UTICA, N.Y. - After taking a hiatus in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Greater Utica Sports Hall of Fame announced its induction Class of 2021, Wednesday.
Five new members will be enshrined during a cereomony on Sunday, Sept. 26.
The Class of 2021 is made up of: Kevin Todd, Brianna Kiesel, Steve Mauro, Michelyn Pinard, and Tom Blackford.
Todd, a former NHL player, spent 224 games with the Utica Devils of the American Hockey League from 1988-91. During his time in Utica, he became a fan favorite while being named a first-team all-star and the AHL's Most Valuable Player in 1990-91 after leading the league with 37 goals, 81 assists and 118 points.
Following his tenure with the Utica Devils, Todd went on to play 383 NHL games over the course of eight seasons with the New Jersey Devils, Edmonton Oilers, Chicago Blackhawks, Los Angeles Kings, and then-Anaheim Mighty Ducks.
Kiesel, a former Proctor High School basketball standout and WNBA alum, was recently named an assistant coach for her collegiate alma-mater University of Pittsburgh. During her playing days, Kiesel was an all-state point guard at Proctor for the Raiders and went on to become Pitt's all-time leader in minutes played.
She was drafted in the second round, 13th overall, by the Tulsa Shock in the 2015 WNBA Draft and played 58 games between the Shock, Dallas Wings, and Atlanta Dream. Following her WNBA career, Kiesel played professionally overseas for five teams in four different countries (Hungary, Poland, Sweden, Israel).
Mauro, a baseball standout at Notre Dame High School and for Adrean Post, went on to play four years at the U.S. Naval Academy. He hit .355 and was a three-time first-team All-Patriot League outfielder for the Midshipmen. Mauro was named Patriot League MVP in 1994 and was elected to the U.S. Naval Academy Athletic Hall of Fame in 1995.
Pinard, an all-state soccer star at Clinton High School, recently retired after an 18-year career as the head women's soccer coach at Williams College. As a varsity player with the Warriors, she set the school's single-season scoring record with 39 goals in 1993 and graduated with a school record 130 career goals.
Following her high school career, Pinard went on to play soccer and ice hockey at Dartmouth College, where she earned an All-Ivy League hockey selection in 1998. While coaching at Williams, Pinard lead the Ephs to three NCAA Division III championships (2015, 2017, 2018) and finished with a record of 269-51-37. She was named NESCAC Coach of the Year three times.
Blackford, a legendary boys basketball coach at Hamilton High School, is set to enter his 40th season as a head coach (25 with Hamilton and 14 at Fayetteville-Manlius). Now in his second stint with the Emerald Knights, Blackford currently has a record of 562-285, and is the third all-time winningest basketball coach in Section III history.
He has lead Hamilton teams to 13 league titles, five regional titles and two Class D state titles. Blackford was previously inducted into the New York State Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011.
The Class of 2021 will be honored during a banquet at Delta Hotels by Marriott in Utica on Sunday, Sept. 26. Tickets will be $50 and go on sale soon.