On the eve of the first game of his fifth season as head coach of the Philadelphia Union, Jim Curtin will be given a permanent plaque at his alma mater with his induction into the Villanova Varsity Club’s Hall of Fame.
Curtin and seven other former student athletes were announced on Wednesday as members of the 2017 Hall of Fame Class.
An Oreland, Pa. native, Curtin starred as a central defender with the Wildcats from 1997-2000, earning Big East Rookie of the Year honors in 1997 and was a first-team All-Big East selection in 1997 and 2000. He was the first Wildcat drafted to Major League Soccer when the Chicago Fire selected him 29th overall in the third round.
He went on to make 151 appearances with the Fire from 2001-2008 and 21 appearances with Chivas USA from 2008-2009 before returning home to join the Union, first as an academy coach - winning the 2012 Generation adidas Cup - and then as an assistant under John Hackworth before taking over as head coach in 2014.
Joining Curtin will be Rob Cafiero (Baseball, Class of 2002), John Celestand (Men’s Basketball, Class of 1999), Brett Gordon (Football, Class of 2002), Paul Paternoster (Men’s Lacrosse, Class of 1990), Keri Stoller (Softball, Class of 2001), Elizabeth Lauwaert (Women’s Swimming, Class of 1999) and Stephen Howard (Men’s Track and Field, Class of 1997). Joan McGuckin, coordinator of football operations for the past 20 years, will be given the Jake Nevin Special Recognition Award.
The class will be recognized at the 42nd annual Hall of Fame Dinner at Villanova’s Connelly Center on Friday, March 2. The Union’s season opens the next day at home against New England Revolution.