Fusco to Receive Prestigious NCAA Award

Photo by DSPics.com
Photo by DSPics.com

Harvard’s Mark Fusco ’83 and former football stars Steve Young and Darrell Green are among the six former NCAA student-athletes selected to receive the 2009 NCAA Silver Anniversary Awards.

The honor recognizes former student-athletes who successfully completed collegiate careers in various sports and have excelled in their chosen professions. The Silver Anniversary Award acknowledges the former student-athletes on their 25th anniversary of completing their athletics eligibility.

Silver Anniversary honorees will be recognized January 15 at the NCAA Honors and Delegates Celebration during the 2009 NCAA Convention in Washington, D.C.

Young set 13 NCAA records (four total offense and nine passing) and seven Western Athletic Conference marks during a prolific career as quarterback at Brigham Young. Green was a two-time football and 10-time track all-American at Texas A&M-Kingsville, winning Division II national championships in the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes.

Other 2009 NCAA Silver Anniversary Award winners are Dietre Collins-Parker (Hawaii, volleyball and basketball); Mark Fusco (Harvard, ice hockey); Earl Graves Jr. (Yale, basketball); and Kathy McMinn (Georgia, gymnastics).

The Silver Anniversary Award recipients are selected by the NCAA Honors Committee. Members of the committee are Gene Corrigan, former Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner; Timothy W. Gleason (chair), commissioner, Ohio Athletic Conference; Calvin Hill, consultant, Alexander & Associates, Inc.; Jackie Joyner-Kersee, former UCLA track and field student-athlete and Olympian; Gibbs Knotts, faculty athletics representative, Western Carolina; Robert Lawless, president emeritus, Tulsa; Roxanne Levenson, associate director of athletics, Pepperdine; Barbara Walker, senior associate director of athletics/senior woman administrator, Wake Forest; and Willie Washington, director of athletics, Benedict.

Following are brief biographies of each award recipient.

Mark Fusco
Ice hockey
President and chief executive officer, Aspen Technology

After scoring 46 points in 33 games for Harvard during the 1982-83 season, Fusco, a gifted blue-liner who scored a career 135 points, became the first Crimson skater to earn the Hobey Baker Memorial Award as the top college ice hockey player. That same season, Fusco helped Harvard earn an NCAA championship tournament berth and was chosen to the event’s all-star squad. A two-time Eastern College Athletic Conference all-star team selection and an NCAA East first-team all-American, he played three games for United States at the 1981 World Junior Championships and later played a year with the national team.

Fusco played parts of the 1983-84 and 1984-85 seasons with the NHL’s Hartford Whalers and was a member of the U.S. National Team that competed at the 1984 Canada Cup and the 1985 World Championships.

Since January 2005, Fusco has been president and chief executive officer at Aspen Technology. He also served as president and chief operating officer of Ajilon Consulting, USA, a $400 million IT consulting firm with 40 offices and more than 4,000 employees. Fusco joined the Ajilon executive team in an1999 acquisition of Software Quality Partners (SQP), an IT consulting firm specializing in software quality assurance and testing, which he co-founded in 1990.

Dietre Collins-Parker
Volleyball and basketball
Head volleyball coach, Cornell

A two-time NCAA national champion, three-time all-American and two-time Broderick Award winner, Collins-Parker is the current record-holder in block solos in the NCAA Division I tournament. The two-time NCAA all-tournament team pick also was named to the Big West All-Decade Team and the NCAA 25th Anniversary Team. At Hawaii, Collins-Parker was a member of Lancaster First Baptist Church and participated in Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

A three-year member of the U.S. National Volleyball Team, Collins-Parker was a starting middle blocker for the 1988 U.S. Olympic Team and an alternate for the 1991-92 Olympic team. She played professionally in the Italian League (1988-89) and the French League (1989-91), capturing the French League Championship twice and the European Cup of Champions in 1990. A recent American Volleyball Coaches Association Hall of Fame inductee, Collins-Parker earned Mountain West Conference Co-Coach of the Year honors as head coach at UNLV and currently serves as head coach at Cornell, where she has guided teams to three Ivy Group championships in four seasons. She was named as head coach of the USA Junior National Team.

An active member of the AVCA, Collins-Parker is chair of the association’s minority coaches committee and serves on the board of directors.

