Pac-12 unveils 2018 Hall of Honor inductees
Eight Former Olympians Among Inductees from Broad-Based Sports Induction Class
SAN FRANCISCO – The Pac-12 Conference will honor 11 former student-athletes and a former coach with their induction into the Pac-12 Hall of Honor on Friday, March 9 during a ceremony prior to the semifinals of the 2018 Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament presented by New York Life.
The Hall of Honor induction ceremony will be streamed live starting at 4 p.m. PT Friday on the Pac-12 Now app and Pac-12.com to authenticated subscribers. The inductees will also be recognized in the Pac-12 Fan Plaza prior to Friday’s semifinal session as well as on court at halftime of the first semifinal game.
The Hall of Honor class will be the 17th since its creation in 2002, but will be the first to feature legendary figures from an array of sports as the recognition pivots to be inclusive of the broad-based athletics success celebrated in the Conference of Champions. The Pac-12 leads the list for the most NCAA titles by any league with 504 across 29 different sports, including nation-leading totals for men’s (299), women’s (175) and combined (30) sports.
This year’s 12 Hall of Honor inductees combined for 40 All-America honors and 36 NCAA team or individual national championships as collegians. Eight represented the United States in the Olympics, with six capturing gold medals.
The individuals to be inducted are: Michael Wright (ARIZONA), Linda Vollstedt (ARIZONA STATE), Matt Biondi (CALIFORNIA), Bill Toomey (COLORADO), Andrew Wheating (OREGON), Carol Menken-Schaudt (OREGON STATE), Kerri Walsh Jennings (STANFORD), Rafer Johnson (UCLA), Cheryl Miller (USC), Missy Marlowe (UTAH), Sonny Sixkiller (WASHINGTON), Laura Lavine (WASHINGTON STATE). Biographies on each inductee are provided in this announcement.
The 2018 Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament will be played Wednesday – Saturday, March 7-10 with an action-packed 11 games over four intense days in the event’s second year at Las Vegas’ hottest new sports and entertainment venue T-Mobile Arena. Several attendance records were set in the tournament’s debut season at T-Mobile Arena in 2017, including a total all-session attendance mark of 86,910 and a single-session record of 19,224 for the semifinals. All-Tournament Passes, which provide fans the best locations for the best price, and single-session tickets are now on sale at pac-12.com/tickets.
Michael Wright, Arizona (1999-2001) – The late Michael Wright will forever be remembered as the epitome of what it means to be an Arizona Wildcat. Wright’s basketball career started with the 1998-99 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year award and ended with enshrinement in McKale Center’s Ring of Honor. The three-time All-Pac-10 selection and two-time All-American ranks in the top 10 in UA career categories, including field goal percentage, free throws, free throws attempted, rebounds and rebounding average. Wright was part of UA’s NCAA Final Four appearance in 2001 and helped the Wildcats advance to the national championship game. Wright endeared himself to Arizona fans by his relentless play and beyond the statistics will always remembered as a selfless teammate, dedicated student, and a figure children in the community looked up to. The New York Knicks selected Wright with the 39th pick in the 2001 NBA Draft and he went on to spend more than a decade playing in some of the top leagues throughout Europe. Wright’s legacy continues with the establishment of the Michael Wright A-Club Scholarship Endowment, which raised over $85,000 to provide financial support to former student-athletes who wish to complete their undergraduate degree after finishing their eligibility. His legacy will be everlasting through his endowment, his impact as an Arizona Wildcat and now as a member of the Pac-12 Hall of Honor.
Linda Vollstedt, Arizona State (1980-2001) – Linda Vollstedt served as Arizona State women’s golf coach from 1980-2001 and led the Sun Devils to six national titles - more than any other program in the country during her tenure – including an unprecedented three consecutive crowns. Vollstedt coached the only undefeated golf team in NCAA history in 1995 as ASU finished first or tied for first in every tournament en route to the program’s third straight title. ASU still leads the NCAA with eight national championships. She also led ASU to nine conference championships and four individual national championships while coaching 41 All-Americans, 12 conference medalists, 71 All-Conference golfers, 15 Academic All-Americans, and 11 U.S. Amateur and Public Links Champions. Individually, she was a five-time Golfweek National Coach of the Year, three-time NGCA Coach of the Year, four-time Pac-10 Coach of the Year and six-time NCAA Regional Coach of the Year. In May 2016, she was named Pac-12 Women’s Coach of the Century for her accomplishments. Vollstedt now works as a Development Director within the Sun Devil Club, which involves fundraising and development for Sun Devil Athletics.
Matt Biondi, California (1983-1987) – One of the greatest swimmers in history, Matt Biondi started for California from 1983-87 and won 12 NCAA championships and 14 Pac-10 titles, eventually earning Pac-12 Men’s Swimmer of the Century in 2016. Biondi set three school records – in the 50-, 100- and 200-yard freestyle – that each stood for at least 15 years and continue to rank among the Bears’ all-time top 10. He captured three consecutive NCAA Championships in the 100- and 200- free from 1985-87, a two-time winner in the 50 free, and was a member of four winning relays during his career. Also a four-time All-American in water polo, Biondi helped the Bears to NCAA team titles in 1983, 1984 and 1987 and was tabbed Cal’s Most Valuable Player in 1985. In 1984, he earned his first Olympic medal in the 400-meter relay, then went on to collect seven medals in the 1988 Olympic Games, including five gold, and three more medals in 1992, including two gold. He was twice honored as the U.S. Olympic Committee’s Sportsman of the Year (1986, 1988) and is enshrined in the Cal Athletic, U.S. Olympic and International Swimming Halls of Fame. Today, he is the proud father of Nate Biondi, a freshman freestyler who is carrying on the family name as a Golden Bear.
Bill Toomey, Colorado (1958-1961) – A two-time NCAA All-American in the pentathlon (1960, 1961), Bill Toomey was the first and remains the only University of Colorado athlete to win a gold medal as an individual in the Olympics. Toomey competed in 38 decathlon events and won 23 of them, scoring over 8,000 points on a dozen occasions. At CU, he was considered one of the nation’s top five intermediate hurdlers and won numerous AAU national titles in both the pentathlon and decathlon. He was named the national Amateur Athlete of the Year for 1966 when he was the U.S. decathlon champion, a title he won four straight years, and also captured gold in the decathlon at the 1965 Universiade Games and 1967 Pan American Games. Toomey was ABC’s Wide World of Sports Athlete of the Year for 1968, the year in which he set a then-Olympic Games record with 8,193 points en route to decathlon gold. He was also the recipient of the prestigious James E. Sullivan Award in 1969, which is presented to the most outstanding amateur athlete in the United States. He is a member of the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame, the fourth with CU ties when inducted in 1971, was inducted into Colorado’s Athletic Hall of Fame in its fifth class in 2004 and deemed one of the top 20 student-athletes in the school’s history. Toomey formed his own company, Sports Directions Unlimited, where for over two decades he extensively worked with underprivileged children.
Andrew Wheating, Oregon (2006-2010) – One of the most accomplished middle-distance runners in Oregon history, Andrew Wheating was a five-time NCAA champion and eight-time all-American during his four-year run with the Ducks' track & field program from 2006-2010. During Wheating’s sophomore season, he won 11 consecutive races and finished runner-up in the 800 meters at the NCAA Championships. He then took silver in the 800 at the U.S. Olympic Trials, recording the second-best time (1:45.03) in UO history en route to becoming the first Oregon undergraduate since 1976 to compete in the Olympic Games. As a junior in 2009, Wheating won his first individual national title in the 800 at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Wheating’s senior year he won his third straight Pac-10 800-meter title and both NCAA Outdoor 800- and 1,500-meter titles, becoming the fifth man to sweep both races. That season he earned Pac-10 and USTFCCCA Track Athlete of the Year honors and was a finalist for The Bowerman. Wheating went on to qualify for his second Olympic Games in 2012 with a third-place finish in the 1,500 at the U.S. Olympic Trials.
