CALDWELL, N.J.- Caldwell University men’s basketball standout Matthew Stuart ’94 was officially inducted into the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Hall of Fame in a special ceremony during Saturday’s basketball doubleheader as part of “Super Saturday” festivities. Stuart is the first Caldwell representative in the newly created CACC Hall of Fame and is the first CACC men’s basketball player inducted into the conference hall of fame.
Caldwell Athletics welcomed over 100 former student-athletes and their families back to campus this past Saturday. In addition, each athletic team and several departments on campus contributed a basket of items that were part of the silent auction with the proceeds going to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The event was a success as Caldwell Athletics raised over $1,000 from the auction items. Make-A-Wish is the official charitable organization of the NCAA.
“We are so proud of Matt and what he has meant to our institution,” said Assistant Vice President/Director of Athletics Mark A. Corino, “He was a main reason for the early success of the men’s basketball program and we were pleased to have him and his family back to campus to celebrate his induction into the CACC Hall of Fame. The CACC has a long history of outstanding student-athletes and his induction as the first men’s basketball inductee into the hall of fame is an indication of what he has meant to the school and how people recognize his outstanding achievements on the court.”
Between the men’s and women’s contests, Caldwell University President Dr. Nancy Blattner welcomed Stuart and his family to campus and spoke of how exciting it was to have such a large group of alumni present to celebrate a great day for the university. CACC Commissioner Dan Mara followed and read off Stuart’s amazing accomplishments during his playing career. He also stated that great Caldwell men’s basketball players — both current and future — will always be judged by the incredible exploits of Stuart, who starred for the Cougars in the early 90s.
Mara officially inducted Stuart into the conference hall of fame, as he presented him with a framed portrait featuring photos of Stuart from his playing days. Finally, Stuart spoke to the crowd, thanking his former head coach Mark A. Corino, who not only coaches the men’s program, but is also Caldwell’s Assistant Vice President and Director of Athletics. Stuart added how special it was to help build the program and the friendships he made. Stuart asked his family to join him at center court to take part in the ceremony, and they did with photos being taken afterwards.
When Stuart came to Caldwell from Haddon Heights, N.J., in the fall of 1989, the men’s basketball program was beginning its third season of existence. By the time he finished his career in 1994, Stuart had twice earned All-American honors, led the Cougars to their first CACC Tournament championship and helped the team qualify for its first national tournament.
A 6-foot-11 center, Stuart was named the CACC Player of the Year in both 1993 and 1994 while earning NAIA All-American Second Team honors as a junior and First Team as a senior. He did this following a serious knee injury that forced him to miss all but five games during the 1990-91 season. In 110 career games for the Cougars, Stuart scored a school-record 1,888 points. He is second all-time in blocks with 156 and fifth in rebounds with 843 in his career.
To watch the video from the event, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0tnKUH4ErM