Jack the Bulldog

THE HOYA HOOP CLUB HISTORY

The fall of 1906 was the beginning of something special at Georgetown. The University's director of physical education, Maurice Joyce, introduced the game of basketball to students in the newly-constructed Ryan Gymnasium. Seventy-two years later, another special something was added to the mix. Alumni and fans of Georgetown basketball were introduced to the newly-formed Hoya Hoop Club. The club did not simply arrive fully grown. Hoyas Unlimited, the fund raising and support group for all Georgetown sports, had established a "Committee on Basketball" in 1976 and devoted virtually all its resources over the following two years to increasing interest for the men's program on the Hilltop.

The investment paid off. Staffed by Brian McGuire (C'72) of the Athletic Department and supported by a strong group of alumni volunteers, the Committee met regularly for two years with then Athletic Director Frank Rienzo and Head Men's Basketball Coach John Thompson, Jr., to discuss the needs of the rapidly improving program. One member of the committee (and later president of the Hoya Hoop Club), Dr. Anthony Fernicola (C'42, M'45), was quoted in the 1982 Hoyas game day program as saying, "after meeting with Coach Thompson, a group of us decided that the basketball team needed the kind of support, financial and otherwise, that was on level with where the basketball program was." The Committee sponsored the first men's basketball banquet in the spring of 1977. They soon realized that an expanded organization would be needed to supplement the University's growing expenses associated with building a championship-caliber basketball program. The group subsequently developed the concept and mission statement of the Hoya Hoop Club. Simply stated, the Hoya Hoop Club was and is a support and advocacy group of loyal alumni and friends of Georgetown with a particular interest in advancing the men's basketball program.

By the fall of 1978, the Hoya Hoop Club was standing on its own two feet -- and just in time too. The Hoyas were undergoing their own transformation. With a line-up led by John Duren, Craig "Big Sky" Shelton and freshman sensation Eric "Sleepy" Floyd, Georgetown surprised a heavily-favored Syracuse team with a 66-58 win at Cole Field House to capture the 1979 ECAC.

This ECAC victory secured the Hoyas a spot in the NCAA tournament for just the fourth time in school history. More significantly, it became the first of 14 consecutive trips to the "Big Dance." Further evidence of prescient timing by the Hoya Hoop Club came in the post-season with the featured Magic Johnson-Larry Bird match-up and the growth of the NCAA tournament, which that year joined the World Series and the Super Bowl as the nation's most-watched sports spectacles.

The Hoya Hoop Club was not the first support club for a specific sport at Georgetown. Both the Georgetown Gridiron Club and Spiked Shoe Club were already established prior to the Hoya Hoop Club. The Hoya Hoop Club, however, quickly grew to be the largest support organization at Georgetown, both in number of members and total dollars raised (annually and all-time). In 1979, its first year of alumni outreach, the club consisted of 77 members who contributed over $5,000 to the men's basketball program. By 1983, the Hoya Hoop Club had over 1,000 current members whose annual financial support totaled over $100,000. In the ensuing decades, thousands more would join the Hoya Hoop Club; to date, Hoya Hoop Club members have contributed tens of millions of dollars in support of Georgetown Men's Basketball.

Over the years, the club's members have distinguished themselves by giving more than just financial support. Anecdotes from those early days of the Hoya Hoop Club abound. Dr. Fernicola drove his family to virtually every Georgetown home game during the 1970's and 1980's -- no small feat considering they lived more than three hours away in Allenhurst, New Jersey. And following the semi-final game at the 1982 NCAA Final Four in New Orleans, Dr. Fernicola flew from the Crescent City to Newark to perform emergency surgery on a close friend. He returned to the Big Easy in time to rejoin his family at tip-off for the championship game against North Carolina.

The late Raymond O'Brien (C'49, L'51) was another Georgetown alumnus who often drove to games from his home in Elizabeth, New Jersey. At games, Ray would attempt to use his persuasive trial attorney skills to educate the referees on properly applying the rules. Such individuals have left a lasting legacy of inspiration for the many dedicated club members today. You only have to walk into Verizon Center at any home game to see Hoya Hoop Club member Joe Lonardo (C'69) sitting courtside, engaging in a good-natured banter with the referees, or former Hoya Hoop Club presidents, including Jim Brown, Bill Rich, Joe Guarriello, Frank Lacey, Wayne Cyron, Michael Karam and Al Bozzo, celebrating after a Hoya win.

