Seven former letterwinners – including Gator Greats Keiwan Ratliff (football), Mike Stanley (baseball) and Aury Cruz (volleyball) – and one Distinguished Letterwinner will be inducted as the UF Athletic Hall of Fame’s 2014 class.
The F Club and Gator Boosters, Inc. announced Wednesday that the honors will be bestowed upon these former players at the Hall of Fame Banquet on March 7 at 6 p.m. in the Holloway Touchdown Terrace at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
Inductees are divided into three distinct categories: Gator Greats, Distinguished Letterwinners and Honorary Letterwinners.
The remainder of the 2014 class includes Gator Greats Jenny Gladding (softball), Justin O’Neal (men’s tennis), Colleen Rosensteel (women’s track & field) and Sarah Yohe (soccer) as well as Distinguished Letterwinner Harrison Wilder (swimming).
Read more about each inductee and their career accomplishments…
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 the 2014 inductees (some information courtesy of GatorZone):
Aury Cruz – Volleyball (2000-03)
A four-time AVCA All-American, three-time SEC Player of the Year and 2000 SEC Freshman of the Year, Cruz to this day holds school records for kills (1,815) and points (2,118.5). She is second in the Gators’ history books in kills per set (4.58), attacks (4,096), aces (220), aces per set (0.56), digs per set (3.33) and points per set (5.53). Cruz also led Florida to its first-ever NCAA Championship match, though UF fell to USC. Since leaving school, Cruz has been a professional volleyball player signed to teams in Puerto Rico, Italy, Spain, Japan and currently Azerbaijan.
Jenny Gladding – Softball (2003-04)
One of the greatest pitchers in Gators softball history, Gladding recorded a perfect game and no-hitter during her time at Florida and left the program ranked third in career ERA (1.20) and strikeouts in a single season (285 – 2003). A transfer from Arizona who won the 2001 national title with the Wildcats, she became a 2003 All-SEC selection at UF and remained committed to the Gators by returning as an assistant coach from 2007-12. She returned home to Stuart, FL, and now serves as an assistant volleyball coach at Martin County High School.
Justin O’Neal – Men’s Tennis (1997-2000)
The first freshman All-American in the history of the Florida men’s tennis program, O’Neal wound up being named an All-American thrice during his time at UF and also picked up a pair of All-SEC honors. He holds the Gators’ career record for singles wins (78) and is second in school history for overall career wins (144). O’Neal became a professional in 1999 but stopped playing from 2000-04 when he moved to San Diego, CA, took up surfing and earned a master’s degree in social work. He returned to the ATP Tour in 2006 and reached a career-high ranking of 601 in 2008 but retired after earning just $15,513 lifetime. He officially retired in 2009 and is now a co-director of player development at Legacy Youth Tennis and Education where he coaches junior players alongside former college teammate Jon Glover.
Keiwan Ratliff – Football (2000-03)
The 2003 SEC Defensive Player of the Year, Ratliff was well-known as a three-way player for the Gators who saw time on offense, defense and special teams. He set school records in interceptions in a season (9) and single game (3) at Florida while also recording more career punt return yards (860) than anyone else in program history. He was also the only player during the 2002 season to catch a touchdown and return an interception for a score. Ratliff was a consensus First Team All-American in 2003 and two-time First Team All-SEC selection (2002-03) who stayed with the Gators for four years before being selected with the No. 49 overall pick in the second round of the 2004 NFL Draft by Cincinnati. His NFL career spanned parts of 10 seasons though he made his greatest impact from 2004-07 with the Bengals when he played in 51 games with eight starts. In 2005, he registered three interceptions and a fumble recovery.
Colleen Rosensteel – Women’s Track & Field (1986-89)
A six-time All-American shot put and discus thrower, Rosensteel captured six SEC Championships during her four-year career (four in shot put, two in discus). She graduated from UF with a master’s degree in exercise and sport sciences before competing in three-straight Olympics (1992-2000) as a member of the United States’ judo team. Rosensteel never finished better than ninth in the Olympics but won two medals at the Pan American Games including bronze in 1995 and silver in 1999.
Mike Stanley – Baseball (1982-85)
Stanley, a three-time All-SEC selection, was one of the best players in school history during his time with the program and remains ranked in the top 10 in batting average, hits, runs scored and games played with the Gators. He helped lead Florida to four SEC Championships – two regular-season and two tournament titles in 1982 and 1984. Following his time at UF, he spent 15 years catching in Major League Baseball, playing professionally with seven different franchises from 1986-2000. He played with Texas for six seasons (1986-91), the New York Yankees for five (1992-95, 1997) and Boston for five (1996-97, 1998-2000). Stanley’s best years were with the Yankees where he won a Silver Slugger Award (1993) and was named an MLB All-Star (1995). He also caught Nolan Ryan’s final no-hitter in 1991.
Sarah Yohe – Soccer (1996-99)
A team captain and SEC Player of the Year in 1999 who was also a member of the NCAA All-Tournament team in 1998 when Florida won its first and only national title, Yohe is second in program history in game-winning goals (18) and fourth in goals (60), hat tricks (3), assists (33) and shots (315). Yohe, a Second Team All-America selection, succeeded in academics at Florida and was named the NSCAA Women’s National Scholar-Athlete of the Year as well as a two-time Academic All-American.
Harrison Wilder – Swimming (1961-63)
A former Gators swimmer who a member of three SEC Championships (1961-63) and five SEC title-winning relay teams, Wilder is a lifetime member of the Gator Splash Club, member of the Gator Boosters Board of Directors and former F Club committee member. After college he became a businessman and owner of eight McDonald’s franchises.