Five to get inducted into UCF Athletics Hall of Fame


GO KNIGHTS Hall of Fame
GO KNIGHTS
Hall of Fame
GO KNIGHTS

March 15, 2010

Orlando, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) –UCF Athletics will induct five new members into the UCF Athletics Hall of Fame during the upcoming UCF Athletics Hall of Fame Weekend, April 16-18, on the UCF campus.

This group of five outstanding individuals from UCF Athletics’ past will be honored at a dinner event the evening of Friday, April 16, in the J. Rolfe Davis Recruiting Room at Bright House Networks Stadium. Joining a list of 54 previous UCF athletics greats to be enshrined into the UCF Athletics Hall of Fame will be former letterwinners Elgin Davis (football) and Kim Wyant (women’s soccer) in the Legendary Knights category; Michael O’Shaughnessy (football) in the Distinguished Letterwinner category; and a pair of Honorary Letterwinners, the late Wayne Densch, for his tremendous philanthropy throughout the history of UCF Athletics, and UCF men’s tennis founder Lex Wood.

Now is your chance to be a part of the entire weekend for just $60, through the Hall of Fame Pass, which includes a ticket to the Hall of Fame Induction Dinner on Friday night, the UCF Spring Football Game and a barbecue plate at the UCF Pigskin Barbecue & Fan Day on Saturday and a weekend pass to the UCF baseball vs. Rice series.

To purchase a Hall of Fame Pass through the Golden Knights Club, please call (407) 823-2086 or e-mail GoldenKnightsClub@athletics.ucf.edu.

In addition to the Induction Dinner on Friday, the class will be honored during the UCF Spring Football Game on Saturday, with on-field recognition to the audience of thousands in attendance at Bright House Networks Stadium.

The UCF Athletics Hall of Fame was established in 1998 and has now honored 59 former coaches, athletes and administrators.

Elgin Davis – Football – Legendary Knight

At an early age Elgin Davis learned life principles from his family's strong spiritual beliefs and humble roots. His unique gifts and talents earned him respect and honor among his community and peers. Quickly, Elgin established himself as a leader on and off the field, and received many accolades in high school, including President of Christian Athletes, captain of the football and track teams, and recognition from America's Outstanding Names and Faces. His tenacity on the football field earned him recognition as one of the state's top football prospects and he was bestowed the athlete of the year in high school.

He attended the University of Central Florida on a full athletic scholarship. During his junior and senior year he was a Dean's List recipient and voted captain of the football team. Elgin evolved into the most prolific runner in school history at the time. Davis completed his collegiate career at UCF with nearly all the school's career rushing records.

He finished his career - all four years as a starter - with 2,064 yards on 464 rushes (4.4 average) and 23 touchdowns. Davis's longest run was a 79-yard TD vs. Sanford, which came in his last game (gained 118 yards on three carries that game, a 66-7 verdict). He was hampered by knee and ankle injuries as a sophomore and junior, but had a fine senior campaign with 597 yards on 124 carries for a 4.8 average with seven TDs. In 1985, his junior year, he gained 338 yards on 64 carries (5.3 average) and had one TD for 4-7 club (best game: 80 yards vs. Bethune Cookman, including 42-yard TD run). As a freshman, in 1983 Davis had 786 yards on 156 attempts (5.2 average) and scored nine TDs. His 786 yards that season were the most any UCF back had ever gained in a career, to that point.

In 1987, the New England Patriots drafted Elgin Davis into the NFL, and he became the second player ever drafted out of UCF. There, he played two seasons before signing with the Pittsburgh Steelers and later the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL.

He dressed in four games with the Patriots in 1987 and finished with nine rushes for 43 yards (4.8 avg., long of 27). Davis had his best game at Houston with 47 yards on seven carries (6.7 avg.). He returned five kickoffs for 134 yards with a long of 43 yards. The following year, he returned six kickoffs for 106 yards.

 He ended his career with the London Monarchs of the World Football League. Shortly afterwards, Elgin answered the call to ministry, and worked diligently within his community to help correct many political and social ills that affect society.

Elgin Davis was a four-year star for the Knights football program from 1983-86, playing both the fullback and running back positions for coaches Lou Saban and Gene McDowell.

