To be a member of a sports hall of fame is a great honor; to be a member of three sports halls of fame is remarkable. The induction into the Rockland County Sports Hall of Fame this year culminates the athletic career and life that Dan Sullivan lived. Dan made his everlasting mark upon everyone with whom he came in contact.
Dan was a multi-sport athlete at Albertus Magnus, competing for three years on the varsity level in both baseball and basket- ball. Although he was a fierce competitor on the baseball field, it was on the basketball court that Dan is most remembered. Albertus Magnus had just entered the RCPSAL and with their young coach, future Rockland Hall of Famer Tommy Collins, they were striving to make a lasting impression. Dan‘s basket- ball ability stood out in a big way. As captain of the team in 1971 and 1972, Dan was selected first-team All-County as a guard both years. In his senior year he became only the third backcourt player in Rockland County history to score 40 or more points in one game. In 1972 Dan was also selected to the Rockland-Orange All-Star team, representing the “cream of the crop” in the two-county area. To top it all off, Dan was selected among the tri-state athletes as a 1972 Daily News (New York City metro area) All-Star. The North Jersey News character- ized Dan as the “main factor” in Albertus finishing a respectable fourth in the first year of PSAL play (1972), citing his 19.7 points-per-game scoring average, fine jump shot, eight assists per game, his good number of steals and his development into a complete ball player.
Coach Collins described Dan as the best competitor he ever coached, and a player who always played to win. “Sully was certainly our chief offensive weapon. His chief assets are his determination and will to win; the statistics speak for themselves.” For his efforts on the basketball court and baseball diamond, Dan was inducted into the Albertus Magnus Hall of Fame in 1996.
Dan’s local career didn’t end after high school graduation. He decided to stay in Rockland County and play basketball for Dominican College. He started right away as a freshman and averaged 12.6 points a game during that year. During the first two years of Dan’s college career he was selected second-team All-County on the college level by The Journal News. In his junior and senior years, Dan was selected to the first-team of the All-County college list, and was voted captain of his team both years.
By the time Dan finished his senior year, he became the fourth member of the Dominican College 1,000-point club, scoring more than 1,500 points in his career. In his senior year Dan shot 55.3 percent from the floor, while averaging 16.3 points per game. On the foul line Dan averaged 70 percent; in addition, he had 124 steals and 162 assists. The Dominican College basketball team was very successful during Dan’s tenure on the team; they recorded 85 wins with only 20 losses from 1972 through 1976.
Dominican’s basketball coach, Bob Macken, said of Dan after his senior season was completed: “Sully was a super hustler who gave everything, all the time. We’ll miss him in so many ways; his ball handling, scoring, leadership, play-making. You can’t replace a guy like Sullivan easily.” In Dan’s senior year he decided to go out for the soccer team at Dominican and became the starting goalie. In 1996 Dan was inducted into the Dominican College Hall of Fame.
Dan married his wife, Nora, after graduation and moved to the north Rockland area, where they raised their children. Dan contributed to the community serving as a Little League baseball and basketball coach. All three of Dan’s children went on to be named All-County during their high school careers. Son Dan was a baseball player for North Rockland who was awarded a baseball scholarship to George Washington University. He was the captain of his college team and went on to play two years in the minor leagues. Dan’s oldest daughter, Donna, also a North Rockland graduate, was awarded a soccer scholarship to Siena College. Not to be outdone by her older siblings, youngest daughter Alana, who chose to attend her father’s alma mater, Albertus Magnus, played varsity tennis at Cortland State University.
Sadly, we lost Dan in October 2011 but he leaves behind a legacy in his children of athletic excellence, competitiveness, leadership and sportsmanship.