Earl “Butch” Graves Jr.
Chief executive officer, Black Enterprise

A four-year starter and captain of the Yale basketball team, Graves is the all-time leading scorer in the program’s history with more than 2,000 points. The first-team all-Ivy selected ended his career as the second leading scorer in the league’s history. Graves was a member of the Skull and Bones Senior Society and the Afro-American Cultural Center at Yale before graduating with a degree in economics.

Graves was drafted in the third round by the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers in 1984 and also played with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Milwaukee Bucks. He became vice president of advertising and marketing for Black Enterprise in 1988. Three years later he was promoted to senior vice president, a position he held until 1995, when he became executive vice president and chief executive officer of Black Enterprise. He was named as president of the company in 1998.

In addition to being inducted into the American Advertising Hall of Fame in 2002, Graves received both the American Advertising Federation Jack Everett Volunteer Spirit Award and the Whitney M. Young Jr. Service Award from the Boy Scouts of America in 2006. He serves on multiple charitable and corporate boards including the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund, AutoZone and Magazine Publishers of America. Graves is president of the Yale Basketball Association and coaches the Westchester Hawks, a nonprofit organization and member of the AAU.

Darrell Green
Texas A&M-Kingsville
Football and indoor/outdoor track and field
Executive director

A two-time football and 10-time track all-American, Green won NCAA Division II national championships in the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes. In addition to earning all-Lone Star Conference first team recognition, he also established the league’s top 100-meter dash time of 10.08 and was named as the Lone Star’s top track performer in 1982 and 1983.

Green was a first-round draft pick of the Washington Redskins in 1983 and spent all 20 of his NFL seasons with the team. He set a club record with 54 interceptions and helped Washington capture two Super Bowls in three appearances. A four-time all-Pro selection and seven-time Pro Bowler, he was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2008 and also was inducted into College Football, NCAA Division II, Lone Star Conference and Texas A&M-Kingsville Halls of Fame.

Green established the Darrell Green Youth Life Foundation in 1988 in an effort to address the needs of children, families and communities. He also founded the Darrell Green Business Council for Youth and served on the boards of the Baltimore-Washington Olympic bid, NFL/NFLPA September 11 Relief Fund and the Loudoun Education Foundation. Selected as chair of President George W. Bush’s Council on Service and Civic Participation, Green serves on numerous other boards including the D.C. Board of Trade and WolfTrap Foundation, where he acts as national spokesman for education.

Kathryn McMinn

A powerful gymnast who became Georgia’s first four-time all-American in any men’s or women’s sport, McMinn captured seven individual Southeastern Conference championships and five individual regional titles during her career. During the 1983-84 season, she established four of the possible five school records in individual events with a 9.7 on vault, 9.8 on bars, 9.8 on floor exercise and 38.65 in all-around competition. She also was a four-time all-SEC selection.

While at Georgia, McMinn served two years as a Student-Athletic Council representative and was named to the Alpha Epsilon Delta Premedical and Golden Key National Honor Societies. An NCAA postgraduate scholarship recipient, McMinn graduated cum laude in 1984 with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry.

Since 1998, McMinn has been a doctor with the Atlanta Pulmonary Group. She also has practiced with Decatur Pulmonary Associates and the Chattanooga Heart Institute. She is a member of the American College of Chest Physicians, Society of Critical Care Medicine, American Thoracic Society, American College of Physicians and the Medical Association of Georgia.

Steve Young
Brigham Young
NFL studio analyst

The 1983 Davey O’Brien Award winner and the 1982 WAC Offensive Player of the Year, Young posted a completion rate of 71.3 percent (306 of 429 for 3,902 yards and 33 touchdowns) for Brigham Young during his senior season, the highest single-season percentage in NCAA history at the time.

The highest-rated quarterback in NFL history, Young was named MVP in the San Francisco 49ers’ Super Bowl XXIX victory in 1995. The two-time league MVP was selected as the 1992 NFL Player of the Year by Sports Illustrated and The Sporting News. During his career, appeared in seven consecutive Pro Bowls and won four straight NFL passing titles.

A 1984 NCAA postgraduate scholarship winner and Today’s Top Five honoree, Young graduated with a degree in international relations from Brigham Young and earned a law degree from the Brigham Young’s J. Rueben Clark Law School in 1994.

An active participant in numerous charities across the nation, Young serves as honorary chair of the Children’s Miracle Network in San Francisco and is a member of the Dream Team of Children’s Miracle Network and Parents of Children with Disabilities. He also is the founder of the Forever Young Charity Foundation.