BURLINGTON — The University of Vermont Hall of Fame will officially welcome eight new members this fall when the Class of 2019 is inducted. This year’s inductees include Matt Duffy (baseball), Mike Gilligan (former hockey coach), Kristen Millar Epstein ‘09 (lacrosse), Dean Strong ‘09 (hockey), Connor Tobin ‘09 (soccer), Juergen Uhl ‘09 (skiing), and Bob Weiler ‘75 (football). Former UVM men’s hockey star Torrey Mitchell ‘08 had his Hall of Fame induction deferred from 2017 to 2019.
All eight individuals will be formally inducted at the 51st annual UVM Athletic Hall of Fame Dinner at the Davis Center on Sept. 7 at 6 p.m. Tickets for the event are $60 and a hotel block is available at the Delta Hotel (see links below).
In two seasons on the diamond, Duffy climbed into the career top-10 in four categories — second in slugging percentage (.577), fourth in home runs (16), seventh in batting average (.344) and ninth in doubles (34). He owns the single-season record for runs batted in (57) and total bases (127), set as a sophomore in 2009. In 2008, he was selected to the Louisville Slugger Freshman All-America First Team and added an America East Player of the Year nod the following season. After the 2009 campaign, he finished his collegiate career at Tennessee and was drafted by the Houston Astros in the 2011 Major League Baseball Draft. He made his MLB debut in September 2015.
Gilligan served as the head men’s hockey coach for 19 seasons and ranked second on the program’s all-time wins list with 279 career victories. Upon retirement in 2003, he sat sixth on the NCAA’s list of all-time winningest coaches. He coached the Catamounts to four NCAA Tournament berths, including UVM’s first ever trip to the Frozen Four in 1995-96. The 1995-96 team set the school’s single-season record for wins (27) and won the ECAC regular season crown. He produced six All-Americans and had 10 former players reach the NHL. After Vermont, he became an assistant for the U.S. Women’s National Team for two years, helping the team win gold at the 2005 IIHF Women’s World Championship and bronze at the 2006 Winter Olympics.
Kristen Millar Epstein ’09
Millar Epstein graduated as the UVM women’s lacrosse all-time leader in points, (241), goals (140), assists (101), ground balls (244) and draw controls (353). She was a three-time IWLCA Northeast Regional All-America choice and America East All-Conference First Team pick. She set the NCAA Division I career draw controls record and owns three of the school’s top six single-season assists totals. Millar Epstein broke the UVM single-season assists record with 30 as a senior. She also matched the single-game record with six assists at Columbia on April 27, 2006. In the classroom, she made the league’s All-Academic Team twice and landed on the IWLCA Academic Honor Roll and ESPN The Magazine All-District I At-Large Team as a senior.
Dean Strong ‘09
Strong served as team captain during his junior and senior seasons, including Vermont’s run to the NCAA Frozen Four in 2008-09. The 2008-09 Catamounts tallied the school record for most Hockey East wins (15). He led the Green and Gold in points (28) and assists (20) as a junior and produced the most goals (13) on the team as a sophomore. Strong finished his UVM career with the most games played (155) and climbed into the top 40 all-time in scoring. He was a finalist for the 2009 Lowe’s Senior Class Award, given annually to the college hockey student-athlete that displays numerous accomplishments across four pillars: classroom, community, character and competition. After UVM, he played five seasons professionally, most notably in the ECHL and AHL.
Connor Tobin ‘09
Tobin is the only Catamount to earn the America East Defender of the Year award. He was lauded with All-America East honors in each season, including three All-Conference First Team nods. As a senior, he was rewarded with CoSIDA Academic First Team All-America honors and made the America East All-Academic Team twice. He helped the Catamounts win the 2007 America East Championship as a junior and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Tobin was voted to the conference’s All-Championship Team following his junior and senior campaigns. After graduation, he has enjoyed a 10-year professional career in the North American Soccer League and United Soccer League.
Juergen Uhl ‘09
Uhl was a national champion and earned NCAA First Team All-American honors as a senior after winning the 10k classical race. He is one of only three UVM individual classical national champions — Trond Nystad in 1992 and Thorodd Bakken in 1998. He was a three-time NCAA All-American and finished his career at Vermont with 10 wins and 22 top-five performances. As a junior, he swept the EISA classical circuit with five wins in five races, then followed up with three more wins as a senior. Uhl was selected to the EISA All-East First Team in each of his four seasons. He was a four-time NCAA Academic All-American and named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District I At-Large Team as a senior.
Bob Weiler ‘75
Weiler was an offensive lineman for the Catamounts from 1972-74. He was a two-year starter as a guard and center. As a senior, he was elected as the team’s lone captain. Prior to the 1974 season, UVM had two captains — an offensive and defensive captain. The 1974 team also handed UMass, the eventual Yankee Conference regular season co-champion, its only league loss of the season. UMass had seven All-Conference players on the team, including defensive lineman and future Green Bay Packer Bill Cooke. Weiler helped the Green and Gold lead the conference in passing as a senior and the Cats had the third-highest rushing total as a junior.
Torrey Mitchell ‘08
Mitchell, a two-time Hockey East Honorable Mention All-Star selection, totaled 105 points in 115 career games with the Catamounts. He earned ECAC All-Rookie honors in 2005 after finishing third on the team with 30 points (11 goals, 19 assists). He led the team in scoring as both a sophomore and junior. As a junior, he was voted as the team’s John C. Cunningham Most Valuable Player. Mitchell is one of seven players in program history to reach 100 career points in just three seasons as a letterwinner. The Quebec native was drafted by the San Jose Sharks in the fourth round of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft and played professionally for 13 years.