April 9, 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 2003 class, which featured UCF athletics icons Willie English, Gerry Gergley, Dennis Kamrad, Tari Phillips and David Rhodes.
Below is the press release written on Sept. 11, 2003.
On a weekend when UCF will celebrate its 25th season of football, two of the program's best players will be among five new inductees to the UCF Athletics Hall of Fame. Willie English, UCF's all time leading rusher, and David Rhodes, UCF's all time leading receiver, will be inducted along with UCF's first wrestling coach Gerry Gergley, UCF's first rowing coach Dennis Kamrad, and WNBA star Tari Phillips. This year's ceremony will be held on Oct. 3 at 6:30 pm in the Church Street Ballroom in Downtown Orlando.
English rushed for 3,131 yards during his career and also set the school record for rushing yards in a game with 242. He holds the school record for career rushing touchdowns with 38 as well as the school record for career 100-yard rushing games with 15. He had his most productive year in 1991, when he rushed for more than 100 yards in nine games and finished with 1,338 yards and 13 touchdowns. He finished his career in 1993 and signed with the Cincinnati Bengals.
One of UCF's original coaches, Gergley started the wrestling program in 1970. During his 11-year reign he produced five All-Americans, and his teams consistently ranked among the nation's top 10. In 1979, he also started the golf program and coached it for two years, leading it to the Sunshine State Conference title. Not only was Gergley a pioneer in these two sports but he also became the school's first strength coach in 1983. Not content to stop there, Gergley started the fundraising program for athletics at UCF and helped then athletics director Dr. Jack O'Leary in the planning of the first football team in 1979.
Kamrad began his coaching career at UCF in 1973 and retired in 2003. In between he became an icon in the sport of collegiate rowing. He was chosen as the 1997 Dad Vail Coach of the Year, and the lightweight 8+ trophy at the Dad Vail and at the Florida Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championship bears his name. He has compiled 15 total victories at the Dad Vail Regattas and his teams have won seven consecutive FIRA State Championships since 1997. He also served two terms on the board of US Rowing.
Despite the fact she only played one season at UCF (1990-91), Phillips made a significant impact on the women's basketball program. A dominant scorer and rebounder, Phillips still holds the school record for scoring and rebounding average in a season and has the top three spots on the single-game scoring list. She went on to stardom in professional basketball, first in the ABL and now in the WNBA. The Orlando Miracle chose the former ABL All-Star Game MVP in the first round of the WNBA draft in 2000. She now plays for the New York Liberty and has appeared in three WNBA All-Star games. She also won a gold medal with Team USA at the World Championships.
Rhodes was twice named All-American at UCF and finished his career with 3,618 yards and 213 receptions, both school records. He broke the previous records set by 2000 UCF Athletics Hall of Fame inductee Sean Beckton. Rhodes also holds the record for career 100-yard games with 16 and career touchdowns receptions with 29. He is third in career all-purpose yards with 3,689. After leaving UCF in 1994, Rhodes signed with the Cincinnati Bengals. He also spent time in NFL Europe. He returned to UCF to earn his master's degree and recently earned a law degree from the University of Florida.
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. All five of these new inductees as well as the 22 previous members, were chosen by a selection committee comprised of former UCF athletes, alumni association members, Golden Knights Club members, and UCF faculty and staff.
The induction ceremony will begin with a reception at 6:30 p.m. and dinner will follow promptly at 7:30. Admission for the event is $40 for Golden Knights Club and UCF Alumni Association members, $50 for all others. Corporate tables of 8 can be purchased for $500. Dress for the occasion is business attire.
For more information or to reserve your spot, please call the UCF Alumni Association at (407) UCF-ALUM. Reservations and payment is required by September 26, 2003. (Seating is limited)