The Hoya Hoop Club remains the largest varsity athletics support club at Georgetown University. The club is led by an all-volunteer Board of Directors and elected officers. Each Board member serves a three-year term. The officers are voted on every other year.

The funds contributed by Hoya Hoop Club members are used to support Georgetown Men's Basketball in a myriad of important ways. Financial support is applied to team, department and University expenses including but not limited to player and manager scholarships, travel, equipment, salaries and recruiting. Furthermore, enhancements to the playing surfaces at Verizon Center, McDonough Arena and Yates Field House as well as renovations to the team's locker room would not have been possible without the generosity of members of the Hoya Hoop.

The Hoya Hoop Club continues to host the men's basketball annual awards banquet at season's end. In addition, the Hoya Hoop Club established an award in honor of Dr. Anthony Fernicola shortly after his death in 1990. The award is presented periodically to an individual for outstanding dedication and service to the men's basketball program.

Past Presidents of the Hoya Hoop Club
1978-1980: Harry J. Smith (F'41)
1980-1982: Anthony R. Fernicola (C'42, M'45)
1982-1984: James R. Brown (B'66)
1984-1986: Joseph L. Guarriello (B'71, L'74)
1986-1988: Francis T. Lacey (C'67, L'70, L'78 )
1988-1992: Richard F. Regensburg (C'69)
1992-1994: William L. Rich (C'68, M'72, R'76)
1994-1998: Wayne F. Cyron (C'67)
1998-2005: Michael E. Karam (F'72, L'76, L'82)
2005-2013: Alfred R. Bozzo, Jr. (B'85)

Speakers at the annual awards banquet have included:

Dan Rather, TV news anchor (first speaker)
Bill Bradley, Senator
PJ Carlesimo, College Coach
Dave Gavitt, BIG EAST Commissioner
Petey Green, TV personality
Al McGuire, TV sports commentator
Billy Packer, TV sports commentator
Bill Raftery, TV sports commentator
George Raveling, College Coach
Dean Smith, College Coach
Ralph Wiley, Author and commentator

 
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December 16
12:30 PM
Syracuse
Capital One Arena

CBS
106.7 WJFK-FM
December 20
7:00 PM
North Texas
Capital One Arena

FS2
106.7 WJFK-FM
December 21
6:00 PM
VCU
Richmond, Va.
December 23
12:00 PM
Alabama A&M
Capital One Arena

FS1
106.7 WJFK-FM
December 27
6:30 PM
Butler
Capital One Arena

FS1
99.1 WNEW-FM
December 28
7:00 PM
Providence
Providence, R.I.

BEDN
Watch
December 30
4:30 PM
Marquette
Milwaukee, Wis.

FS1
106.7 WJFK-FM
December 30
2:00 PM
Creighton
Omaha, Neb.

BEDN
January 2
9:00 PM
DePaul
Chicago, Ill.

FS1
99.1 WNEW-FM
January 2
2:00 PM
Xavier
McDonough Arena

BEDN
January 5
7:00 PM
Butler
McDonough Arena

BEDN
January 6
12:00 PM
Creighton
Capital One Arena

FSN
99.1 WNEW-FM
January 6
All Day
George Mason Invitational
Fairfax, Va.
January 6
All Day
Rose Bowl Regatta
Los Angeles, Calif.
January 7
All Day
Rose Bowl Regatta
Los Angeles, Calif.
January 9
6:30 PM
St. Johns
New York, N.Y.

FS1
99.1 WNEW-FM
January 10
7:00 PM
Villanova
McDonough Arena

BEDN
Watch
January 12
7:00 PM
St. Johns
Queens, N.Y.

BEDN
January 13
12:00 PM
Seton Hall
Newark, N.J.

FS1
106.7 WJFK-FM
January 13
1:00 PM
American/George Washington
Washington, D.C. (American University)
January 13
All Day
Nittany Lion Challenge
State College, Pa.
January 13
All Day
Nittany Lion Challenge
State College, Pa.
January 14
1:00 PM
Seton Hall
South Orange, N.J.

