The Niagara University Department of Athletics inducted Kathryn Rafter, Joe Mihalich, Brittany Bisnott, and the 2001-02 women's ice hockey team into its 2021 Athletics Hall of Fame class during a ceremony in December.
Rafter was a pioneer for women's sports at Niagara University and helped lead the initiative to have women's sports officially sanctioned at NU. She was a member of the women's basketball program from 1971-75 and, in 1974, became the first female student-athlete elected to the Athletics Advisory Council which helped implement Title IX. She has continued to be a generous benefactor of the Purple Eagles women's basketball program and Niagara University. Rafter was inducted to the MAAC Honor Roll in 2015.
Mihalich was at the helm of the Niagara men's basketball program from 1998-2013 and compiled 265 wins, which is the most in MAAC history. In his time on Monteagle Ridge, Mihalich led the Purple Eagles to two NCAA tournament appearances, three NIT appearances, two MAAC Championships and four MAAC regular season titles. He was named the MAAC Coach of the Year three times and the National Association of Basketball Coaches District 1 Coach of the Year twice and was the 2012-13 Skip Prosser Man of the Year.
Bisnott was an integral member of the Niagara women's soccer program from 2004-07. The 2007 MAAC Offensive Player of the Year and the 2004 MAAC Rookie of the Year finished her career at NU with 136 points and 60 goals, which both rank third in program history. Bisnott was a First Team Academic All-America honoree and, in 2008, was one of 58 NCAA student-athletes to be awarded educational grants through the NCAA postgraduate scholarship program.
The 2001-02 women's ice hockey team advanced to the semifinals of the Frozen Four and tied Minnesota, 2-2, in the third-place game. The Purple Eagles went 26-8-2 overall and 19-2-0 in conference play and were the ECAC regular season champions. Niagara had an impressive home record, going 15-2 overall and 11-0 in conference in games played at Dwyer Arena. On the season, Niagara averaged 3.82 goals per game and allowed just 1.41 goals per game.