The Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame was established during 1990 to honor outstanding people who have gained prominence and have made substantial contributions to Suffolk County in professional and amateur sports. Located in Patchogue, the Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame also serves as a center to educate students and adults about the cultural, historical and other contributions and achievements of its honorees.
In addition to Metzger, the 2014 inductees are Steve Borbet (Bay Shore High School girls’ track and field coach), Fred Cambria (former Major League Baseball player with the Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Yankees organizations), Ed Cinelli (athletic director at Patchogue/Medford schools), Scott Craig (West Islip High School boys’ lacrosse coach), Bill Edwards (25 years as Hofstra University’s head softball coach), Tom Sabatelle (34 years of service in the Sachem school district), Nick Schroeder ( physical education teacher and athletic director at Brentwood High School) and Doug Shanahan (Sachem High School and Hofstra University football and lacrosse athlete).
High School, College Success
Metzger earned national honors as a lacrosse player at Hofstra during 1980 and he played lacrosse, football and basketball at Half Hollow Hills East High School during the late 1970s. In high school, Metzger led the lacrosse team in points and assists during his junior and senior years. He was recognized as an All-American and won the 1977 Raymond Enners Award as Suffolk County’s best lacrosse player. He set school records for points in a season and assists in a single game, season and career.
On the gridiron, Metzger was a three-year varsity starter, leading the team in scoring each season (1974-1976) and in rushing during 1975 and 1976. He recorded 27 touchdowns and 170 points. His record totals include 2,155 rushing yards and 2,777 total yards. As a senior, Metzger was the only high school athlete named to the North-South All-Star Games for football and lacrosse.
At Hofstra, Metzger led the lacrosse team in assists during 1979 (12) and 1980 (28), and in points, 49, for 1980. He earned United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association All-America honors during his sophomore year. After two seasons, Metzger decided to concentrate on academics, which led to the 1989 founding of The Whitmore Group.
While growing his firm, Metzger never forgot his sports roots, and he has supported athletics and education at both schools. Metzger’s philosophy reflects the sports and business connection – “Everything I ever needed to know about business I learned on the sports field.”
Several years ago, Metzger provided a $1.5 million gift to Hofstra, the largest commitment in Hofstra athletics history, to support men’s lacrosse and assist in other projects that benefit the school’s 17 sports. His contributions also support an internship program within the school’s Center for Civic Engagement. Metzger has contributed $100,000 to Half Hollow Hills East to begin the James C. Metzger Lacrosse Endowment. Metzger received the 2013 George Young Award from The National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame & Museum and he received the 2011 Joseph M. Margiotta Distinguished Service Award from Hofstra University in recognition of extraordinary dedication, generosity and service to the Hofstra Pride Club and Hofstra athletics.
In the community, Metzger also supports and serves on the boards of many business organizations and community programs. He is a former board member of the Funeral Service Foundation and the Catholic Cemetery Guild. He currently serves as a board member for the Hofstra Pride Club and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island. Later this year, Metzger will be honored for his contributions to athletics, education and community programs by the Northeast Region/Long Island Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation.