Utah Athletics Inducts 2021 Hall of Fame Class Wednesday Night
One of the most decorated Hall of Fame classes in Utah Athletics history was enshrined on Wednesday evening during a ceremony at the Rice-Eccles Stadium & Tower.
The 2021 Utah Athletic Hall of Fame class is comprised of six All-Americans, including one Heisman Trophy finalist. Honored on Wednesday night were Lori Baird (volleyball), Anthony Brown (football), Casey Child (baseball), Eddie Johnson (football), Alex Smith (football) and Amy Timmel-Hogue (softball). The class will also be recognized at halftime of the Utah-Weber State football game on Thursday evening.
"It is so great to see all of you here with us tonight," said Utah Athletics Director Mark Harlan as he opened the program. "As I have gotten to know this Hall of Fame class, each of them has a great story. One of the common themes is every one of them had a team behind them who supported them over the years. Family, friends, coaches, everyone who helped along the way. So tonight, as we celebrate this outstanding Hall of Fame class, let's also recognize the teams behind these highly accomplished athletes who helped get them to this moment."
Lori Baird - Volleyball
An All-American middle blocker/outside hitter and the Mountain West Conference Co-Player of the Year, Lori Baird led Utah volleyball to the league title and the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament in 2008. She finished among the program's all-time best in kills and blocks.
During her senior season in 2008, Baird led the Utes to the Mountain West Conference title and the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament for the second time in school history. She ranked 16th in the country with 1.39 blocks per set and fourth in the Mountain West Conference with 3.05 kills per set. Baird was named the league co-player of the year, all-region and an AVCA Third Team All-American. The 2008 team won 14 consecutive conference matches at one point and went 26-6 overall.
Baird finished her career with 1,236 kills to rank seventh and 561 total blocks to rank third in the school record books.
Anthony Brown - Football
An All-American and First Team All-Western Athletic Conference offensive tackle, Anthony Brown helped pave the way for Utah's high-octane offense during the school's first ever 10-win season in 1994.
Behind Brown and the O line, the Utes' offense rolled up over 3,000 passing yards and 2,100 yards on the ground, and averaged 36.4 points per game and rank fourth in the nation. The Utes capped off their season with a victory over No. 15 Arizona in the Freedom Bowl, finishing the year with a 10-2 record and a No. 8 ranking in the Coaches' Poll. Recognized as one of the main driving forces behind Utah's success, he was voted First Team All-WAC and Third Team All-America by the Associated Press.
As a free agent signee, Brown moved on to the NFL and was with the Cincinnati Bengals from 1995-98. He finished his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1999.
Casey Child - Baseball
Setting virtually every Utah single-season hitting record as a junior, outfielder Casey Child earned First Team All-America honors and was taken by the Anaheim Angels in the 1997 Major League Baseball Draft.
Child had a breakout season in 1996, earning All-Western Athletic Conference honors. He hit .392 with 45 RBIs, 10 long balls and 20 doubles. He had a year for the ages in 1997, setting school records with 104 hits, 31 home runs, 97 runs batted in, 27 stolen bases and an 890 slugging percentage—all which still stand.
Child was named a First Team All-American by the American Baseball Coaches Association, garnered Second Team honors from The Sporting News and Collegiate Baseball, and earned Third Team recognition from Baseball America in 1997. He led the Utes to the WAC North Division title with a 22-8 record.
Eddie Johnson - Football
One of the greatest running backs in school history, Eddie Johnson earned All-America honors during two seasons at Utah and reigned as the Utes' all-time leading rusher for over 30 years.
As a freshman in 1984, Johnson led the nation's freshmen in rushing yards and became the first rookie in school history to rush for 1,000 yards. In 1986. He rolled up 1,046 yards to rank second in the conference and 24th in the nation, and had three touchdowns, earning him honorable mention AP All-America and first-team All-WAC honors for a second time.
When his career ended in 1988, Johnson had become Utah's all-time rushing leader with 3,219 yards, a mark that stood 31 years until 2019. He currently ranks fourth with 564 carries and is tied for third with an average of 5.71 yards per carry. He also lays claim to two of the eighteen 1,000-yard rushing seasons in school history, and had a dozen 100-yard rushing games to rank tied for fourth all-time at the U.
Alex Smith - Football
The first Heisman Trophy finalist and the first No. 1 overall NFL Draft pick in school history, quarterback Alex Smith led the Utes to an undefeated season, a berth in Bowl Championships Series, and victory in the Fiesta Bowl.
In 2004, Smith threw for nearly 3,000 yards and set the school record with 42 total touchdowns, leading the Utes to a 12-0 record and a No. 4 ranking in the final Associated Press poll. He finished fourth in the voting for the Heisman Trophy, and earning National Player of the Year honors from Sports Illustrated and The Sporting News. For his career, he ranks in the top six at Utah with 47 TD passes and 5,203 passing yards.
Smith went on to become the No. 1 pick in the 2005 NFL Draft and played in the league for 16 years with San Francisco, Kansas City and Washington.
Amy Timmel-Hogue - Softball
As an All-American on the softball field in the early 1990s, Amy Timmel-Hogue led Utah to a pair of conference titles and two College World Series appearances. In 2008, she returned to her alma mater as the head coach and has guided the team to two NCAA Super Regionals.
Timmel-Hogue was named to the All-Western Athletic Conference First Team three times. As a senior in 1994, Timmel-Hogue captained Utah to a school record 51 wins, and was recognized as the WAC Player of the Year and a Second Team All-American. Timmel-Hogue set several school records in 1994 with a .455 batting average, 101 hits, seven triples and 55 runs scored.
Timmel-Hogue returned to the Utah program to take over as head coach in 2008. Over the last 14 seasons, she has recorded 371 wins and mentored several of the players who eventually broke her hitting records. Timmel-Hogue was named the Pac-12 Coach of the Year in 2015.