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2017 Silver Anniversary Award winners announced

Former student-athletes will receive awards at 2017 NCAA Convention

The NCAA will recognize six former student-athletes with the NCAA Silver Anniversary Award for their collegiate and professional achievements.

The Silver Anniversary Award annually recognizes distinguished individuals on the 25th anniversary of the conclusion of their college athletics careers. Representatives of NCAA member schools and conferences, along with a panel of former student-athletes, select each year’s recipients.

The 2017 recipients are Ty Detmer, Alonzo Mourning, Susan Robinson Fruchtl, Heather Taggart, Tommy Vardell and Troy Vincent. The NCAA will recognize the honorees at the Honors Celebration during the 2017 NCAA Convention on Jan. 18 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Ty Detmer

School: Brigham Young University
Major: Recreation management
Sport: Football

Former Brigham Young University quarterback and three-time team captain Ty Detmer led his team to four straight bowl appearances and three conference titles. During his time in college, Detmer broke 59 NCAA football records, including completions, attempts, passing yards, touchdowns, pass efficiency and single-season passing yards. A two-time consensus All-American and two-time Davey O’Brien Award winner, he was awarded the Heisman Trophy and the Maxwell Trophy in 1990. Detmer graduated in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in recreation management, and was selected by the Green Bay Packers in the 1992 NFL Draft. He went on to play 14 seasons in the NFL. In 2002, Detmer was inducted into the National Football Foundation College Football Hall of Fame. After he retired from the NFL in 2005, he began working as a high school football coach. In 2016, he was named the offensive coordinator at Brigham Young. In addition to coaching football, Detmer has volunteered with the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, helping to raise funds for children’s hospitals, medical research and community awareness of children’s health issues. He founded the Ty Detmer Charitable Foundation and the Ty Detmer Youth Football League in New Mexico.

Alonzo Mourning

School: Georgetown University
Major: Sociology, with a minor in theology
Sport: Men’s basketball

Alonzo Mourning is one of only two Georgetown men’s basketball players to graduate with 2,000 or more points and 1,000 or more rebounds. As a freshman, he was an immediate contributor to the program, earning accolades as the Defensive Player of the Year. In the 1991-92 season, despite his team’s loss in the conference tournament championship game, he was named Big East Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and Tournament Most Valuable Player. He graduated with a degree in sociology. Mourning was selected second overall in the 1992 NBA Draft by the Charlotte Hornets and went on to play 15 seasons in the league. He was a seven-time NBA All-Star and two-time Defensive Player of the Year. Mourning represented the United States in the 2000 Olympics Games in Sydney, where he won a gold medal, and he won the NBA championship with the Miami Heat in 2006. Mourning now works as the Heat’s vice president of player programs. He also manages charities, including Zo’s Fund for Life, which seeks to raise funds for research, education and testing to fight focal glomerulosclerosis; Athletes for Hope, which he cofounded to help professional athletes engage in charitable causes in their communities; and the Overtown Youth Center, which aims to inspire, empower and enrich children in Miami, Florida.

Susan Robinson Fruchtl

School: Pennsylvania State University
Major: Exercise and sports science
Sport: Women’s basketball

Susan Robinson Fruchtl, a former women’s basketball student-athlete at Pennsylvania State University, graduated in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in exercise and sports science. She was a standout on the basketball court, where she is one of only two players in Penn State history to score 2,000 points and record 1,000 rebounds. As a senior, Robinson Fruchtl was named a CoSIDA Academic All-American, Kodak Women’s Basketball Coaches Association All-American and U.S. Basketball Writers Association All-American. She also earned the 1992 Wade Trophy as the national player of the year and was recognized by the NCAA as a Top VIII Award recipient. Robinson Fruchtl also received an NCAA postgraduate scholarship and the Rawlings postgraduate scholarship. After her graduation, she went on to earn a master’s degree in higher education from Penn State in 1998 and a master’s degree in secondary guidance from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania in 2000. Robinson Fruchtl worked as an assistant coach for Penn State’s women’s basketball team until 2007. She then accepted a role as head coach for the women’s basketball team at Saint Francis University (Pennsylvania), where she was named the Northeast Conference Coach of the Year in 2011 after leading her team to a conference championship. In 2012, she became the head coach at Providence College. In 2016, she returned to Saint Francis as the athletics director. Robinson Fruchtl volunteers in her spare time with Making Strides Against Breast Cancer and the Special Olympics.

