On April 20, the College of Staten Island welcomed six new members into the CSI Athletics Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2023. The induction ceremony, which took place at the Sports & Recreation Center, celebrated the legacies of six individuals who have dedicated over half a century of service to CSI Athletics as administrators, players, and coaches.
The event opened with an introduction of the six newest CSI Athletics Hall of Famers, Joe Barresi, Pat Daddio, Kaitlyn Flynn, Melissa Gelardi, Jordan Young, and Tony Petosa. Four additional Hall of Famers in attendance were also acknowledged along with this year’s inductees before the evening’s program began with introductory remarks from the Interim President of the College of Staten Island, Dr. Timothy G. Lynch.
Following the remarks from Lynch, CSI Director of Athletics Chase Licata addressed this year’s Hall of Fame class providing an update on the current state of Athletics at CSI and offering a look back at the accomplishments of the six inductees. Speaking of the legacy left behind by this year’s inductees, Licata said, “These individuals have made a lasting impact on Athletics here at the College of Staten Island. They’ve provided our student-athletes with great examples of what it means to excel at the highest level both athletically and academically.”
After Licata’s remarks, each of the six honorees received congratulatory messages from individuals they had chosen to speak ahead of their induction. Each inductee was then invited to the stage to address those in attendance. Next, each was presented with their Hall of Fame plaque that will hang in the Sports & Recreation Center alongside those of the 28 previous inductees.
Inductions began with Director of Athletics of 25 years at the College of Staten Island, Joe Barresi. Barresi was a central figure in facilitating CSI’s move into the NCAA Division III ranks ushering in a new era of intercollegiate athletic competition at the College of Staten Island. Leaving behind a legacy that still impacts student-athletes competing in the ECAC, the Skyline Conference, and most of all, at the College of Staten Island, few have played a bigger role in directing the history of CSI Athletics.
While having given so much to the College of Staten Island, Barresi was quick to acknowledge all of his colleagues that helped him create a lasting impact at CSI. “I am grateful for what you all have done for me,” Barresi said. “I will never forget being a part of the College of Staten Island.”
The second inductee of the night was former CSI Baseball standout and Assistant Coach of ten years, Pat Daddio. After three years as a player, Daddio departed CSI to sign a Major League contract with the Detroit Tigers. Nearly three decades later, he returned to CSI as an Assistant Coach for the Baseball. In 2020, he was elevated to Associate Head Coach before departing following the 2022 season.
Daddio, who was quick to thank all of the players, coaches, and teammates that made his career at CSI possible, stated that he will always consider the College of Staten Island home. He echoed a sentiment that became a recurring theme throughout the night saying, “Once a Dolphin, always a Dolphin.”
The third induction of the night was CSI Softball home run champion Kaitlyn Flynn. Following a record-setting career filled with individual accolades and championship victories, Flynn remains heavily involved in the game of Softball well beyond her graduation.
Thankful for the guidance provided to her while playing at CSI, Flynn expressed her appreciation for the coaching she received during her time at the College of Staten Island. “A very large part of why I am here today, being inducted to the Hall of Fame, is the coaching I had at the College of Staten Island. This sport has given me more than accolades. It has given me a direction.”
Following a brief intermission, Melissa Gelardi was the fourth inductee of the night. The most prolific playmaker in the history of CSI Women’s Soccer, Gelardi remains a record-holder at CSI, in the CUNYAC, and in the NCAA. Most notably, she holds the NCAA record for assists in a single game with nine.
Though she achieved a great deal of individual success while at CSI, she instead takes greater pride in having represented the College of Staten Island as a player. “Every time I stepped on that field and put on that jersey, I felt my love of the game and school pride,” Gelardi said.
The fifth inductee of the evening was Jordan Young. A member of the Men’s Basketball team that reached the Sweet 16 in the 2012 NCAA Championship Tournament, Young is one of the most decorated players in the history of the Men’s Basketball program. After his playing career ended, Young returned as an Assistant Coach served as a important recruiter for the team during his time on the bench.
Touching on a theme that was prevalent throughout the evening, Young emphasized how happy he was that he chose the College of Staten Island. Looking back on his initial reservations about coming to play at an unfamiliar place, Young said, “I am happy I came here. I am a Dolphin for life.”
The final induction of the night was of four-year player and 27-year Men’s Basketball Head Coach Tony Petosa. A record-setting player and coach, Petosa left a lasting impact not only on the Men’s Basketball program but on all of the student-athletes and colleagues he encountered during his career.
After spending time reminiscing about the highlights of his playing and coaching careers, Petosa described the College of Staten Island as “his second home of 35 years.” He went on to call his decision to come to CSI “one of the best decisions I ever made” in a speech that concluded the night’s program.
For a more detailed look at the careers of the 34 members of the CSI Athletics Hall of Fame visit our Hall of Fame landing page here.