Brenton Birmingham '95
Brenton Birmingham '95 was a key member of the Jaspers' basketball renaissance in 1990's. The 6'5" Brooklyn product scored 805 points at Manhattan where he played his final two collegiate seasons and helped lead the Jaspers to back-to-back postseason appearances. Birmingham, who scored 1,497 points in his Division I career, transferred to Manhattan after playing his first two years at Brooklyn College. Birmingham made an immediate impact for new head coach Fran Fraschilla's squad helping guide the Jaspers to the 1993 MAAC championship and advanced to the program's first NCAA Tournament in 35 years to face Virginia.
Birmingham earned All MAAC Second Team honors as a senior. The Jaspers co-captain helped lead Manhattan to the 1994 National Invitational Tournament. A true student-athlete, Birmingham was named both First Team All Metropolitan and First Team Academic All America District I in 1994.
Roger Freda '67
Roger Freda '67 was a star for the Manhattan College football team which was reinstated in 1965 after a 23 year hiatus due to World War II. A prominent wide receiver, Freda scored his first career touchdown contributing to a Jasper victory over NYU and he had two touchdowns in a contest against Seton Hall in 1965. Freda recorded a school record 10 touchdowns in 1966 after posting receptions in all of the Jaspers games. A career highlight was in a victory over Fordham where he received the Most Valuable Player Award in a 38-26 triumph.
Joseph A. Hayes '36 (posthumously)
Joseph A. Hayes '36 was a four year swimmer at Manhattan College, joining the program one year after its inaugural season. By Hayes junior year the swim team became an official varsity program. The Bronx native served as the team's captain his senior year. Dubbed "The Iron Man" for swimming and scoring in many races at each competition, he dominated the 220-yard and 440-yard freestyle races throughout college. Hayes was undefeated as a freshman and he set the school record for 50-yard freestyle as a junior. Hayes took second his senior season in the backstroke behind a fellow Jasper who set a school record. Hayes also served as anchor on many Jasper relay squads.
George W. Kiefer '36 (posthumously)
George W. Kiefer '36 played baseball at Manhattan College under coach Burt Daniels. A Metropolitan All Star shortstop, Kiefer was known for his ability with the bat and glove. Nicknamed "Red," for his red locks, George was named to the All New York College Baseball team. In a game against rival Seton Hall, George slammed two homers as part of his three hits of the day to give the Jaspers an 11-2 victory. With offers from the Yankees, Giants and Elmira, George continued to play baseball for two seasons with the Boston Red Sox organization after graduating with honors.
James McHugh, Coach
James McHugh served as track and field coach at Manhattan College from 1962-1969. McHugh was the successor to legendary Jaspers head coach George Eastment. During McHugh's tenure, Manhattan won nine Metropolitan Intercollegiate titles, recording two in cross country, four in indoor track & field and three in outdoor track & field. McHugh mentored 11 future Manhattan Athletic Hall of Fame inductees. By the end of his coaching career, 17 of 26 Manhattan College track & field team records were shattered.
Steven Quagliano '78
Steven Quagliano '78 served as both a student-athlete and student coach on the Manhattan College rowing team over his four years in Riverdale. As a competitor and coach, Quagliano won four Metropolitan Intercollegiate Rowing Association titles and had three second place finishes. At the Dad Vails, the largest intercollegiate regatta in the United States, Quagliano had two fifth place finishes in the finals over a three year span. In his final season as a student coach, his crew was a third place finalist in the Men's Freshman lightweight 8, which was the best finish for a Manhattan 8 at this regatta since World War II. As a competitor and coach, he represented the United States seven times at the international level. Quagliano served as the United States Olympic coach for the Men's Double in 1988 Seoul, Korea games.
Brother Thomas Scanlan, President
Brother Thomas Scanlan brought Manhattan College Athletics to a new level during his tenure, creating a program that was balanced for both men and women with scholarships available for all 19 Division I athletic teams on campus. Brother Scanlan was instrumental in bringing three new programs to campus-women's soccer, men's lacrosse and women's lacrosse. With 72 MAAC Post-Season Championships and 18 MAAC Regular-Season Championships notched on his belt, Brother Scanlan ensured academics were not compromised while enhancing the athletic program. Hundreds of All-Academic MAAC athletes attest to the integrity of an athletic program that proved excellent students could also excel on the court and field.
During his tenure, the men's basketball team reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time in decades and reached the Round of 32 twice with victories over Oklahoma in 1995 and Florida in 2004. In 1995, it became the only MAAC basketball program in league's history to have received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Facilities were also enhanced under Brother Scanlan's leadership, including the addition of a state-of-the-art multipurpose turf facility at Gaelic Park. Gaelic Park now serves as the home to Manhattan soccer, lacrosse and softball, as well as the college's intramural programs.
Sophia Tasker Sterling '97
Sophia Tasker Sterling '97 was one of the most accomplished sprinters in Manhattan College track & field history. Tasker Sterling graduated with five school records in the 55m dash and 60m dash for indoors, along with outdoor records 4x100m relay, 4x200m relay and the sprint medley. Tasker Sterling was named ECAC All-East five times, which ranks among the highest totals of a Manhattan College athlete. The Evanston, Ill. Native notched three Metropolitan victories during her career and recorded a MAAC Championship record of 7.09 in the 55m.
1930-31 Basketball Team
Under Manhattan Athletic Hall of Fame head coach Neil Cohalan, the Jaspers began winning game after game, knocking off opponents like Catholic University, Georgetown, Georgia Tech, Niagara, Villanova, CCNY, Bucknell, RPI, Albany State University, Union, Baltimore University, St. Francis of Brooklyn and Temple. The Jaspers also took out rival Fordham University and NYU, twice. Before the Jaspers knew it that had notched 16 victories for an undefeated start like no other in Manhattan College basketball history before or since. The only thing stopping their perfect season was St. John's of Brooklyn and the strong team did just that, beating the Manhattan squad 30-16. Even with that defeat The New York Times selected Manhattan College as the #1 college basketball team in New York City.
1965-68 Football Team
These years of football saw Jasper powerhouses Sean O'Keefe '69, who made the Washington Redskins and Roger Freda '67, who played with the farm systems of the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles, playing in the Kelly Green. Team Captain and Hall of Fame member, Bob Byrnes '68, currently the athletic director at Manhattan College, contributed a great deal to the victories on the gridiron.
Some of the most memorable games came against top rivals. Manhattan beat Fordham in 1966 with a score of 38-26, after not even matching up with them since 1926. Quarterback Shannon matched his interceptions with awesome throws to Freda to connect for three touchdowns. That game gave the Jaspers the "club national championship."