Friday April 6, 2012Eight Gators to be Inducted into UF Athletic Hall of Fame Friday Night
The University of Florida F Club and Gator Boosters, Inc., will honor eight Gators as 2012 UF Athletic Hall of Fame inductees Friday night at the Holloway Touchdown Terrace in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. The 2012 Hall of Fame class will feature seven Gator Greats and one Distinguished Letterwinner. The 2011 Ben Hill Griffin Award winners will also be recognized at the ceremony.
This year’s induction class includes Gator Greats Alex Brown (Football), Hazel Clark Riley (Women’s Track & Field), Kristen Guise Lee (Gymnastics), Udonis Haslem (Men’s Basketball), Jeff Morrison (Men’s Tennis), Stephanie Nickitas (Women’s Tennis) and Abby Wambach (Soccer). Larry Travis (Football) will be inducted into the UF Athletic Hall of Fame as a Distinguished Letterwinner.
Kelsey Bruder (softball) and Mike Zunino (baseball) will be honored as the 2011 Ben Hill Griffin Award winners.
Each year, the F Club Committee selects members to the Hall of Fame, divided into three different categories: Gator Greats, Distinguished Letterwinners and Honorary Letterwinners. Gator Greats are letterwinners who have brought recognition and prominence to the University and themselves by athletic accomplishments as a student-athlete. Distinguished Letterwinners are former student-athletes who have made major contributions to the University’s athletic program through personal time, effort, interest and many years of continued service. They also have distinguished themselves as exceptional in their chosen field of endeavor. There were no 2012 inductees selected for the Honorary Letterwinner category.
Bruder and Zunino will be recognized at the ceremony for their superior athletic, academic and extracurricular accomplishments. Established by Gator Boosters and the University of Florida Athletic Association, the award honors the top male and female student-athletes at the University of Florida and is named after Ben Hill Griffin and his family, who have been long-time avid supporters and fans of Gator athletics. The Ben Hill Griffin award is based primarily on athletic achievement; academic achievement and extracurricular involvement are also considered.
Wambach, Haslem and Zunino will not be present at the ceremony. Wambach is with the U.S. National Team and Haslem’s NBA team, the Miami Heat, plays Memphis on Friday. Zunino will be playing the second game in Florida baseball’s series against LSU at 7 p.m.
2012 GATOR GREATS
Alex Brown (Football, 1998-01)
A member of 2000 SEC Championship Team…A 1999 and 2001 First Team All-American selection…The 2001 SEC Defensive Player of the Year…UF’s career sacks leader (33-Career, 13-Season).
Hazel Clark Riley (Women’s Track & Field, 1996-99)
Three-time NCAA Champion (Indoor Mile -1998 & 1999, Outdoor Mile - 1998)…13-time All-American…15-time All-SEC selection…Notched 56 collegiate victories…Member of 2000, 2004 & 2008 United States Olympic Teams.
Kristen Guise Lee (Gymnastics, 1993-96)
Eleven-time All-American (Tied with Chrissy Van Fleet for most in UF History)…1996 SEC Gymnast of the Year…1996 runner-up at NCAA Championships all-around competition…1994 female recipient of the Ben Hill Griffin Award.
Udonis Haslem (Men’s Basketball, 1999-02)
Member of 2000 NCAA runner-up team…Member of 2000 & 2001 SEC Championship Teams...A First Team All-SEC selection in both 2001 & 2002…Led the SEC in field-goal percentage in 2001.
Jeff Morrison (Men’s Tennis, 1997-00)
The 1999 NCAA Singles Champion…A 1999 and 2000 All-America selection…The 1999 SEC Player of the Year…Ranked #1 in UF history in single-season wins.
Stephanie Nickitas (Women’s Tennis, 1998-01)
The 1996 & 1997 NCAA doubles champion…A six-time All-American…A four-time collegiate Grand Slam champion … A member of the 1996 & 1998 NCAA Championship Teams and four SEC Championship Teams…UF posted a 120-3 record during her career … A two-time first-team Academic All-American … Winner of NCAA Today’s Top VIII Award.
Abby Wambach (Soccer, 1998-01)
A four-time All-American…The 2000 & 2001 SEC Player of the Year…Member of two Collegiate Cup teams, including the 1998 NCAA Championship Team…Member of the 2003, 2007, & 2011 United States World Cup Teams…Member of the 2004 Olympic Gold Medal Team…The all-time U.S. World Cup goal scorer.
2012 DISTINGUISHED LETTERWINNER
Larry Travis (Football, 1960-62)
A two-way player at Florida…UF Assistant Football Coach 1963-66…Nineteen-year college football coaching career (Florida, Kansas, Ole Miss, Louisville, Georgia Tech)…An Associate Athletic Director at both Georgia Tech and the U.S. Naval Academy...Also the Athletic Director at Kansas State and Western Carolina…Currently the mayor of High Springs, Fla.
2011 BEN HILL GRIFFIN AWARD WINNERS
Kelsey Bruder (Softball)
2012 NCAA Today’s Top VIII Award recipient…Winner of 2011 Honda Sports Award for softball...2011 SEC Player of the Year...Led Gator softball team to the 2011 NCAA Women’s College World Series finals…Member of 2008 & 2009 SEC Championship teams…two-time All-American and Academic All-American... Drafted fifth overall by the USSSA Florida Pride in 2011 National Pro Fastpitch Senior Draft.
Mike Zunino (Baseball)
2011 SEC Player of the Year…First team All-SEC catcher…Helped the Gators to a runner-up finish at the 2011 NCAA College World Series…Member of 2010 & 2011 SEC Championship teams…As a sophomore, chosen as a first-team All-America pick by the ABCA, Baseball America and Perfect Game…Finalist for the Johnny Bench award…Named to USA Baseball Collegiate National Team.