Modica, Schmidt Highlight 2018 Arkansas Hall Of Honor Class
Arkansas Sports Information
FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) – A total of 15 former University of Arkansas student-athletes will be inducted as members of the 2018 class of the University of Arkansas Sports Hall of Honor this September.
The 2018 class consists of Razorbacks from 11 different sport programs including the first hall of honor inductee from gymnastics. The 2018 inductees were elected to the UA Sports Hall of Honor based on a vote by former Razorback letter winners in conjunction with the A Club. The UA Sports Hall of Honor, including the induction weekend, is coordinated by the Razorback Foundation.
“History and tradition are cornerstones of the Razorback program and an integral part of who we are today,” Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Hunter Yurachek said. “The Hall of Honor weekend gives us the opportunity to recognize outstanding individuals who have contributed so much to our university and our state. With their efforts on and off the field, these remarkable men and women have made an indelible impact on our program. Congratulations to this year’s inductees. We look forward to celebrating their extraordinary careers this fall.”
The 2018 class will be inducted during the Hall of Honor weekend, Sept. 14-15. Hall of Honor weekend includes a golf tournament at the Fayetteville Country Club and an induction banquet Friday evening at the Fayetteville Town Center. Inductees will also be recognized during Arkansas’ football game against North Texas at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Kickoff for the Arkansas-North Texas game is set for 3 p.m.
2018 UA Sports Hall of Honor Inductees
April Steiner Bennett
Women’s Track and Field
A Lady Razorback Track and Field standout from 2000-03, Steiner Bennett finished her Razorback career as a four-time NCAA All-American with three SEC team titles and the 2003 SEC Pole Vault Individual title (outdoor). After transferring to Arkansas from Paradise Valley Community College, where she was an NJCAA National Champion, Steiner Bennett
became the first woman in SEC history to clear 13 feet and the first in program history to clear 14′. The four-time All-American is the former school-record holder (indoor/outdoor pole vault) recording a collegiate personal best of 14’3.5″. Steiner Bennett won a silver medal in the pole vault at the 2007 Pan American Games (14’-5.25”). Her lifetime personal best in the women’s pole vault is 15’2.25″. Her career-best finish at a National Championship came in 2008 when she finished as the silver medalist in the USA Olympic Trials (15’-1.5)”. At the Olympic Games in Beijing, she made it to the finals finishing eighth (14’11.5″). She was an alternate for the 2004 and 2012 USA Olympic Trials. In 2016, at her final Olympic trials, Steiner Bennett earned a top 10 finish. Since then, Steiner Bennett has moved into education, enjoys being a mentor and coach to younger athletes locally and nationally at youth camps and clubs, and has been competing on NBC’s American Ninja Warrior.
A four-year Razorback football letterman, Ron Faurot was a standout on the Arkansas defense under Coach Lou Holtz from 1980-83. In 1983, Faurot, a defensive end, was named to the Playboy All-American team prior to his final year at Arkansas and as a first-team All-American by UPI following his senior season. A team captain, he led the team in sacks and tackles for loss. Seven times he dragged opposing quarterbacks to the ground and he finished the year with 61 tackles, including 10 tackles for 52 lost yards. Following his senior season, he picked up an invitation to the 1984 Hula Bowl and the 1984 Japan Bowl, postseason invitational games for seniors. The Texas native earned 161 tackles in his Razorback career. In his four seasons on the field for the Razorbacks, Arkansas went to three bowl games, winning the 1980 Hall of Fame Bowl and the 1982 Bluebonnet Bowl. His 1982 team won nine games and finished the season ranked inside the Top 25 for the first time since 1979. He was a number one draft choice in 1984 by the New York Jets. The Jets tabbed him with the 15th overall pick before he played two seasons in the NFL.
The only All-American punter in school history, Greg Horne made the first-team list of the AFCA and Football News in 1986. Horne led the nation with a 47.2 yard average, still a school and Southwest Conference record. His punting helped the Hogs to a 9-3 record and an Orange Bowl berth. He served as the Razorbacks punter in all four of his seasons, sharing time as a freshman before taking over full-time duties as a sophomore. He burst onto the scene in 1983 to average 44.3 yards per punt. In 1984, he helped the Hogs to the Liberty Bowl, averaging 43.8 yards per punt and helped Hogs lead the country in net punting and percentage of punts downed inside the 20. As a junior, the Russellville, Arkansas native averaged 42.6 yards per punt as part of a 10-win team that won the 1985 Holiday Bowl. Horne punted the ball 49 times for 2,313 yards, a school-record and SWC record average of 47.2 yards per punt as a senior in 1986. He finished his career as the NCAA’s fourth-leading punter in career punting average (44.5 yards). He was drafted in the fifth round by the Cincinnati Bengals in 1987 and spent two seasons in the NFL. He punted professionally for two seasons in the NFL with Cincinnati and the St. Louis/Phoenix Cardinals.
