Local quartet named to Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame

Dee, Donnelly, Kotz, Newell part of Class of 2012

Accomplishments that span at least seven decades - from the 1950s all the way to the present time - helped four local sports figures earn spots in the 2012 class of the Greater Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame.

They include Royce Newell and Brad Kotz, two important parts of West Genesee's athletic history. Also, Westhill graduate Sally Dee, who made it to the LPGA Tour, and Bishop Ludden boys basketball coach Pat Donnelly were selected.

All the announcements were made Wednesday in a press conference at the Hall of Fame's display inside Driver's Village in Cicero. The induction dinner will take place Oct. 15 at Drumlins Country Club.

Sally Dee played both golf and basketball at Westhill, earning 1,668 career points on the court. But she turned her attention full-time to golf after that point, winning a slew of local and state amateur tournaments.

A stint at the University of South Florida followed, where Dee was a three-time Academic All-American. From 1998 to 2002, Dee played on the LPGA Tour, finishing in the top five twice and top 10 five times, but stopping after she was unable to recover from a left elbow injury in 2001.

Still, Dee went on to win a RE/MAX World Long Driving championship in 2004 and appeared on The Golf Channel's "Big Break" program in 2008. More recently, she coached at USF, but has now started Playbook Public Relations, a firm with clients in both Tampa and Syracuse, just after earning her MBA at USF.

"I've had a long, long run in golf," said Dee, who started at the game at age 4. "It was time to use my brain power."

Pat Donnelly has enjoyed a long coaching run - 33 years, the last 25 of them at his alma mater, Bishop Ludden, where he took over in 1987, succeeding another Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame inductee, Jerry Wilcox.

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