2017 Rice Athletics Hall of Fame inductees announced

A talented class of nine people who left their marks on Rice history through team and individual achievements will be inducted into the 2017 Rice Athletics Hall of Fame Oct. 6. at the Briar Club in Houston.

Hall of Fame

The class will then be honored again the following day at a tailgate prior to the Owls’ football game against Army and then on the field during the game.

Along with the induction of the newest members of the Hall of Fame, the `R’ Association will honor Kenny Baldwin and Brian Patterson with the Distinguished R Award and Bob & Betty Bixby with the Honorary R Award.

For tickets or additional information regarding the 2017 Rice Athletics Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, contact Lizzie Yoshida at 713-348-2864 or ey6@rice.edu.

2017 honorees

Morris Almond (Hall of Fame)

Morris Almond was a two-time All-American and the 2007 Conference USA Player of the Year. Almond twice led the team in scoring, setting a school single-season scoring record with 844 points as a senior. He ranks fourth on the all-time Rice list with 1,825 points. A native of Dalton, Ga., he holds the school record for 30-point games. Almond is in the top 10 in field goals made, free throws made, free throw percentage and blocks. Almond was selected in the first round of the 2007 NBA draft by the Utah Jazz and played parts of three seasons in the NBA with the Jazz and Washington Wizards.

Kenny Baldwin (Distinguished R)

A three-year letterman who was selected by the Detroit Tigers in 1979 draft, Kenny Baldwin joined the consulting division of what was then Arthur Andersen in 1981 after stints in the Tigers’ and Dodgers’ farm systems.  He recently retired from the consulting organization, now known as Accenture, which has transformed from a private partnership to a $20 billion corporation.  He serves on the board of Tiandi Energy, has been a volunteer and supporter of Texas Special Olympics and served as a board member of the local chapter. He currently serves on the board of stewards of his church, Chapelwood United Methodist Church, and the board of the Houston chapter of Child Advocates. In 2008 Baldwin founded SpringSpirit Baseball, a faith-based nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of underprivileged youths in Spring Branch, Texas.

Jim Bevan (Hall of Fame)

One of the most successful coaches in Rice history, Jim Bevan has led the Owls to 11 conference championships between cross-country and track and field during his 12 years as head coach. A part of the Rice program for 31 seasons, Bevan has been named Coach of the Year 11 times among the SWC, WAC and C-USA. In 2017, Bevan received the Elizabeth Gillis Award for Exemplary Service at Rice University. Bevan led the Owls to a rare Triple Crown in 2008 when they won C-USA conference championships in cross-country and indoor and outdoor track and field. Bevan has coached 19 All-Americans since 2005 and the Owls have won 81 individual conference titles. In addition, Bevan has helped guide and coach Funmi Jimoh and Lennie Waite to Olympic careers.

Bob and Betty Bixby (Honorary R)

Bob and Betty Bixby have been ardent supporters of Rice Athletics over the years as both fans and donors. In 2007, they provided the lead gift for the Robert E. and Elizabeth W. Bixby Academic Center located in the Youngkin Center for Athletic and Academic Excellence. The Bixbys have also pledged the gift for the new indoor hitting facility. Betty Bixby currently serves as president of the Women’s Athletic Advisory Board and Bob Bixby is the Noah Harding Professor Emeritus of Computational and Applied Mathematics. Bob and colleagues are working on the traveling salesperson problem, which involves finding an optimal path for a salesperson to take when traveling through a specified number of cities; the problem has applications in science and engineering, including the manufacture of circuit boards.

Jason Colwick (Hall of Fame)

Jason Colwick was a two-time NCAA Champion in the pole vault, claiming both the indoor and outdoor titles during his dominant 2009 season. That same season he established a Rice record during the outdoor season, clearing 5.72 meters (18-9.25), a mark that still stands today. Colwick also broke the school record in the indoor vault in 2010, soaring 5.67 meters (18-7.25), a mark that also still holds. In addition, Colwick placed second in the vault at the 2010 NCAA Indoor Championships. Colwick was honored with the 2010 Bob Quin Award, won the 2008 C-USA outdoor pole vault title and swept the 2010 pole vault titles during the indoor and outdoor seasons. He was the recipient of the 2010 Emmett Brunson Award in 2010 and was the 2008-2009 Fred J. and Florence Stancliff Award winner. Colwick placed 14th at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials and also competed at the 2016 Olympic Trials.

Michael Harris (Hall of Fame)

Michael Harris is Rice’s all-time leading basketball scorer and rebounder, with 2,014 points and 1,111 rebounds. A three-time All-Western Athletic Conference selection, Harris is the only player in school history to lead the Owls in scoring, rebounding and field goal percentage all four years. As a senior, he also led the squad in free throw percentage and blocks. A native of Hillsboro, Texas, Harris holds the school record for field goals made, double-doubles, double-digit point games and double-digit rebound games. He is in the top 10 in field goal percentage, free throw percentage, blocks, steals and 20-point games and is the only player in school history to record at least 600 points and 350 rebounds in a season. Harris led the Owls to 69 wins during his time at Rice, including berths in the National Invitation Tournament as a junior and senior. Following his time at Rice, the 2005 CollegeInsider.com All-American played three seasons in the NBA for the Houston Rockets, Washington Wizards and Utah Jazz. He currently plays in China for the Sichuan Blue Whale of the Chinese Basketball Association, which he led to the league championship in 2015-16 and was named the Most Valuable Player.

