Brown, Wambach, Haslem, five others will be UF Athletic Hall of Fame class of 2012 inductees

By Adam Silverstein
September 7, 2011

Eight former letterwinners – including Gator Greats Alex Brown (football), Abby Wambach (soccer) and Udonis Haslem (men’s basketball) – will be inducted as the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame‘s 2012 class.

The F Club and Gator Boosters, Inc. announced Wednesday that the honors will be bestowed upon them at the Hall of Fame Banquet on April 6, 2012 in the Holloway Touchdown Terrace at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

Inductees are normally divided into three categories: Gator Greats, Distinguished Letterwinners and Honorary Letterwinners. The remainder of the 2012 class includes Gator Greats Hazel Clark Riley (women’s track & field), Kristen Guise Lee (gymnastics), Jeff Morrison (men’s tennis) and Stephanie Nickitas (women’s tennis) as well as Distinguished Letterwinner Larry Travis (football).

Read 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.”

Below are biographies of the 2012 inductees with information courtesy of GatorZone:

GATOR GREATS

Alex Brown – Football (1998-01)
Brown, a member of the 2000 SEC Championship team, was a decorated defensive end for the Gators. He was the 2001 SEC Defensive Player of the Year and was also named a first-team All-American in 1999 and 2001. He currently stands as Florida’s career (33) and single-season (13) sacks leader. Brown played foreight years with the NFL’s Chicago Bears before spending the 2010 season with the New Orleans Saints.

Hazel Clark Riley – Women’s Track & Field (1996-99)
A three-time U.S. Olympian (2000, 2004, 2008), Riley was also won three NCAA titles in college. She was a 13-time All-American and 15-time All-SEC selection.

Kristen Guise Lee – Gymnastics (1993-96)
One of the most accomplished gymnastics in school history, Lee was the 1996 SEC Gymnast of the Year and an 11-time All-American who was one of two recipients of the 1994 Ben Hill Griffin Award.

Udonis Haslem – Men’s Basketball (1999-02)
Haslem, a two-time SEC Champion (2000-01), earned All-SEC honors his junior and senior year and led the conference in field-goal percentage (.597) his junior season. He won a NBA title in 2006 with the Miami Heat, a team he has played for since 2003.

Jeff Morrison – Men’s Tennis (1997-00)
The school’s leader in single-season wins, Morrison also won the NCAA singles title and was named the SEC Player of the Year in 1999. He was also a two-time All-American (1999-00).

Stephanie Nickitas – Women’s Tennis (1998-01)
Nickitas is arguably the most accomplished women’s tennis player in school history. A four-time collegiate grand slam champion, she won the NCAA doubles titles in 1996 and 1997, the NCAA Championship with her team in 1996 and 1998 and the SEC Championship all four years she was in school. She was a six-time All-American who posted a 120-3 career record at Florida and was also outstanding in the classroom.

Abby Wambach – Soccer (1998-01)
Wambach, the back-to-back SEC Player of the Year (2000-01) who led the Gators to the 1998 NCAA Championship, was also a four-time All-American who played on two Collegiate Cup teams. Since graduating she has played in three World Cups with the United States (2003, 2007, 2011) and was named to two Olympic teams. She is the country’s all-time World Cup goal scorer and won an Olympic gold medal in 2004.

DISTINGUISHED LETTERWINNER

Larry Travis – Football (1960-62)
While a member of the Florida football team, Travis played on both offense and defense. He really made a name for himself as a coach after his playing career was over and spent 38 years doing coaching (Florida, Georgia Tech, Kansas, Louisville and Ole Miss) and serving as an athletic director (Kansas State and Western Carolina). Travis is now the mayor of High Springs, FL, a post he has held since 2005.

2 Comments

  1. SaraGator says:

    Maybe I’m missing something here, but I thought Haslem declared to be a Cane on a couple of occasions.

    I do appreciate what he’s done for us during his tenure at Florida, but in my eyes, Haslem was on borrowed time. He was a Cane before wearing blue and orange and had returned a Cane post college.

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