Oct. 4, 2006
EASTON, Pa. (www.lafayette.edu) - A pair of standout athletes, a coach and a veteran radio broadcaster make up the Maroon Club Hall of Fame's Class of 2006 and will be honored in a ceremony on Nov. 17. Wide receiver Phillip Ng '88, pitcher Jim Van Der Beek '72, head women's basketball and softball coach Pat Fisher, and radio play-by-play announcer Dick Hammer will be inducted at the Maroon Club Hall of Fame dinner at the College's Marquis Hall.
For tickets to the event, which is set to begin at 6 p.m., please contact Maroon Club Executive Director Scott Morse at (610) 330-5122.
Van Der Beek and Ng represent two of Lafayette's most accomplished male athletes of the 1970s and late 1980s, respectively. Following a stellar freshman season on the baseball diamond in which he led the Leopards to a flawless 11-0 mark, Van Der Beek's resume continued to grow. He was named Lafayette's Most Valuable Player and First Team Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) West Section from 1970-72. Van Der Beek picked up MAC West Section MVP in both 1971 and 1972. The year 1970 was also a banner season for Van Der Beek, as he ranked fifth in the nation averaging 13.0 strikeouts per nine innings.
Van Der Beek's imprint remains intact in the Lafayette record books more than three decades later. He is tied for the Lafayette record with 20 career wins, while holding sole possession of the career strikeout record with 320. Van Der Beek ranks second all-time with 236.2 innings pitched and owns the top three spots for strikeouts in a single season. Van Der Beek lays claim to one of 10 no-hitters in Lafayette history in a 2-0 win over Rutgers on April 18, 1972.
After leaving College Hill, Van Der Beek signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers, advancing to Albuquerque, N.M. (AAA) in the minor league system. Van Der Beek married his high school sweetheart, Melinda, and when the couple welcomed their first child, Van Der Beek retired from baseball and took a telecommunications job with SNET in Connecticut. In April 2007, Van Der Beek will celebrate his 30th year with the company, which is now known as AT&T.
Ng left College Hill as the all-time leading receiver in Lafayette history with 152 receptions for 2,111 yards and 19 touchdowns. He held seven school receiving records, including the most receptions in a season (65) and a career (152), and the most receiving yards in a season (1,048 in 1988) and a career (2,111). He also shares the Lafayette record with three touchdown receptions in a game--vs. Colgate in 1988--with six other players. Following the 1988 season, Ng earned honorable mention All-American honors from the Associated Press, compiling four games with at least 110 receiving yards.
As a senior, Ng led Lafayette to the 1988 Colonial League championship, while his most notable individual performance came that season in a 52-35 win over Bucknell. Ng caught nine passes for 169 yards and a touchdown against the Bison.
Ng, who spent one season as an assistant coach under Bill Russo following graduation, was selected by the International Professional Football League, but the league folded before the 1989-90 season got underway. Ng signed a free agent contract with the New York Giants for the 1990-1991 season, reuniting him with Lafayette quarterback Frank Baur '90, who had also signed as a free agent. Ng was on the eventual Super Bowl Champions' roster from spring training through summer camp.
Ng worked for seven years as a mortgage officer for Lancaster Financial and Margaretten & Co. In 2000, he made a career move and now works in the golf industry for TaylorMade-Adidas Golf as a sale representative. Ng has been an integral part of Lafayette's Maroon Club, serving on the executive committee for the past 10 years. He will take over as Maroon Club President later this year, while continuing his duties as an executive committee member for the Friends of Football. Ng married 1991 Lafayette graduate Lorrie Jezierski in 1994. The two reside in Wayne, N.J. and are the parents of three children--Savannah, Noah and Callie.
Arguably the most recognizable face in Lafayette women's basketball history, Fisher spent 21 seasons at the helm of the Leopards, spanning from 1980-2001. As just the third coach in the program's history, Fisher remains Lafayette's winningest coach with a 295-284 (.509) record. She amassed four 20-win campaigns, 11 winning seasons and two league championships. Fisher earned East Coach Conference (ECC) Coach of the Year honors in both 1985 and 1988. Lafayette brought the ECC championship to College Hill in 1985 and 1987. The Patriot League named Fisher its Coach of the Year in 1992 after the Leopards finished 19-10.
Fisher coached all of the top ten scorers and rebounders in the Lafayette women's record book and was inducted into the Lehigh Valley Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993. Along with coaching, Fisher served as the College's Coordinator of Women's Athletics beginning in 1982 before being promoted to Assistant Athletic Director in 1990. She also coached the Lafayette softball team from 1978-85 and compiled a 104-66-1 (.611) record.
Fisher is now retired from coaching and currently serves on the Easton Area School Distinct Board of Education. She recently became a consultant for the Collegiate Athlete Educational Program, and organization that enables parents and potential student-athletes the opportunity to learn, become informed and be provided the necessary information so that their son or daughter can attend college regardless of their social, economic, or religious situation. Fisher conducts the program's three-part seminar around the Lehigh Valley and New Jersey.
The final Hall of Fame selection becomes just the second inductee that was not a player, coach or administrator at the College. He joins long-time colleague and public address announcer Jim Finnen, who was inducted in 1998. As a veteran sportscaster and the "radio voice of Lafayette Athletics," Hammer has provided the call for football and basketball games since 1957.
Hammer began calling Lafayette basketball in 1957 for WEST-AM 1400 and has since become one of the most highly respected radio broadcasters in the Northeast. Hammer is currently the Sports Director at WEST-AM 1400, which together with Lafayette owns one of the longest running radio broadcast relationships (70 years) in college basketball. Hammer handled play-by-play duties at both the 1999 and 2000 NCAA men's basketball tournament appearances. He has also called football for more than half of Lafayette's 70 seasons on WEST, which enjoys one of the highest AM ratings in the Lehigh Valley.
Hammer and his wife Millie, who sits alongside her husband tracking statistics during most events, remain a familiar face in the press box or on any press row involving Lafayette athletics. The couple resides in Easton, Pa. and are the parents of three daughters.