Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees

Conferred Bi-Annually since 2011

Click here for Alumni Wall of Fame Honorees

2013 Inductees

Henry "Hank" Steincke '63
Player - multiple sports

Hank Steincke, a native of New York, was a member of the basketball, baseball and soccer teams during his career. Steincke was a four year member of the basketball team, spent two years on the diamond and played one year of soccer. He led the baseball team in home runs in 1962 and was the starting goalkeeper on the inaugural soccer team. He was the recipient of the Marty Thomas Award as the most outstanding athlete as a senior. 

The 1999 Belmont Abbey Alumnus of the Year, Steincke has sponsored Belmont Abbey's involvement in the New York City St. Patrick's Day Parade for the past 30 years. He was instrumental in bringing the production of "Coach" to Belmont in 2010, the one man play about his former coach Al McGuire that was written by legendary sportscaster Dick Enberg.

Clint Bryant '77
Player - Men's Basketball

Clint Bryant came to Belmont Abbey from suburban Washington, D.C. in 1973 and played basketball for four years. He was among the Crusaders leaders in rebounds all four years and was called one of the team's top scholars. He was the recipient of the Marty Thomas Award and graduated with a degree in Business Management. He later obtained a master's degree from Clemson. After a standout coaching career, Bryant is now the Director of Athletics at Georgia Regents University, (formerly Augusta State University) a position he has held for the past 26 years.

2011 Inductees

Carl Bell ’75
Player – Men’s Basketball

Carl Bell came to the Abbey in the fall of 1971 from Reidsville, North Carolina and left four years later as the men’s basketball all-time leading scorer with 2,201 career points and 1,030 rebounds. Bell became the first player in school history to eclipse the 2,000 point plateau and did so without the benefit of the three-point shot. Over the course of his four years at the Abbey, he led the Crusaders to four straight .500 or better seasons and led his team in scoring. He was also the top rebounder for the first two years of his career and was the second highest rebounder for his last two years. Bell averaged 19.4 points and 9.1 rebounds per game. He played 113 total games over four years and never missed a practice or a game due to illness or injury. He was named men’s basketball MVP for all four years; named twice to the NAIA all-district 26-team and was an honorable mention All-American his sophomore and senior years. Bell set the College’s all-time single season scoring mark with 592 points as a senior, breaking his own record, which he set the year before. After living in Pennsylvania for some time, he now lives in his hometown of Reidsville.

Angela Placona-Congelli ’00
Player - Women’s Soccer

Angela Placona-Congelli joined the Abbey women’s soccer program from her hometown of Tempe, Arizona. In her four-year career as a Lady Crusader, she scored 52 goals and had 29 assists. At the end of her first season, she was named “conference freshman of the year” and earned second-team honors. She would go on to earn first-team all-conference honors her last three years. Placona-Congelli was also a three-time all-region selection and earned All-American honors as a senior. In 2000, Belmont Abbey College named her Female Athlete of the Year and that same year she was named the Carolinas- Virginia Athletics Conference Female Athlete of the Year. Off the field, she was a second-team academic all-district selection, and was named to the Dean’s List seven times and to the President’s List twice. Placona-Congelli graduated from the Abbey with a 3.52 GPA and a degree in Biology. She currently lives in Mount Holly and teaches Earth Sci­ence at East Gaston High School.

David Buerkle ’96   William Esser ‘95
Players – Men’s Tennis (Doubles Team)

The men’s tennis doubles team of David Buerkle and William Esser finished the 1995 tennis season ranked tenth nationally in NAIA and went on to win the conference championship.

Buerkle, from Lake Worth, Florida, was a four-year member of the Abbey’s tennis and cross country teams from 1993-1996. As a junior, he won the CIAC singles and doubles championships, and was named second-team NAIA All-American. Later that year, he and Esser finished tenth in the NAIA doubles championships, after the pair entered the tournament unseeded, and Buerkle was named an NAIA Scholar Athlete. Off the court, Buerkle was a Dean’s List student all four years and was awarded a Monastery Leadership Scholarship. In 1994, he was named to “Who’s Who Among American Colleges and Universities.” After leaving the Abbey, he continued his competitive career in tennis. In 2001, he and his doubles partner were the Men’s Open Florida State Closed Doubles Champions and were ranked fourth in the USPTA Grand Prix Circuit Men’s Open. They were also ranked the number one USTA Doubles Team in the nation in 2002. Today, Buerkle is the father of seven children and is a tennis professional at Mitchell County Tennis Center in Camilla, Georgia.

Esser graduated summa cum laude from Belmont Ab­bey College in 1995 and received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Notre Dame in 1999. While at the Abbey, he was a member of the tennis team for four years and also ran cross country. In 2006, Esser served as an adjunct professor at the Abbey and in 2010 he was named Belmont Abbey College’s Brother Gregory Corcoran Distinguished Alumnus of the Year. Esser is the co-founder and past president of the Saint Thomas More Society and a member of the National Alumni Board of Belmont Abbey College. He is also a past president and board member of Room at the Inn, Inc., a safe haven for pregnant women and their children, and assisted in initiating a capital campaign to build the nation’s first college-based maternity and after-care residential facility to be housed near Belmont Abbey College. Recently, The Charlotte Business Journal named him one of their “40 under 40,” which lists people who are making major strides in their careers and impacting their com­munities. He is currently a partner in the law firm Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP in Charlotte.