Eight outstanding Bruins who have excelled as student-athletes or coaches will be inducted into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame on Friday night, November 4, it was announced today.
Invitation-only ceremonies will be held in the Athletics Hall of Fame, located in the J.D. Morgan Intercollegiate Athletics Center (reception), and in Covel Commons (dinner). In addition, the new inductees will also be introduced during halftime of the November 5 UCLA-Arizona State football game at the Rose Bowl.
The UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame was dedicated in 1984 with 25 charter members. The Class of 2011 brings the total membership to 247. The 2011 inductees are Gary Adams, baseball; Ato Boldon, track & field; Theotis Brown, football; Ernie Case, football; Larry Nagler, tennis; Mel North, fencing; Alex Rousseau, water polo; and Janeene Vickers-McKinney, track & field.
Following are biographies on the 2011 UCLA Hall of Fame inductees:
GARY ADAMS – Adams played second base for the Bruins in 1959-60 and 1962. In 1960, he formed UCLA’s double play combination with his twin brother, Gene. After missing the 1961 season due to a knee injury, Adams was the team captain and MVP as a senior in 1962, leading the squad with a .265 batting average and 12 stolen bases. After graduating, Adams was an assistant coach before being hired at UC Irvine, where he was head coach for five years (1970-74). At UC Irvine, Adams won 73% of his games, and the Anteaters captured the 1973 and 1974 NCAA Division II Championships. Adams returned to Westwood in 1975 and was head coach of the Bruins for 30 years before retiring after the 2004 season. Adams is UCLA’s all-time winningest baseball coach with a career record 984-823-7. At UCLA, Adams captured four Pac-10 Conference championships, and his team advanced to the College World Series in 1997. A total of 38 former Bruins from the Adams era have played in Major League Baseball. Adams was inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in January 2005. He is also a published author and illustrator and has written several children’s books.
ATO BOLDON – Boldon is one of the most successful sprinters in the history of UCLA Men’s Track & Field. Boldon arrived in Westwood after transferring from San Jose City College. He competed for two seasons (1995-96) and led UCLA to consecutive Pac-10 team titles while winning the Pac-10 100m and 200m titles both years. He was also a member of the 400m relay Pac-10 title team in 1996. Boldon still holds Pac-10 meet records in 100m (10.03) and 200m (20.00) as well as UCLA records in those two events – 100m (9.90) and 200m (19.80). His 9.90 mark in winning the 100m at the 1996 NCAA Outdoor Championships was an NCAA record. That performance, along with his second-place finish in the 4x100m relay, helped lead the Bruins to a third-place national finish. The previous year, Boldon captured the NCAA 200m title as the Bruins finished second in the nation. Boldon ranked in the world Top 5 in the 100m for seven years (1995-2001), and the Top 5 in the world in the 200m on four occasions. He represented his native Trinidad & Tobago in three Olympic Games (1996, 2000, 2004), capturing a total of four medals (bronze medals in the 100m and 200m in 1996, silver in the 100m and bronze in the 200m in 2000). Boldon also won gold at the 1997 World Championships in the 200m and received a total of four World Championship medals in his career. In 1999, Boldon ranked No. 1 in world in the 200m at 19.88 and No. 2 in the 100m at 9.86. During his career, he ran a total of 28 100m races under 10 seconds, including eight under 9.90 seconds.
THEOTIS BROWN – An outstanding running back from 1976-78, Brown won the Rookie of the Year Award in 1976, the All-Around Excellence award as a junior, and offensive MVP honors as a senior. Brown received first-team All-Pac-10 honors in both 1976 and 1978. He concluded his playing career as UCLA’s single-season leader in all-purpose yards (1,804 yards in 1978, now second), ranked second in both career rushing yards (2,914) and touchdowns scored (27) and he remains ranked seventh in each of those categories on UCLA’s all-time lists. Brown also left UCLA as the career all-purpose yards leader, having gained 3,944 yards as a Bruin (now ranked sixth). Brown set UCLA’s single game rushing record in 1978 with 274 yards against Oregon (since broken by DeShaun Foster and Maurice Jones-Drew). During his career, he had no less than 11 games in which he gained over 100 yards and was UCLA’s leading rusher in both 1976 and 1978. In the NFL, he played a total of six seasons for St. Louis, Seattle and Kansas City before a heart attack sidelined him and put an early end to his professional career. In his pro career, Brown rushed for over 2,000 yards and gained another 1,500 yards receiving. Brown’s son, Trey, also played for the Bruins, starting at defensive back.
