Director of Athletics, Head Coach
Neil Judge joined the Mercy College community in 1969, as a part-time physical education instructor. Two years later, he was named Mercy's first Athletics Director and served the College in that role for 34 years until his retirement at the conclusion of the 2005 spring season.
Known and respected throughout the Mercy College community, he coached every team at some point. His career included three stints as head coach of the softball team and he served as Director of Mercy's summer sports camps, while also teaching various physical education courses.
Judge was instrumental in securing membership in the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference in 1973, the NCAA in 1975, and a charter membership in the New York Collegiate Athletic Conference in 1989.
During his tenure, Mercy's teams enjoyed great success with highlights that included three straight 20-win seasons by the women's basketball team in the early 1980s, five straight winning seasons from the baseball team in the early 1980s, a 1986 state championship by the softball team, the men's soccer team's run to the NCAA regional finals in 1989, and a NCAA Elite Eight appearance by the women's volleyball team in 2001.
Most important to Judge however, was the success of Mercy's student-athletes in the classroom as evidenced by the hundreds of photographs of graduating seniors which filled his office. Famous for reminding Mercy's student-athletes that they were "students first, athletes second," Judge actively worked with both students and faculty to create an environment of academic accountability and achievement off the field. In 2001, Mercy was cited by the Chronicle of Higher Education as having one of the highest graduation rates in the nation in Division II.
Judge is synonymous with Mercy athletics. All of the former student-athletes and coaches that are being honored tonight have something in common - they have all been touched by Neil's passion to see them succeed in life. His commitment to the student-athletes and staff was second to none. Not only did he lay the foundation for what is today a thriving and growing NCAA Division II athletics department, but he will forever be considered a pillar and friend of Mercy College athletics.
Today, Neil is enjoying his retirement with his wife, Mary Anne, a social worker with Casey Family Services, his three daughters, Jane, Megan, and Abigail, and his three granddaughters, Anna, Maggie, and Lizzie.
Inducted - November 10, 2006