Two #NECMBB Greats Join LIU Softball Legend in Newest Hall of Fame Class


Welcome to the Northeast Conference Hall of Fame, Mike Iuzzolino, Lesley Renninger and Howie Dickenman!

This year’s three-member class raises the total number of names enshrined in Somerset to 29.

Here’s something you should know about each of the three newest honorees.


Mike Iuzzolino (Saint Francis U)

Before going on to star in the NBA Jam video game alongside Dallas Mavericks teammate Derek Harper, Iuzzolino was responsible for arguably the most-impressive individual two-year stretch in the league’s 37 seasons of men’s basketball. SFU’s Academic All-American shot 52.3 percent from three-point range while piling up 1,346 points in two seasons after transferring from Penn State.


Lesley Renninger (LIU Brooklyn)

Her collegiate career ended 25 years ago, but there is still no LIU pitcher with a better career earned-run average than Renninger. The Academic All-American, who helped the Blackbirds to a conference crown as a freshman, won 55 of her 71 decisions in the circle.


Howie Dickenman (Central Connecticut)

Coach D, a mentor and friend to so many, bleeds CCSU blue. The former Blue Devil hoops star returned to his alma mater as the head men’s basketball coach in 1996 and proceeded to win four NEC Coach of the Year awards while thrice taking CCSU to the Big Dance.



NFL Dreams Continue for Two NEC Alumni

Lorenzo Jerome

They are part of the fortunate few.

Saint Francis’ Lorenzo Jerome (49ers) and Wagner’s Julian Stanford (Jets), neither of whom was drafted, made the cut when NFL teams were required to submit their initial 53-man regular season rosters on September 2 at 4:00 pm ET.

For Jerome, it’s another milestone during what has been a remarkable past 12 months. The span includes leading SFU to its first-ever NEC title last November, forcing five turnovers over the course of two exclusive collegiate all-star games, going undrafted in April despite high prospects, immediately turning heads as an UDFA during San Francisco’s rookie camp and OTAs, starting at free safety for the 49ers’ first two preseason games and now becoming the first Red Flash representative to make a NFL roster in more than 60 years.

Jerome, a four-time all-NEC first teamer, made 18 interceptions for Saint Francis during a collegiate career that featured All-America honors as both a kick returner and defensive back. After earning MVP honors at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, the native Floridian accounted for three takeaways while becoming the first-ever NEC player to participate in the prestigious Reese’s Senior Bowl.

Stanford, who initially entered the professional ranks as an UDFA with the Jaguars in 2012, was an active member of the Jets’ roster for much of the 2016 campaign after being signed by Gang Green in December 2015.

Stanford, who was an all-NEC selection at linebacker in 2011, has played in 43 regular season NFL contests. He played in all four preseason games for the Jets this summer and logged 13 tackles, including eight stops against the Giants in the Snoopy Bowl.

The following NEC alumni were WAIVED by their respective NFL teams prior to the official roster cutdown deadline and will hope to latch on with another club or land on a practice squad: Duquesne’s Larson Graham (Falcons), Robert Morris’ Marcelis Branch (Falcons), Wagner’s Najee Harris (Raiders), Duquesne’s Christian Kuntz (Patriots)




Kuntz Becomes Fifth NEC Product to Sign NFL Rookie Deal This Year

It is now officially a banner offseason for NEC Football.

With two-time NEC Defensive Player of the Year Christian Kuntz (Duquesne) signing a UDFA contract with the New England Patriots on Monday, the number of rookies representing the NEC in NFL training camps has matched an all-time high of five.

Kuntz, a three-time STATS FCS All-American linebacker who set the NEC career sacks (30.5) record during his time on The Bluff, participated in two NFL rookie camps (Buccaneers, Texans) earlier this spring but was unsigned until becoming the defending Super Bowl champions’ latest addition.

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