July 20, 2009
· 2009 Women's Athletics Hall of Honor inductees bios
AUSTIN, Texas -- Five distinguished former University of Texas student-athletes will be inducted later this fall into the UT Women's Athletics Hall of Honor, the Women's Hall of Honor Committee announced Monday. The 10th Longhorn Women's Hall of Honor class includes: Edwina Brown, college basketball's National Player of the Year in 1999-2000; Tiffany Cohen, two-time NCAA swimming champion; Jenny (Hayes) Harris, a first-team volleyball All-American; Nanceen Perry, three-time NCAA track champion; and Laura Wilkinson, two-time NCAA diving champion.
The Class of 2009 will be inducted at a ceremony and luncheon on Friday, Nov. 20 at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin. They will be enshrined during ceremonies at the Texas-Kansas football game the following day. Tickets to the Friday luncheon are $35. Interested patrons may also sponsor a table of 10 for $450. To purchase tickets, please contact Jill Sterkel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"This is a stellar class," said Chris Plonsky, UT Women's Athletics Director and Senior Associate AD of Men's and Women's Athletics External Services. "All five of these individuals were the very best in their respective sport at one time. That is representative of the commitment The University of Texas made in 1973 when the department formed to recruit the very best student-athletes."
Brown earned the Margaret Wade Trophy as the top player in women's collegiate basketball and also was named National Player of the Year by ESPN.com in 1999-2000. A two-time All-American and first-team All-Big 12 Conference selection, she is the only player in school history to record at least 1,700 career points (1,705), 500 career assists (517) and 250 career steals (257). The third overall pick in the 2000 WNBA Draft, Brown played five years in the WNBA with the Detroit Shock (2000-02) and Phoenix Mercury (2003-04) before playing professionally overseas.
A two-time Olympic gold medalist prior to beginning her collegiate career, Cohen was one of the top distance freestyle swimmers in school history. She won NCAA individual titles in the 500-yard and 1,650-yard freestyle events during her freshman season (1984-85) and claimed nine total All-America honors during her three years in Austin. Cohen led the Longhorns to three straight NCAA team titles (1985-87) before her swimming career was cut short by a shoulder injury. Prior to enrolling at Texas, she claimed gold medals in the 400-meter and 800-meter freestyle events at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.
(Hayes) Harris was one of the most dominant middle blockers in UT history who led the Longhorns to their first National Championship in volleyball. During her two seasons in Austin, the Longhorns compiled a mark of 100-22-1 (.817). During her senior year, (Hayes) Harris earned first-team AIAW All-America and Texas Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (TAIAW) Player of the Year honors while leading UT to a 60-6-1 record en route to the 1981 AIAW National Championship.
Perry was one of the most decorated track sprinters in school history. A three-time NCAA champion, 12-time All-American and eight-time Big 12 Conference champion, she helped lead the Longhorns to four consecutive NCAA team titles (1998 Indoor, 1998 Outdoor, 1999 Indoor, 1999 Outdoor). As a sophomore, Perry won the 200 meters at the 1997 NCAA Indoor Championship. She also was a member of UT's 4x100-meter relay teams that won national titles at the 1998 and 1999 NCAA Outdoor Championships. Perry earned a bronze medal on Team USA's 4x100-meter relay at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, but that medal was later rescinded by the IOC due to a rules violation by one of the other three relay participants.
One of the top divers in NCAA and American history, Wilkinson claimed two NCAA platform titles and six All-America honors during her collegiate career. Her international career was highlighted by winning the gold medal on the platform event at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. A three-time USA Diving Athlete of the Year selection, Wilkinson claimed a total of 19 U.S. National Championships and was a 14-time member of the U.S. National Team.
The five inductees were selected by the 22-member UT Women's Athletics Hall of Honor Selection Committee. The committee is chaired by Dr. James Dietrick, professor of accounting in the Red McCombs School of Business. In addition to Dietrick and Plonsky, the committee includes: Beverly Bowes Hackney, Brad Buchholz, Jody Conradt, Doug English, Dr. Linda Ferreira-Buckley, Mary Herman, Courtney Houston, Jan Hughes, Howard Nirken, Sonia Perez, Lynn Pool, Dr. Robert Prentice, Wally Pryor, Dr. Randa Ryan, Sally Schlobohm Tan, Jill Sterkel, Sue Tottenham, Craig Way, Lynn Wheeler and Joan Whitworth.
2009 Longhorn Women's Hall of Honor Inductee Bios
Edwina Brown (Basketball, 1996-2000)
A two-time All-American and first-team All-Big 12 Conference selection, Brown was one of the most versatile players in school history. She is the only player in UT history to record at least 1,700 career points (1,705), 500 career assists (517) and 250 career steals (257). Brown also remains the only individual in school history to lead the team in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals in the same year, as she accomplished the feat both as a junior (1998-99) and senior (1999-2000). She garnered honorable mention All-America accolades by The Associated Press and first-team All-Big 12 honors in her junior season. During the summer prior to her senior year, Brown earned a bronze medal with the USA Basketball team at the 1999 Pan American Games. Brown ranked seventh nationally in scoring (21.2 ppg) as a senior, claiming the Margaret Wade Trophy as the top player in women's college basketball and garnering National Player of the Year honors by ESPN.com. She also earned numerous All-America honors, including a spot on the prestigious Kodak All-America team, first-team All-Big 12 mention and was the 2000 Big 12 Conference Tournament MVP. Brown earned one of The University of Texas Friar Society Awards following her senior year, an honor given annually to two or three undergraduate students for distinguished contributions to The University and for bringing national recognition to the campus. She also received her bachelor's degree in youth and community studies in December of 2000. The third overall pick in the 2000 WNBA Draft, Brown played five years in the WNBA with the Detroit Shock (2000-02) and Phoenix Mercury (2003-04). She has spent the last five years playing professionally overseas, most recently in Israel.
