When he got the call saying he was an inductee into the Miami Athletics Hall of Fame, current New Jersey Devils captain Andy Greene felt an instant sense of gratification.
“When you’re playing, it's not something you’re thinking of as a goal,” he said.
But fans of Miami University’s program knew Greene was destined for greatness during his time here. Ending his collegiate career in Oxford with two straight 30-point seasons, Greene was just the fourth defenseman in program history to eclipse the 100-point mark. In his senior season, Greene was a national finalist for the Hobey Baker Award, given to college hockey’s best player.
The defenseman, who signed with the New Jersey Devils as an undrafted free agent just after graduating in 2006, said not much has changed at Miami since he left.
But that’s a good thing, he said.
“The last time I was here was during last summer, and before that, probably three years ago,” he said. “This place looks exactly the same. Obviously, there’s a new ice arena now and Armstrong and all that. But when you look at the uniqueness of this place, that will never change.”
Although campus might look different now than it did in 2006, Greene admits the integrity of the campus has stayed the same, which he attributes to the people who attended Miami, on and off the ice, before and after him.
“It’s a unique bubble,” he said. “The history of the university and how they do things here is what keeps it the same. I made lifelong friends on the hockey team here. I met my wife here. When I come back, I still make friends here.”
For Greene on Hall of Fame weekend, it was about enjoying a place that has such a special place in his heart.
“I’m so honored,” he said. “To be part of a special class of people in a place with such a rich history of athletics, it means a lot.”