CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – The University of Illinois Division of Intercollegiate Athletics named 12 new members to the UI Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2023, including athletes and coaches from nine different teams. This is the seventh Hall of Fame class and includes two Olympic medalists, members of their sport’s national hall of fame, national champions, high professional draft picks, a Super Bowl champion and a national record holder for more than 70 years.
Football players in the star-studded class includes 2007 Big Ten football MVP Rashard Mendenhall, 1984 Rose Bowl quarterback and long-time pro Jack Trudeau, along with NCAA record-holder and College Football Hall of Famer Al Brosky.
From women’s sports, track and field All-American and Olympic bobsledder Aja Evans, softball’s career home run leader Nicole Evans Cazley and multiple-time All-America gymnast Melissa Fernandez are members of the class. They are joined by long-time volleyball coach Mike Hebert, who led Illinois to consecutive Final Four appearances in the NCAA Tournament and four Big Ten championships.
Kenny Battle becomes the third member of the Flyin’ Illini from 1989 in the Hall of Fame after scoring more than 1,000 points in his two seasons at Illinois. 1951 Big Ten MVP Don Sunderlage, who helped Illinois to NCAA Final Four appearances in 1949 and 1951, is the second basketball player recognized with this group.
Ken Holtzman, who enjoyed a long and successful Major League Baseball career that included two all-star game appearances, two no-hitters and three World Series titles, becomes the seventh Illini baseball player to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. The track and field program is represented by NCAA Champion middle distance star and Olympic Medalist George Kerr, who competed for British West Indies in 1960 and Jamaica in 1964.
The men’s golf program has its third inductee with current touring pro and former Big Ten and NCAA medalist Thomas Pieters.
The Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 15, at State Farm Center. Returning members of the 2023 class will be honored at the home football game against Penn State on Sept. 16.
The Illinois Athletics Hall of Fame was formed in 2017 and now has 135 total members, with representatives from each current varsity sport. University of Illinois varsity athletics originated with…
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