Peterson, Emrick highlight 2011 Hall of Fame class

By Adam Silverstein
April 7, 2011

Seven letterwinners, including Gator Greats Mike Peterson (football) and Bob Emrick (men’s basketball), will be inducted into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame 2011 class on Friday. The F Club and Gator Boosters, Inc. will hand out these prestigious honors to the group of Florida Gators at the Hall of Fame Banquet on April 8, 2011, in the Holloway Touchdown Terrace at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

According to UF, “inductees are divided into three different categories: Gator Greats, Distinguished Letterwinners and Honorary Letterwinners.” The remainder of the induction class includes Gator Greats Dawn Buth (women’s tennis), Judd Davis (football), Michelle Freeman (women’s track & field), Mimosa McNerney (women’s swimming), Distinguished Letterwinner Keith Tribble (football), and Honorary Letterwinner Dr. Richard Shaara (team physician).

More about each inductee and their career accomplishments after the break.

UF defines Gator Greats as “letterwinners who have brought recognition and prominence to the University and to themselves through athletic accomplishments as an undergraduate,” while Distinguished Letterwinners are “letterwinners who have made major contributions to the University’s athletic program through personal time, effort, interest and many years of continued service. They may have also distinguished themselves as exceptional in their chosen field of endeavor.”

Biographies of each 2011 inductee courtesy of GatorZone:

GATOR GREATS:

Mike Peterson – Football (1995-98)
Peterson, a member of the 1996 National Championship football team, was a decorated linebacker for the Gators. Also a member of the 1995 and 1996 SEC Championship teams, he was a 1998 All-American who led Florida with 127 tackles in 1998. In 1999, he was a second-round draft pick for the Indianapolis Colts; he currently plays for the Atlanta Falcons.

Bob Emrick – Men’s Basketball (1955-57)
A two-year captain of the Gators basketball team (1956, 1957), Emrick was an All-SEC selection in 1955 and 1956 who averaged a double-double during those seasons and graduated as Florida’s all-time leading scorer (1,544 points). He would hold that mark for 12 years and still remains ranked in the top 10 in school history in career scoring average and career rebounding average.

Dawn Buth – Women’s Tennis (1995-98)
A seven-time All-American, Buth was a member of UF’s 1996 and 1998 NCAA Championship teams. She also won the 1996 and 1997 NCAA Doubles Championship with partner Stephanie Nickitas. With a 112-4 dual match record during her Gators career (including four SEC regular season titles and four SEC Tournament titles), she ranks to this day in the top five in the Florida record book for career singles wins, single-season singles wins, doubles wins and career doubles winning percentage.

Judd Davis – Football (1992-94)
The 1993 recipient of the Lou Groza Award for the nation’s best place-kicker, Davis was also a member of the Gators’ 1993 and 1994 SEC Championship teams. He was an All-American in 1993 and remains the only Florida player to ever receive the award.

Michelle Freeman – Women’s Track & Field (1991-92)
One of the most accomplished track & field athletes in school history, Freeman is an eight-time All-American and seven-time SEC Champion who was also a member of the 1992 4x400m relay NCAA Championship team. She participated in the 1992, 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games and took home a bronze medal in the 4x100m relay. Freeman still holds UF records in the 55-meter hurdles, 55-meter dash, 100-meter dash and 100-meter hurdles.

Mimosa McNerney – Women’s Swimming (1993-96)
McNerney is a four-year letterwinner who was the first-ever recipient of the Skip Foster Most Valuable Swimmer Award in 1995. She is also a four-time NCAA Champion with three titles in the 1,650-yard freestyle and one in the 500-yard freestyle. A nine-time All-American and four-time SEC Champion, she still ranks as one of the top 10 Gators in both the 500- and 1,650-yard freestyle races.

DISTINGUISHED LETTERWINNER:

Keith Tribble – Football (1974-76)
While a member of the Florida football team, Tribble was an offensive guard who played in three bowl games. After graduating, he became the associate athletic director for the Gators from 1992-93 before moving on to be chief executive officer of the Orange Bowl Committee from 1993-2006. Since leaving the Orange Bowl, he has been serving as the athletic director at the University of Central Florida.

HONORARY LETTERWINNER:

Dr. Richard Shaara – Team Physician (1970-97)
Taking care of UF athletes and their health for 27 years, Dr. Shaara is being honored posthumously.

2 Comments

  1. npgator says:

    Great group! Peterson was so underrated when he played for UF. He is the reason that Kearse had to move to DE because he couldn’t beat out Peterson at LB.

  2. Joe says:

    Kearse didn’t move to DE at Florida – he played LB alongside Peterson. Those 2, along with Rutledge, formed a ridiculous threesome in the middle of the field. Peterson was definitely underrated, both at UF and in the NFL.

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