WPI Poly Club Inducts Six into Athletics HOF; McAvey Named Harrington Honoree

(l-r) Matt Fiore, Andrew Edelman, Kelly Johnson, Bob Soares, Jeff Robinson, Jarrett Arredondo and Harrington Award Recipient Shawn McAvey
(l-r) Matt Fiore, Andrew Edelman, Kelly Johnson, Bob Soares, Jeff Robinson, Jarrett Arredondo and Harrington Award Recipient Shawn McAvey

The WPI Athletic Department, Poly Club, and Hall of Fame Selection Committee is proud to announce its 36th Class, the Class of 2018. The six newest members were inducted on Friday, October 26th as part of Homecoming Weekend.

The inductees include: Jarrett Arredondo '10 (Track & Field), Andrew Edelman '62 (Basketball), Matt Fiore '07 (Baseball), Kelly Johnson '10 (Field Hockey and Softball), Jeff Robinson '11 (Basketball), and Bob Soares '86 (Wrestling). Shawn McAvey was recognized as the Frank C. Harrington (1898) Award recipient.

 


JARRETT ARREDONDO '10 - Track and Field

While Jarrett's individual success in competition and in the classroom are impressive, the 2009 All-America thrower was key in helping the Crimson and Gray achieve new heights within the NEWMAC.

"It had been a decade since a member of the men's track & field program experienced success at the NCAA Championships," said head coach Brian Chabot. "Jarrett not only restored the tradition of throwing success at the national level but helped usher in a new era of team success regionally and nationally, that has continued to this day."

In addition to placing seventh at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships in the hammer throw as a junior, Jarrett accumulated 24 of 79 points, including the hammer and shot put titles, earned by the throwers as the Engineers finished second at the conference meet for the first time in program history. The Boynton Hillers went on to place fourth at the Division III New England Championships, their best showing since winning in 1987.

"Jarrett was one of those rare athletes that you could always pencil in for a victory in his event, each and every week," said Chabot. "As a coach, it's great knowing you are automatically beginning each meet with a surplus in points."

The 2009 and 2010 NEWMAC hammer throw champion also earned valuable points in the shot put (including the 2009 title) and discus throw all four years.

"Jarrett was like an adding machine; he could always be counted on to give his best effort for the team," said longtime WPI throws coach and 2010 USTFCCCA Men's Track & Field New England Assistant Coach of the Year Mike Stomski.

Jarrett still currently ranks second, behind all-time great Michael Pockoski, in the hammer and weight throw. He is also a top-10 performer in the indoor and outdoor shot put. Overall, he qualified for the national meet four times and received invitations in 2008 and 2009. Regionally, he earned 17 All-D3 New England, All-NEICAAA (All-New Englands), or All-ECAC accolades in the weight throw, shot put, and hammer throw.

For his efforts in the classroom, the three-time CoSIDA Academic All-District selection is now one of four men's cross country and track & field student-athletes to have earned a pair of Academic All-Americas. He also has the distinction of being the second member of the men's program to have earned NCAA and CoSIDA accolades in the same season.

A native of Somerville, Jarrett graduated with high distinction in 2010 with a degree in chemical engineering. His MQP focused on optimizing the manufacturing process of aerospace components. He is a sales engineer for Watson-Marlow in Wilmington, Mass. 

 


ANDREW EDELMAN '62 - Basketball

Andrew Edelman is fondly remembered as one of the most innovative, artistic, talented basketball legends in WPI history. He was also considered to be the Engineers version of Bob Cousy.

Along with fellow hall of famers Fred DiPippo '60 and Hank Schroeder '63, the program developed quite the following. In addition to capacity crowds in Alumni Gym, a large number of fans followed the team to away games.

"I had a lot of fun playing with Andy when he was a freshman and sophomore in 1959 and 1960," remembered teammate John Biddle. "His defense and ball handling were really something. I wondered who was going to take over the scoring load when Freddie graduated after 1960, and it was Andy that took that role and flourished."

Within the friendly confines of Alumni Gym, Andy's defense proved to be the difference as the Engineers defeated Clark in an overtime thriller to deny their city rivals a spot in the 1961 NCAA tournament. A year later, the co-captain lifted the team to victory with a buzzer-beater versus Norwich in his final home game, causing the crowd to "go berserk," as chronicled by Tech News.

