Former Adelphi University great Charlie O’Donnell, a key member of the Panthers’ 1974 national championship team, died on Tuesday.

He was 71.

O’Donnell, a 2013 inductee of the Adelphi Athletics Hall of Fame, came from Derry, Northern Ireland to lead the Panthers to unprecedented success in the early-to-mid-1970’s. Adelphi captured the 1974 NCAA Division II title.

His teams finished with a 59-8-6 mark from 1973-76 for an .849 winning percentage.

O’Donnell’s teams were a model of consistency, under head coach Mel Less. The Panthers won 16 games in three of O’Donnell’s seasons.

After winning the consolation final in 1973, O’Donnell took on more of the offensive load the next campaign. He scored 12 goals and contributed three assists as a sophomore in 1974. O’Donnell struck for a hat-trick in the Panthers’ 3-2 victory over Seattle Pacific University in the NCAA final.

Those three goals in 1974 remain the most by any one player in the Division II national championship match.

O’Donnell ranks third all-time at Adelphi in career goals (49) and points (124). His 61 points in 1975 remain the second-most by a Panther. That same year, O’Donnell was named a United Soccer Coaches honorable mention All-American.

He graduated from Adelphi in 1979 with his bachelor’s degree in Business Management. He is survived by his wife, Annie, and three children, Daniel, Trish and Declan.

Visitation hours are Friday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Frank Patti & Kenneth Mikatarian Funeral Home (327 Main St, Fort Lee, N.J. 07024)

A Funeral Mass is set for Saturday at 11 a.m. – St. John the Evangelist Church (470 Broad Ave, Leonia, N.J. 07605)

 

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