Texas Women’s Athletics Hall of Honor to induct six new members

Class of 2012 to include Kara (McGrath) Chavey, Eva (Murray) Franco, Vickie Paynter-Finney, Sandie Richards, Angie Vaughn and Mike Brown

Author: Adam Clanton, Sports Anchor, Reporter, aclanton@kprc.com
Published On: Jul 27 2012 05:22:57 PM CDT   Updated On: Jul 27 2012 05:27:46 PM CDT
AUSTIN -

Five distinguished former University of Texas student-athletes and one former coach will be inducted this fall into the UT Women’s Athletics Hall of Honor, the Women’s Hall of Honor Committee announced Friday.

The 13th Longhorn Women’s Hall of Honor class includes: Kara (McGrath) Chavey, 11-time All-American in swimming who led Texas to four consecutive NCAA team titles; Eva (Murray) Franco, volleyball All-American who paced the Longhorns to the 1986 NCAA Semifinals; Vickie Paynter-Finney, four-time tennis All-American who led Texas to the 1993 NCAA team championship; Sandie Richards, two-time Olympic medalist and seven-time All-American in track who paced the Longhorns to the 1990 NCAA Indoor team title; Angie Vaughn, three-time NCAA champion and seven-time All-American in track who led Texas to the 1998 NCAA Indoor and Outdoor team championships; and Mike Brown, three-time National Diving Coach of the Year who was a part of 14 National Championship teams during his 18 seasons (1976-94) at Texas.

The Class of 2012 will be inducted at an 11:30 a.m. (Central) ceremony and luncheon on Friday, Nov. 9 at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin. The six new members will be enshrined during ceremonies at the Texas-Iowa State football game the following day. Tickets to the Friday luncheon are $35 and available through the T-Association at 512-471-6340. Interested patrons may also sponsor a table of 10 for $450.

“We are proud of this 2012 Hall of Honor class, which corresponds with the 40th anniversary of Title IX,” said UT Women’s Athletics Director Chris Plonsky.

“That legislation paved the way for these five young women to experience college sports and obtain a degree from our great University and allowed Mike Brown to have the opportunity to coach and develop so many male and female divers.”

One of the top butterfly swimmers in school history, (McGrath) Chavey was an 11-time All-American and six-time honorable mention All-American who helped lead Texas to four consecutive NCAA team titles (1984-87). She recorded three runner-up finishes and one third-place effort in the 200-yard butterfly in her four NCAA Championship appearances. (McGrath) Chavey won a gold medal for Team USA in the 200-meter butterfly at the 1987 Pan American Games and placed fourth in the 200-meter butterfly at the 1986 FINA (Federation Internationale de Natation) World Championships. She was tabbed the 1987 Southwest Conference (SWC) Scholar-Athlete of the Year, earned an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship and claimed a spot on the CoSIDA Academic All-America team.

(Murray) Franco is one of the top setters in UT history. She earned consensus first-team All-America and SWC Player of the Year accolades as a senior in 1986 while leading Texas to a 29-6 mark and a trip to the NCAA Semifinals. (Murray) Franco concluded her career as the school’s all-time leader in assists (4,003) and ranked second in career digs (1,041) at the time of her graduation. Her single-season record of 1,596 assists set during her sophomore campaign in 1984 still stands today. A three-time NCAA Tournament All-Regional selection and three-time All-SWC First Team choice, (Murray) Franco was named to the SWC’s All-Decade Team for the 1980s.

A four-time All-American and three-time Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) national champion, Paynter-Finney led the Longhorns to their first NCAA tennis team title in 1993. She still holds the school career mark for doubles winning percentage (.866) and the single-season record for highest doubles winning percentage (.946 in 1992 with partner Susan Gilchrist) and ranks second in UT history in career doubles victories (110) and third in career singles wins (124).

Paynter-Finney teamed with Gilchrist to capture the doubles crowns at the 1991 ITA All-American Championship and both the 1992 and 1993 ITA National Indoor Championships. The duo also finished as the doubles runners-up at the 1992 and 1993 NCAA Championships, and their win at No. 1 doubles clinched UT’s 5-2 victory against Stanford in the 1993 NCAA Championship match. Paynter-Finney earned ITA All-America honors in both singles and doubles during the 1992 and 1993 seasons.

Richards was an NCAA relay champion and seven-time All-American during her two seasons in Austin (1990-91). One of the top 400-meter runners in school history, she helped pace the Longhorns to three Top Two team finishes at the NCAA Championships, including the 1990 Indoor national title. Richards ran the anchor leg on the NCAA Champion 4x400-meter relay (which set a then-world record with a time of 3:32.01) and placed second in the 400 meters at the 1990 NCAA Indoor Championship. Representing her home nation of Jamaica, she competed in five Olympic Games (1988, 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2004) and won two medals as a member of the 4x400-meter relay (silver in 2000 and bronze in 2004).

Richards also was a three-time world champion, claiming gold in the 400 meters at the 1993 and 2001 World Indoor Championship and running on the winning 4x400-meter relay team at the 2001 World Outdoor Championship.

One of the top sprint hurdlers in UT history, Vaughn was a three-time NCAA Champion and seven-time All-American. She led Texas to seven Top Three team finishes at the NCAA Championships, including the 1998 Indoor and 1998 Outdoor national titles. Vaughn won the 55-meter hurdles at the 1998 NCAA Indoor Championship, running an NCAA Indoor meet record-time of 7.41 seconds that still stands today. At the 1998 NCAA Outdoor Championship, she became the first Longhorn to win the NCAA individual title in the 100-meter hurdles and also ran on the NCAA Champion 4x100-meter relay. The Most Outstanding Collegiate Female Performer at the 1998 Penn Relays, Vaughn went undefeated in both the 55-meter hurdles (indoor) and 100-meter hurdles (outdoor) throughout her entire senior season. She held the No. 3 world ranking in the 100-meter hurdles in 1998 and won gold medals in the 100-meter hurdles and as part of the 4x100-meter relay for Team USA at the 1998 Goodwill Games.

Brown was a three-time National Diving Coach of the Year and a part of 14 National Championship and 31 conference championship teams during his 18 seasons (1976-94) at Texas. In his time in Austin, he coached 28 All-Americans, 18 U.S. National Team members and five Olympians, and his UT divers captured a total of seven NCAA individual titles and 26 conference individual championships. Brown helped the Texas women’s program claim one AIAW (Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women) Championship, eight NCAA Championships and 16 conference crowns while producing three individual national champions and an NCAA Diver of the Year. He also helped the UT men win five NCAA Championships and 15 SWC titles while tutoring four NCAA individual champions. Brown served as the 1992 U.S. Olympic Team coach and worked as a U.S. National Team coach for 17 years.

The six inductees were selected by the 22-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, the committee includes: Tina Bonci, Beverly Bowes Hackney, Brad Buchholz, Rick Cantu, Jody Conradt, Stephanie DeMunbrun, Dr. Linda Ferreira-Buckley, Cindy Figg-Currier, Mary Herman, Courtney Houston, Becky Marshall, Howard Nirken, Chris Plonsky (ex officio), Lynn Pool, Dr. Robert Prentice, Dr. Randa Ryan, Sally Schlobohm Tan, Mary Steinhardt, Jill Sterkel, Lynn Wheeler and Pam Willeford.