"Andy was a breath of fresh air for the team, a star from day one," recalled fraternity brother Stu Kazin. "He moved his feet so quickly while he was dribbling, Coach McNulty would have to demonstrate to the officials in pregame that he wasn't traveling. While he could handle the ball with ease, he was simply deadly with his jump shot."

As a freshman, Andy scored 219 of his 691 career points, averaged 11.5 points per game and handed out a number of assists. He would average double-digit scoring all four years with a high-water mark of 12.6 in nine games as a senior. The average was bolstered by a 30-point performance versus AIC in which he missed a chance to eclipse DiPippo's scoring mark of 36 points due to suffering a knee injury in the fourth quarter.

Off the court, Andy was a member of Tech Senate his first two years on Boynton Hill. He was also a contributing member of Alpha Epsilon Pi and took part in Varsity Club, Bridge Club, and Semi-Simple (Math) Club. He was also a star on the club volleyball team.

After college, Andy went on to a successful career, first as an actuary with Metropolitan Life, and later on Wall Street with Prudential Bache. There he turned his WPI math background and sports wizardry to finance as he produced winning returns for clients in his options trading. He is married with two children and four grandchildren.

 


MATT FIORE '07 - Baseball

Look up "toughness" in the dictionary and you may find a picture of Matt Fiore.

The shortstop-turned-catcher played in 138 consecutive games and 139 of 140 possible games. He was notably behind the plate for a number of doubleheaders despite nagging injuries.

"Matt was a true baseball player who got every ounce out of his ability," said head coach Mike Callahan. "He is a born leader who played the game the right way and played it hard."

The two-year captain's effort and leadership on and off the field resonated with his teammates. In four years, the baseball program went from 8-24 to a NEWMAC contender, and ECAC Division III New England Champions. The 24 wins in 2007 also set the WPI single-season record for any program at the time.

Personally, Matt earned back-to-back All-NEWMAC first team accolades and was the 2007 NCAA Division III Statistical Champion as the toughest to strike out. He was caught looking once in 161 plate appearances or 143 official at-bats.

Matt also batted .331 with 12 doubles and five stolen bases as a senior. In a 4-3 extra-innings triumph over 10th-ranked Wheaton, Matt crossed the plate to give the Engineers a 2-0 lead in the fifth. He had three more chances at the plate featuring a leadoff single in the seventh and an intentional walk in the 11th. He made his way to second both times and was named the NEWMAC Player of the Week for the second time in as many years.

For his career, Matt amassed 167 career hits in 525 for a .318 batting average. He also totaled 106 runs scored, 59 RBI, 28 extra-base hits, and 22 stolen bases.

Not only was Matt known for this toughness and baseball skill, he was recognized as someone who did it the right way when he was honored at the athletics award banquet with the 2007 Percy Carpenter Award as "the senior male who displays the best example of sportsmanship while a WPI athlete."

"Matt was one of the best all-around baseball players I had the opportunity to play with," remarked Hall of Fame teammate Conor Fahey. "Beyond that, his passion and love for the game were infectious within the team. Whether shagging balls, taking BP, or performing in games, Matt was a leader by example who made those of us around him work harder and strive to be better." 

A native of Wakefield, Mass., Matt graduated with a BS in management engineering. His IQP focused on the planning and analysis to design a maintenance plan for WPI's Department of Plant Services, and his MQP concentrated on improving the WPI Venture Forum. Since then, he has continued to play baseball locally during the summers in the Wakefield Twilight League for the TSB Brewers. For the last eight years he has worked as a supply chain manager for L3 Technologies in Wilmington, Mass. His company designs and manufactures optical space systems and sensors. Matt and his wife, Courtney, live in North Andover, Mass., with their newborn son, Colton.

 


KELLY JOHNSON '10 - Field Hockey and Softball

You'd be hard pressed to find a more heralded student-athlete than Kelly Johnson.

An All-NEWMAC performer in both field hockey and softball, Kelly was recognized regionally by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association and the ECAC. The 2006 NEWMAC Rookie of the Year was also named to the WomensFieldHockey.com National Division III All-Rookie Squad.

For her work in the classroom, the six-time NEWMAC Academic All-Conference selection earned three CoSIDA Academic All-America accolades to go with an NFHCA National Academic Squad honor.

