Dave Gonyea is longtime athletic director, security director, housing director and basketball coach at Central Maine Community College in Auburn.

Dave Gonyea is longtime athletic director, security director, housing director and basketball coach at Central Maine Community College in Auburn.

A member of the organization from its inception and one of the United States Collegiate Athletic Association’s founding members, Central Maine Community College Athletic Director Dave Gonyea learned this week he’ll be a special part of the USCAA in perpetuity.

Gonyea is among the inaugural class of the USCAA Hall of Fame, the organization announced Wednesday.

“I was a little surprised,” Gonyea said, “I knew nothing about it. I’m honored. I’m so proud at how far the league has come. I worked with great people, and at the dinner, I am so looking forward to seeing some of the guys who helped start the league when I was around at the beginning.”

An entity for 16 years, the USCAA focuses specifically on smaller institutions of higher learning, such as CMCC, and the schools’ student athletes. Gonyea, one of four “modern” hall inductees, was one of the driving forces in the formation of the USCAA. A member of the organizations board of directors from its inception in 2001 through 2011, Gonyea oversaw the near-doubling of the association’s ranks from 42 schools to 80. He was also the tournament director for the USCAA baseball and basketball national championships, all while continuing his duties as AD and head basketball coach at CMCC.

“We’re very lucky, we’ve had great people on the board of directors over the years, with a variety of skills, who helped put this whole thing together,” Gonyea said. “And today? It’s a monster today. We go to the nationals today, there’s a thousand people at the dunk contest. It’s nothing like I had at CM 15 years ago. It’s a completely different world, and I’m proud as hell of it, because you know you were a part of it.”

And Gonyea helped build it while juggling his “regular” job at CMCC.

“One of the biggest lessons he’s taught me in my time at CMCC is, just because something is good for CM, doesn’t mean it’s good for the league,” CMCC women’s basketball coach Andrew Morong said. “And sometimes, what’s best for the league, isn’t best for CM. Understanding that big picture, he grasped that early on. Being able to navigate the fine line, what’s best for everyone else, and selfishly what’s best for CM, he does that effortlessly.”

Many of the philosophies Gonyea used to help create the league from the shadow of the crumbling NSCAA, which preceded the current league, are apparent to those around him at CMCC today.

“His impact goes beyond college basketball, or men’s basketball,” Morong said. “I think he’s impacted basketball statewide, from feeder programs to colleges.

“The game of basketball is a tool he uses to teach life lessons to young men from all across the world now,” Morong added. “It’s a tool to get them prepared for the real world, the next stop in their journey.”

The Legacy Class being inducted to the USCAA hall consists of individuals dating back to the National Little College Athletic Association and National Small College Athletic Association from 1966-2000, which were the predecessors to the USCAA, formed in 2001. The Legacy Class includes former athletic directors, administrators, and other distinguished members who made contributions to the NLCAA and NSCAA.

The USCAA Hall of Fame, of which Gonyea will be a part, honors contributors from 2001 to the present. It is comprised of former coaches, student-athletes and meritorious contributors.

According to a USCAA news release, the inductees were reviewed and selected in coordination with the national office and a selection committee of current and former members of the USCAA Board of Directors.

Among the Legacy members inducted is Gary Zane of Unity College in Unity, Maine.

The induction ceremony will take place June 11 in Norfolk, Virginia.


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