Athletic eras spanning from the 1940's to the 21st century are represented in the University of Richmond Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2012, announced today by Director of Athletics Jim Miller.
The inductees include two football standouts, Dick Hensley (1948-51) and Tim Hightower (2004-2007), who will be joined by Heather Rice (field hockey, 1998-2001), Barry Saunders (basketball, baseball, 1951-55) and Dr. David Burhans (University and Team Chaplain, 1974-2004).
The 2005 women's swim & dive team, the fourth of Richmond's nine Atlantic 10 championship teams in ten years, will be honored as the Team of Distinction.
The induction ceremony and reception is scheduled for Saturday February 18, 2012 at 3 p.m. at the Jepson Alumni Center on campus. The five-person class and the Team of Distinction will be introduced at halftime of the men's basketball game against Charlotte at 6 p.m. in the Robins Center.
Ticket information for the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony & Reception can be obtained by calling Lauren Keisler at (804) 289-8694 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. David Burhans
Dr. David Burhans voluntarily filled the position of Team Chaplain while serving as the University's Chaplain from 1974-2004. His support for Spider Athletics began with the 1976 football team, coached by the late Jim Tait, who asked Dr. Burhans to have a presence on the sidelines and in the locker room.
Dr. Burhans expanded his role under head coaches Dal Shealy and Jim Reid, offering pre-game talks and prayers. He assisted the athletic department with pre-game invocations and served as master of ceremonies for the annual Homecoming Game halftime festivities.
As University Chaplain, he served as Pastor, Preacher and Spiritual Leader for the University community, while serving as pastoral counselor for students, student-athletes, coaches, faculty, staff and alumni. He is now Chaplain Emeritus and Special Assistant to the Office of Advancement. His active and loyal support of Spider men's and women's athletic events now spans 37 years.
Dick Hensley '51
Dick Hensley lettered four times on the Spider football team, where he was a three-year starter at wing back and fullback from 1948-51.
Off the field, he was involved in Student Government, the President's Advisory Council, President of the Baptist Student Union and was selected Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities.
Those experiences at Richmond paved the way for his post graduate career as a highly-respected educator, coach and community leader in Martinsville, Va.
Hensley was head football coach at Martinsville High School from 1969-1981, compiling a 101-40-1 record, including four undefeated seasons and the 1975 Virginia State AA Championship. His teams won six Piedmont District titles and finished as state runner-up twice. He served as assistant principal at Martinsville from 1974-1984 and coached at Fork Union Military Academy and Hargrave Military Academy for nine years.
He was an avid weightlifter, and won several weightlifting competitions in the Masters 3 Division in the early 1990's. His wife, Helen, is also a University of Richmond graduate, Westhampton College, Class of 1951.
Tim Hightower '08
Tim Hightower's record-shattering career as a Richmond running back began as a true freshman in 2004 and ended with All-American honors following his senior season in 2007, when he led the Spiders to a CAA Football Championship and a trip to the semifinals of the NCAA Division I playoffs.
Hightower's name is etched in the Spider record books for most yards rushing in a game (295 at Bucknell 9/27/07), season (1,924 in 2007) and career (3,712). He also sits atop lists for rushing touchdowns in a season (20, 2007) and career (34).
His memorable 2007 season was highlighted by a four-touchdown, 295 yard rushing game at Bucknell and a four touchdown, 246 yard rushing game at Northeastern, which included a 90-yard TD run, the third longest run from scrimmage in school history. He amassed nine 100-yard games in 2007.
Following the season, Hightower was named a Walter Camp Foundation and Sports Network First Team All-American, a College Sporting News and Associated Press Second Team All-American, runner-up for the Dudley Award as the Commonwealth of Virginia's top Division I football player and a finalist for the Payton Award as the nation's top FCS player.
He was selected in the fifth round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals and went on to score the winning touchdown in the 2008 NFC Championship Game, sending Hightower and the Cardinals to Super Bowl XLIII, where he played against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
In July 2011, he was traded to his hometown team, the Washington Redskins, where he started five of the first six games of 2011 before a knee injury curtailed his season.
Heather Rice '02
Heather Rice's name is prominent not only in the Richmond field hockey record book, but in the annals of two NCAA Division I conferences.
Rice ushered out the Spiders' Colonial Athletic Association era by being named Third Team All-American and First Team All-CAA as a junior in 2000, when she scored 19 goals and garnered 51 points. Her goal total was seventh best in Division I and third highest in the highly competitive Colonial Athletic Association.
As a senior in 2001, she introduced herself to the Atlantic 10 by being named A-10 Offensive Player of the Year, scoring 29 goals - second on UR's single-season list. She was the first of six straight Spiders to win the A-10 Offensive Player of the Year Award. She was ranked among the top 20 players nationally in both goals and points.
Rice is second on Richmond's career points list (133), along the way placing in the Top 10 in seven categories, including most goals in a career (61).
She earned All South Region All-American First Team honors in 2000, All-South Region All-American Second Team honors in 1999 and 2001 and All-State honors in 2000 and 2001. She was also All-CAA First Team in 1999 and 2000 and a First Team All American in Strength and Conditioning.
Following her senior season of field hockey, she joined the women's basketball team for the 2001-02 campaign, appearing in 23 games, making one start. She scored a career high eight points against Duquesne.
Barry Saunders '55
Not only was Barry Saunders a two-sport standout, but he was a two-sport captain for both the Spider basketball and baseball teams.
On the diamond, Saunders served as co-captain his junior season and captain his senior season, while earning All-State honors as a shortstop three times. Legendary Hall of Fame coach Mac Pitt also called upon him to take the mound on occasion, the most memorable of which was a 74-pitch, nine-inning complete game victory over arch-rival William & Mary.
On the hardwood, Saunders played four years, and was elected tri-captain his senior season, along with two All-State and All-Southern Conference guards, Ed Harrison and Warren Mills, both of whom are UR Hall of Famers.
Off the field and court, Saunders was a campus leader. He was elected to the O.D.K. Honorary Fraternity, Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities, Varsity Club and Honor Counsel.
Team of Distinction - Women's Swim & Dive 2004-05
The numbers are staggering and the honors are eye-opening for the 2004-05 women's swim & dive team. The fourth of what became eight straight and nine of the past 10 Atlantic 10 titles. Eight first team All-Conference selections. A first-ever All-American. Performer, Rookie and Coach of the Year. National 28th-place finish.
Senior Mary Adams was named A-10 Most Outstanding Performer for the second time. Freshman Jessica Witt earned A-10 Most Outstanding Rookie honors, the third straight Spider swimmer to win that award. Matt Kredich was tabbed A-10 Coach of the Year for the fourth straight season. Junior Brooke Boncher qualified for the NCAA Championships and the U.S. World Championship Trials while earning All-America status. She won 23 of 25 individual swims and never finished lower than second.