Wayne Densch – Philanthropy – Honorary Letterwinner

On October 22, 1986 a plaque was placed in the breezeway of the two Athletics Department buildings thus renaming the complex the Wayne Densch Sports Center. The plaque was adorned in honor and recognition of the benevolence shared by one of the Central Florida region’s greatest philanthropists. Earlier the same year, it was said of Wayne Densch in the Orlando Sentinel, which would be included on the plaque, “This gift is an eloquent statement of his belief that Athletics and Academics are good for each other at UCF.” The gift to UCF Athletics would be the start of a long-standing relationship with the Densch family and the Wayne M. Densch Charitable Trust.

Wayne Densch grew up and was educated in Louisville, Ky. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1941 and served during World War II in the South Pacific as a Communications Officer for the 33rd Infantry Division. Awarded the Bronze Star, he was honorably discharged on February 14, 1946. He acquired his first Anheuser-Busch beer distributorship in Waukegan, Ill., in 1953. He sold it seven years later and in 1960 he bought the Orlando area distributorship. That year the business recorded 550,267 cases of beer sold. In 1985, sales of Orange, Seminole, Osceola and Lake Counties saw the total soar to 5.5 million cases. Wayne Densch, Inc. has been the leading Anheuser-Busch distributor in Florida for many years. Densch would pass away on May 8, 1994.

 Each year, Wayne Densch, Inc. sponsors and participates in numerous charitable, non-profit events to benefit the Central Florida Community. “The Central Florida community has been very good to our organization. Growth has been extremely good. We feel it is our duty to contribute back to the community,” Densch has said.

Densch and his wife, Ann, on their own and through their business supported a variety of charitable causes, including the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, the Red Cross, Shrine Burn Centers and Hospitals, and many University of Central Florida activities.

 In 1997, Anheuser-Busch purchased rights to distribute its beer products in portions of the Florida counties of Orange, Lake and Osceola from Wayne Densch, Inc. Densch had drafted a will giving CEO Leonard Williams an option to buy Wayne Densch, Inc. As dictated in Densch’s will, proceeds from Williams’ purchase of the distributorship would go toward the Wayne M. Densch Charitable Trust, which was founded in 1992 to help the poor, elderly and homeless. Densch’s will appointed Williams as personal representative of his estate and sole director of the Wayne M. Densch Charitable Trust, which continues its support of UCF Athletics to this day.

Michael O’Shaughnessy – Football – Distinguished Letterwinner

A two-sport athlete for the Fighting Knights (baseball and football) Michael was a standout defensive lineman for the UCF football team during the program’s first two seasons of play in 1979 and 1980. His impact on the field was great, but his presence off the field could be viewed even higher.

As a defensive end on Don Jonas’ inaugural football team, O’Shaughnessy, was one of the top defensive players the Knights fielded. He established a still-standing school record for sacks in a game with five against Emory & Henry during that 1979 season. Leading his team both seasons of his career with 10 sacks in 1979 and 12 sacks in 1980, he remains among UCF’s all-time best with 22 career sacks.

O'Shaughnessy, the team’s Most Spirited Player in 1980 as voted on by his teammates, has shown a long and continued role serving UCF Athletics as an assistant offense line coach in 1981, the founder and first President of the UCF Letterman's K Club, a member of the Knights Booster Board of Directors and as UCF football’s radio sideline reporter from 1990-94. Michael was also a member of the baseball team in 1979, which was the school’s first championship baseball team as part of the Sunshine State Conference.

Continuing his athletic pursuits after college he has competed in the Iron Man Triathlon, is a two-time and current Guinness World record holder in the sport of paddle boarding (Cuba to USA and English Channel), a four-time East Coast Paddle Board Champion and holder of two other World Records in the sport (Irish Sea, Loch Ness) and a six-time Florida State Paddleboard Champion. His paddleboard is hanging in the East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame in Cocoa Beach. He is an author of two books (Millennium Woman - a Guideline to Personal Security and Financial Prosperity for Today's Woman and Blue Collar Iron Man, co- authored with UCF's Dr. Frank Rohter).

Off the field, O’Shaughnessy has done much work to bring positive light to his University and was designated as the Alumnus of the Decade for the 1980’s at the school’s 40th anniversary celebration. A successful entrepreneur in real estate and a biography subject of UCFTV's U-Knighted, Michael co-founded with his wife, Leslie, the Millennium Woman Foundation, a non-profit organization which has funded over 250 educational scholarships to single-parent women nationwide.

