Tim Tebow, Brandon Spikes, Billy Donovan headline epic 2020 UF Athletic Hall of Fame class

By Adam Silverstein
April 27, 2020
Tim Tebow, Brandon Spikes, Billy Donovan headline epic 2020 UF Athletic Hall of Fame class
Football

The University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame continues to add legends to its ranks, and the Class of 2020 will be no different. The Florida Gators announced Monday that Tim Tebow (football), Brandon Spikes (football) and Billy Donovan (basketball) will headline a stellar nine-member class that is filled with notable names.

Also being inducted are Brandon James (football), Andrew DeClercq (basketball), Gemma Spofforth (swimming), Shaune Fraser (swimming), Mariam Kevkhishvili (track & field) and Hamid Mirzadeh (tennis). The eight athletes are going in as Gator Greats with Donovan being named an Honorary Letterwinner.

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 Honorary Letterwinners are a “coach or athletic official (after retirement) who was not a letterwinner or athlete at the University of Florida, yet rendered outstanding service to the program through personal time, effort, and interest.”

The Gator F Club and University Athletic Association will likely hold the induction ceremony on a Friday preceding a home football game in October.

Here is a complete list of the 2020 inductees.

Gator Greats

Tim Tebow (football, 2006-09) is a two-time national championship- and SEC championship-winning quarterback who became the first sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy in 2007. A three-time finalist for the award, Tebow is also the only two-time Maxwell Award winner in history. A three-time AP All-America selection, he won a seemingly endless list of awards during his time with the Gators, setting five NCAA/FBS, 14 SEC and 28 program records, many of which he still holds to this day. Tebow is often regarded as the greatest Florida football player of all-time.

Brandon Spikes (football, 2006-09) is a two-time national championship- and SEC championship-winning linebacker who was also a two-time AP All-America first team and three-time All-SEC first team selection. A finalist for every major individual defensive award in college football, Spikes was the defensive equivalent to Tebow during Florida’s dominant run in the mid-2000s. He still holds the program record with four pick sixes.

Brandon James (football 2006-09) is a two-time national championship- and SEC championship-winning playmaker who was arguably the best kickoff and punt returner in program history. The 2008 SEC Special Teams Player of the Year won numerous awards throughout his tenure with the Gators and still holds numerous records. He is the only player in SEC history with more than 4,000 combined return yards.

Andrew DeClercq (basketball, 1991-95) is a member of Florida’s 1994 Final Four team and a three-time All-SEC selection. DeClercq stared all 128 games for which he suited up while with the Gators, a program record. He is known as one of the best rebounders in the history of UF basketball.

Gemma Spofforth (swimming, 2006-10) is a seven-time individual NCAA champion who helped lead the women’s team to a national title and SEC title. She earned 25 All-America honors and two SEC Female Swimmer of the Year awards, at one time holding the world record in the 100-meter backstroke and collegiate record in the 200-yard backstroke. Spofforth represented Great Britain in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2012 London Olympics.

Shaune Fraser (swimming, 2006-10) is a three-time individual NCAA champion and seven-time individual SEC champion who at one point held the collegiate record in the 200-yard butterfly. He earned 27 All-America honors and represented the Cayman Islands in the 2004 Athens Olympics and 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Mariam Kevkhishvili (track & field, 2007-10) is a five-time individual NCAA champion who tied the school record with her titles. She also won five individual SEC championships. Kevkhishvili is just the second woman in NCAA history to win consecutive shot put titles in indoor and outdoor NCAA competition and helped lead Florida to two SEC titles. One of the most dominant Gators track & field athletes of all-time, she was also a two-time SEC Field Athlete of the Year and eight-time All-America first team selection.

Hamid Mirzadeh (tennis, 2001-05) is a key member of the program who helped lead Florida two three SEC total titles. He is a five-time All-America selection who also earned four All-SEC first team honors and was the only man to advance to the quarterfinals in both singles and doubles at the 2004 NCAA Championship.

Honorary Letterwinner

Billy Donovan (basketball coach, 1996-2015) is a two-time, back-to-back national championship-winning coach who led the Gators to four Final Fours, six SEC championships and four SEC Tournament championships. Donovan was a three-time SEC Coach of the Year who brought Florida three 30-win seasons and 16 straight 20-win seasons, setting program records with 36 wins overall and 30 straight victories during the 2013-14 campaign. Donovan coached 15 All-Americans and two SEC Players of the Year, recruiting and developing the best group of players in program history, including numerous first-round NBA Draft picks. The court in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center was named after Donovan in 2019.

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