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Desko headlines Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame '08 class

John Desko, who led Syracuse University to another NCAA men's lacrosse championship this spring, highlights the seven-member 2008 class of the Greater Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame.

Desko joins baseball legend Tom Dotterer, three-sports Star Chris Jones, college basketball referee Mike Kitts, Olympic athlete Myer Prinstein, college football official John T. Smith and Syracuse female athletic pioneer Doris Soladay in this year's class. Both Prinstein and Soladay are posthumous inductees.

All will be honored on Oct. 20 at the annual Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame Dinner, to be held again at Drumlins Country Club and televised by Time Warner Sports.

Desko played three sports at West Genesee High School, including lacrosse under legendary coach Mike Messere, before his playing days at SU. Upon graduation, he immediately became an assistant coach under Roy Simmons Jr. and stayed in that capacity for 19 years as SU's teams went 229-43 and won six national championships.

In 1999, Desko was chosen to succeed Simmons as SU's head coach, and the Orange have achieved four more national titles in his decade at the helm, the '08 championship coming after wins in 2000, 2002 and 2004.

A coach of the U.S. National team in the 2006 World Games, Desko and his wife, Cindy, have four children -- the oldest of which, Tim, followed in his father's footsteps as a lacrosse star at West Genesee before going to SU.

Tom Dotterer is the son of "Dutch" and the brother of Henry Dotterer, both of whom are in the Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame. Now, Tom gets his turn.

A 1953 graduate of Christian Brothers Academy, Dotterer reached the AAA level in the professional baseball ranks and, in 1962, played seven games for the Syracuse Chiefs, hitting .417 as a true hometown hero.

Since 1980, Dotterer has been head baseball coach at his alma mater, CBA. In his 29 seasons at the helm, the Brothers have won a long list of league and Section III titles, including the 1996 state Class C championship. Just last spring, CBA won another sectional title and advanced to the state Class B final four. He is already enshrined in CBA's Athletic Hall of Fame and, with his wife Joanne, runs a liquor store on North Salina Street on the city's north side.

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