"Kelly Johnson was undoubtedly a great athlete, but what was more important to her was the success of the team and her teammates," remarked head coach Lisa Moreau. "Her willingness to put team first made her a joy to coach. She was willing to take on any challenge and had the respect of all her teammates and the entire coaching staff."

The two-sport captain claimed three of four awards at the annual athletics banquet and went on to be the NEWMAC's Woman of the Year nominee.

During the fall, Kelly totaled 22 goals and 14 assists in 62 games, including 61 starts. Two of her four career game-winners were 1-0 triumphs versus Western New England in 2008 and at Wheaton in 2009.

"Ice hockey has the Gordie Howe hat trick with a goal, an assist, and a fight," quipped associate athletic director and sports information director Rusty Eggen. "Field hockey has the Kelly Johnson hat trick with a goal, an assist, and a defensive save. One moment she was making an offensive play on one end of the field and the next saving the bacon on the defensive end."

 "Kelly is an athlete with true natural ability," recalled field hockey and softball teammate and 2015 Hall of Fame inductee Nicole Maglione. "We (her teammates) were always relieved when the ball went to her because we knew she'd do something big with it. I'm glad I wasn't a defender on the opposite team because her stroke on corners resembled a slap shot."

The spring saw Kelly's batting average improve each year culminating with a .333 in 2010. The centerfielder also accumulated 12 extra-base hits featuring four home runs to go with 17 RBI as a senior. As a rookie, Kelly led the Engineers with five stolen bases.

Maglione continued, "Kelly also led by example. Her dedication on and off the field inspired her teammates to work harder and be better."

A native of Buxton, Maine, Kelly graduated from WPI in 2010 with a degree in mechanical engineering. She attended graduate school at Stanford University, where she earned a master's degree in mechanical engineering. She works for Amazon as a senior product design engineer creating Alexa products. She lives in Oakland, Calif., where she enjoys playing field hockey and golfing.

 


JEFF ROBINSON '11 - Basketball

While many remember his game-winning shot in the 2011 NCAA tournament, Jeff Robinson's career in Harrington Auditorium was much more.

A double-digit scorer all three seasons, Jeff is currently 13th in program history with 1,281 points. He averaged 11.0 per game as a sophomore transfer and, bolstered by a career-high 35 points at Springfield, boasted a career-best 19.0 in an award-winning junior campaign.

The two-time All-NEWMAC performer also collected D3hoops.com and ECAC regional recognition in 2009–10 and 2010–11. His senior season featured NEWMAC Player of the Year honors, as well as NABC and CoSIDA Academic All-District nods.

"Our men's basketball family is proud of Jeff and grateful for the outstanding contributions he made as a student-athlete here," said head coach Chris Bartley. "As a player he aligned perfectly with our core values.  He had an amazingly consistent work ethic and was committed to improvement while pushing himself to be the best player and leader he could be."

During his tenure, the team boasted a 64-19 overall record and a 29-7 ledger in conference play en route to a pair of NEWMAC regular season titles and two NCAA at-large berths.

"Sharing the court with Jeff for three years was an absolute honor," said teammate and fellow WPI assistant coach David Brown. "His care and concern for each teammate is something that will always stand out in my mind. He was not just a great teammate on the court, he was a tremendous teammate off the floor. Combining his heart, competitive spirit, and work ethic created not only a very special player but an exceptional human being. He was and still is a great example of what it is to be a great friend and a great leader."

On the national stage, Jeff averaged 11 points and totaled 10 rebounds in the 2009 NCAA first and second rounds. He scored 23 points, including the famous game-winning three pointer, to lift the Engineers past Bridgewater State. He put up 21 in his career finale against national quarterfinalist Amherst.

Bartley continued, "On and off the court Jeff has stood for excellence and lived his life at WPI with high standards. He said what he meant, and meant what he said; our staff and players had great respect for him. He has already made a positive impact on our current team and has an extremely bright future in coaching."

A native of Granby, Conn., Jeff graduated with a BA in Environmental and Sustainable Studies. He has worked for TRC Environmental Corporation in both Lowell and Philadelphia for the past seven years. He has also been on staff as an assistant basketball coach at Widener University (2015–17) and Assumption (2017–18). He recently returned to Boynton Hill as the Men's Basketball full-time assistant coach.

