Auriemma, Diana, Hunt, Robinson honored with Gold Key at 2001 banquet


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From left, 2001 Gold Key recipents Frank Robinson, Jr., Jean Hunt, Geno Auriemma and Rich Diana. (John Dunn photo)

UConn women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma, former Yale running back Rich Diana, and legendary high school coaches Jean Hunt of Farmington and Frank Robinson, Jr. of Hall in West Hartford were named the 2001 Gold Key Award winners by the Connecticut Sports Writers' Alliance.

Pete Zanardi, whose stories and columns on baseball and other subjects have graced the pages of state publications for nearly 30 years, was selected by the Connecticut Sports Writers Alliance to receive its Arthur B. McGinley Meritorious Service Award.

Women's amateur golf champion Liz Janangelo and UConn soccer player Chris Gbandi were named Connecticut's 2000 athletes of the year by the Connecticut Sports Writers' Alliance.

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The 2001 Good Sport Award winners. From left, Mary Fuller and Cathi Rappi of Waterbury; Bill Hardy of Portland; Mike Lantiere of Southington; Rick Ganoe of Willimantic; Dennis Beatty of New Britain; Peter Kokinis of Wethersfield; and Billy Lynch of Windsor. (John Dunn photo)

The eight receipients of the 2001 John Wentworth Good Sports Award were Dennis Beatty of New Britain; Bill Hardy of Portland; Mary Fuller and Cathi Rappi of Waterbury; Richard Ganoe of Franklin; Peter Kokinis of Wethersfield; Mike Lantiere of Southington, and Billy Lynch of Windsor. Guilford's Joe Maher and Granby's Dot Johnson, who guided their teams to state championships last fall received the Doc McInerney State High School Coaches of the Year awards.

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The two coaches of the year, Joe Maher of Guilford and Dot Johnson of Granby. (John Dunn photo)

The award winners will be honored at the Alliance's 60th Gold Key Dinner April 29 at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington. In addition, the UConn men's soccer team and coach Ray Reid were recognized for winning the 2000 NCAA Division I men's national title.

The Gold Key awards dinner, held in annually in April, is the primary function of the Alliance. The Gold Key is the highest sports honor in Connecticut as the Alliance recognizes those who have made significant contributions to athletics in Connecticut.

Jonathan Versteeg of Torrington, a senior at Torrington High School and a part-time news and sports writer for the Torrington Register Citizen was awarded a $1,000 scholarship. Eight years ago, the Alliance started its journalism scholarship, an award given to a graduating high school senior who plans to pursue a degree in journalism at a four-year college or university.

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From left, West Hartford's Liz Janangelo, the state amateur women's golf champion; Ray Reid, coach of the 2000 national champion UConn men's soccer team and Chris Gbandi, the Alliance's male athlete of the year. (John Dunn photo)

The inaugural Gold Key Dinner was held Jan. 29, 1940 in New Haven.

During the dinner, the Alliance also honored the winners of the Michaels Achievement Cup for Excellence among the state's high school's athletic programs. Simsbury High School was the overall winner.

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