Oct. 12, 2015
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan athletic department's newest Hall of Honor class -- football coach Lloyd Carr, swimmer Brent Lang, ice hockey player John Matchefts and gymnast Elise Ray -- will be honored this coming weekend.
There will be a private induction ceremony Friday night (Oct. 16) and then the four will be recognized just before kickoff of the Michigan-Michigan State football game Saturday (Oct. 17). With the Hall of Honor induction moving to the fall starting this year, there will end up being two ceremonies this calendar year (February, October).
Carr came to Michigan in 1980 as an assistant coach under legendary coach Bo Schembechler. After serving as an assistant coach, defensive coordinator and assistant head coach for 15 years, he took over as head coach in 1995. Carr led the football program for 13 seasons, compiling a record of 122-40.
He finished his career as the third-winningest coach in school history behind only Schembechler and Fielding Yost. Carr's teams won or shared five Big Ten titles and went undefeated in 1997 to claim the national championship. His players earned numerous national and conference awards, including Charles Woodson's Heisman Trophy in 1997.
Since retiring from coaching, Carr has been involved in numerous charitable efforts and has endowed a sports scholarship presented annually to a University of Michigan female student-athlete.
Lang won four NCAA national titles while at Michigan, capturing two in the 50 freestyle and two in the 100 freestyle. He set a school record in the 50 freestyle that stood for 23 years. He collected six Big Ten championships and was an All-America selection all four seasons. He also helped lead the team to four straight Big Ten titles.
As a member of the U.S. 1988 Olympic team, Lang won a gold medal by competing in the preliminary heats of the 4x100-meter freestyle relay in Seoul, South Korea. In January, he was presented with the NCAA's prestigious Silver Anniversary Award, given annually to six outstanding former student-athletes based on success in athletics and on a professional level.
After graduating with a degree in industrial engineering, Lang started Vocera, a Silicon Valley communications technology company.
Matchefts helped lead the Wolverines to three consecutive NCAA championships from 1951-53. He was named to the All-America team two straight years and was selected to the NCAA all-tournament team three times, including 1953 as the Most Outstanding Player. He was a team captain as a senior and finished his career with an average of two points per game.
After graduation, Matchefts bypassed playing professionally to join the Marine Corps. He later competed for Team USA at the 1955 World Championships and earned a silver medal at the 1956 Olympics in Cortina D'Ampezzo, Italy.
Matchefts then returned to his home state of Minnesota to coach high school hockey for more than a decade. He later served as the head coach at Colorado College and the Air Force Academy. In 1991, he was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame. Matchefts is being inducted posthumously; he died in November 2013.
Ray is the most decorated female gymnast in Michigan history. She earned 14 All-America honors and shared the national all-around championship in 2001. She followed with national titles on the balance beam in 2002 and uneven bars in 2004.
She led the team to the NCAA Super Six finals in 2005, when she was Big Ten co-Gymnast of the Year, and to four straight Big Ten titles.
Prior to coming to Michigan as an English major, Ray was a captain of the 2000 U.S. Olympic team in Sydney, Australia, and was awarded a team bronze medal for the Games. The gymnastics "code of points" scoring system has three uneven bars maneuvers named in her honor, one with the highest difficulty possible, a "G" rating.
She later joined Cirque Du Soleil in Las Vegas, performing for three years. She has served as a TV analyst for the Big Ten Network and currently is an assistant coach at the University of Washington.
The U-M Athletics Hall of Honor was established in 1978 to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions as athletes, coaches and administrators to the tradition of Wolverine athletics and, in doing so, have enhanced the image and reputation of the University of Michigan.
Those student-athletes inducted into the Hall of Honor have met the following criteria, listed in order of importance: University of Michigan graduate; NCAA champion or national championship team member; All-American; national or conference player of the year; individual or team Big Ten champion; all-conference award recipient; U-M, Big Ten, NCAA, World, U.S. or Olympic record holder; U-M team captain; Olympic team member or medalist.
The following criteria is considered when selecting coaches: National Coach of the Year, NCAA team championship, coach of NCAA individual champions, previous induction into specific sport hall of fame.