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Student-athletes, alumna receive honors
at State House
April 24, 2012
Ten CCRI student-athletes and one alumna were recognized for their achievements during the Scholar-Athlete Awards Reception hosted by Speaker Gordon Fox and the Rhode Island House of Representatives. The reception was held in the House Chamber at the Rhode Island State House on April 23.
The event gives special recognition to students from CCRI, Rhode Island College and the University of Rhode Island who have demonstrated athletic, academic prowess as well as model citizenship through community service. Rhode Island Commissioner for Higher Education and CCRI President Ray Di Pasquale and House Majority Leader Nicholas Mattiello presented each student with the scholar-athlete award. Receiving honors were:
- Stephen Bell
Track and field
- Robert Brothers
Track and field
- Thomas Gavitt
North Stonington, Conn.
- Isaiah Hector
Cross country, Track and field
- Rodger Lincoln
East Providence, R.I.
- Ashley Olson
- Lauren Masse
- Jovanissa Perez
- Jeffrey Schmeltz
- Michelle Sylvestre
The ceremony also honors graduates of the Rhode Island institutions. Following the scholar-athlete awards presentation, Di Pasquale presented Kathy Bannan '96, associate head coach of the CCRI women's soccer team, with the distinguished athletic alumni award for her accomplishments as a player and a coach.
Bannan played goalkeeper for the Lady Knights. She earned All-Region XXI honors for two years and was selected to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America’s All-Northeast Regional Team. She still holds the CCRI record for most saves in a career with 236. In 1996, Kathy posted a 0.74 goals against average, ranking No. 6 in the country among NJCAA netminders as she helped lead the team to its first national tournament appearance. The Lady Knights finished fifth in the country that season.
After graduating from CCRI, Kathy transferred to URI where she continued her soccer career in goal and graduated in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She immediately returned to CCRI to coach the Lady Knights.
Bannan has been the driving force in elevating the play of CCRI goalkeepers, having coached five consecutive All-Americans from 2001 to 2005 and again from 2009 to 2010. She helped lead the team to an undefeated 22-win season and a national championship, the first such victory in the 47-year history of CCRI’s athletic program. The team nearly repeated that success the following year with a second place finish in the national tournament.
In 2008, Bannan guided the Lady Knights through a remarkable season under adverse circumstances. Head Coach Dennis Grassini became ill early in the season, forcing her to step up and take on the bulk of the coaching responsibility in his absence. She led the team to an impressive 11-2-1 record and its eighth straight Region XXI title. One of the season highlights included a victory over defending national champion CCBC-Catonsville. The Lady Knights were down two goals early in the first half but battled back to score five unanswered goals and win, 5-3.
The 2008 team also made an impressive run in the District Tournament against Monroe Community College of New York. After playing to a 2-2 tie in regulation and two scoreless overtime periods, the Lady Knights lost in a shootout to conclude the season.
For her outstanding leadership that season, Bannan was selected Northeast District Coach of the Year by her National Soccer Coaches Association of America peers. She also received the Women’s Sports Co-Coach of Year award from Words Unlimited.
Bannan holds state and regional goalkeeping diplomas from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. She has served as secretary of the NJCAA Women's Soccer Coaches Association and volunteers for the Rhode Island Special Olympics as a partner in both soccer and basketball. She still competes in the Rhode Island Women’s Soccer League and on several indoor teams.
For all of her achievements, Bannan was inducted into the CCRI Athletic Department Hall of Fame in 2005.