Pat Krieger (Hall of Fame)

One of the top scorers in Rice women’s basketball history, Krieger currently ranks second with 1,851 points. She led the Owls in scoring in 1979-80 and 1980-81 (16.8 points per game) and holds the record for the most field goals made in a single season (231; 1979-80). The recipient of the 1982 Joyce Pounds Hardy Award, Krieger was named the Hackerman Award winner in 1979 and 1980 and was the first recipient of a women’s basketball scholarship at Rice. In 1982, Krieger became Rice’s first A.I.W.A. All-American and was also a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-American (1981 and 1982).  Her 555 points during the 1979-80 campaign ranks second in school history, and her career scoring average of 16.5 points per game ranks third. In addition, Krieger ranks seventh on Rice’s all-time rebounding list with 740 total boards.

Jeff Nichols (Hall of Fame)

Nearly two decades after Jeff Nichols threw his last pitch for Rice, his 42 career victories remain the school record, an accomplishment made all the more impressive when the power-packed bats and baseballs used during his career are taken into account. The Duncanville, Texas, native had one of the best rookie seasons on the mound ever recorded at Rice. He went 10-2 with a 3.42 ERA and was named a Freshman All-America by both Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball. He picked up the win over Southwest Missouri State in the opener of the 1997 NCAA Regional in Lubbock and set the stage for Rice’s first berth in the College World Series (CWS) appearance. The true freshman was then selected by head coach Wayne Graham to start the program’s first-ever CWS game, where he allowed just two runs over six innings to eventual national champion Louisiana State University. He was selected by the Florida Marlins in the 1999 MLB draft but chose to remain at Rice; however, an injury sidelined him for most of 2000. He returned to action in 2001 and totaled four more wins and a save in 41.1 innings over 14 appearances. He recorded his 42nd and final victory in a midweek game against the No. 23-ranked Texas Longhorns. In addition to the record for career wins, Nichols ranks second in innings (427.1) and third in both strikeouts (392) and appearances (88).

Brian Patterson  (Distinguished R)

A former football Rice walk-on and three-year football letterman, Brian Patterson quickly drew the attention of the coaches with his hard work, perseverance and leadership, traits that transitioned into a highly successful business career which allowed him to provide the naming gift for the Brian Patterson Sports Performance Center at Rice. Patterson was elected to the Rice University Board of Trustees this year and is the founder of White Star Real Estate and managing partner of White Star Real Estate Russia, White Star Real Estate Polska and White Star Real Estate Europe. He also co-founded Archive Management Solutions (later rebranded as Iron Mountain) with operations in Poland, Russia, Ukraine and Denmark. He is the longest-serving board member of the Friends of Litewska Children’s Hospital Foundation in Warsaw, Poland. He received his MBA from Stanford University Graduate School of Business in 1989. He graduated in 1984 from Rice University, where he earned Academic All-American honors.

Shaquandra Roberson (Hall of Fame)

Shaquandra Roberson was a three-time All-American, garnering all three honors during the 2000 season in which she was named the Eva Jean Lee Award winner as the most outstanding Rice women’s track and field athlete. Roberson placed fourth in both the 800 meter and 1500 meter races at the 2000 NCAA Outdoor Championships while running the anchor leg on the distance medley relay team that placed sixth. She was the only athlete at the outdoor national meet to score in the 800 and 1500, and her performance led to a 25th-place team finish. A Fred J. and Florence Stancliff Award recipient for academic and track and field performance in 1999, Roberson won four Western Athletic Conference titles; individual victories in the mile and 3000 meter while also being a part of two distance medley relay team titles. Roberson played a key role in cross-country as well and was a major contributor in the Owls’ triple crown of the WAC in 1999-2000, leading the Owls to championships in cross-country, indoor track and field and outdoor track and field. In addition, Roberson qualified for the 2000 Olympic Trials in the 800 meter and 1500 meter races.

Joe Savery (Hall of Fame) 

Joe Savery, who pitched and played first base, was one of the nation’s top two-way players in three seasons at Rice before he was selected in the first round of the 2007 Major League Baseball draft by the Philadelphia Phillies. He was selected as the 2005 National Freshman of the Year by two publications and was named the Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year as well as first-team All-Conference as both a first baseman and as a pitcher after hitting .382 with a .559 slugging percentage while winning eight games on the mound with a 2.43 ERA and 129 strikeouts in 118.2 innings. He led the Owls to back-to-back berths in the College World Series, tying for third each year. He was a consensus first-team All-America as a junior in 2007, batting .356 with 60 RBI in 70 games and was 11-1 with a 2.99 ERA in 18 starts. Savery was one of the four finalists for the 2007 Dick Howser Trophy, given annually to the nation’s top collegiate baseball player. He was Rice’s Dell Morgan Award winner for a second time, and Conference USA named him as the league’s 2007 Male Athlete of the Year. He finished his career with the fifth-highest career batting average (.356), fifth-most hits (261), fifth-most doubles (56), eighth-most RBI (169) and eighth-most starts as a pitcher (46) in school history. Savery reached the major leagues with the Phillies in 2011. He also played in the majors for the Oakland A’s before ending his pro career with the Chicago White Sox in 2015.

Charles Torello (Hall of Fame) 

Charles Torello rose from walk-on to All-American during his career at Rice. After a redshirt season in 1995, the former defensive lineman out of Pearce High School in Richardson, Texas, became a fixture in the lineup after to the offensive line the spring of 1996. He progressed so rapidly that he found himself in the starting lineup for the opener at Ohio State that fall, the first of 44 consecutive starts while leading the way for a Rice rushing attack that led the Western Athletic Conference and ranking among the national leaders each year. He was a second-team, All-WAC selection as a sophomore and a first-team pick as a junior and senior. After plowing the way for the Owls to average 333 yards per game — second best in the nation –Torello became the first Rice offensive lineman in 33 years to earn All-America honors after he was named to The Sporting News’ third team.

 

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About Arie Passwaters

Arie Wilson Passwaters is a Web editor in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.