Carol Menken-Schaudt, Oregon State (1979-1981) – Carol Menken earned three letters with the women’s basketball team at Oregon State from 1979-81 and became the Beavers’ first All-American. She guided her team to a 22-6 record her senior season and led the nation in field goal shooting at 75.0 percent. She remains OSU’s second all-time leader in scoring (2,243) and rebounding (901), first in field goal percentage (.692), points per game (27.7) and rebounds per game (12.5) over 81 career games. Menken holds numerous OSU single-game records, including 51 points in one game. A three-time Northwest College Women’s Sports Association All-Conference selection (1980-82) and two-time All-American, Menken was a member of the initial OSU Athletic Hall of Fame class in 1988 and inducted into the State of Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1993. She played in the 1981 and 1983 World University Games and helped the U.S. win silver and gold medals, respectively, before winning a gold medal with Team U.S.A. at the 1984 Olympics. Menken played eight seasons internationally in Italy and Japan. Carol and her husband, Ken Schaudt, have two children – Laura, who competed in track and field and volleyball at Oregon State, and Brian, who competed in track and field at the University of Oregon.
Kerri Walsh Jennings, Stanford (1996-1999) – The most decorated beach volleyball player of all-time, Kerri Walsh Jennings is a two-time Pac-10 Player of the Year (1998, 1999), five-time Olympian and four-time Olympic medalist as a member of the United States Volleyball Team. The 2000 Stanford graduate was a four-time American Volleyball Coaches Association First Team All-American (the second in the history of the sport), AVCA Co-National Player of the Year in 1999 as well as the National Freshman of the Year and NCAA Final Four Most Valuable Player in 1996. She guided the Cardinal to four conference titles, three NCAA Final Four appearances and a pair of NCAA championships (1996, 1997). In her Cardinal career, Stanford owned a 122-11 record and was the first women’s volleyball player in conference history to record more than 1,500 kills (1,553), 1,200 digs (1,285) and 500 blocks (502). The Saratoga, California, native was inducted into the Stanford Athletics Hall of Fame in 2011 and the new Stanford Beach Volleyball Stadium was dedicated in honor of Walsh Jennings in 2017. Walsh Jennings represented U.S.A in five Olympics, capturing gold in the 2004, 2008 and 2012 games, and bronze in 2016. Walsh Jennings and teammate Misty May-Treanor won 21 consecutive Olympic matches, earning the nickname “the greatest beach volleyball team of all time” as the duo won three FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships (2003, 2005 and 2007). Walsh Jennings added a silver medal at the 2011 World Championships and owns the most career professional wins (133) in the history of the sport.
Rafer Johnson, UCLA (1955-1959) – Rafer Johnson won two Olympic decathlon medals and led UCLA to its first-ever NCAA track and field championship in 1956. Johnson was a two-sport athlete, playing for two coaching legends in track and field’s Ducky Drake and basketball’s John Wooden. He was captain of the freshman track and field team in 1955 and ran varsity track from 1956-58 and played basketball in 1958-59 when he also served as UCLA’s Student Body President during his senior year. Prior to helping the Bruins to the 1956 national crown, he won the Pacific Coast Conference title in the low hurdles while leading UCLA to the Conference title. While at UCLA, Johnson won a silver medal in the decathlon at the 1956 Olympic Games despite being handicapped by a knee injury and torn stomach muscle that kept him out of competition in the broad jump. He reached the pinnacle of his Olympic achievements in 1960 as the U.S. team captain, flag-bearer, and gold-medal winning decathlete. At the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, he was selected to light the Olympic Cauldron. Following Johnson’s gold medal win, he retired from athletic competition and began a career helping found the Special Olympics Southern California in 1969.
