NCAA Womens Volleyball

Illinois Announces Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2024

Illinois Announces Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2024

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – The University of Illinois Division of Intercollegiate Athletics named eight, star members to the UI Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2024. This is the eighth Hall of Fame class and includes one coach and representatives from basketball, football, volleyball, soccer, and fencing.

The only non-athlete in this class is long-time women’s track and field head coach Gary Winckler, who led the Illini to 11 Big Ten team title in his 23 years in Champaign-Urbana from 1985 to 2008. Members of his Fighting Illini teams won 266 individual Big Ten titles and 51 student-athletes earned 188 All-America honors.

Football is represented by Robert Holcombe and Darrick Brownlow. Holcombe finished his collegiate career from 1994-97 as Illinois’ all-time leading rusher with 4,105 yards and a school-record 16 100-yard rushing games in his career. He enjoyed a seven-year NFL career, helping the St. Louis Rams to a Super Bowl title in 1999.

Brownlow was a three-time First-Team All-Big Ten pick, a Second-Team All-American and the 1990 Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Year as a star linebacker from 1987-90. He was an Illini captain of the 1990 team that earned a share of the Big Ten title. Brownlow went on to a seven-year NFL career.

Soccer star Jannelle Flaws is Illinois’s career record holder with 54 goals, including a nation-leading and school record 23 goals in 2013. She earned All-America honors in both 2013 and 2014 and was a three-time All-Big Ten selection from 2013-2015.

Volleyball is represented by Laura DeBruler Santos, who starred for the Illini from 2007-10. She earned First-Team All-America honors in 2009 after being named Second Team in 2008. A season-ending knee injury derailed what likely would have been another All-American season in 2010. She finished her Illini career with the second-highest kills total (1,833) all time at Illinois.

Fencer Herman “Pete” Velasco, who lettered from 1954-56, is considered the best foil fencer in UI history with a three-year dual meet record of 184-16 (.920). He was a three-time Big Ten champion and finished first, second and third in the foil at the NCAA Championships during his career. He went on to represent the United State at the 1956 and 1960 Olympics and was named to the 1957 U.S. World Championships team.

The men’s basketball program has two additions to the Hall…

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