-MAAC Selection, being named to the Second Team in her freshman and sophomore years before earning First Team recognition in her final two years. She was also a member of the women's basketball team, sharing the team's Most Improved Player award as a sophomore. She led the team in field-goal percentage in her freshman and sophomore year, while finishing first in three-point field-goal percentage as a freshman and junior.
Hayes rewrote the Rider Baseball record book, setting the Broncs' high marks in career hits (265), runs scored (180), stolen bases (96) and saves (33). The 2008 MAAC Tournament MVP was named MAAC Relief Pitcher of the Year and First Team All-MAAC as a utility player. In addition, he earned New Jersey Collegiate Baseball Association Division I Player of the Year. He led Rider in batting average (.336), runs scored (52) and stolen bases (37), coming three shy of the Rider record at the time, as a junior. A four-time All-MAAC Selection, he earned Second Team honors in his freshman, sophomore and senior seasons. He earned MAAC and New Jersey Rookie of the Year as a freshman and was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in 2009.
Taylor built the Rider Wrestling program into a national contender, finishing third all-time among NCAA Division I coaches with 442 dual wins. He led the Broncs to 14 conference championships and was named conference Coach of the Year nine times. His teams were ranked nationally, year in and year out, and reached a high of No. 7 in the country. Under Taylor's tutelage, 173 Broncs were national qualifiers, while 17 earned All-America honors.
Thompson ranks in the top 10 in program history in six categories and the top 20 in 11. He set a new Rider program record with 188 career steals and ranks fourth in scoring with 1,879 points. He also ranks in the top 10 in free throws made (477, 2nd), assists (393, 7th), field goals made (627, 8th) and the top 20 in free-throw percentage (.782, 12th), three-point field goals made (148, 14th), assists per game (3.1, 13th), points per game (14.7, 16th) and three-point field-goal percentage (.357, 17th). He's the only player ranked in the top 10 in program history in points, rebounds and assists.
Thompson earned collegeinsider.com Mid-Major All-American, All-Met and All-MAAC three times each, and was twice named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches All-District Team. He also earned MAAC All-Tournament Team honors in 2009 and has carved out a nine-year professional playing career in the NBA G League, as well as overseas in Germany, Belgium, Serbia and Turkey.
The 1979-80, 1980-81 and 1981-82 men's swimming & diving teams won the highly competitive New Jersey Intercollegiate Swimming and Diving Championships in three-straight years. The teams defeated Monmouth, Glassboro State, Saint Peter's, Ramapo State, Montclair State, Stockton State, NJIT, William Paterson and Kean for the first title in 1980.
"Winning that title was one of the most satisfying accomplishments in my first 12 years at Rider," said former Head Coach Rich Coppola, following the first title in 1980. "At the beginning of the season, we didn't appear to have the superstar or two a team normally needs to accumulate a lot of points. As it turned out, people emerge at season's end to do the job for us."