WALTHAM, Mass. -– While Brandeis students and teams have been largely dormant over the winter break while recharging for the spring semester -– women's basketball 63-46 win over Husson on New Year's Eve excepted -– it's a good time to catch up with successful Brandeis Athletic alumni.
Nelson Figueroa '98, the longtime professional pitcher who spent the 2010 season with the Philadelphia Phillies and Houston Astros, had his finest campaign in Major League Baseball last season. He went 7-4 with a 3.29 earned-run average overall and 5-3 with a 3.22 ERA after joining the Astros in July. For his efforts, Figueroa earned his first offseason major-league contract just after Thanksgiving. The Astros are Figueroa's sixth major-league organization. Read more from the Houston Chronicle: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/sports/bb/7319408.html.
Steve DeLuca '08, the men's basketball program's fifth all-time leading scorer and a National Association of Basketball Coaches All-American in 2009 as a graduate student, is in his second season as a professional in the Premier Basketball League. DeLuca plays for the Saint John Mill Rats in New Brunswick, Canada. The franchise started in fall 2009 in Manchester, N.H., DeLuca's home state, and moved to Saint John this season. He moved into the playing rotation last season with a 40-point performance in March and continued to light it up this past preseason. A preseason look at DeLuca appeared in the Dec. 15 Saint John Telegraph Journal: http://telegraphjournal.canadaeast.com/sports/article/1350897
Finally, Kevin Curtin '84, a Brandeis All-American and captain of the 1983 national championship cross-country team, was named head coach of the cross-country and track teams at Bentley University on December 21. Curtin, who was inducted into the Brandeis Athletic Hall of Fame in 2009, had served as head coach of the New Balance Boston Track Club since 2003. He succeeds 19-year head coach Ed Lyons at the Falcons' helm. Curtin served as an assistant track and cross-country coach at his alma mater in 1986-87. Read the Bentley press release at http://bentleyfalcons.com/sports/mtrack/2010-11/releases/20101221ikqqzb.