Former Daemen College President Dr. Martin J. Anisman led the Hall of Fame Class of 2011. Since arriving at Daemen in 1996, Dr. Anisman was a staunch supporter of Wildcat athletics. Having previously been president at Sam Houston State University, an NCAA Division I institution, Dr. Anisman understood the importance of building a strong athletic tradition and made that a priority of his administration.
Also inducted were a trio of outgoing women’s basketball seniors: guard Marybeth Nugent (Springville, NY/Springville-Griffith Institute) and forwards Bridgette Burke (Lockport, NY/Lockport High School) and Sarah Soroka (East Aurora, NY/East Aurora High School). Nugent, Burke, and Soroka have been huge factors in the recent success of the Daemen women’s basketball program, which culminated this past season when they helped coach Dave Skolen’s squad to their first-ever win at the NAIANational Tournament and the program’s first Sweet 16 appearance.
Nugent established herself as a staple of the Wildcats backcourt in the past four years as she never missed a game while making 124 consecutive starts. This past season she served as a team captain for the second consecutive season and she earned 2nd Team All-American Mideast Conference honors after leading the AMC in assists (4.6 apg).
Burke is routinely referred to as one of the greatest defensive players to ever put on a Wildcat uniform. After beginning her career with a selection to the AMC North All-Freshmen Team in 2007–08, Burke earned 1st Team All-AMC honors this past season and is a two-time team captain.
Soroka will leave a permanent indentation on the Daemen women’s basketball record book as she leaves the program holding eight school records including most points in a season (755), a record she broke this past season during Daemen’s historic postseason run on her way to 1st Team All-American honors. This past season she was named AMC Player of the Week a record nine times en route to earning AMC Player of the Year honors, making her a three-time 1st Team All-AMC selection.
Rounding out the Daemen Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2011 is Head Men’s Basketball Coach Don Silveri. Since taking the reins of the men’s basketball program in 1989, Silveri has racked up 346 wins (346–320 in 22 seasons) while guiding Daemen to six 20–win seasons and three NAIA II National Tournament appearances (2000, 2004, 2006), including a run to the Elite Eight in 2004. He’s also been named Conference Coach of the Year on three occasions (1999–2000, 2003–04, 2005–06). Under Silveri, Daemen has accumulated 11 conference championships and the department has expanded from three intercollegiate teams to 10.