Some of Vanderbilt’s finest athletes of all time were recognized this year as inductees into the Vanderbilt Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2009. The nine inductees returned to campus the weekend of Sept. 4–5, where they were feted at an induction ceremony at the Vanderbilt Marriott on Friday evening and introduced to the crowd during Saturday’s 45–0 football victory over Western Carolina University.
|Jim Arnold, BA’83 (football, 1979–1982), a punter, is the only Vanderbilt football player to be named All-Conference all four years. He made six All-America teams, including the Associated Press first team as a senior in 1982, averaging a then-record 45.8 yards per punt, when he led the Commodores to a No. 1 national ranking in net punting. Over his four-year span, he punted 277 times for 12,171 yards, setting SEC records in both categories. He was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in 1983, played in the NFL for 12 years, was named to the Pro Bowl after the 1987 and 1988 seasons with the Detroit Lions, and earned the Golden Toe Award for the NFL’s most outstanding punter or placekicker in 1987.|
|Charles Davis, BS’82 (basketball, 1977–1981), finished his collegiate career in eighth place on the all-time Vanderbilt scoring list with 1,675 points. He led the Commodores in rebounding all four years and was named first-team All-SEC in 1979. A second-round draft pick by the Washington Bullets in the 1981 NBA draft, he played eight seasons for four teams before retiring at the end of the 1990 season. He perhaps is best known locally in Nashville for creating the Charles Davis Foundation, a basketball skills and social integration camp for children from lower-income families. His many awards include President George H.W. Bush’s Thousand Points of Light Award in 1992, the Tennessee Role Model of the Year Award from the Taxpayers for a Better America in 1994, induction into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame in 1998, the Nashville Sports Council Spirit Award in 2000, and the NCAA Silver Anniversary Award in 2006.|
|Julie Ditty, BS’02 (tennis, 1998–2001), led Vanderbilt to its first NCAA team championship final in school history in 2001. Her 31 wins in 1999 represent the best single-season record in school history, and her 114 career singles victories rank second. She was an ITA All-American 1999–2001 and 1999 Tennessee Amateur Athlete of the Year. Since turning professional in 2002, she has been ranked as high as No. 89 in the world and competed in the singles draw of the four major tournaments: Wimbledon, French Open, Australian Open and U.S. Open. She was named to the U.S. Fed Cup Team in 2009.|
|Charles Hawkins, BA’54 (baseball, football, 1952–1954), was Vanderbilt’s first All-SEC performer in baseball in 1954. He donated $2 million for the renovation of Vanderbilt’s baseball facilities, and in 2004, Hawkins Field, home of Commodores baseball, was named in his honor. Among his many community activities, he has served as president of the Middle Tennessee Chapter of the National Football Foundation. He died in 2004, the same year he was posthumously awarded the Reese L. Smith Award by the Nashville Sports Council.|
|Ming Hsu Robinson, BA’84, MD’88 (swimming, 1980–1984), came to Vanderbilt at a time when women’s varsity athletics were in their infancy. She led the Commodores to an NCAA Division II championship and was named an NCAA All-American from 1981 to 1984. She held Vanderbilt records in three individual events and two relays and competed in four national championships. During her time at Vanderbilt, she was a member of Mortar Board and chief resident in obstetrics and gynecology from 1991 to 1992.|
|Herb Rich, BA’50 LLB’54 (football, 1946–1949), led the Commodores in rushing in 1948 and 1949 and was drafted by the Baltimore Colts, where he averaged 23 yards per punt return in 1950 to set an NFL record. He also was a starting free safety for the Los Angeles Rams and the New York Giants. He retired from professional football in 1956 to become a Nashville attorney and served as president of the Commodore Booster Club and Nashville Quarterback Club. Rich was a board member of the Boys and Girls Club for more than 50 years before his death in 2008.|
|Wendy Scholtens Wood, BA’91 (basketball, 1987–1991), holds 15 Vanderbilt women’s basketball records, averaging the most points per game, most rebounds per game, and best free-throw percentage. She was named SEC Freshman of the Year in 1988 and led the conference in scoring and rebounding in 1989–1991, when she also was named All-SEC and Vanderbilt’s first Kodak All-American in 1990. She was Vanderbilt’s Female Athlete of the Year for three consecutive years and was inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame in 1999. She was admitted to the Arkansas Bar in 1996 and was the first Vanderbilt woman to have her jersey retired.|
|Roy Skinner, MA’58 (men’s basketball coach, 1959, 1962–1976). During his tenure Memorial Gym expanded from 6,200 seats to more than 15,000 and Vanderbilt recruited the SEC’s first African-American player. Skinner was a four-time SEC Coach of the Year and won SEC championships in 1965 and 1974. He is the winningest men’s basketball coach in school history, with a 278–135 (.637) record.|
|Brandt Snedeker, BA’03 (golf, 1999–2003), is Vanderbilt’s most decorated golfer and was named SEC Player of the Year and first-team All-American in his senior season. He was the first Commodore golfer to qualify for an NCAA regional tournament and the first Commodore to earn All-America status. He played in the 2004 Masters Tournament as a senior and was named 2007 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year. He finished in a tie for third place in the 2008 Masters Tournament and followed up with a ninth-place finish in the U.S. Open.|
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