|Quagliano honored, surprised to be part of Hall of Fame|
Quagliano honored, surprised to be part of Manhattan's Athletics Hall of Fame
By: Ronak Patel
RIVERDALE, N.Y.- At the beginning of his sophomore year at Manhattan College in 1975, Steven Quagliano ('78), didn't know how his crew team brethren would react to him giving up coxswain to serve at the team's coach.
However, with Coach Tom Delaney out due to an illness, it was Quagliano, a wide-eyed second-year member, who decided it was his time to step up and lead the Jaspers.
"We didn't have many guys on the team," said Quagliano. "A lot of guys quit and we had a lot of upperclassmen who were novices at that time."
"We thought it would be a quick recovery period for Tom but it didn't turn out to be. That year was tough because my teammates wanted to listen to someone their own age and I didn't blame them."
Despite the difficult position he was thrust into, Quagliano worked tirelessly and allowed the results to speak louder than any opposition could. Not only did he succeed as a young coach, his one year at the helm produced some of the best results in program history, including victories at the Grimaldi Cup, MIRA Championship and a second place finish at the Marist College President's Cup. Along with those accolades, he also steered the Freshman Lightweight 8 to a third place finish at the Dad Vail Regatta, the best finish for any Jasper 8 since World War II.
"The people who hung around were people that didn't want the program to go under. It was more of a case of me and everyone else trying to to keep the program going until Tom returned."
This weekend, when Quagliano enters Manhattan College's Athletics Hall of Fame, his former teammates and Coach Delaney will be on hand to witness his induction.
"There are so many other sports where (Manhattan College) athletes played at Madison Square Garden, participated in the NCAA's for track and field; I never imagined that someone from a club sport would be inducted into the Hall of Fame. I'm still pretty numb about it."
Quagliano had an impressive crew career in Riverdale. During his first year, he made the semifinals in the Freshman 4+ at the Dad Vail Regatta. In his senior season, he helped the Jaspers take home the renowned Metro Championships. An indication of his success, Quagliano reached the national semis or finals in all four years of his collegiate seasons.
After graduating from Manhattan in 1978, Quagliano continued to made headway in the sport. From 1978 to 1983, he was a member of the New York Athletic Club and coached there from 1983 to 1988. During this period, Quagliano coxswained 18 National Championship Crews.
His crowning achievement came in 1988, when he competed as a coxswain for the United States at the Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. He also coached the Men's Double (2x) at the Olympics.
"It's not something you do that falls into your lap," said Quagliano of competing at the Olympics. "There's a lot of determination and luck involved. After I graduated, I was surrounded by some extraordinary people who helped me make the national team, win national championships and make the Olympic team."
Quagliano retired from the sport shortly after the Olympics, started a business and moved on to a new chapter in his life. He is currently one of three principals at the Westchester Golf Range in White Plains, a facility often used by the Jaspers golf team.
He and his wife, Jeanne, have one child, Michael, who recently completed his collegiate career as a member of the Duke University golf team.
Every now and then, when Quagliano drives past campus, he smiles. From the day he stepped onto Manhattan's campus to the day he graduated, he's embraced every moment.
"There were so many experiences with the rowing team and away from the rowing team; my time in college was what you think college should be, a tremendous experience."