Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

2023 Texas Athletics Hall of Honor class reflects on induction

Skyler Sharp
Class of 2004 Soccer Alumni Dr. Kelly McDonald returns to UT for the 2023 Athletics Hall of Fame Induction on Sep. 15, 2023. McDonald was a United Soccer Coaches all-American who led the Longhorns to their first ever NCAA tournament appearance in 2001.

Every year the University of Texas announces the induction of new former athletes to the prestigious Hall of Honor. In 2023, 11 new names were added. On Friday, the newest class of inductees gathered with their families and past inductees at the Pre-induction Ceremony Reception. 

“It’s a tremendous moment,” former football player Jonathan Scott said. “Just a moment of gratitude. Being able to be among so many greats in the same category as me in the same room, so it’s just a great honor.”

For many inductees, receiving Chris Del Conte’s call years or even decades after leaving the school was a surprise. 

“I think I’ve spoken to enough honorees to know that it’s not uncommon to go, ‘Wait, me?’” former swimmer Beth Barr said. “And that’s truly how I feel.”

Barr, who swam for Texas from 1990 to 1993 and won a national championship in 1991, never stopped following her former swimming team and hopes her induction will strengthen her connection with the program’s current team.

Like Barr, former football player Quan Cosby never lost the love and admiration for his former team.

“This is Texas, you always get everyone’s best,” Cosby said. “And I think they get that, they embrace that. This coaching staff has made it very clear.” 

Hall of Honor inductees included All-Americans, Olympic medalists, NCAA champions and athletes who paved the way for future generations. They were recognized at halftime of Texas football’s victory against Wyoming on Saturday.

U.S. Open and Masters champion Jordan Spieth was the only honoree unable to attend due to family reasons. 

The youngest honoree, former rower and current assistant coach Gia Doonan, graduated in 2017, while the oldest, former track and field star James H. Means Jr., attended Texas in the 1960s.

Sixty years after his first appearance for Texas, Means received a standing ovation at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.

By running at the Fort Worth Recreational Meet in 1964, Means became the first African-American athlete not only at Texas but in the entire Southwest Conference. The sprinter later helped the Longhorns win SWC Championships in 1966 and 1968, after sitting out for a year in 1965. 

Seven of the 11 inductees contributed to national championships for their respective programs. Kris Kirchner and Barr with swimming in 1981 and 1991 respectively, Susan Shurr with track and field in 1982, David Denny with baseball in 1983, Cosby and Scott with football in 2005 and most recently Jordan Spieth with golf in 2012.

Honorees could be spotted around Friday’s reception wearing Class of 2023 graduation stoles identifying them. 

“I don’t think it really clicked until I saw so many familiar faces, and then I’ve got (the stole) on,” Cosby said. “I was like, ‘Oh, I guess it’s official.’”

Cosby’s family came from Mart, Texas to celebrate his accomplishment. 

“When they got to town and we talked about what it means to be part of the Hall of Honor at the University of Texas,” Cosby said. “I don’t get nervous about a lot of things, but I was like, ‘I’m getting nervous now.’”

Cosby and his fellow honorees spent the ceremony seeing old friends, meeting new people and sharing their success with their families and loved ones.

“At the end of the day, I chose the University of Texas as a 17-year-old kid,” Scott, who graduated in 2005, said. “And the University of Texas chose me to be in the Hall of Honor.”

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