April 10, 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 2008 class, which featured nine UCF icons.
Below is the press release written on March 11, 2008.
The UCF Athletics Association (UCFAA) will induct nine new members into the UCF Athletics Hall of Fame during the upcoming UCF Athletics Hall of Fame Weekend, April 11-13, on the UCF campus.
To be honored at a dinner event the evening of Friday, April 11, in the J. Rolfe Davis Recruiting Room at Bright House Networks Stadium will be five former letterwinners, three former Presidents and a former director of athletics. Joining a list of 41 previous UCF athletics greats to be enshrined into the UCF Athletics Hall of Fame will be former letterwinners: Darryl Davis (men's basketball), Kelly Kochevar (women's soccer), Chad Mottola (baseball), Ed O'Brien (football) and Darrell Rudd (football). Former University of Central Florida Presidents Dr. Charles Millican, Dr. Trevor Colbourn and Dr. Steven Altman and former Director of Athletics Dr. Jack O'Leary (posthumous) will be awarded honorary letters.
To purchase tickets for the UCF Athletics Hall of Fame Dinner, please contact Misty Knight in the Golden Knights Club at (407) 882-1289 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
UCF Athletics Hall of Fame inductees are now selected in three different categories: Legendary Knights, Distinguished Letterwinners and Honorary Letterwinners.
Legendary Knights cannot be nominated until 10 years after completion of their eligibility and are letterwinners or athletes who have brought recognition and prominence to the University and themselves by athletics accomplishments as an undergraduate. Criteria considered are All-American, All-Conference/Region and exceptional leadership as witnessed by teammates and/or coaches. This year's inductees in the Legendary Knights category were Davis, Kochevar, Mottola, O'Brien and Rudd.
Honorary Letterwinners are individuals, coaches, athletics officials, staff members and other University officials who were not letterwinners or athletes at the University of Central Florida, yet have rendered outstanding service to the intercollegiate athletics program through personal time, effort, interest and through many years of continued service. This year's Honorary Letterwinners are Millican, Colbourn, Altman and O'Leary.
There were no inductees within the Distinguished Letterwinners category in this year's Class.
Each inductee will be in attendance at the UCF Athletics Hall of Fame Dinner, with Ann O'Leary Smith attending in memory of her late husband. During the UCF football spring game on April 12, this year's Hall of Fame Class will also receive an on-field introduction to the thousands in attendance at Bright House Networks Stadium.
The UCF Athletics Hall of Fame was established in 1998 and has honored 50 former coaches, athletes and administrators.
Brief biographical sketches of each of the inductees:
Darryl Davis - Men's Basketball: 1991-95
A 6-foot-5 shooting guard, Davis was a four-year starter for the Knights from 1991-95 ... he is one of only three UCF players to have recorded at least 1,500 career points and 500 career rebounds ... the other two players, Jerry Prather and Ken Leeks, are also in the UCF Athletics Hall of Fame ... finished his career with 1,540 points (fifth all-time at UCF) and 583 boards (seventh) ... made 583 field goals during his time at UCF, which ranks fifth on the school's career register ... is also among UCF's all-time leaders in assists (294, sixth), games played (112, ninth) and 3-point field-goal percentage (.396, sixth) ... played for head coach Kirk Speraw for his final two seasons at UCF ... as a junior in 1994, led UCF to its first NCAA Tournament at the Division I level.
Kelly Kochevar - Women's Soccer: 1991-94
Among the top offensive players in the history of UCF women's soccer ... was a four-year starter at forward from 1991-94 ... led the Knights in scoring three of her collegiate seasons in 1991 (39 points), 1993 (36) and 1994 (33) ... her 53 career goals scored and 20 game-winning goals rank first all-time, while her 122 points place second ... also recorded hat tricks (three goals in a game) five times during her career ... she is presently tied with inaugural 1998 UCF Hall of Fame inductee Michelle Akers with six consecutive matches with a goal scored.
Chad Mottola - Baseball: 1990-92
UCF's first Major League Baseball first-round draft pick when he was selected fifth overall in 1992 by the Cincinnati Reds, one pick ahead of the New York Yankees Derek Jeter ... made a career playing professional baseball, 16 seasons from 1992-2007, spending parts of five seasons in the Major Leagues ... had a Hall of Fame career for the Knights batting .331 in 177 games played ... started 171 career games, with 670 at bats, 145 runs scored, 222 hits, 39 doubles, 20 triples, 23 home runs, 148 RBI and 370 total bases ... had a career .552 slugging percentage ... many of his career statistics still stand among the top marks all-time at UCF, including at bats (10), hits (8), triples (1), home runs (8), RBI (7), total bases (6) and slugging percentage (10).
