UCF Athletics Hall of Fame Retrospect Series: 2002

GO KNIGHTS This year's Hall of Fame dinner is on Friday, April 10.
This year's Hall of Fame dinner is on Friday, April 10.

April 8, 2009

Orlando, FL (www.UCFAthletics.com) - Orlando, FL (www.UCFAthletics.com) - In commemorating the 10 previous UCF Athletics Hall of Fame inductions, UCF Athletics Communications will run a series of archival flashbacks to the previous classes. Today's flashback is the 2002 class, which featured UCF athletics icons Daunte Culpepper, Robert Damron, Tim Foskett, Shawn Jefferson, Renata Menchikova and Scott Ryerson.

Below is the press release written on Oct. 3, 2002.

A sold-out ballroom of more than 450 people will be on hand Friday night at the Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport when UCF inducts it newest class into the UCF Athletics Hall of Fame.

The 2002 class is the largest and arguably the strongest class ever for the UCF Athletics Hall of Fame, which was founded in 1998. Three current professional athletes, including Pro Bowl quarterback Daunte Culpepper and PGA Tour winner Robert Damron headline a list of six. Two-time Super Bowl participant Shawn Jefferson, placekicker Scott Ryerson, volleyball player Renata Menchikova, and baseball player Tim Foskett round out the class.

UCF's Golden Knights Club will host the business-attire ceremony that begins with a reception at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 7. All six inductees are scheduled to be in attendance at the event that has been sold out for weeks.

"The demand for this event has been tremendous," Tim Leonard, Executive Director of the Golden Knights Club, said. "It should prove to be a wonderful evening for the inductees as well as the fans in attendance."

Culpepper was a unanimous selection for inclusion in his first year of eligibility. He played quarterback at UCF from 1995-98 and set more than 30 school records as well as three NCAA records during his career. He won the 1998 Sammy Baugh Trophy as the passer of the year in college football and was chosen along with Ricky Williams from Texas as the national Co-Player of the Year by the Sports Network. He was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the first round in 1999, and was the starting quarterback for the NFC in the Pro Bowl in only his second year in the NFL.

Damron played from 1991-94 before leaving to turn professional. He was a three-time honorable mention All-American and set the school record for the most wins in school history with five, including the prestigious invitation-only John Hancock All-American Tournament. He helped the team to two NCAA Regional berths and competed at the Regional as an individual the third year. He was the first from UCF to make it full-time to the PGA Tour and the first to win a tournament there, defeating Scott Verplank in a playoff at the 2001 Verizon Byron Nelson Classic.

Jefferson played receiver 1988-90 and helped UCF reach the Division I-AA semifinals in 1990. He was drafted by the Houston Oilers in the 9th round in 1991, and currently plays for the Atlanta Falcons. He was a member of the San Diego Chargers' Super Bowl XXIX team and the New England Patriots' Super Bowl XXXI team. Now in his 12th year in the league, Jefferson has played in the NFL longer than any former Golden Knight.

Ryerson played from 1980-83, earning All-America honors in 1981 after leading the team in scoring with 62 points and kicking four field goals of 50 yards or longer. He set the school record for field goals in a game (4) and season (18), as well as 50-yard field goals in a game (2), season (4), and career (6). He is fourth on the list of career field goals with 32, and holds the school record for points kicking in a game with 17.

Menchikova played from 1995-97. She led UCF in kills and aces all three seasons while leading the team in digs in 1996 and '97. She is the career leader in kills (2,151), kills per game (5.85), and digs per game (3.24). She owns the top five spots on the single-game kill list and the top two spots on the single-season kill list. She was a three-time first-team all-conference honoree and was named conference tournament MVP in 1995.

Foskett played from 1980-83. He became UCF's first All-American in baseball, doing so at the Division II level in 1983. He earned All-South honors in 1980, and also earned all-conference honors in 1983. He is the school's all-time leader in hits with 289, and is second only to UCF Athletics Hall of Fame member Tim Barker in career stolen bases with 92. He is also second in career sacrifices (28) and fifth in career batting average (.363).

The UCF Athletics Hall of Fame was established in 1998 to honor those individuals who, through their demonstrated athletics achievement or service, have distinguished themselves and the University of Central Florida. Nominees must be removed from UCF at least four years in the capacity they have been nominated in order to be eligible.

The 16 current members of the UCF Athletics Hall of Fame and a seven-member selection committee voted to determine this year's inductees after finalists were named. The selection committee, comprised of former UCF athletes, alumni association members, Golden Knights Club members, and UCF faculty and staff, chose 12 finalists from a list of nearly 100 nominees.

Hall of Fame bylaws state that each class should have no less than two and no more than five members, but after the votes were tabulated the selection committee was deadlocked and chose to admit all six this year rather than split the class. The inclusion of this year's class brings to 22 the number of current members.

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