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Wigton, Simplicio '91 to be inducted into N.E. basketball hall

KINGSTON, R.I. -- Former Bates College coach George Wigton and former women's basketball great Julie Roche Simplicio '91 are among the 2009 class of inductees into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame, the Institute for International Sport announced on Monday.

Wigton, a longtime coach and former Director of Athletics at Bates, will be inducted in the Scholar-Athlete category at the hall, located on the campus of the University of Rhode Island. Simplicio will be inducted in the Oct. 9 ceremony as a Division III Women's Player.

Wigton served Bates from 1965 until his retirement in 1996. During that time he was Bates’ longest serving coach of men’s basketball (20 years), and at 26 years the longest serving coach of men’s tennis. He coached men’s soccer and women’s tennis. He was instrumental in bringing squash to Bates, and served as head coach for men’s and women’s squash. For the 10 years between 1974 and 1984 he was Assistant Director of Athletics. In 2007 he was the faculty inductee into the Bates Scholar-Athlete Society.

Simplicio still holds the program record for scoring average in the season, for averaging 20.0 points per game in the 1989-90 season. She graduated as Bates' third all-time leading scorer, with 1,110 points, and now ranks No. 10 on Bates' all-time list. Simplicio was the first Bates women's basketball player to earn All-America honors, receiving WBCA Kodak All-America Honorable Mention accolades in 1991. Along with teammates and classmates Amy Schrag '91 and Adrienne Shibles '91, Roche led the Bobcats to a 54-38 record over her four years, including an appearance in the semifinals of the 1989 ECAC Division III Tournament.

Simplicio join Bates' other five former basketball alumni already inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame: Jolene Thurston Cadwell '00 (Scholar-Athlete Woman, Class of 2006) Emily King '00 (Division III Women's Player, Class of 2004), Jim Marois '77 (Division III Men's Player, Class of 2006), Russ Reilly '66 (Distinguished Achievement Award, Class of 2006) and innovative former University of Rhode Island coach Frank Keaney '11 (Division I Men's Coach, Class of 2002).

Other New England Basketball Hall of Fame with Bates affiliations include former head men's basketball coach Rick Boyages, to be inducted this year as a high school and college player, and former women's basketball assistant coach Fern Masse, inducted as a contributor in 2006.

See the Bangor Daily News story on Mainers slated to be inducted into the Hall at this link.