Membership in the Tennessee Lady Volunteer Hall of Fame climbed to 71 elite individuals Friday night, as four highly-decorated women, led by legendary coach Pat Summitt, joined the exclusive club during a private induction ceremony at the Hilton Knoxville.
The 12th group of inductees into the Lady Vol Hall of Fame, which includes Jane Haist (track & field), Young-A Yang (golf) and basketball's Michelle Marciniak and Summitt, also will be introduced during an on-field presentation at the Tennessee versus Troy football game at Neyland Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Athletes are eligible for inclusion 10 years after they have graduated from the University, while administrators may be admitted to the Lady Volunteer Hall of Fame five years following their last service to UT. The Lady Vol Hall of Fame selection committee made a recommendation to waive the five-year "last service requirement" for coach Summitt, making her eligible immediately for consideration. That recommendation was approved.
In addressing the inductees, UT Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics said, "This will be a great evening for each and every one of you to celebrate with your friends, family, teammates and those at the University who salute you, literally salute you, for what you've meant to us, what you've meant to the Lady Vol programs that you've represented and more importantly for how you've represented the University of Tennessee."
Indeed it was a great evening, as university and athletics administrators and supporters, UT coaches, fellow Lady Vol Hall of Fame inductees, family and friends showed their appreciation for the inductees' career accomplishments, as highlighted by the evening's emcee, UT Senior Associate Athletics Director/Senior Woman Administrator Donna Thomas.
THE 2012 INDUCTEES
A member of the track & field team from 1977-79, Jane Haist was one of the pioneer elite-level competitors for the Lady Vols in that sport and helped Tennessee to top-five AIAW Outdoor National finishes of fourth in 1977 and third in 1979. The 1979 graduate with a B.S. in education (physical education) was an All-American in 1977 and 1978, winning an AIAW National Championship in the discus in 1977 with a throw of 188 feet, five inches. Haist also posted a fourth-place outcome in the shot put that season (47-10) and was the 1978 AIAW runner-up in the discus with a mark of 176-3 1/2. During her first season at UT, Haist carded a collegiate record of 198-8 in the discus, a mark that still stands as the Lady Vol record in that event. The only female to win the Tony Wilson Award (for Field Events) at the Sea Ray Relays prior to 1993, Haist also enjoyed a fine international career. The native of Fenwick, Ontario, Canada, represented her home country at the 1976 Olympics, placing 11th in the discus. She also competed in the 1977 Pan Pacific Games, winning a gold medal in the discus, and earned gold in the shot and discus at the 1974 Commonwealth Games and bronze in the discus at the 1975 Pan American Games.
"This evening was unbelievable. There were people who knew me or remembered me, which I didn't really expect (after all these years). A lot of people came up and congratulated me. It's been a pleasure to have had this opportunity to be inducted along with Pat Head Summitt. I am just really thrilled to have this honor."
A native of Macungie, Pa., Michelle Marciniak began her career at Notre Dame before transferring to Tennessee and establishing herself as one of the program's most beloved players during her 1993-96 tenure. The 1995 graduate and psychology major, known as "Spinderella" for her patented spin moves to the hoop, Marciniak capped her collegiate career by leading the Lady Vols to the 1996 NCAA title and earning NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player accolades. Also a 1996 Naismith All-American and a two-time All-SEC selection (1st team in 1995, 2nd team in 1996) on the court, Marciniak was recognized on the SEC Academic Honor Roll in 1994 and 1996 for her work in the classroom. The two-time NCAA Regional All-Tournament selection continues to rank first in single season three throw percentage (79%) and single game steals (11 vs. Kentucky, 1996), stands third in single season assists (204, 1994-95) and is one of 36 players to score 1,000 or more points in her UT career (1,004). Marciniak, whose in-home recruiting visit by a pregnant-Pat Summitt is the stuff of Lady Vol lore, continues to rank in the top 10 in eight other statistical categories.
"It's just such an incredible honor to share the stage with Pat and to really honor her. Tonight was about the inductees who were here, but when you just listened to what Pat Summitt has done throughout her career in terms of accomplishments it is very impressive. But what I wanted to do was to honor her in a way to know that she has been such a tremendous influence on so many lives, so many players, coaches, colleagues and fans. I try to put into words what she has meant to me, and there are so many people who could have stood up there and said that and were probably nodding their heads about some of the things I was speaking from my heart about her, because she has greatly influenced my life, and I want to tell the world about it."
After a standout playing career at UT Martin, Pat Summitt came to Knoxville in 1974 to be an assistant coach and attend graduate school at UT Knoxville. When Margaret Hutson went on a sabbatical, Summitt accepted the head coaching position, and the rest is women's basketball history. During a legendary 38-year career as head coach that transitioned to head coach emeritus on April 18, 2012, Summitt became the winningest coach in NCAA women's or men's basketball history with a record of 1,098 and 208 and a winning percentage of 84 percent. She accomplished that while running her program with integrity and assuring that all 122 players who completed their eligibility at UT graduated. Along the way, Summitt led her teams to eight NCAA Championships, 18 NCAA Final Fours, 31-straight NCAA Tournament appearances,16 SEC Championships and 16 SEC Tournament Championships. She coached 21 WBCA/State Farm/Kodak All-Americans to 36 honors, 39 All-SEC players to 82 accolades, 12 Olympians and 34 WNBA players, including 15 drafted in the first round and three picked number one overall. Named the Naismith Coach of the Century in 2000, Summitt was a five-time Naismith Coach of the Year and eight-time SEC Coach of the Year among an endless list of career distinctions that also included head coach of the gold-medal-winning 1984 U.S. Olympic Women's Basketball Team.
