Today the R Blog presents a closer look at Hall of Fame inductees Mandy Mularz and Greg Williams.
Mandy Mularz - Hall of Fame Inductee
Mandy Mularz rewrote the Rice record books in her four years with the swim team, earning All-America honors, and leading the Owls to a Top 25 national finish. After earning All-America recognition as a member of the Owls' 200-yard freestyle relay team that finished eighth in the nation in 2001, Mularz set two individual school records by reaching the event finals of both the 50- and 100-freestyle at the NCAA championships as a junior in 2002.
The sprinter from Mobile, Ala., won the silver medal at the 2002 NCAA championships in the 50-free with a Rice record time of 22.17. She also finished 11th in the nation in the 100-free at the NCAAs. With Mularz accounting for all 23 points of Rice's final NCAA total, the Owls finished 25th in the nation at the 2002 NCAA Women's Swimming & Diving championships. She was a qualifier for the U.S. Olympic Trials. In 2003. went on to earn All-America honors for a third time in as many years by taking seventh in the nation in the 50-free at the NCAA championship.
Mularz won the swim program's Catherine Hannah Award as the Rice Swimmer of the Year in each of her last two seasons. She was named a Rice Scholar Athlete and an earned academic honors from the College Swim Coaches Association in 2003. In 2003 was the recipient of an NCAA postgraduate scholarship. In 2004 she was named the recipient of the "R" Association/Fred Stancliff Postgraduate Scholarship.
Greg Williams - Hall of Fame Inductee
Long before he became identified as the head coach of Rice's women's basketball team, Williams was no mystery to opposing Southwest Conference coaches as a star guard for the Owls. As a senior, Williams was named the Southwest Conference Player of the Year after averaging 21.2 points while shooting 50.6 percent from the field (202-399) and 83.2 percent at the free throw line (104-125). He scored 30+ points on four occasions. He closed out his career during the 1968-69 season by scoring 24 points in back-to-back victories a home against TCU (95-88) and on the road at SMU (96-90).
Williams was a second-team, All-Southwest Conference selection as a junior when he averaged 16.5 points per game. His season was highlighted by a pair of buzzer-beating shots in both games of the Owls' conference series with SMU as Rice swept both games over the SWC rival for the first time since 1946. He remains the Rice career record holder for free throw percentage at 85.8 percent (289-337).
Williams began his coaching career as an assistant to Don Knodel at Rice as the Owls captured the 1970 SWC title. He went on to coach both at the collegiate and professional level.
He coached six seasons at the University of Houston (1985-90) where he led the Cougars to the 1988 NCAA tournament and was named SWC Coach of the Year. At Colorado State (1991-97), Williams led the Rams to their first-ever NCAA tournament appearance in 1996 and the school's first Western Athletic Conference title. For his efforts he was named 1997 WAC Coach of the Year in addition to WBCA Region VII Coach of the Year. He enters his seventh season as the head coach of the Rice women's basketball team, where has led the Owls to three WNIT appearances (2006, 2007, and 2011).
This year's ceremony takes place in the R Room, atop the south end zone of Rice Stadium and begins at 5:30 p.m. with a social hour and the program commences at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $50.00 each and can purchaed by calling Mary Santos at 713-348-5677 or online: