Hofstra's Colleluori, UNCW Women's Soccer Earn Randolph Award
The award recognizes individuals who through strength of character and human spirit serve as an inspiration to all to maximize their potential and ability for success. It is named after former William & Mary athletic director John Randolph, who lost a courageous battle with cancer in 1995.
Colleluori played all 16 games for the nationally ranked Hofstra men’s lacrosse team as a freshman in 2005, where he helped the Pride achieve an 8-8 record that included notable wins over #15 North Carolina and #11 Princeton. Unfortunately, that season would be his last as he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in September of 2005. The disease would take his life in November of 2006.
Between hospital visits and operations over a 14-month period, Colleluori developed plans for the HEADstrong Foundation to raise awareness about blood cancer and to provide support for those who suffer from the disease. Prior to his passing, he outlined the foundation’s logistics, drew the foundation’s logo and asked his family to fulfill his mission.
The HEADstrong Foundation has become a rallying point for the lacrosse community and continues to grow and expand to various parts of the country. Since its inception in 2006, HEADstrong has raised over $3.1 million to support those affected by blood cancer and those who are working to eliminate it. The Colleluori family has dedicated their lives to assisting other families and providing essential services to those in need.
The Nicholas Colleluori Classic is a collegiate men’s lacrosse tournament held each fall at Ridley High School in Pennsylvania. Over 20 different universities have participated since the inaugural event in 2006 and $1.5 million has been raised. Hofstra University became the first host site for the women’s collegiate lacrosse Nicholas Colleluori Classic, which has garnered over $100,000. The foundation also started the Lime Light Gala, which brings together friends, families and supporters of those affected by cancer. It has generated enough funds to support more than 870 people who are battling cancer. On September 27, 2011, the HEADstrong foundation opened the doors to Nick’s House, which is a residence house that doubles as the HEADstrong headquarters and a complimentary living facility for families of loved ones battling the disease.
The UNCW women’s soccer team is honored for its work with 7-year old Baylee Adkins and the Friends of Jaclyn Organization. The Friends of Jaclyn Foundation was started in 2005 to improve the quality of life for children with pediatric brain tumors and their families by pairing them with college and high school athletic teams.
Baylee was diagnosed with brain cancer in the summer of 2012, and a few months later, was “adopted” by the UNCW women’s soccer team. She attended and sat on the bench during all of the Seahawks’ home games and also traveled with the team to the conference tournament.
The UNCW players made numerous trips to Baylee’s home in Jacksonville, N.C. to take her to the movies or out to eat and also surprised her at a birthday party. A “Pray for Baylee” facebook page was set up that includes videos, photos and messages from the girls. They also visited her bedside during hospital stays and did numerous webcams to cheer her on during difficult chemotherapy periods.
The relationship has inspired Baylee to fight hard against the brain cancer and keep a positive attitude. It has also provided the UNCW women’s soccer team with a valuable learning experience and an appreciation of what is really important in life.
CAA Commissioner Tom Yeager will present the Randolph Award to both institutions later this spring.
Past Recipients of the John H. Randolph Inspiration Award
2012 Shelia Moorman James Madison coach and administrator who served as a mentor
and tireless advocate for the student-athlete experience.
2011 Steven Vincent Delaware track and cross country runner who battled epileptic
seizures throughout his collegiate career.
2010 Dawn Evans JMU women’s basketball player who overcame a debilitating
kidney disease to lead her team to the conference championship.
2009 Meghan Bain JMU field hockey player who was hit by a car suffering massive
injuries. Through intensive rehabilitation she returned to play the
2008 T.J. Carter UNCW men’s basketball player who returned for his senior season
after undergoing 3 surgeries and missing an entire season due to sports hernia surgery.
2007 Nicole Hester Drexel women’s basketball player who battled cancer without
interruption to her basketball career.
2006 Kevin DuPrey Delaware track and cross country runner who overcame the
debilitating effects of Lyme Disease to resume competition.
2005 Julia Shapiro Delaware tennis player who overcame the effects of Multiple
Sclerosis to serve as team co-captain.
2004 Beth Childs Drexel women’s tennis player who lost part of her foot in an
automobile accident but returned to play her senior year.
Alan Lindsey James Madison baseball player who underwent two open-heart
surgeries after suffering a serious bacterial infection, returning to
play the final weeks of his senior season.
Brannon Thomas William & Mary men’s soccer player who had surgery to remove a
tumor from his brain, but returned to action late in the same season.
2003 Ricky Beecher Towson men’s lacrosse player who donated a liver to his uncle in
order to save his uncle’s life.
2002 Paul Tuohey Drexel men’s lacrosse player with Cerebral Palsy who’s positive
attitude earned the team MVP award without scoring a goal or
2001 Mandy Welch Delaware softball player who overcame an 80% hearing loss to
become a 1st team all conference player.
2000 Laura Kenney & George Mason women’s lacrosse players who were seriously
Liz Paoli injured when they were struck by a car on a team trip. Laura was
in a coma for 2 months, yet graduated from GMU with a 4.00 gpa.
Through intensive rehabilitation, Liz was able to return to
competition for her senior year.
1999 Maria Elena-Calle VCU track athlete who recovered from serious injuries after being
struck by a car while on a training run to achieve CAA Athlete of
the Year and All-America status.
1998 Felicia Allen Old Dominion women’s basketball team manager who
courageously battled a rare form of cancer while attending school
and serving as the team manager.
1997 Scott Pearson American University men’s soccer player who overcame the death
of his mother and became very active in the Big Brothers program
1996 Barbara Blosser William & Mary associate athletic director who served as interim
athletic director during John Randolph’s illness.
John Welbourn East Carolina cross country coach who successfully battled cancer
while coaching at ECU.