Jan. 11, 2011
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan athletic department will induct four former standout student-athletes and two former head coaches into its prestigious Hall of Honor on Saturday, Jan. 22, and the group will be introduced during the halftime festivities of the Michigan-Minnesota men's basketball game that night at Crisler Arena. The 2011 Hall of Honor class includes baseball player Casey Close, tennis coach Brian Eisner, softball player Sara Griffin (Webster), swimmer Alecia Humphrey (Wartowski), track/cross country athlete Molly McClimon (Watcke) and basketball coach Johnny Orr.
The University of Michigan Hall of Honor was established in 1978 to recognize those persons who have made significant contributions to the tradition of Wolverine athletics as athletes, coaches and administrators and, in doing so, have enhanced the image and reputation of the University of Michigan.
Those inducted into the Hall of Honor have earned All-America recognition in a team or individual sport or, as individuals, have established an NCAA, American or World record; won an NCAA title, or made significant contributions to the Michigan Athletic Department as a coach or administrator.
Casey Close, Baseball (1983-86)
Close was a four-year letterwinner for the Wolverines and was the 1986 Baseball America National Player of the Year. A team captain his senior year, Close was the Big Ten Player of the Year and an All-America first team selection by both the ABCA and Baseball America in 1986. He earned the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 1986 and was a two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection. Close's name is all over the Michigan record book, as he is U-M's career leader in home runs (46) and runs scored (190), second in games played (229), third in runs batted in (185) and fourth in batting average (.373). Close also is Michigan's single-season leader in slugging percentage (.869 in 1986) and RBI (72 in 1986). Close was drafted by the New York Yankees in the seventh round of the 1986 MLB Draft. He now is a sports agent with such clients as Derek Jeter and Ryan Howard.
Casey Close Interview
Brian Eisner, Men's Tennis (1969-99)
The longest-tenured and most successful men's tennis coach in U-M history, Eisner led the Wolverines to 18 Big Ten Conference team championships in his 30 years at the helm. From 1969-99, Eisner coached Michigan to a 449-201 (.690) record in dual matches and six top-10 finishes at the NCAA Championships. He coaches 69 All-Big Ten selections, 12 Big Ten singles champions, 14 Big Ten doubles champions, six Big Ten Athletes of the Year and 16 ITA All-Americans, including former standout Michael Leach, who won the 1982 NCAA Singles Championship. Eisner earned his bachelor and master's degrees from Michigan State University, where he served as team captain for the tennis team in 1961 and 1962. Today, he owns the Liberty Sports Complex in Ann Arbor.
Sara Griffin, Softball (1995-98)
The first softball three-time All-America first team selection in U-M school history, Griffin led the Wolverines from both the pitching circle and the plate throughout her collegiate tenure. In a 4-3 relief win over Eastern Michigan (May 6, 1998), she became just the 15th player in NCAA Division I history to record 100 or more career victories. Griffin was named the 1998 Big Ten Pitcher of the Year after winning the league's pitching "triple crown" in wins (17-0), earned-run average (1.09) and strikeouts (88). The U-M softball record book was completely re-written by Griffin over her career. During her final season she became Michigan's career wins, win percentage, shutouts, innings pitched and strikeout leader on the defensive side and the U-M career hits record holder on the offensive side. She also left with the U-M career runs batted in (184) and doubles (58) records. She now serves as assistant athletic director for compliance at Loyola Marymount University and is in her third season at an assistant coach with the Lion softball program.
Alecia Humphrey, Women's Swimming (1992-95)
Humphrey was a three-time NCAA champion -- all in the same year (1995), winning the 100-yard and 200-yard backstroke events and swimming as a member of the victorious 400-yard medley relay team. She was a 12-time NCAA All-American and a seven-time NCAA All-America honorable mention. Humphrey was named Big Ten Swimmer of the Year in back-to-back seasons (1993, '94) and won the conference championship in the 100-yard and 200-yard backstroke every year at Michigan. A standout student, she was a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection and a recipient of the prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. After receiving her undergraduate degree at Michigan, Humphrey earned a Master's Degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a JD from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 2003. She currently is the Director of Guardian ad litem for the Minors Program at Chicago Volunteer Legal Services.
Molly McClimon, Women's Cross Country/Track (1991-94)
McClimon earned eight All-America honors and six All-Big Ten citations in cross country and track during her collegiate tenure. She paced Michigan to back-to-back Big Ten cross country titles -- the first in program history -- in her final two seasons (1992, '93), capturing U-M's first conference individual crown as senior en route to the Big Ten Athlete of the Year award. A three-time cross country NCAA All-American, McClimon placed fourth at the national meet in 1993. On the track, McClimon stood above the competition in her final two seasons, claiming back-to-back Big Ten titles in the 5,000-meter outdoor run and was the double champion in the indoor 3,000m and 5,000m as a senior. Following her final season, McClimon was named Michigan's Female Athlete of the Year and the Big Ten's Conference Medal of Honor recipient. She is currently the Director of the Cardinal Jets, a youth running club in New Bremen, Ohio.
Johnny Orr, Men's Basketball (1968-80)
Considered the dean of Michigan coaches, Orr is the winningest coach in Wolverine program history with a 209-113 overall record over his 12-year tenure (1968-80). The first Big Ten coach to lead his team for four consecutive NCAA Tournament berths (1974-77), he was twice named Big Ten Coach of the Year (1974, '77) and earned National Coach of the Year from the NABC in 1977 and Basketball Weekly in 1977. He guided Michigan to the 1976 NCAA championship game and to the NCAA Elite Eight in 1974 and 1977. Orr, who retired as head coach of Iowa State in 1994, compiled a career coaching record of 466-346. He is a member of the Beloit College Hall of Fame (1969), the all-time NAIB basketball team (1937-51), the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame, a charter member of the Wisconsin NAIA Hall of Fame and was selected as an Honorary "M" man by the University of Michigan.
Tickets are still available for the reception, though space is limited, at a cost of $25 per person. For more information or to RSVP, please contact Beth Moceri at email@example.com or 734-615-6924 by Monday, Jan. 17.
Hall of Honor Members
Contact: Dave Ablauf (734) 763-4423