BEDN
January 17
6:30 PM
Villanova
Capital One Arena

FS1
106.7 WJFK-FM
January 19
7:00 PM
Marquette
McDonough Arena

BEDN
Watch
January 19
TBA
VCU 41
Richmond, Va.
January 20
12:00 PM
St. Johns
Capital One Arena

FS1
99.1 WNEW-FM
January 20
1:00 PM
Drexel
McCarthy Pool
January 20
TBA
VCU 41
Richmond, Va.
January 21
2:00 PM
Depaul
McDonough Arena

CBSsn
January 24
8:30 PM
DePaul
Capital One Arena

FS1
106.7 WJFK-FM
January 26
7:00 PM
Butler
Indianapolis, Ind.

BEDN
January 26
All Day
Columbia Challenge
New York, N.Y.
January 26
All Day
Columbia Challenge
New York, N.Y.
January 27
8:00 PM
Creighton
Omaha, Neb.

CBSSN
99.1 WNEW-FM
January 27
1:00 PM
Maryland
College Park, Md.
January 27
All Day
Columbia Challenge
New York, N.Y.
January 27
All Day
Columbia Challenge
New York, N.Y.
January 28
2:00 PM
Xavier
Cincinnati, Ohio

FS2
February 2
6:00 PM
Drexel
Philadelphia, Pa.
February 2
All Day
BU Scarlet & White Invite
Boston, Mass.
February 2
All Day
BU Scarlet & White Invite
Boston, Mass.
February 3
6:00 PM
Xavier
Cincinnati, Ohio

CBSSN
99.1 WNEW-FM
February 3
1:00 PM
Villanova
Villanova, Pa.

BEDN
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February 3
12:00 PM
UMBC
Catonsville, Md.
February 3
2:00 PM
Seton Hall/Providence
Berkeley (N.J.) Aquatic Club
February 3
All Day
Villanova Invitational
Staten Island, N.Y.
February 3
All Day
BU Scarlet & White Invite
Boston, Mass.
February 3
All Day
Villanova Invitational
Staten Island, N.Y.
February 3
All Day
BU Scarlet & White Invite
Boston, Mass.
February 4
TBA
Penn
Philadelphia, Pa.
February 4
TBA
Temple
Washington, D.C.
February 6
8:30 PM
Providence
Providence, R.I.

FS1
99.1 WNEW-FM
February 9
7:00 PM
Seton Hall
McDonough Arena

BEDN
February 9
All Day
BU David Hemery Valentine Invite
Boston, Mass.
February 9
All Day
BU David Hemery Valentine Invite
Boston, Mass.
February 9
All Day
Iowa State Classic
Ames, Iowa
February 9
TBA
Monmouth N.J.
Washington, D.C.
February 9
All Day
Iowa State Classic
Ames, Iowa
February 10
4:00 PM
Seton Hall
Capital One Arena

CBSSN
106.7 WJFK-FM
February 10
3:00 PM
Saint Josephs
Cooper Field
February 10
All Day
Iowa State Classic
Ames, Iowa
February 10
All Day
Iowa State Classic
Ames, Iowa
February 10
All Day
BU David Hemery Valentine Invite
Boston, Mass.
February 10
All Day
BU David Hemery Valentine Invite
Boston, Mass.
February 11
2:00 PM
St. Johns
McDonough Arena

BEDN
February 13
6:30 PM
Butler
Indianapolis, Ind.

CBSSN
99.1 WNEW-FM
February 13
12:00 PM
Towson
Arlington, Va.
February 13
3:00 PM
High Point
Cooper Field
February 16
8:00 PM
Depaul
Chicago, Ill.

BEDN
Watch
February 16
4:00 PM
Wake Forest
Winston-Salem, N.C.
February 17
12:00 PM
Gardner-Webb
Winston-Salem, N.C.
February 17
1:00 PM
Robert Morris
Moon Township, Pa.
February 17
3:00 PM
Towson
Towson, Md.
February 17
All Day
JDL Fast Track Last Chance Meet
Winston-Salem, N.C.
February 17
All Day
Alex Wilson Invitational
Notre Dame, Ind.
February 17
All Day
Alex Wilson Invitational
Notre Dame, Ind.
February 17
All Day
JDL Fast Track Last Chance Meet
Winston-Salem, N.C.
February 18
3:00 PM
Marquette
Milwaukee, Wis.

