2017 Hall of Fame Class Announced

June 14, 2017

by Chuck Pool (cpool@rice.edu) -

Michael Harris and Morris Almond, who rank first and fourth on the Rice men’s basketball scoring list, and Jim Bevan, who has guided the Owls women’s cross country and track and field exploits for the past 31 years, headline a class of nine standouts to be inducted into the Rice Athletics Hall of Fame.

They will be joined by Pat Krieger (women’s basketball), Jeff Nichols and Joe Savery (baseball), Charles Torello (football), Shaquandra Roberson (women’s track and field) and Jason Colwick (men’s track and field) as 2017 inductees on Friday, October 6 at The Briar Club in Houston.

The class will then be honored again the following day in conjunction with the Owls' football game against Army. There will be a tailgate prior to the contest and the class will also be introduced on the field during the game.

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

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

2017 Honorees (alphabetically)

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 ten in field goals made, free throws made, free throw percentage and blocks.

Following graduation, Almond was selected in the first round of the 2007 NBA Draft by the Utah Jazz, becoming Rice’s second-ever first round draft pick. He played parts of three seasons in the NBA with the Jazz and Washington Wizards

Kenny Balwin (Distinguished R)
A three-year letterman who was selected by the Detroit Tigers in 1979 draft, 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 same consulting organization, now known as Accenture, which has transformed from a private partnership to a $20 billion corporation.

Throughout his business career, Baldwin has concentrated exclusively on serving the energy industry. His areas of focus include working with upstream independents and national oil companies both in the US and with client teams around the world. He has assisted client executives in a broad array of business transformation programs - - establishing business strategies, restructuring operations, and implementing new technologies.

Over the years, Baldwin has held several leadership roles at Accenture, retiring as the Global Managing Director for Accenture’s Energy practice.

He serves on the board of Tiandi Energy, a Chinese based company focused on delivering value to the global upstream oil and gas sector thru a team of professionals with expertise in the geosciences and petroleum engineering.

Baldwin has been a volunteer and supporter of Texas Special Olympics, where he coached (8 years) and served as a Board Member of the local chapter. He has also served as a board member for Mental Health and Mental Retardation Association (MHMRA) and for his church in Argentina. He currently serves on the Board of Stewards of his church, Chapelwood United Methodist Church. He led the task force to develop Chapelwood’s missions, vision and strategy for the Hispanic Ministry and now chairs the board for Hispanic Ministry. He also serves on the board of the Houston chapter of Child Advocates.

In 2008 Baldwin founded SpringSpirit Baseball, a faith-based non-profit dedicated to improving the lives of underprivileged youth in Spring Branch. SpringSpirit Baseball’s mission is to provide opportunities to develop the mind, body and spirits of youth through sports and mentoring programs. SpringSpirit has partnered with the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, SBISD, Chapelwood United Methodist Church and other key organizations and currently serves over 250 children.

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 between the SWC, WAC and C-USA. In 2017, Bevan was the recipient of the Elizabeth Gillis Award for Exemplary Service at Rice University.

Bevan led the Owls to a rare Triple Crown in 2008, winning C-USA conference championships in cross country, indoor T&F and outdoor T&F. The Owls were one of only two teams in the nation to accomplish the feat. 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 & Betty Bixby (Honorary R)
The Bixby's 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 Bixby’s 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 is a Rice Professor Emeritus.

Bixby and colleagues have also broken the record for the Traveling Salesman Problem (TSP) by finding provably optimal solutions for specific 3,038-, 4,461- and 7,397-city instances, and are currently working on the solution for a 13,509-city instance. The TSP involves finding an optimal path for a salesman to take when traveling through a specified number of cities, and 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 new Rice record during the outdoor season, clearing 5.72m (18-9.25), a mark that still stands today.

Colwick also broke the school record in the indoor vault in 2010, soaring 5.67m (18-7.25), a mark that also still holds. In addition, Colwick placed second in the vault at the 2010 NCAA Indoor Championships.

The 2010 Bob Quin Award (top male athlete) winner, Colwick 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 (most outstanding men’s T&F senior) in 2010 and was the 2008/2009 Fred J. and Florence Stancliff Award (academic/T&F performance) winner. Colwick placed 14th at the 2008 US Olympic Trials and also competed at the 2016 Olympic Trials.

Michael Harris (Hall of Fame)
Michael Harris is Rice’s all-time leading 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, double-digit rebound games. He is in the top ten 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 NIT 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, having led them to the league championship in 2015-16 where he 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 (19.1 ppg) and 1980-81 (16.8 ppg) and holds the record for the most field goals made in a single-season (231; 1979-80). The recipient of the Joyce Pounds Hardy Award in 1982, Krieger was named the Hackerman Award (Team MVP) winner in 1979 and 1980 and was the first recipient of a basketball scholarship at Rice. In 1982,

In 1982, Krieger became Rice’s first A.I.W.A. All-American and was also a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-American (1981 & 82). Her 555 points during the 1979-80 campaign ranks second in school history and her career scoring average of 16.5 ppg ranks third. In addition, Krieger ranks seventh on the Rice all-time rebounding list with 740 total boards.

Jeff Nichols (Hall of Fame)
Nearly two decades after he threw his last pitch for Rice, Jeff Nichols’ 42 career victories remain the school record, an accomplishment made all the more impressive when taking into account the power-packed bats and baseballs in use during his career.

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. In Rice’s first time to play in the Western Athletic Conference Tournament, he beat BYU in the opener and then San Diego State in the Championship Final to earn all-tournament honors.

He picked up the win vs. Southwest Missouri State in the opener of the 1997 NCAA Regional in Lubbock setting the stage for Rice’s first berth in the College World Series appearance. The true freshman was then picked by head coach Wayne Graham to start the program’s first-ever CWS game, where he allowed just two runs over 6.0 innings to eventual national champion LSU.

As a sophomore in 1998, Jeff earned second team All-WAC honors by winning 10 of 12 decisions and firing six complete games to lead the league. Jeff threw the seventh no-hitter in school history on March 14 needing only 84 pitches in the 7-inning gem over Hawaii.

He tied for the national lead with 15 wins as a junior in 1999 to set a school record and also took possession of the school career mark with his 31st win. He pitched in relief in all three games in the Owls return to the College World Series - including the program’s first CWS victory (over Oklahoma State).

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, totaling 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 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 & 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.

Patterson is the Managing Partner at AIG/Lincoln and is the Founder and Partner at Iron Mountain Poland and Iron Mountain Eastern Europe and Scandinavia. He is a Member of Advisory Board of MAB Capital Management LLC.

He received his MBA from Stanford University Graduate School of Business in 1989. He graduated from Rice University in 1984, 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 T&F athlete.

The school record in the 800m (2:03.33; 2000), Roberson placed fourth in both the 800m and 1500m at the 2000 NCAA Outdoor Championships while running the anchor leg on the DMR 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 T&F performance in 1999, Roberson won four WAC titles; individual victories in the mile and 3000m while also being a part of two DMR 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 T&F and outdoor T&F. In addition, Roberson qualified for the 2000 Olympic Trials in the 800m and 1500m.

Joe Savery (Hall of Fame)
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 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 started 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 switching sides along the line of in the spring of 1996.

He progressed so rapidly, 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 WAC 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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