BEVERLY — During her four years as a two-sport athlete at Endicott College, Paula McGinn was no stranger to success. McGinn, a Lynn native who graduated from Classical High in 2004, played on the women’s soccer and softball teams at Division III Endicott and helped each team win four Commonwealth Coast Conference Championships.
Now McGinn will add one more attribute to her college athletics career. Earlier this week, Endicott announced that McGinn has been selected as one of four member of the school’s Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2018.
A forward in soccer and a center fielder in softball, McGinn said she was excited when she learned the news from Endicott Athletic Director Brian Wylie.
“I was very shocked and excited to get the call from the athletic director,” McGinn said. “I missed his phone call the first time. I called him back and it was very exciting to actually hear him say the words that I had been inducted. It really highlighted how I felt my career really went and the support I had throughout my four years at Endicott. It was nice seeing all my hard work come together.”
McGinn’s the only student-athlete in Endicott history to win eight CCC championships during her four years as a Gull. She also claimed five all-region honors, two CCC Player of the Year accolades (both in soccer), and seven all-conference awards (three in soccer, four in softball) at Endicott.
She helped lead the soccer team to a 67-19-2 mark during her four-year career, highlighted by an NCAA Sweet 16 appearance in 2006. On the softball diamond, the Gulls went 135-37-1 throughout McGinn’s four seasons and advanced to the NCAA Regionals in 2008. Overall, McGinn’s career record at Endicott sits at 202-56-3.
“It was really an unbelievable four years,” McGinn, who graduated in 2008 with a degree in sports management, said. “It took a lot of hard work from myself and all my teammates, along with coaches pushing us to succeed. I think the coaches have done a great job bringing great student-athletes. If you look at Endicott as a whole they’ve done a really good job building their athletic programs to be some of the best in New England, especially at the Division III level.”
Balancing a busy schedule with two sports and academics wasn’t an easy task. McGinn recalled hitting the books during road trips for away games and receiving solid support from coaches and professors.
“It was definitely challenging,” McGinn said. “The coaches and the athletics program itself really drive the student-athlete balance. They always say ‘student comes first, then you’re an athlete.’ They always try to help find that balance. There were times I was doing homework on a bus. You did what you had to do to get it all done.
“The other part of it was the professors were really understanding,” McGinn added. “I feel there was a good balance between professors and coaches, and understanding what student-athletes are going through.”
A strong support system at home was also a key piece to McGinn’s success as a Gull.
“I was lucky enough to have a great support system through it all,” McGinn said. “I had a family that supported me the entire way. My parents traveled to any game, no matter where it was. My parents made a lot of sacrifices for me to be as successful as I was.”
McGinn, who now resides in Beverly and works in financing, said she still tries to keep in touch with her former coaches and teammates at both Classical and Endicott.
“I try to make it to the Classical alumni basketball games,” McGinn said. “Same with Endicott. I try to stay in touch with coaches and make it to a couple games to show my support. At the end of the day, they did a lot for me.”
McGinn was a three-sport athlete at Classical (soccer, basketball, softball). In addition to McGinn, Kevin Eagan ’12, Valerie Feldman ’10 and Patrick Gaffney ’07, will be inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame, Class of 2018, on Saturday, September 22. The aforementioned group of student-athletes will be the 21st class inducted into the Endicott Athletics Hall of Fame since its inaugural membership began in 1994. All four student-athletes will formally be inducted on Saturday, September 22 during the President’s Welcome, Athletics Tribute and Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony inside MacDonald Gymnasium at 9 a.m.