Alumni Athletes’ Winning Ways Earn Them Spot In Athletics Hall of Fame
Five men and women who left their mark on Wilkes athletic teams were honored with induction in the 25th Athletics Hall of Fame class. From setting scoring records to earning plaudits in post-season play, these athletes were among the best to hit the mats, take to the court or enter a playing field wearing the blue and gold. The inductees were recognized at half-time of the Jan. 20, 2018, basketball game. A formal induction ceremony followed the game. This year’s inductees reflect on what they learned as Colonels.
Denise Carson ’92
Colonels sports career: A three-sport standout for Wilkes, Carson starred for the basketball, softball and soccer teams during her four years. She quarterbacked the basketball team from her point guard position, ranking in the top 12 in several statistical categories. Carson ranks 12th all-time in scoring with 978 points, 12th in field goals made with 390 and third in free throw percentage at 78.2 percent. Carson, a pass-first lead guard, held the school record for assists with 282 before relinquishing her ranks in 2013 to become second.
Where she is now: Carson has been a teacher for 20 years in the Clark County School District and currently is teaching second grade at Bonner Elementary School. She resides in Las Vegas, Nev.
Lessons learned: “I learned many lessons during my time playing sports at Wilkes such as being a team player, discipline, respect, passion, strength, determination and being a leader. All of which I took with me into my profession and my life. Hopefully I will instill the same qualities in my classroom… One of the most important lessons I learned is never quitting when things get difficult!”
Barry Gold ’68
Colonels sports career: Gold continued the fine legacy of Wilkes wrestlers as a two-time college All-American and two-time MAC finalist. He finished his career with a 23-5 dual match record with four of the losses coming against Division I All-Americans. He finished fourth at the NCAA College Division Championships in 1966 and sixth in 1967 to earn All-American status. Gold also won the Binghamton Open championship as a senior. During his time at Wilkes, Gold’s teams went 49-5 overall including being ranked the No. 1 college team during the 1966-67 season.
Where he is now: Gold is retired, living in Boulder City, Nev., after a 21-year career with the Air Force. Gold completed more than 200 combat missions in tactical fighter aircraft and has over 40 years of experience directing, leading and interacting with top government and corporate officials regarding information technology, training, aviation and protocol among many others.
Lessons learned: “In addition to learning to pronounce “r,” organizational skills, goal orientation, persistence, and self-reliance in stand-alone situations, inter alia, were strengthened as a result of my participation in the Wilkes wrestling program. All of these helped keep me alive while flying fighters in war and peace and contributed to successfully meeting future life challenges.”
Laurie Agresti Mirra ’07
Colonels sports career: Mirra finished her career as one of the greatest strikeout pitchers in the country in NCAA Division III. She ranks sixth in the entire NCAA and second in Division III in strikeouts per seven innings at 12.40. Her 1,040 career strikeouts remain in the top 15 in Division III. Agresti was a four-time First Team All-Middle Atlantic Conference selection and earned Pitcher of the Year honors all four years. She also was named All-Region and All-American every yea. Agresti led the nation in strikeouts in 2004 and 2005 and was second in 2006 and 2007.
Where she is now: Mirra is a certified public accountant employed by the Internal Audit Manager at the Pennsylvania Employees Benefit Trust Fund. She resides in Mechanicsburg, Pa.
Lessons learned: “Positive mentoring, persistent individual effort and dedication to team concept equals success.”
Jason Turner ’96
Colonels sports career: After transferring to Wilkes from Division I Northeastern University, Turner wasted little time making an impact. He was a key contributor in the middle of back-to-back berths into the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight as well as a MAC Championship in 1996. In just two years with the program, Turner totaled 987 points, 593 rebounds, 84 assists, 102 steals and 89 blocked shots. He was a two-time All-Freedom Conference selection as well as a two-time NABC Regional All-American. Turner was named ECAC Player of the Year in 1996 after averaging 16.8 points and 11.2 rebounds per game as a senior. Turner remains ranked in the top ten in several season statistical categories including rebounds, blocked shots and free throws made.
Where he is now: Turner has been a licensed practical nurse for seven years and resides in Baltimore, Md.
Lessons learned: Paraphrasing hockey great Wayne Gretzky, Turner says, “I learned from playing basketball that you miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.”
Anthony Serafin ’07
Colonels sports career: Serafin was one of the best defensive linemen in the football program’s rich history, helping lead the team to a 33-11 record over his four-year career. He was a member of the 2006 team that finished undefeated in regular season play, capturing the MAC Championship and a win in the NCAA Tournament. Serafin was named First Team All-MAC and First Team d3football.com All-East Region as a junior in 2005, leading the conference in tackles-for-loss with 18.0. As a senior, Serafin was tabbed a pre-season All-America and led the conference in sacks with 11. As a senior he was again named First Team All-MAC, First Team All-ECAC, First Team All-Region and First Team Don Hansen Football Gazette All-American.
Where he is now: Serafin is a New Jersey State Trooper residing in Bedminster, N.J.
Lessons learned: “It would have to be what my head coach Frank Sheptock instilled in us. Faith and family amongst all else first. Also, no matter what, nothing can beat hard work. My class came together my junior season and with hard work and determination we became the most all-time winning class in school history.”