HC Soccer Coach Inducted To Hall of Fame

Release Date:
October 23, 2006
The Office of Sports Information
(716) 649-7900 ext. 333

KENMORE, NY - Hilbert College women's soccer coach James A. Ruggiero, a 1975 graduate of Kenmore East High School, was inducted into the Bulldogs athletic hall of fame on Friday October 20. Ruggiero was a standout baseball and soccer player being selected to Niagara Frontier League (NFL) All-League teams in both soccer and baseball in his junior and senior seasons.

The baseball team set an NFL mark as the first back-to-back league champions in 1974 & 1975. The soccer team won the NFL title in 1973, 1974, and 1975. Ruggiero was a member of the Section VI-AA soccer champions in 1973 & 1974 and the Section VI-AA baseball champions in 1975.

While at Kenmore East, Ruggiero was a part of New York State’s longest regular season winning streak of 56 games. After his Kenmore East career Ruggiero was the goalkeeper for Kent State University’s soccer team earning three varsity letters.

Currently, Ruggiero is in his eighth year at Hilbert College in Hamburg, New York. In 2002 he was awarded the conference coach of the year award and his teams went to four consecutive North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) consecutive finals, winning two league championships.

Mr. Larry Badgley presented Ruggiero for induction into the Hall of Fame. “This is such a tremendous honor being selected to the hall of fame. Our class of 1975 had so many tremendous athletes and to be just the seventh athlete selected is amazing to me,” said Ruggiero. “The presentation made by Larry (Badgley) was very touching and really moved me. It made the night even more special.”

Ruggiero joins nine other inductees in the 2006 class. 2007 inductees will be from Kenmore West in the alternating year format for the Kenton School District.

Hilbert College, located in suburban Hamburg, N.Y., south of Buffalo, is a private four-year college founded in 1957 in the Catholic Franciscan tradition. With nearly 1,100 students, Hilbert is a dynamic Western New York college that offers career-focused majors, including one of the top criminal justice programs in the region, and more than 50 minors and concentrations. The college’s engaging, student-centered campus community offers numerous leadership, internship, and service learning opportunities from which students launch successful careers while making positive changes in their communities. The Hilbert Blueprint promotes a well-rounded student experience over four years – starting with the Foundations Seminar in the freshman year, followed by Sophomore Service, Junior Symposium, and culminating with the Senior Capstone. Hilbert has expanded its academic offerings with the college’s first graduate programs and new Accelerated Degree Programs geared to adult learners.