Tiffany Cohen (Swimming, 1984-87)
A two-time NCAA individual champion and nine-time All-American, Cohen was one of the top distance freestyle swimmers in UT history. As a freshman in 1984-85, she won the NCAA individual title in both the 500-yard freestyle and 1,650-yard freestyle events while leading the Longhorns to the NCAA team championship. Cohen earned seven additional All-America honors during her sophomore and junior seasons, and Texas claimed NCAA team titles in each of those seasons. A shoulder injury forced Cohen to retire from swimming just prior to her senior year at Texas. Prior to enrolling at Texas, she proved to be a dominant swimmer on the national and international arena. Cohen captured U.S. national championships in the 500-meter, 1,000-meter and 1,650-meter freestyle events in 1982 and won the bronze medal in the 400-meter freestyle at the 1982 FINA World Championships. She won gold in the 400-meter freestyle and 800m freestyle events at the 1983 Pan American Games in Caracas, Venezuela and was selected that year as Swimming World Magazine's American Swimmer of the Year. Her international career was highlighted by winning gold medals in the 400-meter and 800-meter freestyle events in Olympic-record times at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. Cohen earned her bachelor's degree in psychology in 1992 from San Diego State University and currently resides in Davie, Fla.
Jenny (Hayes) Harris (Volleyball, 1980-81)
A first-team All-American who led Texas to its first National Championship in volleyball, (Hayes) Harris was one of the most dominant middle blockers in school history. During her two seasons in Austin, she led the Longhorns to a combined record of 100-22-1 (.817). As a junior in 1980, (Hayes) Harris paced Texas to a 40-16 mark. She then earned first-team AIAW All-America and Texas Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (TAIAW) Player of the Year honors in her senior season, leading the Longhorns to a 60-6-1 record en route to the AIAW National Championship. She received her bachelor's degree in psychology in 1982, posting a 3.5 grade point average while at Texas. Prior to coming to Texas, she was a two-time junior college All-American who led Kellogg Community College (Battle Creek, Mich.) to a pair of NJCAA national titles. During her four-year collegiate career, (Hayes) Harris earned three All-America honors while helping her teams to an overall record of 203-31-1 and three national titles. She is currently a special education and communication arts middle school teacher in Lee's Summit, Mo., where she resides with her husband, Don, and their two children, Kate and Mike.
Nanceen Perry (Track, 1996-99)
A three-time NCAA Champion, 12-time All-American and eight-time Big 12 Champion, Perry finished her four-year career as one of the most decorated sprinters in UT history. She helped lead the Longhorns to four consecutive NCAA team titles (1998 Indoor, 1998 Outdoor, 1999 Indoor, 1999 Outdoor), an accomplishment that only one other school (LSU) in NCAA Division I Women's Track and Field history can claim. In her sophomore season (1996-97), Perry won the 200 meters at the 1997 NCAA Indoor Championships in a time of 23.09 and earned team MVP honors. She also ran the second leg on UT's 4x100-meter relay teams that won national titles at the 1998 and 1999 NCAA Outdoor Championships. Her 22.55 mark during the preliminaries at the 1999 NCAA Outdoor Championships still stands as the fastest 200-meter time in school history. Perry also earned individual high-point honors at the 1999 Big 12 Conference Indoor Championships, compiling 20 total points behind league titles in both the 60 and 200 meters. Following her collegiate career, Perry continued racing on the international level and went on to earn a bronze medal as part of Team USA's 4x100-meter relay at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, but that medal was later rescinded by the IOC due to a rules violation by one of the other three relay participants. She also won the 200-meter title at the 2000 USA Indoor Championships. Perry earned her bachelor's degree in psychology in May of 1999. She is currently a behavioral specialist in the Mexia Independent School District and resides in Fairfield, Texas, with her two children, Noah and Nadia.
Laura Wilkinson (Diving, 1997-99)
One of the top divers in both NCAA and American history, Wilkinson claimed two NCAA platform titles and six All-America honors in her three-year collegiate career. The 1999 Big 12 Conference Women's Diver of the Year, she won the NCAA platform championship as a freshman in 1997 and again as a junior in 1999 before turning professional. Wilkinson flourished in international competition, competing in three Olympiads and four FINA World Championship events. Her international career was highlighted by winning the gold medal on the platform at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Wilkinson also claimed gold medals on the platform at the 2004 FINA World Cup and the 2005 FINA World Championships, and she remains the only woman to win platform titles at each of the three major world championships. A three-time USA Diving Athlete of the Year selection and two-time finalist for the Sullivan Award (nation's top amateur athlete), Wilkinson claimed a total of 19 U.S. National Championships and was a 14-time member of the U.S. National Team. She retired from diving as one of the sport's most decorated athletes after placing ninth on the platform at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Wilkinson earned her bachelor's degree in public relations in December of 2001 and currently resides with her husband, Eriek Hulseman, in The Woodlands, Texas.