Fairfield County Sports Commission unveils Hall of Fame plaques
Published 8:43 pm, Thursday, April 16, 2015
STAMFORD -- A World Series winner. A Hall of Fame hockey coach. A four-time Olympian. An International soccer legend. A women's basketball superstar. A five-sport high school standout. A veteran referee and umpire.
Last fall, the Fairfield County Sports Commission honored seven new inductees into its Hall of Fame -- Craig Breslow, Marty Roos, Julie Chu, Chico Chacurian, Nadine Domond, Harry "Mickey" Connolly and John "Sharkey" Laureno, respectively -- but on Thursday at the UConn-Stamford branch, the plaques honoring the seven were officially unveiled.
Breslow and Chu were inducted into the Jackie Robinson professional wing, Connolly and Domond were inducted into the James O'Rourke amateur wing, and Roos, Chacurian and Laureno were inducted into the J. Walter Kennedy Community Service wing.
"What a tremendous honor," said Roos, who coached high school hockey at Fairfield Prep and Notre Dame-Fairfield for a combined 41 seasons, winning 536 games and six state championships. "It means that I had a lot of good players and that's what makes you a good coach. I was blessed."
It's just another trophy for the case for Roos, who received a Gold Key from the Connecticut Sports Writers Alliance in 2011 and was inducted into the Connecticut State High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame and the Notre Dame-Fairfield High School Hall of Fame in 2009.
Chacurian was inducted into the Connecticut Soccer Hall of Fame in 1999 and the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 1992. He coached at Southern Connecticut and Bridgeport and was an assistant at Yale. A standout player in Argentina, Chacurian came to America and played with the U.S. National Team in 1953-54.
"Thanks to everyone," Chacurian said. "I've always loved playing soccer. I never realized how good I was, but when they put me into the Hall of Fame I figured that I must have done something special. This is quite an honor."
Chu, currently in Canada playing for the Montreal Stars, is a four-time U.S. Olympian, winning silver medals in Salt Lake (2002), Vancouver (2010) and Sochi (2014), and a bronze medal in Turin (2006). She's also competed in nine Women's World Championships, winning five gold medals and four silver medals, and 10 Four Nations Cups, winning three gold medals and seven silver medals.
"Julie has always been so passionate about her playing career, but now she's thinking about how to give back," said Wah Chu, Julie's father who represented her at the plaque ceremony. "She wants to help continue to promote women's sports."
To that extent, Chu, who grew up in Fairfield, will host a hockey clinic in July at the Wonderland of Ice in Bridgeport -- the rink where she began her hockey career.
In her four year career at Central High School, Domond scored 2,300 points and led the Hilltoppers to the 1994 Class LL championship. She played collegiately at Iowa, leading the Hawkeyes to three NCAA tournaments, and played a season with the Sacramento Monarchs in the WNBA. Today, she's the head coach of the Grambling University women's basketball team.
"I'll occasionally go to a Central game and I'll look up and see her number (32) that's retired," said the Reverend John Giannattasio of the First Assembly of God Church in Bridgeport, who represnted Domond on Thursday. "I remember when she was growing up on the streets in Bridgeport, what she wanted to do most was beat the boys (in basketball) and she did, and became a superstar. She had God-given talent."
Breslow, who pitched at Trumbull High School and Yale, is now in his fourth season with the Boston Red Sox, winning a World Series ring in 2013. Since 2005, he has pitched for San Diego, Cleveland, Minnesota, Oakland and Arizona.
For more than 40 years, Laureno was a baseball and softball umpire and football and basketball official. He helped to create Stamford's Babe Ruth and the Senior Babe Ruth programs.
Connolly was a five-sport star -- football, basketball, baseball, track and hockey -- at Norwalk High in the late 1930s and also starred at Boston College, playing in the 1941 Sugar Bowl against Tennessee and the 1943 Orange Bowl against Alabama.