Bill Hardesty – U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Athletic Hall of Fame

Published on September 10th, 2013

Kings Point, N.Y. – The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) Athletics Hall of Fame will induct its 15th class on Friday, September 27, as part of the USMMA Alumni Association and Foundation (AAF) Homecoming 2013 celebration.

The group includes All-American wrestler LES KEMPF ’67, football standouts TYLER CARUSO ’70 and CHRIS FIORI ’86, basketball standout JOHN DOHERTY ’89, volleyball and swimming star MICHELLE MAY PORTER ’96, All-American sailor BILL HARDESTY ’98 and USMMA’s former volleyball coach JIM HETTENBACH. The group will join 99 additional members in the USMMA Athletics Hall of Fame, totaling 106 inductees. (Click Here for Full List)

“I have been very fortunate to be present for every Hall of Fame induction since its inception in 1990,” said long-time Athletics Director Sue Petersen Lubow. “In my 34 years at the Academy, it’s been an honor and privilege to, literally, watch the careers of our accomplished athletes and coaches. This group is no stranger to success and it’s going to be special to celebrate this wonderful achievement with them.”

The Alumni Association and Foundation will host the event on September 27 in Melville Hall (Officers’ Club) on the campus of the United States Merchant Marine Academy. Any person wishing to join the celebration is invited to attend. The cocktail reception begins at 6:00 p.m. with the dinner and ceremony starting at 7:00 p.m. This is a semi-formal event, so it’s requested that men wear jacket and tie and women to wear comparable attire. Dinner is $75 per person with corporate tables and dinner journal testimonials available. To Register Online: Please go to From this site you can identify guests, and submit testimonial and payment. To Pay with Check: Complete this PDF form and mail in your check to Gregg Matalas using the address on the form. Please make check payable to the USMMA Alumni Foundation with HALL OF FAME written in the memo.  If you have any questions, please contact AAF Director of Marketing / Blue & Gray Gregg Matalas at 516-773-5544 or

2013 Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees

In 1967, Les Kempf ’67 won the Admiral Giles C. Stedman Trophy Winner and became the second Kings Pointer, and first wrestler, to ever be named a NCAA All-American (123 pounds). Kempf twice captured both the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Tournament Championship and the C.W. Post College Christmas Championship. He dominated the Metropolitan Wrestling Tournament and won three times, claiming three individual titles, a third-place finish and an Outstanding Wrestler Tournament Award. In 1964-65, he took silver at the Junior AAU Metropolitan Championships. Kempf went undefeated in dual competition during the 1966-67 season, leading Merchant Marine to a 10-1 overall record.

Chris Fiore ’86 was a mainstay in the backfield of the USMMA football team as a running back from 1982-85. He was the team’s Offensive Player of the Year in 1983 and 1984 as the Mariners compiled a 15-5-1 record during that span. Fiore served as a tri-captain in the 1985 season in which he won the Team’s Coaches Award and helped the Mariners capture their first Liberty Conference Championship. During his time in a KP uniform the Academy celebrated four straight Secretary’s Cup victories and claimed the 1984 ECAC Southern Region Championship. He also tallied up several ECAC Player of the Week nods and was All-ECAC in 1984 and 1985. At the time of his induction, Fiore holds the records for most rushing yards in a quarter of play with 122, most consecutive rushing carries with 13, and most touchdowns and points scored in a career with 40 and 240, respectively. Fiore was also tabbed as a Pizza Hut Division III Football All-American.

Tyler Caruso ’70 was a three-year signal caller as the quarterback of the Merchant Marine football team during the 1966-68 seasons. Caruso was tabbed the MVP of the 1967 Boardwalk Bowl Game in Atlantic City vs. rival Pennsylvania Military College. He also led the team to a 1968 Lambert Bowl runner-up ranking, which is symbolic of the top Division III football team in the Eastern College Athletic Conference. During his career, Caruso established Academy records for most touchdown passes in a single game (3), season (10) and career (19). He also set new standards for most passing yards in a season and career as well as completed the then-longest pass play for a touchdown in USMMA history, which went for 63 yards.

At the time of his induction, John Doherty ’89 ranks fifth on the Mariners men’s basketball all-time scoring list with 1,517 career points. He was the co-captain of the 1988-89 team that posted a 25-3 record and became the first team in Academy history to reach the NCAA Tournament. Doherty established a single-season record for assists during the 1988-89 campaign, compiling 194 assists. He also has the second highest single game point total in program history as he dropped in 44 points against Union during his senior year.

Michelle May Porter ’96 received the Julie A. Berke Trophy after a stellar collegiate career as a four-year letter winner on both the Merchant Marine volleyball and swimming teams. She served as a captain for both teams in the 1995 and 1996 seasons. May Porter was named volleyball team MVP all four seasons she played as a middle hitter and tabbed a Great Northern Atlantic Volleyball Conference First-Team All-Star in her junior and senior seasons. She was also a member of the 1995 Skyline Conference All-Star Team and led the Mariners to a 24-7 record in the 1996 season. May Porter established 12 match, season, and career volleyball records during her time at the Academy. May Porter collected MVP honors on the swimming team in 1993 and contributed to setting two USMMA relay records. She led the team to a 6-4 record in the 1995-96 season and helped win the 400-yard freestyle relay at the Metropolitan Swimming & Diving Championships as the Mariners finished third overall.

Bill Hardesty ’98 enters the USMMA Athletic Hall of Fame as a four-year intercollegiate letter-winning sailor who continued his athletic success after graduation. At the Academy, he led the coed dinghy sailing team to four consecutive doublehanded Sailing National Championship appearances, winning the Coed doublehanded National Championship in 1996, Singlehanded National Championship in 1995, and four person Sloop National Championship in 1998. Hardesty was named the 1998 College Sailor of the Year and was tabbed an All-American all four years of his collegiate career at Kings Point. After his time at the Academy, Hardesty became one of the worlds top professional sailors. To date he has eight World Championship wins including two times as helmsman in the Etchells Class, two times as tactician in the Melges 24, once as tactician in the Farr 40, and three Match Racing World Championships. Hardesty was also selected as the 2011 U.S. ROLEX “Yachtsman of the Year”.

Jim Hettenbach served as the USMMA Women’s Volleyball Head Coach for 14 years, 1989-2000 and 2007-2008. During that span he led the Mariners to Skyline Conference Championships in 1996, 1998, 1999, and 2000 as well as two Division III NCAA Tournament berths. Hettenbach is the winningest coach in USMMA women’s volleyball history, compiling a 162-136 record at the helm of the Mariners program. He received the Dr. Stephen “Bill” Omeltchenko Award in 1996, which distinguishes the Academy’s Coach of the Year.

Thanks! Please note our new mailing address below for all future mail to me.

Gregg Matalas
Director of Marketing / Blue & Gray
USMMA Alumni Association and Foundation, Inc.
14 Bond Street, #1000, Great Neck, NY 11021
516-773-5544 (Direct) / 516-482-5308 (Fax)

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