"In my 38 years at the University of Tennessee, I have seen tremendous growth in the game of basketball and women's athletics as a whole. I am very grateful that the University of Tennessee took a chance on a 22-year-old from Henrietta, Tenn. I have cherished every day representing the Lady Vols and am fiercely proud of what we have built. I have always said that you win in life with people. I have been very fortunate to have had talented and committed student-athletes, coaches, staff and administrators surrounding me during my time as head coach of the Lady Vols. I am also very proud that we have 100 percent graduation of our student-athletes. I thank the University of Tennessee for always believing in me."
A player at Tennessee from 1998-2002, Young-A Yang's score card as a Lady Vol golfer continues to set the program standard. The native of Tae-Gu City, South Korea, was honored by the National Golf Coaches Association (NGCA) all four years, earning first-team All-America status in 2001, earning second-team kudos in 2002 and honorable mention accolades in 1999 and 2000. An All-SEC player from 1999-2002, Yang remains the only Lady Vol player to garner all-league distinction in each season of her career. She also was named the SEC Freshman of the Year in 1999. After graduating in 2002, the psychology major ranks or is tied for first in five statistical categories, including top-10 career finishes (26), top-10 finishes in a season (9, 2000-01), career rounds of par or better (36), tournaments as Tennessee's top scorer (31) and low score after round 2 (65, 2001). She led UT in stroke average all four seasons, carding 74.71 as a freshman, 75.15 as a sophomore, 73.06 as a junior and 74.56 as a senior. In the classroom, Yang was a three-time SEC Academic Honor Roll member (2000-02), two-time GTE Academic All-District selection (2000, 2001) and 2000 NGCA Academic All-American.
"When Donna (Thomas) first emailed me, I wondered why she needed to talk to me. Of course when we talked and I found out what she wanted, I was speechless. This hadn't even crossed my mind. The only sad thing is that it has been 10 years since I graduated, so I have aged, but this was an unexpected surprise and an honor. When you go to the golf office (in Stokely Athletics Center) you always have to walk past the wall of Lady Vol Hall of Fame plaques, and it is just surprising and amazing to be here."
The new group of inductees joins 11 prior classes of Lady Vol Hall of Famers: 2011 - Tamika Catchings (basketball), Bud Fields (volleyball-coach), Kathy Pesek (diving), Semeka Randall (basketball), Sue Walton (track & field) and Ariana Wilson (volleyball); 2010 - Amy Delashmit Neubauer (rowing), Laura Lauter Smith (soccer), Katharina Larsson Samuelsson (golf), Margie Lepsi Schroeffel (tennis), Adrienne Walker Cherry (softball) and Shelley Sexton Collier and Chamique Holdsclaw (basketball); 2009 - the late Dr. Nancy Lay (administrator) and athletes Jane Anthony Wobser (diving), Rosemarie Hauch (track & field), Tonya Lee (track & field) and Kellie Jolly Harper (basketball); 2008 - Heather Burgess Moore (swimming), Dedra Davis Wallace (track & field), Manisha Malhotra (tennis), Dena Head (basketball) and Jill Rankin Schneider (basketball); 2007 - Bridget Jackson Chaira (softball), Nicole deMan Dewes (swimming), Dianne Shoemaker DeNecochea (volleyball), Shelia Collins (basketball), Carla McGhee (basketball) and the late Dr. Helen B. Watson (administrator); 2006 - Tracy Bonner (diving), Karla Driesler McQuain (swimming), Tonya Edwards (basketball), Mary Ostrowski (basketball), Alisa Harvey (track & field/cross country) and Bonnie Kenny (volleyball); 2005 - Missy Alston Kane Bemiller (track & field/cross country), Angie Boyd Keck (golf), Tanya Haave (basketball) and Lea Henry Manning (basketball); 2004 - former UT President Dr. Joseph E. (Joe) Johnson and athletes Jasmin Jones Keller (track & field/cross country), Robin Maine Bugg (volleyball), Nikki McCray Pinson (basketball), Jenny McGrath Weaver (swimming) and the late Ilrey Oliver Sparks (track & field); 2003 - former UT Vice-Chancellor, the late Dr. Howard Aldmon, and athletes Cindy Brogdon (basketball), April Chapple (volleyball), Elizabeth Brown Jarvis (swimming), Cathy Rattray (track & field) and Patricia Roberts (basketball); 2002 - former Head Track & Field/Cross Country Coach Terry Crawford and athletes Catherine Byrne Maloney (swimming), LaVonna Martin Floreal (track & field), Cindy Noble Hauserman (basketball), Holly Warlick (basketball) and Patty Wiegand Pitcher (track & field/cross country).
The inaugural class selected for the Lady Volunteer Hall of Fame was inducted on Oct. 26, 2001. The 10 original members were former UT President Edward J. Boling, first-ever Lady Vol Athletics Director Gloria Ray and athletes Daedra Charles (basketball), Joetta Clark (track & field), Benita Fitzgerald (track & field), Bridgette Gordon (basketball), Tracy Ignatosky (swimming), Peta and Paula Kelly (tennis) and Beverly Robinson (volleyball).