1985 Plymouth State Athletic Hall of Fame
STEVE BAMFORD ('65): Steve Bamford is considered one of the most dominant athletes to ever perform at Plymouth State College. Despite missing two-thirds of his junior season with a serious head injury, the 6-3 sharp-shooter is second on the all-time PSU basketball scoring list with 1,377 career points.
Singled out by Coach Foley as his best player ever, Bamford led the Panthers in scoring average all four seasons – 20.7 in 1961-62, 20.2 in 1962-63, 28.2 in 1963-64, and 21.8 in 1964-65 – and holds the PSC single-game scoring record of 45 points against Boston State during the 1961-62 season.
Bamford has continued to make his mark since graduating from Plymouth State in 1965. He taught and coached at Littleton High School from 1965-68; at St. Thomas Aquinas from 1968-70; and at Concord High School from 1970-75 – leading six of those teams to N.H.I.A.A. Basketball Tournaments.
While at PSC, Bamford was the 1964-65 recipient of the “Scholar-Athlete” Award and was selected as the Manchester Union Leader “Athlete of the Month” in January of 1962.
JOHN C. FOLEY: When you think of athletics at Plymouth State College, the name of John C. Foley immediately comes to mind. This popular and extremely talented individual served as coach, teacher and administrator at Plymouth from 1946 until his retirement in 1978.
Foley, whose players still refer to him as “Coach”, was the head mentor of men’s basketball at Plymouth from 1947 to 1965, and during that span compiled a successful 107-136 career record along with a New England small college championship in 1959.
He also coached baseball for 15 years at the White Mountain campus and many of his former basketball and baseball players are coaching throughout New Hampshire and the rest of New England.
The highly-popular coach also served as athletic director, English professor, director of the physical education department at PSC, and from 1965 until 1978 was Dean of the College. In 1969 the new gymnasium was dedicated in his name.
Foley was an outstanding football and basketball player at St. Anselm College where he graduated in 1943 before entering the U.S. Army during World War II. Four years ago he was inducted into the St. Anselm College Hall of Fame.
John Foley is synonymous with everything that athletics at Plymouth State stands for. His family consists of wife Marilyn, sons John, Bob and Bill, plus daughter Martha.
BOB GIBSON ('75): Bob Gibson is generally considered one of the finest all-around athletes in the history of Plymouth State. He was PSC’s first football All-American, a four-year starting ice hockey goalie and a four-year starting third baseman in baseball.
Obviously “a man for all seasons,” Gibson was a four-year starter at cornerback for the Panther football team under head coach Tom Bell, He intercepted a team-record 23 passes and also holds the mark for most passes picked off in a season with nine.
He was the first Kodak All-American at PSC and was also named to the New England Football Conference All-Star Team in 1971, 1973 and 1974. He was an integral part of the PSC defense which was nationally ranked during the 1970s.
The multi-talented Gibson was also a starting goalie for the ice hockey team for four straight years and was considered one of the most talented goalies in the New England small college region. Under head coach Rick Hutchins, Gibson was also a standout in baseball and led the squad in hitting during both the 1972 and 1975 seasons. During his senior year the sweet-swinging lefty batted .374.
Gibson played in a semi-pro baseball league and helped to construct the present addition to the grandstands at Currier Field.
BEATRICE HODGDON ('16): Beatrice Hodgdon is living testimony to the principles of health, fitness and physical activity which she taught for 25 years (1921-47) here at Plymouth.
Today at age 89, Miss Hodgdon continues to play golf three times each week, although admittedly her first love was tennis. Her students remember her as a vibrant and demanding coach and as a teacher who pointed to sports as being a means to a greater end.
Miss Hodgdon was responsible for helping to keep many of the female students here at Plymouth Normal School during the World War II years when enrollment was down by organizing various activities both on and off campus. It was not unusual to see Hodgdon leading two hundred students up Stinson Mountain for an outing.
She always fought hard for women’s athletics and even had a difference of opinion over women’s uniforms with then President of the College, Dr. Ernest Silver. He approved of the women basketball players wearing black stockings and bloomers, while Hodgdon requested that her players wear shorts. Silver finally agreed.
Most importantly, Beatrice Hodgdon was an inspiration to her students. In fact, the class of 1944 dedicated a permanent award in her name to honor senior women in physical education.
As a woman who taught, coached and participated in a wide variety of sports and inspired her students to do the same, Bea Hodgdon is deservedly recognized for her contributions to Plymouth State.
CAROL PIERCE ('71): Carol Pierce was a multi-talented athlete who excelled in field hockey and women's lacrosse at Plymouth State, and in the words of veteran head coach Janet Nell, "...was certainly one of the most gifted and competitive athletes I've ever coached."
Pierce was a four-year standout in field hockey and was one of the early stars of the fledgling women's lacrosse team that evolved into perennial New England champions. SHe perormed at PSC from 1967-71 and was a 1971 graduate of the White Mountain campus. She was also the co-captain and number one player on the women's tennis team.
Pierce was twice named to the Dean's List at Plymouth State, where she graduated with a degree in physical education. She was a 1966 graduate of Hanover High School, where she was also an outstanding athlete.
While at PSC, Pierce was the starting left wing on the New Hampshire State Field Hockey team. She gained recognition as an outstanding singles and doubles tennis player in many amateur tournaments, and at age 16 was the #10 ranked singles tennis player in New England.
During the past 14 years, Carol has worked as a teacher-coach at Choate Rosemary Hall School in Wallingford, Conn., Mascoma High School, Laconia High School, and Kingswood Regional High School.