Heather Taggart

School: University of Wisconsin-Madison
Majors: Biochemistry and molecular biology
Sport: Women’s soccer

Heather Taggart graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1992 with dual degrees in biochemistry and molecular biology and two nods as a National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-America goalkeeper. She holds school records for career shutouts and goals-against average in a season, and ranks second all-time in career saves and goals-against average. In 1991, Taggart was named the Adidas/Missouri Athletic Club Collegiate Goalkeeper of the Year and the Intercollegiate Soccer Association of America Goalkeeper of the Year. In 1992, Taggart was named a CoSIDA Academic All-American and a recipient of the Big Ten Medal of Honor. She received an NCAA postgraduate scholarship and attended the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Medicine, graduating with high distinction, before joining a group medical practice in Omaha, Nebraska, as a physician of obstetrics and gynecology. Taggart also served as chairwoman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Alegent Health Midlands Hospital from 2005 to 2012. She teaches medical students as a volunteer at Creighton University, and has conducted a medical mission trip to the Dominican Republic, where she provided care in underserved rural areas of the country.

Tommy Vardell

School: Stanford University
Major: Industrial engineering
Sport: Football

Former Stanford University running back Tommy Vardell graduated with a degree in industrial engineering in 1992. During his time at Stanford, he amassed 1,893 rushing yards — 1,084 of which came in one season, setting a school record that stood for 17 years. The two-time team captain was named a CoSIDA Academic All-American of the Year in 1991. He still ranks third in school history in career rushing touchdowns and fourth in single-season 100-yard rushing games. In 1992, Vardell was picked in the first round of the NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns, and he went on to play eight seasons in the NFL, gaining 1,427 rushing yards in 403 carries. When he retired from the NFL, Vardell cofounded Northgate Capital, a private equity and venture capital asset management firm. Under his leadership as managing director, Northgate earned distinction in 2008 as a World Economic Forum Global Growth Company. Vardell currently serves on the Stanford Alumni Association’s finance committee as well as its alumni business and services committee. He is president of the Brotherbird Foundation, which provides enrichment services to disadvantaged youth. He also coaches youth football in the Pleasanton, California, junior football league. In his honor, the Stanford football program’s annual top scholar-athlete award is named the Tommy Vardell Academic Achievement Award. He even put his degree in industrial engineering to use when he created the cast for the award.

Troy Vincent

School: University of Wisconsin-Madison
Major: Liberal arts
Sport: Football

Troy Vincent, a former University of Wisconsin-Madison football player, earned multiple accolades for his skills on the field. In 1991, he was named the Big Ten co-Defensive Player of the Year and was runner-up for the Jim Thorpe Award. During his senior year at Wisconsin, he served as a team captain, was recognized as an American Football Coaches Association All-American and was voted most valuable player by his teammates. He was selected in the first round of the 1992 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins. Vincent played in five Pro Bowls during his 15 seasons as a professional athlete. After his playing days ended, he returned to college at Thomas Edison State College, where he graduated with his liberal arts degree in 2007 while also serving as the president of the NFL Players Association. In 2010, Vincent accepted a job with the NFL as the head of player engagement, before being named the executive vice president of football operations in 2014. Vincent has engaged in community service throughout his career, earning him the 2002 Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, the NFL Players Association Byron “Whizzer” White Award and the Athletes in Action Bart Starr Award. He also founded the Love Thy Neighbor Community Development and Opportunity Corporation, which has awarded more than $500,000 in college scholarships to inner-city students.