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Three with AU ties set for induction into Section V Football Hall of Fame
3/26/12

ROCHESTER, NY - Three people with ties to Alfred University are among the 2012 Class of the Section V Football Hall of Fame.

Greg Connors, Gino Olivieri and Gene Mastin will be inducted with nine others into the Section V Football Hall of Fame during a banquet ceremony April 5 at the RIT Inn and Conference Center in Rochester.

Connors, a longtime supporter of Section V football, is an AU graduate and a member of its Board of Trustees; Olivieri is a former high school football star from Rochester now in his seventh year as head coach of the AU women’s softball team; and Mastin is a legendary former coach at Hornell High School who served a season as an AU assistant.

Connors is a 1992 graduate of Alfred University and has been a member of the AU Board of Trustees since 1997. A founding partner of the Rochester and Buffalo law firm of Connors and Ferris, he is being inducted as a long-time contributor to Section V high school football. A native of Hornell, Connors played high school football at Hornell High School for Mastin, and also at Alfred University.

Through programs sponsored by his law firm, Connors has been a supporter of Section V football for a decade. He has sponsored the Eddie Meath senior all-star game, which is played in Rochester and involves some of the top players in Section V, with proceeds benefitting the Golisano Children’s Hospital; the Section V Football Hall of Fame dinner; and the Roger Bunce Sportsmanship Awards, presented to players from each team playing in Section V championship games for all classifications.

In 2008, Connors helped launch the Connors and Ferris Bowl, which gives teams in Section V that did not qualify for sectionals a chance to play in a postseason game. Played in Rochester, the Connors and Ferris Bowl "gives teams a chance to succeed, to experience the great memories that come with winning a championship," Connors said.

Olivieri was honored for his time as a player at Notre Dame High School, in Batavia, where he was a four-year member of the varsity. A two-year captain in high school, Olivieri was his team’s MVP three years and was a First Team Catholic League all-star and Western New York all-star his junior and senior seasons. A halfback, he ran for more than 3,000 yards and 51 touchdowns in high school.

He earned a full athletic scholarship to the University of Delaware, where he was a three-year starter at halfback, rushing for 2,158 yards in his collegiate career. Delaware had a 40-8 record while Olivieri played there, and the Blue Hens won a national Division I-AA title in 1979 (with Olivieri rushing for the winning score against Youngstown State). Delaware lost in the national title game the season before.

An ECAC all-star as a junior and senior at Delaware, Olivieri was signed as an undrafted free agent by the NFL’s Detroit Lions in 1981. He was a member of the Lions for two seasons (1981 and 1982), spending most of his career on injured reserve. He retired from the NFL in 1982 and went on to serve 20 years as a canine handler in the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department.

Olivieri has been the head softball coach at Alfred University since 2006 and in six seasons has a 137-79 record. In 2010 his AU team won a school-record 37 games and made the team’s first-ever appearance in the NCAA tournament. A two-time Empire 8 Conference Coach of the Year, his 137 coaching wins are an AU career record.

Mastin is the legendary former head football coach at Hornell High School who retired after the 2011 season. He ended his 28-year career as coach of the Red Raiders with the school’s third straight New York State Class B title. He coached one season (1996) at Alfred University, as an assistant on former Alfred University head football coach Jim Moretti’s staff. Mastin compiled a 221-56-3 coaching record at Hornell. He ended his illustrious career with three-straight 13-0 seasons and three state titles.