A three-time All-Southwest Conference selection, Ivan Jordan was a four-year letterman at defensive end for the Razorbacks from 1972-75. The Fort Smith native was named to the All-Southwest Conference team in 1973, 1974 and 1975. Jordan started the Razorbacks’ final five games as a freshman and never looked back becoming a staple on Arkansas’ defensive front. He earned 64 tackles as a sophomore and 77, including six for loss (-45 yards) as a junior. As a senior, he earned 54 tackles, including nine tackles for loss (-40 yards) in helping Arkansas win 10 games, earn a share of the SWC championship and a trip to the Cotton Bowl. As a member of legendary head coach Frank Broyles’ last bowl team at Arkansas, Jordan helped the Razorbacks to a final No. 7 national ranking in 1975. The Hogs reeled off six straight wins to finish that season, including a 31-10 win over No. 19 Georgia in Jordan’s final collegiate game in the Cotton Bowl. Jordan set the school record with five fumble recoveries in 1974, a mark that is still tied for second in program history. He is a member of the 1970s Arkansas All-Decade team.
A kicker and punter for the 1981 Razorbacks, Bruce Lahay booted his way to a first-team All-America award from the Football Writers Association of America. He led the nation in field goals in 1981, averaging 1.73 kicks per game. He split the uprights on 19 of 24 field goals (.792) and nailed 31 of 31 extra point attempts in his only season as the Hogs’ placekicker. In the same season, Lahay punted the ball 63 times for 2,436 yards, an average of 38.7 yards per try. He punted the ball 129 times for 5,011 yards, for a career average of 38.8 yards. The 19 field goals are tied for third all-time on the Razorback single-season list. Recruited out of St. Louis, Lahay’s four field goals against Texas Tech in 1981 are tied for the third-highest single-game total in school history. He finished the 1981 season with 88 points scored on 19 field goals and 31 PAT. His 1981 Arkansas team was the same Arkansas team that upset top-ranked Texas 42-11 en route to finishing finished 8-4 with a trip to the Gator Bowl. For his career, he boasted a 38.8 yards per punt career average. He lettered in football in 1978-79 and 1981. Lahay was a part of the Hogs’ Southwest Conference co-champion squad in 1979, when Arkansas finished 10-2 overall.
A three-year letterman from 1953-55, Lee was one of the University of Arkansas’ early men’s tennis standouts helping lay a foundation for the remarkable success to come for Razorback Tennis. Lee was known for a huge first serve and for playing with grace and athleticism. Following his collegiate career, Lee continued his tennis career competing in Arkansas at Hardscrabble Country Club in Fort Smith. A lifelong advocate for tennis, Lee has remained an active supporter of the Razorback program, including working with legendary head coaches Tom Pucci and Robert Cox to foster the continued growth of men’s tennis at Arkansas. Lee, his wife Nancy Dills Lee and sister-in-law Jane Dills Morgan made a lead gift to help support a full renovation of the indoor tennis facility. Dills Indoor Stadium was completed in 2002 and named for Robert “Bob” and Lucile Dills. Lee was president of Arkhola and later worked for Merrill Lynch and Citizens Bank and Trust. He is a member of the University’s Century Circle, which recognizes former student-athletes for lifetime giving of $100,000 or more to the University or athletics.
The head coach of the Arkansas men’s golf team from 1984-87, Steve Loy led Arkansas to four consecutive NCAA Championship appearances, including a pair of top 10 national finishes in 1985 (6th) and 1987 (6th). The Razorbacks finished runner-up in all four of his Southwest Conference Championship appearances, including in 1984 when he was named SWC Coach of the Year. During Loy’s tenure, Arkansas golfers earned five All-America and eight All-Southwest Conference recognitions. John Daly, Sean Pappas, Mike Grob and Mike Swartz were among those who flourished as Razorbacks in Loy’s tenure. Loy worked for legendary Coach Frank Broyles and alongside Hall of Fame coaches Lou Holtz, Ken Hatfield, Eddie Sutton, John McDonnell and Norm DeBriyn. Loy also served as a collegiate golf coach at Scottsdale Community College and Arizona State. In his combined coaching career, his teams captured three national titles and 11 conference championships. Loy recruited and coached more than a dozen PGA TOUR professionals; six Ryder Cup team members; six Walker Cup team members; three U.S. Amateur champions; four NCAA Champions and 40 All-Americans. He is a four-time National Coach of the Year and has been inducted into the NCAA Coaches, the NJCAA Golf Coaches, Golf Coaches Association, Arizona State and Eastern New Mexico (as a football player) Halls of Fame. Loy is the managing partner and president of Lagardere Unlimited Management.
