After 29 years, Harrison’s Athletic Hall of Fame is back with star-studded class


If you didn’t know that Harrison High School had an Athletics Hall of Fame, don’t feel too bad, several others within the town didn’t either.

But after being dormant for nearly three decades, the Harrison High School Athletics Hall of Fame is back. On May 4,Harrison will be presenting its first ceremony in 29 years when it welcomes a new class of inductees in an event that will be held at the Hanover Manor in East Hanover.

“A lot of people didn’t know it existed,” Harrison athletic director Sean Dolaghan said with a laugh. “Everyone’s been excited to bring it back and was thrilled. We haven’t had it in about 30 years and there’s so many great athletes that haven’t been inducted. People couldn’t believe some of the ones being inducted (this year) hadn’t already been inducted.

“We have a very special class this year going into the Hall of Fame. There are so many great Harrison athletes that aren’t in yet, but the committee and myself thought this group had to get in right away.”

Headlining the class of seven athletes, two coaches and one team is former New York Jets quarterback Ray Lucas (Boys Basketball, Football), a two-sport star at Harrison and currently the head football coach. Lucas and fellow 2023 inductee Jody Hill (Girls Basketball) were the first man and woman to score 2,000 points in their high school careers in Blue Tide history.

Others to be inducted in the May 4 ceremony are three-sport standout Krissy Kutt (Girls Basketball, Girls Soccer, Softball), Michael Landy Sr. (Baseball), John “Jackie” Thompson (Boys Soccer), Alice Burgos (Girls Basketball, Girls Soccer, Softball) and Cristhian Acuna (Boys Soccer). Current Harrison boys soccer coach Mike Rusek as well as former boys basketball and girls soccer coach Phil Kutt are also being inducted. The 2002 Harrison boys soccer team, which went 25-0-1, won the Group 2 championship and was named the No. 1 ranked team in New Jersey by The Star-Ledger will also be honored.

“People are reaching out from all over. The community of Harrison is excellent, it’s like no other really,” said Dolaghan. “Harrison roots are strong and when people heard about who was being inducted into the Hall of Fame, they started calling.”

As a Harrison native, Dolaghan can relate. Among his childhood memories are watching some of the Blue Tide greats who were a part of this Hall of Fame class.

“My wife and I both grew up watching Jody do some special things on the basketball court,” Dolaghan said. “My brothers and I loved watching Ray play not only football, but especially loved going to the gym on Friday nights to watch him play basketball.”

Since taking over as athletic director this past summer, one of Dolaghan’s priorities has been creating awareness of Harrison’s history of his success over the years. One of the first things was re-establishing the Hall of Fame.

After getting approval from the Board of Education’s Dr. Maureen Kroog, Dr. James Doran and Daniel Choffo; Dolaghan went about forming a Hall of Fame committee. The committee is composed of himself, Arthur Pettigrew, Alan Doffont, Kevin Barber, Jack Rodgers, Angel Lombardi, Mike Landy, Peter Marion, Brian Toal, Mike Rusek, Mike Rusek Sr., Pedro Martinez, Mike Dolaghan and Joe Healy. Mike Dolaghan in particular, is one who Sean credits for making this event possible.

According to Sean Dolaghan, the first committee meeting to set up the event took place in September. After going 29 years without any inductees, the toughest part was narrowing the list down to 10 inductees.

For that reason, Dolaghan promises that the Hall of Fame will become a yearly event again for the foreseeable future.

“We have so many athletes that aren’t getting in right now. The hardest part is that we have so many phenomenal athletes that have played in the last 30 years at Harrison that aren’t in and it’s tough. Everyone’s going to get in, but some are going to have to be patient. We had 20 people that could have been in this class, that’s how strong it is. We have so many athletes and teams and coaches that this could go on for a long time.”

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Jason Bernstein | Observer Sports Writer

Jason Bernstein joined The Observer as its sports writer in March 2022, following the retirement of Jim Hague. He has a wealth of sports-writing experience, including for NJ Advance Media (, The Jersey Journal, The Star-Ledger.)