Three individuals who excelled on the courts and a Team of Distinction which swam its way into the record book will be honored as the University of Richmond’s Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2017, announced today by Director of Athletics Keith Gill.
The class includes men’s tennis standout Tom Clarke (1991-95), the late Ginny Doyle (1990-92), whose name and face became synonymous with Richmond women’s basketball as a student-athlete and assistant coach, and Mike Winiecki (1985-89), a thousand point scorer on the men’s basketball team who played on Richmond’s first-ever Sweet 16 squad, and later served as an assistant coach.
The Hall of Fame Team of Distinction is the 2010-11 Swimming & Diving team, which swept all honors on its way to an Atlantic 10 championship, the first of a current streak of six straight conference swimming titles for the Spiders and 14 in the past 15 years.
The induction ceremony and reception is scheduled for Saturday February 4, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. in the Jepson Alumni Center on campus. The 41st Hall of Fame class will be introduced at halftime of the men’s basketball game against George Washington at 2:30 p.m. in the Robins Center. The game will be nationally-televised by NBCSN.
Ticket information for the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony & Reception can be obtained by calling Megan Dooley at (804) 289-8694 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Game tickets are available by calling 1-877-SPIDER-1 or www.RichmondSpiders.com/buytickets.
Tom Clarke – Men’s Tennis 1991-1995
In his four years at Richmond, Tom Clarke always played No. 1 singles, and he led the Spiders to the number one spot in the Colonial Athletic Association. Prior to his arrival in 1991, Richmond men’s tennis had never won a conference title. Clarke led the Spiders to three CAA championships (1992, 93, 95).
He left his mark on Richmond men’s tennis from the beginning of his storied career until the end. He was named the CAA’s Most Outstanding Player his freshman season, when he was ranked as high as 40th in the nation. He completed his career by earning another CAA Most Outstanding Player Award as a senior, when he compiled a 21-2 record in singles, with victories over players from schools such as Virginia, Virginia Tech, VCU, Wake Forest, NC State, Princeton and Yale. He was also named CAA Most Outstanding Player in 1993.
Clarke led the Spiders to two team wins over the University of Virginia, the only time in program history that Richmond had defeated the Cavaliers in men’s tennis.
He was later honored as a member of the Colonial Athletic Association’s 25th Anniversary All-Time Men’s Tennis Team.
Ginny Doyle – Women’s Basketball 1990-92
For nearly two decades, Ginny Doyle was a shining fixture in the Robins Center and on the University of Richmond campus, as both a standout student-athlete and longtime assistant coach.
As a player, Doyle transferred to Richmond after two years at George Washington. She was a Spider for two NCAA Tournament appearances in 1990 and 1991. She helped lead the Spiders to the Colonial Athletic Association championship and NCAA appearance in 1991. In her senior season in 1992, as team captain, she averaged 17.1 points per game, the 10th highest single-season scoring average in program history. She earned All-Conference honors both seasons in which she played at Richmond. She finished her Spider career with the fifth highest scoring average.
Her claim to fame, though, came at the free throw line. She led the nation in free throw accuracy in 1992 at 95 percent. Her career free throw percentage was 85 percent, and she set an NCAA Division I record by making 66 consecutive free throws, a mark that stood for 18 years.
Her free throw prowess and records were challenged by longtime CBS Sports men’s basketball analyst Billy Packer, who appeared at the Robins Center for a free throw shooting contest with Doyle. Packer made just 12 of 20 foul shots. Ginny made all 20.
Her career as a Richmond assistant and associate head coach spanned 15 years and three head coaches. During that time, the Spiders made seven post season appearances, five in a row, including the 2005 NCAA Tournament. Richmond secured six 20-win seasons and accumulated 250 overall victories during her tenure. Doyle has the distinction of both playing and coaching in the NCAA Tournament as a Spider.
Ginny Doyle is inducted into the University of Richmond Athletics Hall of Fame posthumously, following her untimely passing in May 2014 as a result of a hot air balloon accident that also took the life of former Spider swimmer and women’s basketball director of operations Natalie Lewis. The 2011 Atlantic 10 Champion Spider Swimming & Diving Team, of which Lewis was a captain, is being honored as the Class of 2017 Team of Distinction.
Mike Winiecki – Men’s Basketball 1985-1989
A local product from nearby Monacan High School, Mike Winiecki found a home close to home at the University of Richmond. His four-year career included two NCAA Tournament berths and one NIT appearance. He was a junior on the 1988 NCAA Sweet 16 team which beat defending national champion Indiana and Georgia Tech.
He finished his Richmond career 34th on the all-time scoring list with 1,031 points, following a breakout senior season in which he averaged 17.6 points per game and 8.1 rebounds per game. He shot 53 percent from the floor, 75 percent from the foul line, and led the team in blocked shots with 53. He was named First Team All CAA and All State, and a NABC District IV All American. He was captain of the 1989 squad which advanced to the second round of the NIT. The Spiders were 85-38 in his four seasons, as he amassed more than 1,000 points and 500 rebounds.
Winiecki began a long coaching career as a graduate assistant to Richmond Hall of Fame coach Dick Tarrant in 1992. He returned as an assistant from 1994-1997 and again from 2002-2005. He is currently in his seventh season as an assistant at Clemson, and his fifth year as the Tigers’ Associate Head Coach.
2010-11 Swimming & Diving – Team of Distinction
No sport at Richmond has enjoyed more of a dynasty of championships than Spider Swimming & Diving. The 2010-11 team is one of the most decorated in the program’s history.
Coach Matt Barany’s squad, captained by seniors Chrissy Brodt, Nicole LePere and the late Natalie Lewis, began a streak of what is now six consecutive Atlantic 10 titles and 14 in the past 15 years. Richmond dominated the conference championship meet with 755 points, defeating its closest challenger by 177 points.
The Spiders also swept the A-10 Championship women's swimming awards as sophomore Lauren Hines was named the Most Outstanding Performer, freshman Mali Kobelia was honored as the Most Outstanding Rookie Performer and head coach Matt Barany was named the Coach of the Year for the fourth time in his career.
During the regular season, the Spiders beat William & Mary and Georgia Southern, won a double duals with JMU and Duquesne, and scored a signature, emotional Senior Day victory over James Madison at the Robins Center pool.
Hines competed in the 2011 NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships in the 100 freestyle and 100 backstroke. She was named Mid-Major All-America. LePere was selected the 2011 Atlantic 10 Women's Swimming Diving Student-Athlete of the Year, becoming the third-ever Spider to win the award.
The 2011 Atlantic 10 Championship meet was held in Buffalo, NY, hometown of captain Natalie Lewis, who later became director of operations for Spider women’s basketball. Her untimely passing in May 2014 was the result of a hot air balloon accident, which also claimed the life of women’s basketball associate head coach Ginny Doyle, a 2017 Hall of Fame inductee.