Alexander Wood – Men’s Tennis – Honorary Letterwinner

Alexander “Lex” Wood began the UCF men’s tennis program in 1970 and would serve as the Knights’ head coach for six seasons through his athletics retirement following the 1977 dual match season. The first two seasons of his tenure the Knights competed at the club level, compiling a 24-10 combined record from 1972-73.

The momentum Wood garnered those first two initial seasons on campus led to the approval of his fledgling tennis program to join NCAA Division II competition beginning in 1974. From that point forward, the men’s tennis team never looked back and instantly became a Top 20 squad at that level until the time it joined Division I in the early 1980’s.

Under Wood, the men’s tennis team went a combined 102-46, including an impressive 30-4 mark in 1977, his final campaign. His final season was highlighted by UCF claiming the inaugural Sunshine State Conference tennis championship, the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Division II South Regional and a third place finish at the NCAA Division II National Championship tournament. Prior to 1977, the team finished 11th, 17th and 10th nationally from 1974-76, respectively. His 1977 championship squad featured All-Americans Toby Crabel and Doug Baxter, who both reached the quarterfinals of the NCAA singles competition.

After his coaching retirement, Wood would go on to serve a long tenure teaching in UCF’s physical education department. Later, his daughter, Adrienne, would compete collegiately for the UCF women’s tennis program.

Wood was an accomplished tennis player in his own right, starring at Florida State University, where he would become the first tennis player inducted into the Seminoles’ Hall of Fame in 1982. He arrived at FSU in 1962, from his native South Africa and for three years played the number one singles and doubles positions for the Seminoles. In 1964, his singles' match record was 22-1 and his career mark was 51 victories in 54 singles matches. He defeated many great players over the course of his collegiate career including U.S. Davis Cup member Marty Riessen.

After his playing career ended, he became FSU's coach, leading the team from 1965-69. His last two teams went 19-3 and 23-5 in dual match play. An accomplished student, Wood received both his master's and doctoral degrees from FSU in education.

Kim Wyant – Women’s Soccer – Legendary Knight

Kim Wyant began and ended her UCF women's soccer career in similar fashion. The Miami-native was named the team's rookie of the year as a goalkeeper in 1982. In her senior season in 1985, Wyant was named the team's MVP, while earning NSCAA first-team All-American honors. Wyant went on to great things in women's soccer, as a member and starter on the first United States women's national team and then became a prominent pro in the U.S.-based W-League.

As a UCF freshman, Wyant started in the first-ever Women's NCAA National Championship, a game the Knights lost 2-0 to North Carolina. Despite the loss, she was named the tourney's Most Valuable Player. The championship game marked one of many soccer 'firsts' for Wyant, and helped grow the sport for women. In the early 1980's, there were less than 100 schools nationwide fielding college women's soccer teams.

A story once led off, [Wyant] "is to U.S. Women's soccer what Ringo Starr is to Rock and Roll, an original member of the group who set the stage for today's soccer mega-stars. Before there was a Mia Hamm, or even a Brandi Chastain, there was Kim Wyant and the rest of the first-ever U.S. Women's National Team."

In 1984, top players from across the country were invited by the U.S. Soccer Federation to play in a tournament in Washington, D.C. At the weekend’s end, a national team was selected. Wyant made the squad. The following year, after playing at the Olympic Festival in Baton Rouge, another national team was selected. Again, Wyant made the cut.

Wyant would make 16 overall appearances for the U.S. National Team and started the very first U.S. women's international match in 1985 in Jesolo, Italy. She would carry the distinction of being the first goalkeeper in U.S. history and record America’s first win and first shutout.

Wyant enjoyed a 12-year affiliation with the W-League’s Long Island Lady Riders as, at various times, a player, coach and general manager. As a pro player, she minded the net for national champion teams in 1995 and 1997 and was the league's goalkeeper of the year four consecutive times. Wyant was the head coach at Florida Atlantic from 1995-98 has also served on the Region I U.S. National Team’s goalkeeping staff, as an FIFA staff coach, and as the head coach for the Long Island Girls’ Select Program. She was also the creator and founder of Above-All Goalkeeping camps and has been a Nike-sponsored athlete for more than six years. Above all, Wyant is a goalkeeper, eager to get back in the net. Since the W-League's inception back in 1994 until her retirement, Wyant had been the league's dominant goalie. She won Goalkeeper of the Year honors for four consecutive years between 1995 and 1998. She was the MVP in the 1997 Championship series.

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