BEDN
Watch
February 18
10:00 AM
Navy
Winston-Salem, N.C.
February 21
6:30 PM
Xavier
Capital One Arena

FS1/FSN
99.1 WNEW-FM
February 21
10:00 AM
Day 1
Geneva, Ohio
February 22
10:00 AM
Day 2
Geneva, Ohio
February 23
11:00 AM
Creighton
McDonough Arena

BEDN
February 23
6:00 PM
Davidson
Davidson, N.C.
February 23
10:00 AM
Day 3
Geneva, Ohio
February 23
All Day
BIG EAST Indoor Track & Field Championships
Staten Island, N.Y.
February 23
TBA
Xavier
Cincinnati, Ohio
February 23
TBA
Xavier
Cincinnati, Ohio
February 23
All Day
BIG EAST Indoor Track & Field Championships
Staten Island, N.Y.
February 24
12:00 PM
Providence
Capital One Arena

CBSSN
99.1 WNEW-FM
February 24
2:00 PM
Davidson
Davidson, N.C.
February 24
10:00 AM
Day 4
Geneva, Ohio
February 24
12:00 PM
Drexel
Philadelphia, Pa.
February 24
12:00 PM
Towson
Towson, Md.
February 24
All Day
BIG EAST Indoor Track & Field Championships
Staten Island, N.Y.
February 24
All Day
BIG EAST Indoor Track & Field Championships
Staten Island, N.Y.
February 25
2:00 PM
Providence
McDonough Arena

BEDN
Watch
February 25
1:00 PM
Davidson
Davidson, N.C.
February 25
11:00 AM
William & Mary
Williamsburg, Va.
February 26
7:00 PM
Marquette
Capital One Arena

FS1
99.1 WNEW-FM
February 27
2:30 PM
George Washington
Arlington, Va.
February 27
3:00 PM
Mount St. Marys
Cooper Field
February 28
3:30 PM
Johns Hopkins
Cooper Field
March 3
TBA
Villanova
Philadelphia, Pa.

FOX
TBD
March 3
3:00 PM
Mount St. Marys
Port Charlotte, Fla.
March 3
1:00 PM
Hofstra
Hempstead, N.Y.
March 3
1:00 PM
Delaware
Cooper Field
March 3
All Day
ECAC Indoor Track & Field Championships
Boston, Mass.
March 3
All Day
IC4A Indoor Track & Field Championships
Boston, Mass.
March 4
12:00 PM
Dartmouth
Port Charlotte, Fla.
March 4
12:00 PM
Nova Southeastern
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
March 4
All Day
IC4A Indoor Track & Field Championships
Boston, Mass.
March 4
All Day
ECAC Indoor Track & Field Championships
Boston, Mass.
March 5
TBA
Florida Atlantic
Boca Raton, Fla.
March 5
TBA
Florida Atlantic
Boca Raton, Fla.
March 6
4:00 PM
Northeastern
Port Charlotte, Fla.
March 6
3:00 PM
Marist
Cooper Field
March 6
TBA
Lynn University
Boca Raton, Fla.
March 7
12:00 PM
Western Michigan
Port Charlotte, Fla.
March 8
10:00 AM
Barry
Miami Shores, Fla.
March 8
12:00 PM
Barry
Miami Shores, Fla.
March 9
2:00 PM
Western Michigan
Port Charlotte, Fla.
March 9
All Day
NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships
College Station, Texas
March 9
All Day
NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships
College Station, Texas
March 10
2:00 PM
Saint Josephs
Port Charlotte, Fla.
March 10
12:00 PM
Hobart
Cooper Field
March 10
3:00 PM
Penn
Cooper Field
March 10
All Day
NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships
College Station, Texas
March 10
All Day
Virginia Scrimmage
Charlottesville, Va.
March 10
All Day
NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships
College Station, Texas
March 10
All Day
Virginia Scrimmage
Charlottesville, Va.
March 11
12:00 PM
Saint Josephs
Port Charlotte, Fla.