|Title:||Class of 2008|
Al entered Worcester State Teachers College in September 1946 as
a World War II veteran with basketball skills fostered by games
with Boys’ Club teammate and lifelong friend, the late Donald
One of his first endeavors was to rally Neil Sullivan ’49, John Ford ’50, Fred Gay, Chet Waskiewicz’49, Paul Murray ’49, Jim McKeon ’50, Walter Morley ’50, Jim Looney ’50, and Jim Lazour to form the College’s first organized sports team. The result was the birth of men’s basketball with the founding of the 1946-47 team. Together, they laid the foundation for today’s men’s competitive NCAA Division III program.
During the team’s inaugural season, Al and his teammates brought glory to the College by compiling a record of eight victories and one loss. Serving as both captain and co-captain during his tenure, Al was instrumental in ensuring their success. The home games were played in a standing-room only gymnasium, located on the first floor of the current Administration Building. However, the lack of seating did not dampen the players’ or students’ spirits as the gym was always filled to capacity with loud and excited spectators, including faculty member Joseph Riordan, who served as the team’s advisor. Al credits Mr. Riordan for ultimately getting the team off the ground.
In 1950, Al graduated and taught for a brief time at Midland Street School before entering the Korean War as a first lieutenant in the United State Marine Corps. Upon returning to civilian life, he eventually joined Burke Distributing, headquartered in Boston, as the Vice President and General Manager until his retirement in 1990. It was while working for Burke Distributing that Al developed a close relationship with the Boston Celtics organization and with many of its stellar players from the late 70’s and 80’s.
It is with great pleasure that we induct Al Fotiades into the Worcester State College Athletic Hall of Fame.