Which former Syracuse Orange athletes should be honored next?


This weekend, the Syracuse Orange will host their last jersey retirement of the year. We’ll go into more detail, but with the honor of Roy Simmons, Jr., Gary Gait and Katie Rowan this weekend, Syracuse wraps up a year where they finally honored a female athlete in this way.

There’s a bit of a challenge in that not all sports are played in the Dome, and the Ring of Honor’s location seems to limit the number of legends who can be recognized there. We suggest that Syracuse Athletics establish a proper Hall of Fame and use Carrier Dome competitions to showcase these athletes, coaches, and administrators.

Now that Felisha Legette-Jack, Anna Goodale and Rowan are recognized, there is progress towards more formal recognition of sports outside of football, men’s basketball and lacrosse, so who should be next?

Here is a list of candidates to start with:

Administrators: Jake Crouthamel and Doris Soladay.

Men’s basketball: Hakim Warrick.

Women’s Basketball: Kayla Alexander

Male Crew: Thomas Darling

Women’s rowing: Natalie Mastracci

Field Hockey: Alyssa Manley

Soccer: Dwight Freeney

Cross Country/Athletics: Justyn Knight and Katie Hursey Zafares

Men’s Lacrosse: Paul Gait and the Powell Brothers

Women’s Lacrosse: Michelle Tumolo

Wrestling: Gene Mills

Swimming and diving: Miroslav Vucetic and Liz Vilbert

Softball: Jenna Caira

Tennis: Jana and Nicole Strnadova

Men’s Football: Alex Bono

Women’s Soccer: Erin O’Grady

Volleyball: Kelly Duan

It’s a little embarrassing that Syracuse honors Gary Gait without also honoring his brother Paul. They should probably avoid that in the future by having unique ceremonies for the Powells and the Strnadovas and of course all the Cooneys.

Mark Konezny – USA TODAY Sports

If I had to choose a list for 22-23, I would go with this group: Paul Gait, Gene Mills, Dwight Freeney, Doris Soldaday, Kayla Alexander and Alyssa Manley. We should have both Gaits honored, so let’s get this sorted out ASAP. Gene Mills was one of the most dominant athletes in Syracuse history. Syracuse’s football program could do more to showcase Freeney’s career in both Orange and the NFL. Doris Soladay was instrumental in the introduction and growth of women’s athletics in Syracuse. Kayla Alexander is the women’s basketball program’s all-time leading scorer and has helped the program take the next step in its growth. Alyssa Manley was one of the leaders of Orange’s only women’s NCAA championship team – a team that should also have a banner in the Dome (if there’s a space issue, we can move the Billy Joel banner at Manley).

Some of you are probably boiling over Riley Dixon’s apparent omission, but we’d rather think he’s going to spend his offseason sculpting his own statue to be placed outside the future Football Operations Center.

Now it’s your turn, who do you think should be recognized next?


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