A member of the inaugural team in 2003, McQuillin became Arkansas’ first NCAA Championship qualifier, competing as an all-around gymnast in 2005. McQuillin then helped the Razorbacks advance to the NCAA Championship as a team for the first time in program history in 2006. She was team captain all four years, earned the program’s first SEC Gymnast of the Week honor in 2004 and was finalist for the SEC’s H. Boyd McWhorter Scholarship. The Dana McQuillin Coaches Award for a team member who represents the Razorbacks above and beyond normal expectations was named in her honor, and she won the award in 2003, 2004 and 2006. She shared the team’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year award in 2003 and won the team’s first two Most Outstanding Gymnast awards in 2004 and 2005. McQuillin won 10 event titles in her career including five in the all-around. Her high scores include multiple 9.90s on bars, and 9.925 on beam, which ties for ninth-best. She also had highs of 9.85 on vault and 9.90 on floor. She ended her career with what was at the time the school record of 39.500 in the all-around.
Known as a pure shooter, Rickey Medlock still stands as the program’s all-time leader in free throw percentage at 90.4 percent (178-197) after playing for the Razorbacks from 1973-75. Medlock played his first two seasons for head coach Lanny Van Eman before closing his career for legendary coach Eddie Sutton. He averaged 33.4 points and 9.9 rebounds a game for the freshman team including a team record 57 points against Poteau Junior College. He ranked third in the nation in freshman scoring and set a Southwest Conference (SWC) freshman scoring record. Medlock had a breakout junior season in which he averaged 16.2 points and 6.2 rebounds. He led the NCAA in free throw percentage (.916). The Cave City, Ark. native opened his junior campaign with 27 points and 12 rebounds at No. 1 UCLA, and later scored a career-high 30 points at SMU. As a senior, Medlock averaged 12.9 points and led the team in free throw percentage (.939), highlighted by a program record and SWC record 48 straight makes at the charity stripe. Medlock was named second-team UPI All-SWC as a junior and senior and a first team Dallas Morning News all-conference selection and District XI All-American as a senior. Medlock was a second team Academic All-American and won the Delbert Swartz Award for the senior athlete graduating with the highest GPA.
Named the most outstanding player of the 1998 NCAA West Regional, former Razorback women’s basketball player Sytia Messer was an integral part of two of Arkansas’ greatest women’s basketball teams, the 1998 Final Four and 1999 WNIT Championship squads. Messer is a 1,000-point scorer (1,379) and, at 5-8, she pulled down 603 rebounds as one of the best rebounding guards in school history. She was a two-time captain for Arkansas as a junior and senior and she was named to the SEC All-Freshman team in 1996. Messer averaged 12.6 ppg in 1997-98, her best season, leading Arkansas to the program’s first Final Four appearance. She was named to the Joe Smith Pre-Season All-American team in 1998-99 and then led her team as they ran the table to the WNIT title against Wisconsin. Along with her play for the Razorbacks, Messer also took time to play in the summer prior to graduation for the collegiate squad of Athletes in Action. She also played for the post-collegian Athletes in Action touring team. Following college, Messer began her coaching career with stops at Arkansas State, Memphis, Georgia Tech, Tennessee Tech and most recently Baylor.
A Smackover, Arkansas, native, Modica was a four-year letterwinner as a Razorback. He was named to the SEC All-Freshman team in 2003 and earned second team All-SEC honors in 2004 and 2006. He finished his Razorback career ranked 12th on the all-time scoring list with 1,589 points as he led the team in points in 2002-03 and 2003-04. He ranks 10th all-time in three-point field goals attempted (427), and ninth in three-point field goals made (153). Modica, nicknamed “Pookie,” averaged 11.5 points and 4.5 rebounds as a freshman, 16.5 points and 4.5 as a sophomore, 9.6 and 2.8 as a junior and 16.1 and 4.0 as a senior. For his career, he averaged 13.5 points and 3.9 rebounds. He shot 78.5 percent from the line, 46.2 percent from the floor and 36.9 percent from three-point range. He led the team in scoring as a freshman (11.5) and a sophomore (16.5), and in FG percentage as a junior (.520). He ranks: 12th on Arkansas’ all-time charts with 555 field goals, 11th with 326 free throws (tied), and eighth with 153 threes. He holds three degrees, including a doctorate from the University of Arkansas. In 2018, Modica was honored as an SEC Men’s Basketball Legend.
