Thirteen distinguished and decorated former University of Texas student-athletes and staff are set to be inducted into the 2015 Men’s and Women’s Athletics Halls of Honor this September.
The UT Women’s Athletics Hall of Honor was created in 2000. To be eligible for nomination, a former student-athlete must have completed her collegiate eligibility five years prior to the year of election. The UT Women’s Athletics Hall of Honor Selection Committee considers both a candidate’s contribution to the UT Athletics program and the candidate’s contributions to his/her community. A maximum of five former student-athletes and one additional non-athlete per year may be inducted into the Women’s Hall of Honor.
The 16th Longhorn Women’s Hall of Honor class includes:
- Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn (Track & Field, 1983-86), three-time Olympic medalist, three-time NCAA champion and 11-time Southwest Conference champion sprinter who helped Texas to a pair of NCAA team titles;
- Destinee Hooker (Volleyball, 2006-09; Track & Field, 2006-07, ’09), four-time All-American in volleyball, who led UT to a 2009 NCAA runner-up finish, and four-time NCAA high jump champion and six-time All-American in track and field who helped the Longhorns to the 2006 NCAA Indoor team title;
- Debbie (Risen) Hurwitz (Swimming, 1984-86, ’88), seven-time NCAA champion and 19-time All-American who led UT to four NCAA team titles;
- Charlotta Sorenstam (Golf, 1992-93), the 1993 NCAA individual national champion; and
- Tori (Trees) Smith (Swimming, 1984-87), six-time NCAA champion, 14-time All-American and 1984 U.S. Olympic team member who helped Texas to four consecutive NCAA team titles.
The Men’s Athletics Hall of Honor was founded in 1957. The governing body, the Longhorn Hall of Honor Council, is made up exclusively of men who have lettered at UT. Each year, a selection committee nominates 16 candidates whose names are distributed to the Hall of Honor Council. To be eligible for nomination, a letterman must have completed his eligibility 10 years prior to the year of election. The four honorees receiving a majority of votes are inducted. In addition, the Council can add a limited number of vintage or special selections to that year’s class.
The 59th Men’s Hall of Honor class includes:
- Blake Brockermeyer (Football, 1992-94), first-team All-America offensive lineman in 1994;
- Brendan Hansen (Swimming, 2001-04), three-time Olympic gold medalist, former world record holder and 13-time NCAA champion who helped Texas to two NCAA team titles;
- Michael Huff (Football, 2002-05; Track & Field, 2005), UT’s first-ever Jim Thorpe Award winner and the Defensive MVP of the 2006 BCS Championship Game; and
- Vince Young (Football, 2003-05), winner of the 2005 Maxwell Award, Davey O’Brien Award and Manning Award while leading UT to the 2005 National Championship.
- Special selection Fred Akers (Football Head Coach, 1977-86; Football Assistant Coach, 1966-74) and vintage selections Larry Hardy (Baseball, 1968-70), David Kristynik (Football, 1959-61) and Randy Peschel (Football, 1966-69; Baseball, 1968-69) round out the men’s class.
Brendan Hansen – Swimming, 2001-04
A three-time Olympic gold medalist, former world record holder and 13-time NCAA champion who helped Texas to two NCAA team titles, Brendan Hansen (2001-04) made his mark as America’s premier breaststroke swimmer of his generation. Hansen, one of five Texas swimmers to compete in three Olympiads for the United States, remains the only men’s swimmer to sweep the 100 and 200-yard breaststroke events at four consecutive NCAA Championship meets. He set NCAA and NCAA Championship meet records in the 100-yard (51.96) and 200-yard (1:52.62) breaststroke events at the 2003 NCAA Championships. Hansen finished his collegiate career with eight NCAA individual titles and five NCAA relay crowns. He helped Texas to NCAA team titles during his freshman and sophomore seasons (2001 & 2002). Hansen’s longevity made him a mainstay on Team USA’s medley relays for the better part of a decade at Olympics and World Championship meets. He won his first Olympic gold medal on the USA’s 400m medley relay at the 2004 Athens Olympics, where he added silver in the 100m breaststroke and bronze in the 200m breaststroke. He set his first world records that same year in the 100m and 200m breaststroke events prior to the Olympic Games. In 2005, Hansen won his second consecutive world championship in the 400m medley relay and added world titles in the 100m and 200m breaststroke. Hansen rewrote his own world records in the 100m and 200m breaststroke three times in a 20-day span in 2006. He won gold in both events at the year’s premier international swimming event, the Pan Pacific Championships. He won his fifth individual world championship in 2007 (100m breast) before making his second U.S. Olympic team in 2008. At the 2008 Beijing Games, Hansen won his second Olympic gold medal in the 400m medley relay. He retired after the 2008 games before returning to competitive swimming in 2011 and qualifying for a third Olympics a year later. He won his third gold medal in the 400m medley relay at the 2012 London Olympics, where he also won bronze in the 100m breaststroke. Hansen earned his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from UT in 2005. Today, he is a general manager of aquatics operations for Austin Aquatics and Sports Academy and head coach of Austin Swim Club. He also serves as a color analyst for Longhorn Network swimming telecasts. Brendan and his wife, Martha, live in Austin with their daughters, Charlotte and Annie.
Debbie (Risen) Hurwitz – Swimming, 1984-86, ’88
A seven-time NCAA champion and 19-time All-American, Debbie Risen helped Texas win four NCAA team titles. Risen made an immediate impact as a freshman during the 1983-84 season. She helped the Longhorns to NCAA titles in the 200 freestyle relay and 400 medley relay. Risen placed second with UT’s 200 medley relay and added a fourth-place finish in the 100 backstroke to help lift Texas to the 1984 NCAA team title. Risen won the 100 backstroke at the 1984 Southwest Conference Championships, where she also helped the Longhorns win the 200, 400 and 800 freestyle relays. Risen made significant contributions to UT’s run to the 1985 NCAA title as a sophomore. She won her first NCAA individual title in the 100 backstroke and helped the Longhorns to national crowns in the 200 and 400 medley relays in addition to the 200 freestyle relay. Risen added a runner-up finish in the 200 backstroke and an eighth-place showing in the 200 IM at the 1985 NCAA Championships. She defended her SWC title in the 100 backstroke and helped Texas win the 400 freestyle relay, once again, at the SWC Championships. Risen helped Texas win its third consecutive NCAA title and fifth national title overall as a junior in 1986. She led the Longhorns to their third straight NCAA title in the 400 medley relay. Risen added runner-up finishes in the 100 backstroke, 200 freestyle relay and 200 medley relay in addition to third-place showings in the 200 backstroke and 400 freestyle relay at the 1986 NCAA Championships. She notched her third straight 100 backstroke title, won the 200 backstroke and helped Texas win the 200 freestyle relay and 200 medley relay at the 1986 SWC Championships. Risen missed the 1986-87 season but returned as a senior for the 1987-88 campaign in which Texas won its fifth straight NCAA team title and seventh national title overall. She helped the Longhorns to a NCAA runner-up finish in the 400 medley relay and placed fourth in the 100 backstroke and 13th in the 200 backstroke at the 1988 NCAA Championships. Risen won her fourth SWC title in the 100 backstroke and led the Longhorns to league crowns in the 200 and 400 medley relays.
Tori (Trees) Smith – Swimming, 1984-87
A six-time NCAA champion, 14-time All-American and a 1984 U.S. Olympian, Tori Trees helped Texas win four NCAA team titles. Trees made a significant impact as a freshman during the Longhorns’ run to the 1984 NCAA title. She helped Texas win the 400 medley relay, placed second in the 100 and 200 backstroke events and finished 10th in the 200 IM at the 1984 NCAA Championships. Trees also helped the Longhorns to victories in the 200 medley relay and the 800 freestyle relay at the 1984 Southwest Conference Championships. Her momentous freshman season carried her through the U.S. Olympic Trials and on to the 1984 U.S. Olympic Team. She went on to place fifth in the 200m backstroke at the Los Angeles Olympics. Trees won her first NCAA individual title as a sophomore in 1985, when Texas won its second consecutive national title and fourth overall. She won an NCAA title in the 200 backstroke and competed on UT’s national champion 200 and 400 medley relays. Trees added a fourth-place finish in the 100 backstroke at the 1985 NCAA Championships. She flourished again at the 1985 SWC Championships and won league titles in the 200 backstroke and the 200 and 400 medley relays. Trees represented the United States for a second straight year at an international meet and competed in the 200m backstroke at the 1985 World University Games. Trees helped UT cement another national title in the 400 medley relay, and her pair of All-America finishes in individual events buoyed the Longhorns to their third straight NCAA title and fifth overall in 1986. She placed sixth in the 100 backstroke and ninth in the 200 backstroke at the NCAA Championships. Trees represented the U.S. for a third consecutive summer and competed in the 1986 Goodwill Games. Trees earned the distinction as a national champion relay swimmer in each of her four seasons as a Longhorn. She helped Texas to victory in the 200 medley relay at the 1987 NCAA Championship meet as the Longhorns claimed their fourth NCAA title in as many seasons. Trees closed out her collegiate career with a pair of All-America individual finishes in the 100 and 200 backstroke events. She is married to former UT national champion swimmer John Smith. They are the parents of UT rising junior swimmer Clark Smith, a 2015 NCAA champion in the 500 freestyle who helped the Longhorns win the NCAA team title last March.
The induction banquet for the 2015 women’s class is scheduled for Friday, September 25, while that of the men’s class will take place later that same evening. The new members of the Hall will receive a special salute during the Texas Football game vs. Oklahoma State on Saturday, Sept. 26.
You can read the full press release here.