Women's Hall of Honor welcomes fifth class of inductees
AUSTIN, Texas -- At the fifth annual UT Women's Athletics Hall of Honor luncheon on Friday (Nov. 5), six new members were enshrined at the awards ceremony with more than 400 in attendance. The event, held at the Lone Star Room in the Frank Erwin Center, saw four distinguished former Longhorn student-athletes, one former national championship coach, and a special Legacy Award recipient all recognized for their tremendous achievements at UT and beyond.
The new inductees bring the total of Women's Hall of Honor members to 30. This year's class ranges from the Hall's first "Legacy Award" winner (Myrtle Mathisen Westerfeldt, who competed as a "T Girl" in the 1920's - in volleyball, riflery and swimming - prior to organized intercollegiate athletics for women and the use of the nickname "Lady Longhorns" to "Longhorns"; to basketball player Cathy Steinle Self-Morgan, who captained UT's first varsity basketball team and played from 1974-77 before going on to a distinguished Texas high school coaching career at nearby Westlake High School and now Duncanville High School).
Two standout inductees starred in the late AIAW (Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women) era and early NCAA days - current LPGA golfing great Cindy Figg-Currier, who starred at UT from 1978-92, and Robbin Coleman-Bell, a sprint and relay star on the track and field squads (1979-82) who won five AIAW titles and who continues to hold the school record in the 600-yard run - 22 years after finishing competition.
The Class of 2004 extends to two more prominent Longhorns from the 1980's: former swim head coach Richard Quick, who burst onto the UT scene in 1983 and, five years later when he moved to Stanford University, had directed his Longhorns to five consecutive NCAA national championships while developing 25 NCAA individual champions and 17 Olympic swimmers in the process; and, former All-America shooting guard Bev Williams, a key contributor on Jody Conradt's NCAA championship team in 1986 who helped UT compile a stunning record of 125-8 during her tenure from 1984-88.
The six 2004 inductees were nominated this spring, and selection was conducted by the 21-member UT Women's Athletics Hall of Honor Selection Committee, chaired by Myra McDaniel. The Women's Hall of Honor began five years ago as part of a celebration of 25 years of women's athletics at The University of Texas.
Both the UT Women's Hall of Honor and UT Men's Longhorn Hall of Honor held their induction ceremonies on November 5, as ceremonies were held in conjunction with the November 6th Texas-Oklahoma State football game. All the Hall of Honor inductees will be honored at the UT-OSU football game.
And, although these six honorees came from different eras and from diverse sports such as track and field, basketball, swimming, golf, and, in the case of the Legacy Award winner - riflery, volleyball and swimming - the words and themes they talked about Friday afternoon were similar.
Over and over, those gathered heard:
"it's a beautiful and proud day to be a Longhorn";
"I am so blessed at the opportunities which came my way at UT";
"receiving this honor makes me feel old - but so appreciated";
"Texas Women's Athletics taught me about pride, tradition, and being the best in all that you do";
"no one in Texas Women's Athletics would settle for anything less than us being great athletes, great students, and great people, all at the same time";
"it is the characteristic of this (women's athletics) department to take care of its student-athletes in a unique, caring and distinct way"; and
"there were so many great people - coaches and staff members - who encouraged me and helped all of us women understand what it meant to push ourselves, and what excellence really means".
There were many great words of appreciation, reflection and insight from the Hall of Honor inductees. Below are some of their thoughts as they spoke to the gathering on the day of their enshrinement into the Hall of Honor.