URI Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2017 Announced

KINGSTON, R.I. -- The newest class of the University of Rhode Island Athletics Hall of Fame has been announced. Five outstanding former student-athletes – Dan Batz, Chris Hixson, Melanie Kasparek, Lauren (Maselli) Urbina, Jeffry Woods - will be honored as part of the 2017 Hall of Fame class.  One additional inductee - Antonio Reynolds Dean - was elected in 2015 and will be honored this coming March.

"It is always an honor to induct these outstanding representatives of University of Rhode Island Athletics into our Hall of Fame," said Thorr Bjorn, Director of Athletics. “Making the call to welcome our newest inductees is one of the highlights of my job.  I congratulate and celebrate their many achievements and look forward to a special weekend.  It will be a great opportunity for our fans to welcome them back to URI to honor their induction."

The Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held on Saturday, March 4 at Quidnessett Country Club in North Kingstown, R.I.  Later that evening, the Hall of Fame class will be honored at halftime of the men's basketball game versus Davidson.

For more information or to RSVP, please contact the Athletics Development office at (401) 874-2389.

2017 University of Rhode Island Athletics Hall of Fame Inductees

Dan Batz ’06 - Baseball

  • One of the top position players in the history of Rhode Island baseball
  • First player in program history to earn multiple All-America awards
  • Earned two major awards from the Atlantic 10 - Rookie of the Year (2001) and Player of the Year (2004)
  • Led the conference in doubles (24) in 2004
  • Holds four career records at Rhode Island - batting average, hits, doubles, RBI - and ranks second in career home runs (23), extra-base hits (92), total bases (425), and on-base percentage (.453)


Chris Hixson ’97 - Football

  • Rhode Island’s all-time leader in completions (691) and passing yards (8,407) over his four-year career
  • Also holds URI’s career passing percentage mark, completing 58.6% of his attempts (691-1179)
  • Ranks second all-time in passing touchdowns, with 55, pass attempts (1,179), and total yardage (7,927)
  • Was named Rookie of the Year by both the Yankee Conference and ECAC in 1993
  • Upon graduation, played for five seasons in the Arena Football League



Antonio Reynolds Dean ’99 - Men’s Basketball (selected in 2015)

  • Finished his Rhody career as one of the best forwards in program history. 
  • One of just three players in program history to compile better than 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds
  • Finished with 1,576 points (11th all-time) and 1,028 rebounds (third all-time). 
  • Appeared in 131 career games from 1995-99 and played in the postseason in each of his four seasons, including three NCAA Tournament bids and a trip to the Elite Eight in 1998
  • Currently in his second season as an assistant coach at URI 


Melanie Kasparek ’05 - Women’s Soccer

  • Was a 2002 NSCAA All-America Second Team selection
  • Twice was named to the ESPN The Magazine CoSIDA Academic All-America Women's Soccer Team (2004, 2005)
  • Two-time Atlantic 10 Offensive Player of the Year and Student-Athlete of the Year (2003, 2005)
  • Four-time First Team All-Atlantic 10 (2002-05) and was named the 2002 Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year
  • Ranks second in program history in career points (123) and goals (50), third in assists (23)



Lauren (Maselli) Urbina ’96 - Volleyball

  • Helped guide Rhode Island to the 1996 Atlantic 10 team title and a trip to the NCAA Tournament
  • In 1996, was named the AVCA National Player of the Week en route to earning First Team All-Atlantic 10 and First Team All-Region honors
  • Finished her career ranked second in total blocks (490) and block assists (426) and third in Rhody history with 1,158 career kills
  • Only player in URI volleyball history with at least 1,000 kills, 1,000 digs, and 490 total blocks
  • In 1995, part of the team that made the program’s only appearance in the National Invitational Volleyball Championship (NIVC)


Jeffry Woods '92 - Men’s Track & Field

  • Was a 1991 NCAA All-American in the 400m hurdles
  • Set 20 Rhode Island records in 10 different events throughout his four-year career
  • Still holds URI’s indoor and outdoor long jump and outdoor 400m hurdles records
  • Captured 16 career New England Championship titles
  • Two-time New England Track Athlete of the Year in 1990 and 1991