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Columbia Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2019

The Columbia High School Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2019 (L to R – Standing): Steve Matheke, Joseph DiBello, Fran Pugliese. (L to R – Sitting): Bill Mackey, Dr. Barbara Oesterlin. Not pictured: John Lyons.

Four former student athletes and two former coaches were inducted into Columbia High School’s Athletic Hall of Fame on Friday, May 3. The Class of 2019 includes Joseph DiBello ’80, John Lyons ’92, Bill Mackey ’68, Dr. Barbara Oesterlin ’77, Steve Matheke and Fran Pugliese – all of whom made outstanding contributions to Columbia’s athletic program.

“The Athletic Hall of Fame ceremony is always a special event,” said Columbia Athletic Director Michael Leonard. “We had an outstanding class representing the very best of Columbia Athletics. The evening was filled with fond memories and deep gratitude. Congratulations to our newest members of the Hall of Fame and their families!”

View Athletic Hall of Fame Program

Athletic Hall of Fame – Class of 2019

Joseph DiBello ’80

  • Three-sport athlete (football, basketball, baseball)
  • Passed for over 1,800 yards and 15 touchdowns in his career
  • Earned 1st Team All-Area recognition by the Troy Record and 2nd Team honors from the Schenectady Gazette
  • Led the Columbia baseball team with a .411 batting average and set a school record with 24 runs scored
  • Earned a scholarship to play football at the University of Connecticut, where he also walked on to the baseball team

John Lyons ’92

  • In three varsity basketball seasons, John’s teams had a 51-17 record.
  • In 1992, as a co-captain he led the Blue Devils to a 20-4 record and the Suburban Council Championship. He was  named 1991-92 Suburban Council Player of the Year, Troy Record Section 2 Player of the Year, Times Union First Team All-Area, News Channel 13 All-Star and 7th team All-State selection.
  • Upon graduation, he ranked 2nd in scoring in school history
  • Played two years at the College of St. Joseph in Rutland, Vt., averaging nearly 25 points a game

Bill Mackey ’68

  • Three-sport athlete (football, basketball, outdoor track and field)
  • Named 1st Team All Suburban Council in Basketball by the Schenectady Union Star, Bill averaged 15.9 points per game, fifth best in the council league in 1967-68
  • Senior member of the medley relay team that set a school record and finished 6th at the New York State Invitational Meet, Bill was awarded the Baton Award for scoring the most points during the 1968 track and field season
  • Attended Central Connecticut State University, where he majored in Physical Education and played three seasons on the football team, leading the team in touchdowns during his junior year

Steve Matheke

  • Coached football at Columbia from 1972 to 1994, and served as varsity head coach from 1990-1994
  • As a member of the varsity coaching staff, Steve saw his team tie for first place in the league in 1981 and 1982 and then win the Suburban Council Championship the following year
  • In 1991, the varsity football team won the Metroland Conference and Division IV title; Coach Matheke was named Troy Record “Coach of the Year”
  • Also worked with the wrestling, track and field, and lacrosse teams during his coaching career

Dr. Barbara Oesterlin ’77

  • Competed in track and field and cross country for three seasons, excelling in sprint and distance events as well as the long jump and relays
  • Won state championships, earned All State and All American recognition, placed in national meets and set school and state records
  • Named a High School All American in recognition of “outstanding ability in cross country, sportsmanship, and involvement in extracurricular activities”
  • Majored in biology at RPI and then completed four years of dental school at the School of Dental Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Fran Pugliese

  • Coached Columbia girls’ varsity basketball team from 1987-1998, becoming head coach in 1988
  • In 10 seasons, he would amass a 112-104 record to become the coach with the most wins in the program’s history
  • Led the team to its first Section 2 championship in history in 1993-94 with the most wins on record at 20-4
  • Taught math at Goff Middle School from 1984-2002, and then served as a house principal at Goff from 2002-2009