Munford, Lorch, Verdi, Madigan latest inductees into New Britain Sports Hall of Fame

Published on Monday, 11 April 2022 12:24
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This is the second in a three-part series highlighting the New Britain Sports Hall of Fame 2022 inductees

Charles Munford Jr.

Munford had a fiery, passionate personality. Whether it was at work or play, he had a strong passion for travel, jazz and his fraternity. Munford applied the same energy and enthusiasm to his social and family life. His friends and loved ones would be the first to admit they would gladly follow his leadership skills any day.

Munford embraced life with zest, graduated from the University of Connecticut with a degree in Communications and was a sports cameraman for WVIT television. While in college, he was a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. Munford’s commitment to his family and his community played a key role in his successes.

Munford had a way in which he could influence everyone around him. His energy was twice as strong then most people, which explains why he had the courage and vigor to be a mentor/leader. Munford was a unique father, brother and son to his family. He was a fun-loving individual who saw it as his mission in life to test boundaries and live his best life. Overall, Munford was a vibrant, excited individual who can draw people to him on the strength of his personality alone.

Richard Lorch

Lorch was a lifelong servant of his New Britain community. He demonstrated his pride of New Britain through his gift of coaching. Lorch coached tee-ball, Fagan and Mangan little league baseball, JC Courant Juniors and Seniors Summer League, American Legion and both baseball and softball at his alma mater, New Britain High School. Lorch also coached football, the sport he played for the Golden Hurricanes in the early 70’s. He coached PAL football and was an assistant coach at NBHS and Plainville High School as part of a coaching career that lasted more than 40 years.

He dedicated his time and knowledge of the sports he loved to hundreds of New Britain’s youth and was beloved by many. His unmistakable baritone laugh and his “old school” approach to working with kids was his calling card.

Lorch was also a proud supporter of the NBHS Golden Hurricanes Marching Band. He served the City of New Britain through various appointed positions such as the Board of Assessments, Parks and Recreation Commission and the Police Commission. He was also well known as a golf course ranger at Stanley Golf Course.

The New Britain Sports Hall of Fame is proud to select Lorch as its first recipient of the Bill Huber Sports Community Award

Lorch unexpectedly passed away last August. His family will accept the award on his behalf.

Both Lorch’s and Huber’s legacy will live on for many years to come.

Todd Verdi

Verdi was born and raised in New Britain and whose legacy is engrained on the baseball field at Martha Hart Park and at Veterans Stadium. However, his biggest contribution to sports is that he continues to promote athleticism and academics to the youth of New Britain as Principle of Slade Middle School.

As a Golden Hurricane from 1984 to 1988 Verdi received many accolades. In his junior year he was recognized by both the Hartford Courant and the CCC conference for both his offense and defense skills. In his senior year Verdi was named one of the top 10 football players in the state and was awarded All-State honors by the Hartford Courant and New Haven Register. The USA Today named Verdi as an Honorable All-American along with Honorable Mention as the “Milky Way Athlete of the Year.” Academically Verdi was named twice to the Who’s Who of American High School Students and was a winner of Connecticut’s State Scholar Athlete Award. After being recruited by top school such as Syracuse, Yale, and Maine, he decided to attend UConn.

As an UConn Husky, Verdi enjoyed 2 1/2 years as a starter playing both guard and tackle. Verdi pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and often volunteered as a mentor to underprivileged children. Upon graduation, Verdi pursued football in Italy with the Modena Viper acting as a player-coach. Missing his family he accepted the offer to become a football graduate assistant at Sacred Heart University. Here he earned his Master’s Degree in Education.

In 1995 Verdi met his future wife Heather while he was a substitute teacher at New Britain’s Slade Middle School. While teaching, coaching continued to be a passion for Verdi and he joined Jack Cochran’s coaching staff at NBHS in 2001as offensive line coach and was part of that year’s state championship football team.

On the home front Verdi’s sons Zachary, Hunter and Todd Jr. were poised to play football. Verdi immersed himself in youth football in Southington as a coach and a league president enacting best practices in coaching aligned with CIAC and NCAA standards. He currently serves as an offensive line coach for the Southington Vermon Midget football team. In 2012 Verdi was instrumental in forming a girls powder puff football division for young athletes in grades 3-12.

Verdi became principle of Slade Middle School in 2018 and made it his mission to enhance academics, athletics and school pride which were the standards he grew up with.

Verdi joins the New Britain Sports Hall of Fame alongside his father Sal and brother Tory.

Andrew Madigan

Madigan was born, raised and attended K-12 schools in New Britain. Being the youngest of three boys, all of which were standout athletes, Madigan started out his passion for sports in the NB Parks and Recreation little leagues playing baseball, basketball, soccer and track and field.

While at New Britain High School, Madigan played under coaches Jack Cochran and legendary Ken Kezer. He was captain of the Hurricanes football and baseball teams (2003) and collected All-Conference and All-State honors as a standout linebacker. He is considered as part of the first-team All-Hurricanes Defense, having been an integral part of the 2001 state championship team. Madigan also received the prestigious Coaches Choice Award presented by the U.S. Army at the annual Governors Cup All-Star Game between CT and RI where he captained the Connecticut team in its 41-16 victory.

As a three-year starter under Kezer, Madigan played the outfield, third base and catcher, had a .357 average and earned All-Conference honors during his senior year.

Madigan attended Springfield College where he earned a degree in Sports Management. His leadership continued from NBHS to Springfield where he captained the Pride as a junior and senior. Madigan’s accolades at Springfield included ECAC New England Division 3 All-Star team (2005-2006), Empire 8 All Conference Team (2005-2006), pre-season DIII All-American and Defensive MVP (2005-2006). He ranks sixth in total tackles and tied for first in forced fumbles amongst the Pride’s career records.

Post Springfield he moved to Colorado Springs, CO and accepted a job with USA Boxing. He worked under the Team USA flag for the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympic Games. Having also worked in Lausanne, Switzerland for two years Madigan has worked throughout all levels of combative sport. Currently Madigan is a partner at Kings Highway Media where they specialize in distributing prominent sport media rights.

Madigan resides in Farmington with his wife, Lauren (Glowiak) Madigan, and 3-month-old daughter, Avery Monroe Madigan.

The New Britain Sports Hall of Fame 25th annual induction dinner will take place Sunday, May 1 at the Generale Ameglio Ballroom, 13 Beaver Street, New Britain, beginning at 3 p.m. There is a $50 donation per person and tickets can be purchased at Scott’s Flowers, Paradise Restaurant, YMCA New Britain or by calling Bob Smilnak at 860-666-6835 or Joe Lombardo at 860-970-6364. Tickets will not be sold at the door.

Posted in New Britain Herald, New Britain on Monday, 11 April 2022 12:24. Updated: Monday, 11 April 2022 12:27.