All-American Chrissy Van Fleet and Ernestine (Weaver) Russell
will join the Gator Athletics Hall of Fame when the 2013 class is inducted in
April. The 2013 UF Athletic Hall of Fame Induction
Banquet is set for Friday, April 5, 2013, in the Holloway Touchdown Terrace at
Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
Each year, the F-Club Committee selects members to the Hall of Fame.
Van Fleet, who shares the UF record for career All-America honors (11) with
2012 Gator Hall of Fame inductee Kristen Guise, will enter as a Gator
Great. Gator Greats are letterwinners who have brought recognition and
prominence to the University and themselves by athletic accomplishments as a
Van Fleet earned All-America honors each year of her collegiate
career and is one of three Gators to earn All-Southeastern Conference honors
all four years. She won the 1999 SEC balance beam title and became the second
Gator to earn the SEC Gymnast of the Year honor in 2000. Her 16 all-around
titles places her fifth on the Gators career list.
Ernestine Weaver Russell joins the Hall of Fame as an Honorary
Letterwinner. This category includes coaches and athletic officials – after
retirement – who were not letterwinners/athletes at the University of Florida,
yet have rendered outstanding service to the intercollegiate athletic program
through personal time, effort, interest and through many years of continued
Russell led the Gator program from 1980 to 1992, posting a
record of 184-48 in her 13 seasons with UF. She led the Gators to five (1982,
’83, ’84, ’85, ’89) SEC titles and Florida claimed the 1982 AIAW National
Championship. Florida advanced to every possible NCAA Championships’ field
during her tenure (11 consecutive from 1982-92). Gators earned a total of 35
All-America honors under her guidance and three claimed national event titles
(Ann Woods – 1982 AIAW all-around, uneven bars, floor exercise; Lynn McDonnell
– 1982 AIAW balance beam; Maria Anz – 1984 NCAA floor exercise).
Gator gymnastics popularity grew tremendously during Russell’s
time at Florida. The marketing and event showmanship exhibited by the Gator
Gymnastics program under Russell was studied and emulated by other programs.
Gymnastics continues to rank among the nation’s top women’s collegiate athletic
crowds each season.
The other inductees for the 2013 class includes Gator Greats Jeff
Davis (Wrestling), Josh Fogg (Baseball), Rex Grossman
(Football), Riko Higashio (Women’s Golf), Heather Mitts (Soccer)
and Mike Pearson (Football). Former UF football player and assistant
coach Larry Morris will be inducted into the UF Athletic Hall of Fame as
a Distinguished Letterwinner.