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VISAA Honors 2023 Hall of Fame Inductees

Richmond, VA - The Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association (VISAA) is pleased to announce four new inductees into the VISAA Hall of Fame for 2023.

Mike Costello of Highland School, Eric Gobble of The New Community School, Max Gillespie (retired) of Hampton Roads Academy, and Cathy LaDuke (in memoriam) of Chatham Hall were selected for induction by VISAA’s Hall of Fame Committee and will be honored at a dinner at the Hilton Short Pump on October 16 at 6:30 P.M.

Mike Costello, Highland School

Mike Costello currently serves as the director of the extended day program at Highland School. Before arriving at Highland, he served in leadership roles at Massanutten Military Academy, Randolph-Macon Academy, and Wakefield Country Day School. He coached an array of sports at each school, including tennis, basketball, and soccer, and earned multiple honors from the Delaney Athletic Conference (DAC). He is a lifetime member of the Virginia Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (VIAAA) where he has served on a number of committees. VIAAA honored him as Athletic Director of the Year for Independent Schools in 2003 for his work at R-MA, and again with the VIAAA Outstanding Service Award in 2018 for his work at Wakefield Country Day.

Max Gillespie, Hampton Roads Academy

Max Gillespie served at Hampton Roads Academy as teacher, mentor, and basketball coach from 1980 to 2013 and as HRA’s athletic director from 1981 to his retirement in 2020. Navigator basketball teams won 551 games in the Gillespie era, multiple championships in the Tidewater Conference of Independent Schools (TCIS), and multiple sportsmanship awards through the Peninsula Basketball Officials Association (PBOA).  The TCIS also honored Gillespie multiple times as conference Coach of the Year.  He has been an active member of the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), in addition to years of service on VIAAA and VISAA committees, especially the VISAA boy’s basketball committee. VIAAA named him Athletic Director of the Year for Independent Schools in 2002. After he stepped away from coaching in 2013, Hampton Roads Academy christened the basketball court in their Charles R. Spencer Jr. Gymnasium, “Max Gillespie Court.”

Eric Gobble, The New Community School

Eric Gobble has served as director of athletics and wellness at The New Community School since 2015.  Prior to his arrival at New Community, he served as athletic director at Trinity Episcopal School from 2003 to 2015.  While at Trinity, he restarted the Titans’ football program and served as its head coach from 2004 to 2011, earning Old Dominion Football Conference (ODFC) Coach of the Year honors in 2008 and VISAA Division I State Football Coach of the Year honors in 2009. Gobble has served VISAA in a variety of capacities, chairing the state girl’s soccer committee from 2009 to 2014 and serving most recently as secretary for the VISAA Board of Directors. At New Community, he has led efforts to build new athletic facilities and was instrumental in bringing the school into VISAA membership.  His efforts at New Community were recognized by VIAAA with their Athletic Director of the Year for Independent Schools in 2017.

Cathy LaDuke, Chatham Hall

Cathy LaDuke served at Chatham Hall for 34 years, including 20 years as athletic director from 1996 to 2015. She was instrumental in the founding of the Blue Ridge Conference (BRC), a predecessor of the Blue Ridge Athletic Conference (BRAC), where she served in a number of roles, including webmaster, treasurer, and vice president. During her time at Chatham Hall she coached a variety of sports, but was best known for her work in field hockey and lacrosse, and served many years on both sports’ VISAA committees.  LaDuke was selected by the VIAAA as Athletic Director of the Year for Independent Schools in 2004, and was honored posthumously in 2021 with the VIAAA Distinguished Service Award.  She was proud of her VIAAA and NIAAA membership throughout her career.

VISAA looks forward to honoring these four outstanding individuals and invites all friends of the Association to help celebrate their accomplishments. Those wishing to attend the dinner may click on the link below to register. Individual tickets are $75. For more information please contact Jeremy Eubank, chair of the VISAA Hall of Fame Committee at jeubank@northcross.org.

2023 VISAA Hall of Fame Dinner Registration

About VISAA: The Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association provides accredited member schools with the resources and competitive environment in support of education-based athletic programs that establish a foundation for excellence founded on integrity, sportsmanship, and leadership. The Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association will develop athletic programs that are nationally recognized and provide student-athletes with quality opportunities for participation, competition, achievement, and the development of character.