Former University of Maine and National Football League tight end Matt Mulligan and longtime high school basketball coach John Donato are among seven to be inducted into Maine Sports Hall of Fame’s Class of 2021.
Broadcaster Tom Caron, runner Robin Emery, women’s basketball coach Ed Feeney, MSHOF executive director Mary Mitchell Friedman and LL Bean president Leon Gorman, who will be posthumously inducted, are also expected to be honored at the time. of a ceremony on September 26 at the Merrill Auditorium in Portland.
The nine people selected for inclusion in 2020, when the ceremony was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, joined the 2021 winners. This group includes Amy Bernatchez, field hockey; Cathy (Narsiff) Caron, ice hockey; Tony Fournier, karate; Merle Hallet, veil; Lisa Kuronya Coombs, boxing; Marty Milligan, football; Don Richards, swimming; Carroll Ware, fly fishing; and Lindsay Whipple Kallas, tennis.
“We are committed to having a ceremony this year,” said MSHOF President Brian Corcoran. “Whatever the new normal is, we intend to be a part of it.”
Mulligan attended Penobscot Valley High School in Howland, which did not have a football team. He first presented himself as a tight end at Husson University before transferring to the University of Maine. He continued to play in the NFL for eight seasons, making the playoffs with the Jets, Patriots and Lions.
Donato compiled a record of 563-271 coaching girls in basketball at six different schools. His greatest success was at Houlton, where he won nine regional titles and four state championships. His teams also won two regional championships and a state title at Lawrence High in Fairfield. Donato is one of seven Maine coaches to have recorded over 500 wins.
Because we is an Emmy Award-winning NESN studio host. The Lewiston native has worked with WGME-TV, the Portland Pirates and NESN, which he joined in 1995. He hosts the Red Sox pre-game and post-game shows, serves as a play announcer. by-play for the cover of NESN’s Bean Pot Hockey and hosts “The Instigators,” an NHL roundtable.
Emery won 255 races in Maine, more than any other runner, according to the Maine Running Hall of Fame. Her 14 Labor Day road racing wins and 13 Portland Boys’ Clubs wins made her a pioneer and leader in women’s running in the 1970s.
Feeney won 415 victories as a high school girls’ basketball coach in Portland where, from 1983 to 1997, her teams won 10 regional titles and three state crowns. He was inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003 and the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame in 2020.
Friedman is a former Colby basketball player and Portland lawyer who is recognized for her work as Executive Director of the Maine Sports Hall of Fame. She insisted on honoring “the best of the best” while keeping an eye on social justice and promoting recognition of women in sport.
Gorman built his grandfather’s company, LL Bean, from a popular Maine store employing less than 100 people to a global corporation that employs tens of thousands of people. Passionate about the outdoors, he built the business on the basis of Maine’s values of integrity, respect, customer service and love of the outdoors.