Members of the Ridgewood High School Athletic Hall of Fame are those that have made a lasting impact on the school’s sports program as either student players, coaches, or supporters. Often the student players have continued to influence their chosen sports after high school by ongoing participation in athletics.
Bill Dunne, 2010 Inductee
Bill Dunne, a 1947 graduate, is one of the greatest running backs in the history of Ridgewood High School football. The 5-foot-8, 170-pound gifted three-sport athlete earned nine varsity letters during his career at RHS.
In his senior year, Dunne captained the football team for head coach Frank Mozeleski. He alternated between quarterback and left halfback, played middle linebacker and returned and kicked punts. His 25-yard field goal against Lodi was the first in RHS annals.
The 1946 team had few returning lettermen, but the Maroons won their final six games to finish the season with a 7-2 record. Dunne was named All-Suburban in The Ridgewood News, All-County in the Bergen Evening Record and All-State Group 3 at the quarterback position.
According to a Ridgewood News article published following the 1946 season, “Dunne was a very capable broken field runner and dashed away for numerous long touchdown runs and gains. His educated kicking toe accounted for many conversions, including the one which beat Pompton Lakes, 14-13, in a thriller of a ball game [witnessed by 4,200 people at the Pompton gridiron].” Another highlight of Dunne’s final football season was receiving the Hi-Y Grid Award, given by the Ridgewood YMCA for clean sportsmanship, scholarship and all-around student.
In basketball and baseball, Dunne was named All-State Group 3 his senior year. In George Lucas’ column in the Paterson Morning Call following the 1946 football season, he wrote of Dunne, “Just say the word to Ridgewood, and it was Dunne — by Billy Dunne, the super-dooper special. A star in baseball and basketball as well as on the gridiron, Billy could pick his sport and be a collegiate success. If he had any spare moments, the blond-special could probably do all right with soccer, ping-pong, and checkers.”
In the summer of 1947, Dunne and fellow RHS Hall of Fame member Gene Links (Class of 2004), played outfield for Uncle Sam’s Shoes, the leading semi-pro baseball team in North Jersey. The ball club won the New Jersey State Tournament, and Dunne hit a home run in the championship game. Uncle Sam’s Shoes traveled to Wichita, Kan., to compete in the National Semi-Pro Tournament.
Dunne attended two colleges. He first went to Potomac State Junior College in West Virginia, where he was a three-sport starter. He transferred to Stetson University in Deland, Florida, where he became the starting quarterback. In the eighth game of the season, he sustained a lower back career-ending injury.
Dunne enjoyed a successful 38-year sales career with Lehigh Cement Company with assignments in Baltimore, New York City and Minneapolis/St. Paul. He retired in 1992 as sales manager of the North Central region.
Dunne and his wife, Mary, who reside in Edina, Minnesota, celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary last June. They have five children, 11 grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
In retirement, Dunne has donated over 60 pints of blood to the Memorial Blood Bank.
John Marshall, Jim Bruni, Mark Romeo, Jean Hughes, Chris Van Note, Nancy Hogan, RHS Football Team 1913, Don Taylor, Rachel Grygiel, John Cerf, Paul Tornatore, Michele Marangi, RHS Boys’ Lacrosse 1990-92
Craig Halyard, Tom Flatt, Tricia Pappalardo, Mike Henderson, Kandie Latham, Leigh Jester, Tom Dusel, Roger Sweeney, Linda Zabielski, Patty Capasso, Dennis Sullivan, Nick & Dottie Capasso, Track and Field (Bain-Daley-Oliver Era)
Kitty Batterson, Henry Blauvelt, Frank L. Bradley, Jr., Lucia Cancelmo, Chris DuFlocq, Renee DuFlon, RHS Girls’ Basketball 1922-1923, Harry Grundy, Jim Jones, Joe LeMay, Jen McDermott, Shannon McGarrigle, Tony Napier, Margaret Niemann, Vince Robertiello (Jamie Roberts), Damian Ross, Mike Springer
Paul Arrigoni, Pete Campbell, Doug Cook, Becky Deetz, Otis Grendler, Jodi Hartwig, Gene Links, Debbie O’Connell, Aimee McGuire, Walt Perdue, Tom Simos, Kazbek Tambi, Jack Van Yperen, Bob Whitaker, Margaret Scutro