 


BOB SOARES '86 - Wrestling

Bob Soares is the latest of Grebby's Grapplers from the early to mid-1980s to earn a spot in the WPI Athletic Hall of Fame.

"Coming from a family of wrestling brothers, Bob arrived at WPI already a well-skilled wrestler with great technique and knowledge," remarked former coach Phil Grebinar.

The 1985–86 co-captain went unbeaten (10-0-1) in duals with four pins, and ascended to the top of the 134-pound podium to help lead the team to a runner-up finish in the region. WPI also avenged its only loss the previous year to Harvard.

As a junior, Bob was second as an individual while the program won the 1984–85 New England Championship. During the dual meet season, he posted an 8-1-1 ledger.

Grebinar continued, "Bob 'The Rat' is a great addition to our already stacked lightweights, joining Hall of Famers Rich Testa and Roland Marquis. We made great use of these guys getting individual matchups against the opponents that would favor a WPI victory. Bob had a great attitude, a fantastic work ethic, and a personality that could lighten up a hard, strenuous practice. He is truly one of WPI Wrestling's best."

Combined with a 14-3 record in his first two seasons, Bob was 32-4-2 to currently rank 10th with an .868 winning percentage. He also contributed 177 points and four pins.

"When Bob 'The Rat' Soares was fired up, he was an unstoppable machine," recalled Hall of Fame teammate Jason Benoit. "He could have beaten anyone on a good day ... anyone! The whole time I wrestled with 'The Rat' I was convinced that I could beat him, if I could just get his 'Mills Half' off my neck and get my face out of the mat. I'm still pretty sure I could have beaten him, if I could have just gotten away from his grip and controlled my own hands again. Lucky for 'The Rat' I could never do any of those things!"

The 2017 Rhode Island High School Wrestling Hall of Fame inductee was also busy off the mat. As a member of Phi Kappa Theta, Bob joined Big Brothers Big Sisters in 1984.

A native of Warwick, R.I., Bob graduated with a BS in mechanical engineering. He has worked for several companies in manufacturing engineering, process engineering management, quality engineering, and quality management. He is currently at Larson Tool & Stamping in Attleboro, Mass., as the company's quality manager.

He has continued his involvement in the sport of wrestling as an official at the high school level in Rhode Island since 1986 and officiated for seven years at the college level in New England. He has coached at a local private judo and wrestling club, Mayo Quanchi, in Coventry, R.I., since 2008 and holds a black belt in judo. He is active in youth wrestling in Rhode Island as a coach and as Director of Officials for the RIWA, where he trains, assigns, and mentors high school students in officiating youth wrestling. Bob and Donna, his wife of 26 years, reside in Warwick. They have a son, John, and a daughter, Casey.

 


SHAWN MCAVEY – Frank C. Harrington (1898) Award

The WPI Athletic Hall of Fame recognizes with this award those individual and/or entities that through the years have been distinguished and significant contributors to the WPI Athletics Program. Through their efforts and support, our athletics program has been able to flourish and enjoy success while contributing to the quality experience for our student-athletes. The award has been named in honor of Frank C. Harrington, a student-athlete of the WPI Class of 1898 and for whom Harrington Auditorium is named.

Shawn McAvey arrived at WPI in May 1990 and became the head equipment manager in 2002. He is well known and respected among the student-athletes, coaches, and athletic department colleagues.
 
Not only is he responsible for equipment, he oversees all athletic facilities and assists the aquatics director with the maintenance of the pool. In 2012 Shawn oversaw the relocation of the equipment room from Alumni Gym to its more modern accommodations in Harrington Auditorium.
 
"I am pleased that Shawn is receiving this award as he has been a stalwart member of WPI Athletics who is greatly appreciated by our student-athletes, coaches, and administrators," remarked WPI director of physical education, recreation, and athletics Dana Harmon. "He is more than a facility and equipment manager; he cares deeply for our student-athletes, going above and beyond to lend a helping hand, listens when they need to talk, and provides the nudge to help them be their better selves. Shawn exemplifies that good guys do finish first, and we are all proud to be associated with someone who truly makes a difference each and every day."
 
A veteran of the US Navy, he is one of 12 children whose family grew up in Worcester. Shawn and his wife, Carol Jean, have three daughters and five grandchildren.