Ed O'Brien - Football: 1984-87
O'Brien was named a Kodak and Football News First Team All-American in 1987 ... earned Associated Press All-America Second Team honors as well in 1987 ... registered the second-most points in a game at UCF with 16 against Northwest Missouri State in 1987 ... also holds the fourth (15) and sixth (14) most points kicking in a game in school history ... collected the third-most points kicking in a single-season with 87 in 1987 ... his 87 points in 1987 were a school record at the time and helped lead the Knights to the second round of the Division II playoffs and a then school-record nine wins ... stands third on the UCF scoring charts for kickers with 262 points.
Darrell Rudd - Football: 1981-84
Rudd holds or shares seven school records that he set nearly 25 seasons ago ... included in those are the single-season record for tackles with 150, which he set in 1983 when the Knights posted a five-game turnaround from a winless 1982 season ... still ranks fourth on the UCF career charts with 347 total tackles ... tied the school-record for sacks in a game with five in a thrilling 35-34 victory over Western Kentucky in 1984 ... also owns the school records for sacks in a season (19.5 in 1984) and career (31.5).
Dr. Charles Millican - Founding UCF President: 1965 - 1978
Before his new Florida Technological University opened for classes in 1968, founding Millican already had the plans to begin an athletics program on the school's east Orlando campus. He first began building the University upon his appointment in 1965, working out of an office in Downtown Orlando. Millican came up with his first 10-year plan for an intercollegiate athletics program in November 1967. When classes began in fall of 1968, the physical education department staged several intramural sports. By 1969, Millican won approval to create a Department of Athletics.
Dr. Trevor Colbourn - UCF President: 1978 - 1989
It is widely known that today's football program began as a promise made by Colbourn during his inauguration speech as UCF's second President in 1978. Before the football program took shape, Colbourn led another landmark effort that greatly affected the athletics department. In his broad national vision for his new school, he sought an official name change that led to the switch from Florida Technological University to the University of Central Florida. Starting fall 1979, the first UCF Knights began taking the field. From day one, Colbourn lobbied for a football program, which he thought would `put UCF on the map'. He felt having a football team was the key to opening the door for visibility of the University as a whole. He was a driving force behind the inaugural 1979 season, and the great effort it took to make it happen so soon into his tenure.
Dr. Steven Altman - UCF President: 1989 - 1991
When Altman was tapped as the University of Central Florida's third President in April, 1989, the Knights' intercollegiate athletics program was yet again on the cusp of taking another great step towards the future. During his tenure as UCF's President, working with then-Director of Athletics and head football coach Gene McDowell, Altman helped the football program move from the NCAA Division II level up to Division I-AA (now Football Championship Subdivision). In its first season in the FCS in 1990, UCF put together arguably its most successful season as the Knights went 10-4 and advanced all the way to the semifinal playoff rounds. The 10-win season stood as the only one in school history, until the 2007 squad equaled the feat.
Dr. Jack O'Leary - UCF Director of Athletics: 1976-81
To the players on the UCF inaugural football team, it all began on a dreary and rainy September Saturday in Dade City where the new Fighting Knights were set to play St. Leo College in the 1979 season-opener. However, many of the players would tell you it really started much earlier, in March, when they learned that the UCF athletics director was hosting a meeting for prospective college football players on the university's golf driving range. There stood O'Leary in front of an assorted crew of over 100 prospective players. Some were talented and some were not; some came ready and seasoned, while some were just too dumb to know any better. The group would spend the afternoon performing an audition in agility and physical fitness. O'Leary was the school's first full-time athletics director, hired by Millican in August 1976 when the campus was still known as Florida Technological University. At the time, O'Leary's mission was to continue to build on the successes of the school's first AD, Dr. Frank Rohter, who had began the FTU athletics program in 1969. Much of O'Leary's legacy today resides with the football program he begun in 1979. Yet, several of FTU's early programs saw great success during his five-year tenure that stretched five years, 1976-77 through 1980-81. Despite budget restraints, the program was able to move from five sports in 1975 to 15 sports in 1981.