Cheryl Miller, USC (1982-1986) – One of USC’s finest female basketball players, Cheryl Miller was a four-time All-American (1983-86) and three-time Naismith Award winner (1984-86). Miller helped USC win back-to-back national championships in 1983 and 1984 and went to three NCAA Final Fours. A two-time NCAA Tournament MVP, Miller went 112-20 in her college career. She set numerous USC career records, including points (3,018), scoring average (22.3), rebounds (1,534) and was the fastest player in Trojans history to reach the 1,000-point and 500-rebound mark. Miller was named Player of the Decade for the 1980s by the WBCA. A 1984 Olympic gold medalist and an inductee into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, Miller returned to USC as an assistant coach (1986-91) while also working as a TV commentator for ABC/ESPN. She then took over as head coach in 1994 and 1995, reaching the NCAA Tournament both seasons. Since then she became head coach and general manager of the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury (1997-2000). Miller is a member of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame (1999), the FIBA Hall of Fame (2010) and the USC Athletics Hall of Fame (1995).
Missy Marlowe, Utah (1989-1992) – A U.S. Olympian, five-time NCAA champion and 12-time first-team All-American, Utah gymnast Missy Marlowe became the first gymnast in history to win the Honda Broderick Cup, which recognizes the nation’s best collegiate female athlete. Marlowe led Utah to NCAA team titles in 1990 and 1992 and a runner-up finish in 1991. After graduation in 1993, she was bestowed the NCAA’s highest award for student-athletes as a Today’s Top VI Award recipient. At the 1992 NCAA Championships, she set an NCAA record by winning four individual championships - capturing titles in the all-around, uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise. She set an NCAA record with five career individual titles. Marlowe, the first college gymnast to score a perfect 10 on all four events, finished her career with 98 career victories, at the time a school record (currently third). She was named the Western Athletic Conference Female Athlete of the Year in 1992. Prior to her college career, Marlowe was a five-year member of the U.S. National Team. She finished second in the all-around at the 1987 USA Nationals. At the 1987 Pan American Games, she won the uneven bars while finishing fourth in the all-around for the USA’s gold medal team. In 1988, she competed for the U.S. Olympic Team that placed fourth at the Seoul Olympics. In 2001, Marlowe was inducted into Utah’s Crimson Club Hall of Fame in her first year of eligibility. She is also a member of the Utah Sports Hall of Fame. She owned her own gymnastics club from 1993-2001 and now coaches a team of level 10 and elite gymnasts.
Sonny Sixkiller, Washington (1969-1972) – Sonny Sixkiller remains one of the greatest legends and most beloved stars in Washington football history. The Oklahoma native accepted a scholarship to play under run-oriented head coach Jim Owens and burst onto the scene in the UW spring game his freshman year. In 1970, Sixkiller started as a sophomore and led the Huskies to a 6-4 record after going 1-9 the previous year, completing 186 passes for 2,303 yards and 15 touchdowns, setting school records in all three of those categories. He helped the Huskies to 8-3 records in 1971 and 1972 and finished his career with 15 school records, including 385 completions, 5,496 yards and 35 touchdown passes. After college, Sixkiller competed in the Canadian Football League and the World Football League and starred in the film "The Longest Yard" with Burt Reynolds. The Seattle sensation made an appearance on the cover of Sports Illustrated and even a song, "The Ballad of Sonny Sixkiller," was a hit on local radio.
Laura Lavine, Washington State (1984-1988) – Laura Lavine arrived in Pullman as a two-time Washington state discus champion (1983 and 1984) and left an indelible mark on the Palouse during her four years. As a Cougar, she placed fifth in discus at the 1986 NCAA Championships, earning her first of three All-America honors. She won the first of two Pac-10 discus titles in 1987 and became WSU’s first woman NCAA Outdoor Track & Field champion in the event that season. Lavine clinched back-to-back NCAA discus titles the following year with her clutch final throw of the 1988 competition. Lavine’s lifetime-best discus throw still stands as the school record at 189-feet, 10 inches, tossed June 11, 1988, in Tucson, Ariz. After earning four letters as a discus and shot put thrower, Lavine continued competing, placing seventh in the discus at the 1988 U.S. Olympic Trials and competing at the 1992 Olympic Trials. In 1996, Lavine was selected WSU’s Woman Athlete of the Decade as part of the Pac-10’s celebration of 10 years of women’s athletics. She was inducted into the WSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006.
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