Feb. 26, 2000
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
A philanthropic couple, two football standouts, one of the Cowgirls' greatest basketball players, baseball's all-time home run hitter, and one of the most successful basketball coaches comprise the University of Wyoming Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2000.
The inductees for the 2000 class include three-time WAC Coach of the Year Jim Brandenburg, record setting basketball standout Amy Burnett, baseball great Bill Ewing, four-sport letter winner Lee Kizzire, defensive lineman Larry Nels, and generous contributors Curtis and Marian Rochelle.
The 2000 class is the eighth in the Hall of Fame's history. These great athletes and contributors will officially be inducted in ceremonies scheduled for the evening of Friday, September 15, 2000, at the Crane/Hill banquet facility. The banquet is scheduled for the evening prior to the Wyoming-Central Michigan football game as a part of Hall of Fame weekend.
The 2000 class was selected by the Hall of Fame Selection Committee, comprised of past and present UW administrators, Wyoming business people, former UW lettermen and media personnel. The Committee includes: Ken Cook, a retired business executive, a Cowboy football letterman, and the chairman of the committee, Dick Campbell, a former UW football player from Story, Wyoming, Barbara Burke, the UW Associate Athletics Director, Dave Madia, a Cowboy football letterman and a businessman from Evanston, Wyoming, Mike Schutte, a former Laramie businessman and a Cowboy football letterman, Lisa Skiles, a Laramie attorney, Kevin M. McKinney, the UW Sports Information Director, Jack Speight, a Cheyenne attorney, Dave Walsh, "The Voice of the Cowboys", and George Kay, a longtime Wyoming broadcaster.
The Committee selected this year's inductees from five categories: athletes, coaches, teams, athletic staff and special achievement. The criterion for each category differs. An athlete must have earned at least two varsity letters and must have been out of school for at least five years. Coaches and any athletic staff members must have served the program for at least five-years, and are not currently active at the University. An athletic team is considered a single inductee, and special achievement includes individuals who have contributed to the ideal of athletics. Each nominee must receive a minimum of 75 percent of the committee's votes to be eligible for induction.
Following is a list of the 2000 class of inductees and their accomplishments:
Hometown: San Antonio, Texas
Three time WAC Coach of the Year, Jim Brandenburg came to the University of Wyoming in 1978 and turned the men's basketball program around. Brandenburg's Cowboy teams led the WAC in total defense six times and appeared in post-season tournaments four times. In 1987, his team advanced to the sweet sixteen and in 1986 the Cowboys placed second in the NIT under his leadership. Brandenburg's Cowboys captured three WAC Championships during his career in Laramie. Cowboy fans saw four of Brandenburg's players go in the first round of the draft: Charles Bradley, Bill Garnett, Eric Leckner, and Fennis Dembo. This coach was honored as the Eastman Kodak NCAA Division I District 13 Coach of the year in 1986 and he coached the West Team to a Gold Medal at the 1981 National Sports Festival. Among the accomplishments of this distinguished coach, a lasting legacy was left as the Arena-Auditorium was built during his tenure. Jim Brandenburg.
Hometown: Huron, South Dakota
One of the greatest players ever to come through the Cowgirl Basketball program, Amy Burnett was both an outstanding athlete and student. In 1995, Burnett was one of five women nationwide named to the GTE Academic All-America Team for women's basketball with a 3.83 grade point average with a double major in Special Education and Elementary Education. Amy was an Academic All-WAC honoree and was awarded an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship in 1995. In addition to her success academically, Burnett dominated on the court. She was twice named the WAC player of the year and was All-WAC first team in 1993, 1994, and 1995. Burnett set many records during her career at Wyoming, including most points scored in a single game, most points scored in a season, and most free throws made in a season. Her career records include most free throws in a career, and most free throws attempted. Burnett's hard work and determination rank her among the top in Cowgirl Athletics' history. Amy Burnett.
Hometown: Rapid City, South Dakota
The finest hitter ever to play for the University of Wyoming, Bill Ewing set the national home run record in 1976 with 23. That same year, Ewing was named to both the College Baseball Coaches All-America Team, and the Sporting News All-America Team. This Wyoming great was the first Cowboy baseball player in twenty years to be named to an All-American team and twice earned All-WAC honors. In addition to his All-Conference and All-American awards, Ewing was also named to the All-District VII Team. For the 1975-76 season, Ewing received the Admiral Emory S. Land award for Outstanding University of Wyoming Athlete. Bill Ewing will remain in the memories of Wyoming fans for years to come. Bill Ewing.
Sport: Football, Wrestling, Track, and Basketball
One of the great athletes in Wyoming pre-war history Captain Lee Kizzire was a four-sport letterman for the Cowboys in football, wrestling, track and basketball. Kizzire was a Wyoming native and was most decorated for his outstanding efforts in football and wrestling. An All-American football player from 1933-1937, Kizzire was also All-Conference and went on to play professionally. Kizzire, a fullback on the football team, also was a talented wrestler. He was named the Rocky Mountain Wrestling Champion. His athleticism was such that he excelled in all he did. In addition to his football and wrestling career, Kizzire also lettered on the varsity track and basketball teams. Following his award-winning career at Wyoming, he went on to play professional football, and later to coach at Riverton High School. In 1941, Kizzire entered the United States Air Corp and was commissioned as an officer in 1942. In November 1943, he was shot down on a mission near the island of Wewak in the Pacific, and was never found. Lee Kizzire.
Hometown: Liverpool, New York
Fondly known as "Bo," Larry Nels became one of the most feared defensive linemen in Wyoming history as he terrorized opponents from 1967 to 1969. Nels was a key component as the Cowboys earned a bid to the 1968 Sugar Bowl, and was instrumental in a Cowboy defense that was best in the nation. Nels was well known for his quickness, toughness, and blocking ability. He had 511 total tackles in his career. Nels was an All-American candidate and as a member of the nation's number one defense let the Cowboys to their second WAC Championship. Nels also earned All-WAC honors in 1969. Following his career at Wyoming, Nels went on to play with the New York Giants and the British Columbia Lions of the Canadian League. Nels will be remembered as one of the best defensive players in Cowboy Football history. Larry Nels.
Curtis and Marian Rochelle
Mr. Rochelle: Lusk, Wyoming
Mrs. Rochelle: Denver, Colorado
Curt and Marian Rochelle are honored for their tremendous generosity in the special achievement category. The Rochelles donated an historic $4.2 million gift to the University of Wyoming Athletic Department and made the dream of a new student-athlete center a reality. Their gift is the largest in the UW's history and this new student-athlete center will be appropriately named the Curtis and Marian Rochelle Athletics Center, also known as the RAC. Curt Rochelle is a UW graduate and a former trustee. Marian is a graduate of Stephens College in Columbia, Mo., and Colorado College, in Colorado Spring, Co. The Rochelle's have given much more to the University than just the $4.2 million contribution to the student-athlete center. In 1992, the Rochelles established the Curtis and Marian Rochelle Professorship in Animal Science in memory of John Hill, Curt's advisor and college dean when he majored in animal science from 1937-1941. The Rochelles have also been honored as Outstanding Donors to the College of Agriculture. Including the contribution to the student-athlete center, the Rochelles have donated over $5.5 million dollars to the University of Wyoming. Curt and Marian Rochelle.