YU Announces Inaugural Maccabees Athletics Hall of Fame Class

Inductees Are Legendary Basketball, Fencing and Wrestling Coaches, All-Time Leading Scorers

The legendary basketball coach Bernard “Red” Sarachek, fencing coach Arthur Tauber and wrestling coach Henry Wittenberg, along with the all-time leading women’s and men’s basketball scorers, are among the inaugural inductees into the Maccabees Hall of Fame, honoring Yeshiva University alumni and other individuals who have distinguished themselves in National Collegiate Athletic Association competition and who best exemplify the University’s highest ideals and mission. The inaugural class induction ceremony will be held in May 2017.

Coach Bernard "Red" Sarachek, left, with Yeshiva basketball players

Coach Bernard “Red” Sarachek, left, with Yeshiva basketball players

“The establishment of the Hall of Fame is a testament to the contributions Yeshiva athletes, coaches and others have made to the world of sports over more than a century and the reflection of Yeshiva’s long and illustrious athletic history,” said Joe Bednarsh, YU’s athletic director. “We look forward to adding to the inductee list in years to come with individuals who best exemplify the exceptional athletic ability, personal integrity, high standards of character and ideals and philosophy of Yeshiva University.”

The honorees include the following:

Heidi Nathan Baker

Heidi Baker Nathan

  • Heidi Baker Nathan led the women’s tennis team to a Skyline Conference Championship in 1999. She went undefeated in singles for all four years that she played, from 1996-1999, and she was named the Conference’s No. 1 singles player in 1999. She also coached the women’s tennis team for two years, after graduation.
  • Irwin Blumenreich played on the basketball team from 1954 to 1957 and served as captain in both the 1955–1956 and 1956–1957 seasons. He scored 513 points in one season, which stood as the most points scored in a season for decades. Other long-standing marks were for the most field goals in one season (211) and the most points in a single game (44), and he was the first Yeshiva basketball player to be elected to the All-Metropolitan team.
  • Daniela Epstein played on the Lady Macs YU women’s basketball team from 1999-2003. She is the all-time leading scorer, with 1,134 career points, and is the only woman in YU history to score over 1,000 points in her career.
  • Yossy Gev is the all-time YU men’s basketball points leader with 1,871 points. He played on the men’s basketball team from 1998 to 2002, serving as captain for three out of the four years. He was also the assistant coach from 2002 to 2005. He has earned many awards, including being named to the New York Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association Division III All-Star (four times), National Association of Basketball Coaches Division III Atlantic All-District All-Star team, and East Coast Athletic Conference Division III Men’s Metro Basketball All-Star Team.
  • Marvin Hershkowitz was the first-ever basketball player in YU history to score 1,000 points. In the 1949–1950 season, he led Yeshiva’s scorers with a total of 269 points. From 1954­ to 1956, he served as assistant coach, and from 1956­ to 1957, he was assistant athletic director. Six decades later, Hershkowitz is still ranked 23rd in team history in total points scored.
  • Sheldon Rokach played on the YU men’s basketball team from 1962 to 1966. Accomplishments include the following: third all-time YU rebounder, with 1,020 rebounds; fifth player in YU history to score more than 1,000 points, with a total of 1,223 points; most points in one game (48); and most rebounds in one game (33).
  • Bernard “Red” Sarachek served as coach of the YU men’s basketball team from 1942 to 1943 and from 1945 to 1968. He coached the 1954–1955 YU men’s basketball team that broke every individual and team scoring record, including most wins (13), most points, most field goals, and the highest average score per game than any previous team. He is credited with putting YU basketball “on the map.” He also coached and mentored legendary players and coaches, such as NY Knicks’ Red Holzman, St. John’s/Nets’ Lou Carnesecca and YU’s own Johnny Halpert. During World War II, he coached in the military at Pearl Harbor, where his Schofield Barracks team won an armed forces title.
  • Herbert Schlussel was a member of the YU basketball team from 1953­ to 1957, and he played alongside Blumenreich and Sodden. He served as captain in the 1956–1957 season. Over his four-year career, Yeshiva basketball posted an impressive 51-29 record.
  • Wrestling coach Henry Wittenberg

    Wrestling coach Henry Wittenberg

    Abe Sodden ranks 16th all-time in YU basketball scoring history. He played from 1952 to 1956, serving as captain during the 1955–1956 season. Sodden broke the record at the time for most points in a season, with 384 points, by averaging the highest individual average per game, with 20.21 points.

  • Arthur Tauber served as the men’s fencing coach at YU from 1949 to 1985 and athletic director from 1979 to 1985. He spent 37 years at YU, where he was a professor of health and physical education and director of health. He also coached the baseball, soccer, tennis and cross country teams. He earned fencing All-American status in 1941 and was inducted into NYU’s Athletics Hall of Fame in 2001. He received the Bronze Star for his U.S. military service in World War II.
  • Henry Wittenberg coached wrestling at YU from 1957-1967. Wittenberg was a two-time Olympic medalist (winning Gold in 1948 in London and Silver in 1952 in Helsinki, where he served as captain), and his personal wrestling career consisted of over 400 wins and only four losses. He was a member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame (inducted 1977), the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame and the CCNY Hall of Fame.

For more information, please visit yu.edu/HOF.

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