ERNIE CASE – Case played varsity football at UCLA in 1940-41 and then from 1945-46 after serving in World War II. Case sat out the 1940 season and was the second-string quarterback in 1941 before leaving after that season to enlist in the Army Air Corps. Case became a fighter pilot and was captured by enemy forces after being shot down over Sardinia on his 12th combat mission. He sustained severe injuries, including a broken hip and several cracked ribs, and was taken as a POW. Hospitalized in Chieti, Italy, Case and a buddy managed to escape on Sept. 25, 1943 when the U.S. 5th and English 8th armies attacked. On the lam for a month, Case and his friend finally reach safety when they found the encampment of the Canadian 8th Army in Trivento — some 77 miles from Chieti. Decorated with a two Bronze Stars, a Purple Heart and an Air Medal with a Gold Leaf Cluster, Case returned to start at quarterback and served as team captain for the 1945 Bruins. Again serving as team captain in his senior season of 1946, Case led the Bruins to one of their best years ever. The Bruins posted a 10-0 regular season record and outscored opponents, 313-72, before falling in the 1947 Rose Bowl game. Case threw for a Rose Bowl-record 165 yards, rushed for a touchdown and kicked two extra points in the Bruins’ loss to Illinois. Case’s first quarter TD run resulted in the first ever postseason points for UCLA. Throughout his career at UCLA, Case also played defense, served as the place kicker and punted (notably a 70-yarder on his first career attempt). Case was selected by the Green Bay Packers with the 6th overall pick in the 1947 NFL Draft, eventually signed by the Baltimore Colts and played one season in the NFL before returning to Southern California.
LARRY NAGLER – Nagler was a three-time (not eligible as a freshman) ITA All-American during his tennis career at UCLA between 1959 and 1962 and helped lead UCLA to NCAA team championships in both 1960 and 1961. In 1960, Nagler won NCAA championships in both singles and doubles (with Allen Fox) and posted an undefeated record in singles tournaments. Nagler is still the only men’s tennis player ever to win three Pac-10 singles titles (1960-62). He captained the men’s tennis team in 1962 and played doubles with Arthur Ashe during the 1961 and 1962 seasons. Nagler also played two seasons for John Wooden on the men’s basketball team. After graduating from UCLA, Nagler played a limited amount of professional tennis, with a peak ranking of No. 11 in the U.S. Nagler is a graduate of the UCLA law school and has practiced law in Los Angeles for 38 years. In 2004, he became the 16th UCLA player or coach to be inducted into the ITA Hall of Fame.
MELVYN NORTH – North was the first coach of the UCLA Fencing program. Bringing 25 years of coaching experience to the team, North coached the UCLA Fencing Club and Varsity program from 1960-1974 and returned to coach two more years, from 1980-82. During that time, UCLA Fencing teams compiled an intercollegiate record of 218-18 in dual and tri meets, including a string of 174 consecutive victories. Along the way, UCLA became the first West Coast school to defeat the Air Force Academy, the perennial power in the sport of fencing. After retiring to Colorado in 1974, North returned to UCLA in 1980 to a program that had fallen to the bottom of collegiate fencing. In two short years, North resurrected the program, and the Bruins won the NCAA Western Regional of Fencing by defeating the Air Force Academy in the final match. North’s significant collegiate accomplishments include founding the Intercollegiate Fencing Conference, creating the UCLA Invitational Fencing Tournament, and bringing the U.S. National Championships to UCLA. Including individual and team competition for men and women, North led UCLA to 19 collegiate championships. A teaching professional for more than 40 years, North is recognized as a leading teacher and innovator in modern fencing and was one of the mentors in the writing of the first tests for Masters for the U.S. National Coaches Association. He was inducted as a member of the World Masters Federation in 1956. On eight occasions he was coach of the U.S. World team, and North’s students have participated in or on 50 World teams, six Olympic Games, seven Pan-Am teams, and 15 World Cups.
ALEX ROUSSEAU — Rousseau was a four-time All-American water polo star at UCLA from 1985-1989, earning second-team honors his freshman year and first-team honors his remaining three years. Rousseau was team MVP and captain in 1989 and was the team’s leading scorer all four years. In 1989, he led UCLA to the NCAA Championship game by scoring eight goals in a 13-10 victory over USC in the semifinals. Rousseau also played for the USA Water Polo Junior Team from 1985-1987 and competed in two World Championships, earning All-World team honors in Brazil in 1987. Following his career at UCLA, Rousseau played in over 175 international games with the U.S. National Team and was a member of the Olympic Team in 1994 and 1996. He was inducted into the USA Water Polo Hall of Fame in 2004. Rousseau’s international professional career spanned from 1990-1993 and 1997-1999, playing for C.N. Marseille, France and Lazio Nuoto, Roma, Italy.
JANEENE VICKERS-McKINNEY – Vickers is widely considered to be one of the all-time Women’s Track and Field greats at UCLA. Vickers was a vital part of the UCLA Women’s Track and Field teams from 1988 through 1991. In her freshman season of 1988, she immediately established her benchmark in the 400m hurdles and was crowned the Pac-10 Champion. She went on to dominate the conference and eventually won seven Pac-10 Championships in hurdle events and relays, including three 100mH titles, two 400mH titles and two 400m relay championships. On a national level, she won back-to-back-to-back NCAA Individual Championships in the 400m Hurdles in 1989, 1990 and 1991. Vickers set a collegiate record of 53.47 in 400mH in 1991, a record that would stand until the 2005 season. She also still holds the second-fastest UCLA time in the 400mH (53.47) and the eighth-fastest time in the 100mH (13.16). Vickers went on to achieve international success, winning a bronze medal in the 400mH at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain.