Kean Athletics Announces 2019 Benisch Athletic Hall of Fame Class

Union, N.J. (9/27/18) – The Kean University athletic department announced that the Benisch Athletic Hall of Fame will be receiving six new members into its ranks as the Class of 2019. Jonathan Jones (Men’s Basketball), Mike Moceri (Baseball), Tim Sensor (Special Contributions Category), Mark Stanley (Men’s Basketball), Olivia Triano (Field Hockey/Basketball/Lacrosse) and Steve Vahalla (Men’s Volleyball) will be the honorees at the Hall of Fame’s February 21st induction ceremony.

The inductees were chosen by the Kean Athletics Hall of Fame selection committee and will take their place among the 131 current members of the Kean University Benisch Hall of Fame in February.

Jones became the second All-American in the men’s basketball program history after a stellar senior season in which the Cougars won the New Jersey Athletic Conference South Division title and reached the NJAC semifinals. His 23.9 points (eighth in Division III) and 13.7 rebounds per game (second in the nation) helped him earn Player of the Year Honors from the Eastern College Athletic Conference, NJAC, Met Basketball Writers and D3hoops.com.  The consensus first-team All-American led all of Division III with 24 double-doubles in his senior campaign.  Jones racked up several honors as he was named both the Kean D’Angola Male Athlete of the Year as well as the Kean Hoffman Spirit Award winner.  He wrapped up his career as he was named the NJAC Male Athlete of the Year.

A first-team All-American and a Gold Glove award winner, Moceri was outstanding both in the field and at the plate for the Cougars. He is mentioned in the Kean record book 25 times and owns three Kean offensive records (single game doubles (3), single game triples (2), single-season hits (88)). The 2009 NJAC and ECAC Player of the Year, he won two NJAC Tournaments and two NJAC regular season titles and advanced to the NCAA Division III World Series twice. 

Sensor served as the Head Athletic Trainer from 1983 until his retirement from the University in 2013. One of the longest tenured members of the athletic department, he was recently inducted into the Eastern Athletic Training Association’s ’49 Club (Hall of Fame).  Shortly after his retirement, he was honored with the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA) Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award.  This will be the third collegiate hall of fame induction for Sensor as he is credited with building both the Ramapo College and Kean athletic training programs from the ground up.  He has twice been inducted into the Ramapo Hall of Fame (once as an athletic trainer and once as a member of the Ice Hockey team).

Stanley played in every game during his four year career in a Cougar uniform. A member of the 1,000 point club (1,117 points), he helped his team to an ECAC tournament appearance and was named to the All-ECAC second-team. The 1997-98 Ben Johnson award winner, he currently ranks second all-time in three pointers made (187) and three pointers attempted (513).

Triano became the second All-American in field hockey program history and the first to be named to the first-team. The three sport athlete collected several accolades during her Kean career including being named the Kean D’Angola Female Athlete of the Year (twice), NJAC Midfielder of the Year (twice), National Field Hockey Coaches Association All-American (twice) and NJAC first-team selection (three times).  Triano helped the Cougars to four straight post-season berths and currently ranks third in the record books in goals, assists and points for a career.

Vahalla earns the distinction of being named the first inductee in the sport of men’s volleyball. The first two time All-American in the program’s young history, Vahalla was twice named the Skyline Conference Player of the Year.  A two-time Kean D’Angola Male Athlete of the Year, he still holds the single match, single season and career records for kills. In addition he was recognized off the court for his work in the classroom twice being named to the CoSIDA Academic All-Region team as well as earning the Skyline Conference Scholar Athlete of the Year award in 2013. 

The 2019 Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place on Thursday, February 21, 2019 in the STEM Building.  For more information, please contact Kim DeRitter, kderitte@kean.edu