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EFSC President Named to Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame
February 4, 2016 - Eastern Florida State College president Dr. Jim Richey has been named to the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame for expanding collegiate athletics and bringing professional soccer to Brevard County.
Dr. Jim Richey will be inducted in the category of Sports Development during a May 16 ceremony that will include more than 20 other inductees.
Hall of Fame committee members lauded his work in announcing the Class of 2016 on Thursday.
“What Dr. Richey has done is remarkable,” said Tom Palermo, president and CEO of Maverick Multi Media, which publishes Space Coast Daily Online and Space Coast Daily Magazine that includes the Hall of Fame.
“The results are benefiting the college and our entire community because it’s happening on multiple levels. It’s putting the Space Coast on the sports map in a big way.”
Richey thanked the Hall of Fame for the recognition and called the accomplishments “a true team effort.”
“A lot of people at the college played a role in making this happen, including our Board of Trustees, coaches, players, staff and many in the community who continue giving us their strong support,” he said.
Since he became college president in 2012, Richey has added varsity programs in men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s tennis and women’s golf.
The college’s 11 varsity programs are the most in the 24-member Florida College System Activities Association.
Many of the teams are nationally ranked with the women’s soccer team twice playing for the NJCAA national championship.
A number of games are broadcast live on WEFS-TV to sports fans throughout Central Florida and streamed nationally via webcast on the college's sports website.
Richey has also constructed an athletic complex on the Melbourne campus with new or upgraded facilities for soccer, tennis, softball, baseball, basketball and volleyball.
The Titan Soccer Complex has hosted NJCAA national tournaments and Florida high school state championships that have pumped millions of dollars into the local economy through visitor spending.
Perhaps his biggest sports-related achievement is a partnership with the Orlando City Soccer Club to base its United Soccer League team - called Orlando City B – at the Titan Soccer Complex.
The team will play 15 home games there starting March 26 with the facility expanded to hold 3,500 fans.
An analysis prepared for Brevard County’s Office of Tourism indicated the USL team's games and related soccer events will provide an estimated $2.16 million annual economic boost to the Space Coast economy.
That includes about 21,600 nights of room rentals a year for local hotels, including lodging for visiting teams and for fans.
Another Hall of Fame inductee will be Mark DeCotis, Manager of Athletic Communications at Eastern Florida State College, in the category of Sports Journalism.
DeCotis’s career spans more than 40 years and includes work as an award-winning reporter
and editor at Florida Today and covering EFSC’s 11 varsity athletic programs.