AUSTIN, Texas— Five distinguished former University of Texas student-athletes and a current administrator will be inducted this fall into the UT Women’s Athletics Hall of Honor, the Women’s Hall of Honor Committee announced Thursday. The 12thLonghorn Women’s Hall of Honor class includes: Cat Osterman, three-time softball National Player of the Year and 2004 Olympic gold medalist; Sanya Richards-Ross, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and five-time NCAA Champion in track; Kelly (Wilson) Schmedes, two-time soccer All-American; Heather Bowie Young, golf’s 1997 NCAA individual champion; Kim Basinger, a finalist for the first-ever Wade Trophy and the first basketball student-athlete to commit to legendary Texas coach Jody Conradt; and Chris Plonsky, current UT women’s Athletics Director.
The Class of 2011 will be inducted at an 11:30 a.m. (Central) ceremony and luncheon on Friday, Nov. 18 at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin. They will be enshrined during ceremonies at the Texas-Kansas State football game the following day. Tickets to the Friday luncheon are $35 and available through the Longhorn Foundation at 512-471-4439. Interested patrons may also sponsor a table of 10 for $450.
One of the top pitchers in softball history, Osterman was a three-time National Player of the Year and four-time All-American during her four seasons at The University of Texas. The only softball individual to ever win National Player of the Year honors three times, she paced the Longhorns to three trips to the Women’s College World Series (2003, 2005 and 2006) while earning USA Softball’s National Player of the Year honor in each of those three seasons. During her redshirt season of 2004, Osterman trained with the USA National Team and was the only collegian and youngest member of the Olympic Team that earned a gold medal in Athens. A three-time selection as Big 12 Conference Female Athlete of the Year (2003, 2005 and 2006), she still holds UT career records in victories (136), ERA (0.51), shutouts (85) and no-hitters (20) and holds the NCAA record for career strikeout ratio per seven innings (14.35). Osterman was a recipient of the NCAA Today’s Top VIII Award in 2006, an honor presented to the top eight senior student-athletes in the country.
Richards-Ross was a five-time NCAA Champion and 11-time All-American during her two seasons in Austin (2003-04) and remains one of the top 400-meter runners in the world. She claimed individual titles in the 400 meters at the 2003 NCAA Outdoor and 2004 NCAA Indoor Championships and earned crowns in the 4x400 meter relay at the 2003 NCAA Indoor, 2003 NCAA Outdoor and 2004 NCAA Indoor Championships. Still the UT record-holder in both the indoor and outdoor 400 meters, Richards-Ross also won eight Big 12 Conference individual titles and four league relay crowns. She earned Olympic gold medals with Team USA’s 4x400 meter relay in both 2004 (Athens) and 2008 (Beijing), won the 400 meters at the 2009 World Outdoor Championships and has earned three additional World Outdoor titles on Team USA’s 4x400-meter relay (2003, 2007 and 2009). Richards-Ross is a two-time recipient of both the IAAF World Athlete of the Year and the Jesse Owens Award (2006, 2009).
The school’s all-time leader in career points and assists, (Wilson) Schmedes was a two-time All-American at Texas. She earned National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) second-team All-America and Big 12 Conference Rookie of the Year honors as a freshman in 2001 while leading the Longhorns to their first-ever league championship. Schmedes then claimed NSCAA third-team All-America and Big 12 Player of the Year accolades in her sophomore season (2002). She set school single-season marks for points, goals and assists as a senior in 2004. Schmedes claimed ESPN The Magazine first-team Academic All-America honors and was a recipient of the NCAA Today’s Top VIII Award in 2004, an honor presented to the top eight senior student-athletes in the country.
Bowie Young was a two-time All-American at Texas who claimed individual medalist honors at the 1997 NCAA Championship. She received the Honda Broderick Award as the Collegiate Female Golfer of the Year and was a co-recipient of the Marilyn Smith Award as the National Senior Female Golfer of the Year in 1997. Bowie Young, who also won the individual title at the 1997 Big 12 Championship while leading UT to the first-ever team title in the league’s history, earned first-team All-America and Big 12 Conference Player of the Year accolades as a senior. She claimed second-team All-America honors as a junior in 1996, helping the Longhorns win the final Southwest Conference team championship and place third at the NCAA Championships. Bowie Young transferred to Texas after spending two years at Arizona State, where she earned first-team All-America honors in both her freshman (1994) and sophomore seasons (1995) and helped the Sun Devils capture back-to-back NCAA team titles. She has been a member of the LPGA since 2000 and has over $3 million in career earnings and a victory at the 2005 Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic.
Basinger was the first basketball student-athlete to commit to former head coach Jody Conradt and was the leader of the Texas Basketball program in the early years. A three-year letterwinner in basketball (1977-79) and two-year letterwinner in volleyball (1976-77), Basinger was a finalist as a junior in 1977-78 for the first-ever Wade Trophy, an award given to the women’s National Player of the Year in college basketball. She was a team co-captain in her senior season (1978-79) and led the Longhorns to a 37-4 mark and a No. 4 ranking in the final Associated Press poll. One of the top student-athletes of her era, Basinger earned the UT Scholar-Athlete Award, given to the top female student-athlete at The University, and received UT’s Outstanding Student Award by the Health and Physical Education Department in 1979.
Plonsky recently completed her 22ndyear of association with The University of Texas and her ninth year as women’s athletics director, senior woman administrator and director of men’s/women’s athletics external services. Since she assumed the role of women’s AD in 2001, the Longhorns have won two NCAA team titles (2005 Outdoor Track and Field, 2006 Indoor Track and Field) and 32 Big 12 Conference championships. The department’s liaison with multimedia rights holder IMG College, Plonsky played a major role in the recent ground-breaking agreement between UT, IMG College and ESPN for the Longhorn Network, a television network exclusively dedicated to UT and UT sports coverage which will launch on August 26, 2011. She first joined the UT Athletics staff in January 1982 as women’s sports information director and spent four-and-a-half years in that capacity. After a seven-year stint with the BIG EAST Conference office, Plonsky rejoined UT Athletics in October 1993.
The six inductees were selected by the 21-member UT Women’s Athletics Hall of Honor Selection Committee. The committee is chaired by Dr. Jim Deitrick, professor of accounting in the Red McCombs School of Business. In addition to Deitrick and Plonsky, the committee includes: Tina Bonci, Beverly Bowes Hackney, Brad Buchholz, Jody Conradt, Stephanie DeMunbrun, Dr. Linda Ferreira-Buckley, Mary Herman, Courtney Houston, Becky Marshall, Howard Nirken, Sonia Perez, Lynn Pool, Dr. Robert Prentice, Dr. Randa Ryan, Sally Schlobohm Tan, Jill Sterkel, Craig Way, Lynn Wheeler and Joan Whitworth.