A Razorback letterman from 2005-07, Schmidt was one of Dave Van Horn’s first elite pitchers upon being named the Razorback head coach in 2003. Schmidt generated a 2.83 ERA over his three seasons as a Razorback and 345 strikeouts en route to two first-team All-American nods in 2006 and 2007 as well as being named a freshman All-American in 2005. It was a banner year for Schmidt in 2006 as he finished 9-3 with 145 strikeouts and was named SEC Pitcher of the Year. His strikeout total that season still stands as the second-most in a single season in Arkansas history. In his three seasons, Schmidt’s 345 strikeouts Is still the Razorback record for strikeouts in a career. Schmidt was a no doubt selection for all-conference in each of his three years as a Razorback, being named first-team All-SEC in 2006 and 2007 and a freshman all-conference player in 2005. He still ranks third in victories (28) and third in innings pitched (340.1) at Arkansas. In 2007, Schmidt became the fourth Razorback to be selected in the first round of the MLB Draft as the lefty was picked 23rd overall by the San Diego Padres.
Men’s Swimming and Diving
The first All-American swimmer in Arkansas history, Spencer earned the honor five times from 1979-81 in the 50 and 100 freestyle, the 400 medley relay, and the 400 freestyle relay. He was the 1979 Southwest Conference Champion in the 50 freestyle and in 1980 Spencer finished second in the 50 meter freestyle at the US Olympic Trials. In 1981 Spencer set a world best time in the 50 meter freestyle and he was part of the Razorback relay team that set the world record in the 400 freestyle relay. At the 1981 NCAA Championships, he became the first Arkansas swimmer to break 20 seconds in the 50 freestyle, clocking 19.8 seconds. Spencer represented the United States at the 1981 World University Games in Bucharest, Romania, and was a medalist in the 50 and 100 freestyle and a member of the gold medal winning 400 freestyle relay team. As a member of the US National team from 1980-83 Spencer helped set American and world records in the 200 and 400 freestyle relays, as well as the 400 medley relay. Spencer was inducted into the Arkansas Swimming Hall of Fame in 2012.
Men’s Track and Field
A four-time All-American, four-time SWC individual champion and four-year letter-winner for legendary coach John McDonnell from 1979-82, Randy Stephens was one of the first in a long history of outstanding middle-distance runners in Arkansas men’s track and field history. Stephens captured his first conference title for Arkansas with a win in the 880-yard run with a time of 1:52.69 at the 1979 Southwest Conference Indoor Championships. He repeated the feat during his sophomore season (1:51.51) and went on to become an All-American as the half-mile leg of Arkansas’ fourth-place finishing distance medley relay team at the 1980 NCAA Indoor Championships. Stephens picked up two more All-America honors during his junior season, placing fifth with the DMR at the indoor national meet and third in the 800 at the outdoor national meet. Stephens was the second Razorback to ever attain both indoor and outdoor All-America status in the same academic year (1980-81). As a senior, Stephens captured two more SWC event championships, including his third title in the 1,000-yard run and another as part of the Razorback Distance Medley relay. He capped his time at Arkansas as an NCAA individual champion in the 1,000-yard run (2:07.37) at the 1982 NCAA Track and Field Championships.
Kim Storey Chronister
Storey, the program’s leader in career hitting percentage, became Arkansas’ second All-American when she was named to the AVCA All-America Second Team in 1998. A three-time All-SEC performer including first-team accolades as a senior, Storey helped lead Arkansas to three NCAA Tournament appearances including a spot in the Sweet 16 in 1998. She was also instrumental in four trips to the SEC Tournament finals with Arkansas knocking off No. 4 Florida for the 1997 tournament title. In addition to holding the program record with a .365 career hitting percentage, Storey also ranks third in service aces (135) and fourth in kills (1,471), digs (1,143) and total blocks (555.0). She was the first player in program history to hit above .400 in a single season when she posted a .416 efficiency coupled with 515 kills during her standout 1998 campaign. That same season, she was named to the NCAA Gainesville Regional All-Tournament Team and earned a spot on the SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll. In Arkansas’ first-ever NCAA Tournament win, Storey put down a career-high 26 kills—also a program tournament record—in a five-set victory over Rhode Island in front of the home fans at Barnhill Arena.