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The William J. Mottola Athletics Hall of Fame at Maine Maritime will introduce the 2012 class of inductees at a ceremony September 29 in the Delano Auditorium. This year’s inductees include football alumni Steve Tardif, from the graduating class of 2000, and women’s basketball alumni Alyssa Burns, Michelle Gott, and Julia Knights, all from the graduating class of 2007.
Tardif had an extremely successful football career at the academy. He still holds fourteen records at the school including most career rushing yards (6,099), most rushing yards in a single game (352), and most career all-purpose yards (7,968). He has also been honored as a two-time Hewlett-Packard All American and four-time first team All-New England Football Conference selection.
“Football had always been part of my life from a young man,” said Tardif. “MMA gave me the opportunity to get a great education along with being able to continue to play football at the college level.”
Since graduating from MMA, Tardif has traveled the world working as a Lead Field Engineer for General Electric. During his travels he met his wife in Russia and currently lives with her and her daughter in Saco, Maine.
“Being honored as one of the great football players at MMA along with all the other inductees would only cap my great experience at MMA,” said Tardif.
Michelle Gott, Julia Knights, and Alyssa Burns were teammates on the Mariner’s Women’s Basketball team, coached by Craig Dagan.
“It was honestly a great honor,” said Dagan, “you couldn’t ask for three better women to coach.”
“They helped transcend women’s sports around here,” Dagan added, “they helped bring women’s basketball in to the lime light… they made it cool to be a woman at MMA.”
Michelle Miles (Gott) is the owner of sixteen MMA women’s basketball records. She is the program’s all-time points leader (1,600) and holds most of the program’s three-point records. Miles was named to the North Atlantic Conference first team three times and the seconds team once. She went to the NAC All-Tournament three times and was voted the tournament’s Most Valuable Player once.
“Shelly’s tough,” said Dagan, MMA’s Woman’s Basketball Coach, “she was our enforcer. She was tough; no one messed with her on the court.”
Since graduation, Miles has worked for her family owned business, Gott’s Disposal, is a real estate broker for Margo Stanley Real Estate and owns Miles Motorsports and Miles Lawn Care with her husband Ricky. She has two children, Cooper and Bentley.
Miles attributes much of her success since leaving MMA to her coaches and teammates.
“The coaches and the other players in the program definitely helped make me who I am today,” said Miles, “we had a great group of people when I played and I couldn't have asked for anything more.”
“They were all very supportive in my personal life, school life and basketball life we all spent a lot of time together in four years between traveling, classes, practices and extras it would be hard not to take something away with that I learned a lot from all of them, they helped me be a better listener, team mate, friend and an overall better person,” Miles added.
Burns’ achievements include being crowned three times as the NAC “Player of the year” and was named to the NAC first team three times, Maine Woman’s Basketball Coaches Association second team All-State twice, MWBCA first team All-State once and as a senior was named a WBCA Honorable Mention All American. She stills holds ten Mariner records.
“Alyssa was quiet,” said Dagan, “she didn’t say much but when the lights came on no one worked harder.”
Knights was an extremely successful player for the Mariners. She is the only player for MMA to have ever scored more than 1,000 points and have more than 1,000 rebounds. Her freshman year she was named the NAC “co-Player of the Year.” She was selected for the NAC first team three times, the second team once, the MWBCA second team All-State, and was a member of the NAC All-Tournament team four times.
“Julia was our glue, our emotional leader,” said Dagan.
When asked about how Gott, Knights, and Burns worked together as a team, coach Dagan complimented their unselfishness and compared them to the likes of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen; “They were our big three.”
The induction ceremony for the four alumni is scheduled to be held during homecoming activities in Delano Auditorium at 10:30.