Thursday, 28 May 2015 13:37

UCLA Athletics Announces 2015 Hall of Fame Class

Written by  UCLA Official Press Release

UCLA USC 06Eight new members will be inducted into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame on Friday, Oct. 2, 2015 during invitation-only ceremonies at UCLA’s Covel Commons. The new class will be honored at halftime of the UCLA-Arizona State football game on Saturday, Oct. 3.

The members of the Class of 2015 are: Annett Buckner Davis (volleyball), Danny Farmer (football/volleyball), Billy Martin (men’s tennis), Paul Nihipali (men's volleyball), Jan Palchikoff (women’s rowing/swimming & diving), Janice Parks (softball), Eric Valent (baseball) and Richard Washington (men’s basketball).

The group includes six NCAA champions (Buckner Davis, Farmer, Martin, Nihipali, Parks and Washington), three Olympians (Buckner Davis, Palchikoff and Parks), a Honda Award winner (Parks), two Pac-10 Players of the Year (Buckner Davis and Valent) and a NCAA Tournament MVP (Washington). The class as a whole totaled 11 national team and individual championships at UCLA (Buckner Davis and Washington each with one team, Martin with a singles title and one team title each as a player and a coach, and Farmer, Parks and Nihipali each with two team titles).  

Following are biographies on the 2015 UCLA Hall of Fame inductees:


Annett Buckner Davis (Women’s Volleyball, 1991-94)

Annett Buckner Davis was an impact player from day one for the women’s volleyball team, earning Pac-10 Freshman of the Year honors and helping lead the Bruins to the 1991 NCAA Championship with a nine-kill, nine-dig performance in the title match. She earned first-team All-America honors in 1993 and 1994 and was the 1994 Pac-10 Player of the Year. In her career as a four-year starter at outside hitter, she recorded 1,630 kills, 1,047 digs and 117 service aces. Buckner Davis ranks fourth in UCLA history in kills per set, fifth in points per set, eighth in points, ninth in kills and block solos, 14th in aces and 18th in digs. Following her UCLA career, she played with the U.S. Indoor National Team then moved to the beach, where she formed a successful partnership with former UCLA teammate Jenny Johnson Jordan. The Bruin duo won 13 tournaments and was the winningest U.S. men’s or women’s pro beach volleyball team in 1999. Buckner Davis and Johnson Jordan placed fifth at the 2000 Olympics.


Danny Farmer (Football, Men’s Volleyball 1996-99)

A two-sport star, Danny Farmer excelled on both the gridiron and the volleyball court. He started his career as a walk-on on the scout team for football and finished as UCLA’s all-time leader in receiving yards with 3,020. Farmer became the first freshman in school history to lead the team in receptions, and he earned honorable mention All-Pac-10 honors as a sophomore in 1997. During his junior year in 1998, he earned first-team All-Pac-10 acclaim after setting a school record with 1,274 receiving yards and averaging 106.2 yards per game. During his senior season, he was named a preseason All-American and a UCLA team captain and won the Red Sanders Award as the team’s Offensive MVP. He also earned a NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship and won the Pac-10 Conference Medal. Farmer was drafted in the fourth round of the 2000 NFL Draft and played three seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals. Farmer was just as prodigious in volleyball, helping lead UCLA to NCAA Championships in 1996 and 1998 and earning All-America honors in 1999. He played a big role in UCLA’s 1998 NCAA semifinal victory, coming off the bench to ignite a 19-point rally that turned the match around and finishing with a season-high 26 kills and four blocks. During his senior season, he was amongst the nation’s leaders in attack percentage, hitting .444.


Billy Martin (Men’s Tennis Player, 1975; Head Coach, 1994-present)

Current men’s tennis head coach Billy Martin has won NCAA championships as both a player and coach at UCLA. As a freshman in 1975, he won the Pac-10 and NCAA singles titles and led the Bruins to a 19-0 record and the NCAA team title. Martin turned pro after one year at UCLA and went on to win ATP Rookie of the Year honors in 1977. That year, he made it to the quarterfinals of Wimbledon. He reached a career-high ATP singles ranking of No. 32 and was inducted into the ITA Tennis Hall of Fame in 1996, the USTA Midwest Section Hall of Fame in 2010 and the Southern California Tennis Association Hall of Fame in 2011. Martin was named head coach of the Bruins in 1994 after serving as an assistant coach for 10 years, and he has guided UCLA to a 499-106 overall record during his tenure. He led UCLA to a NCAA Championship in 2005 and has four second-place finishes. A four-time Pac-12 Coach of the Year, Martin has led UCLA to 11 conference titles and coached two NCAA singles champions and one NCAA doubles champion.


Paul Nihipali (Men’s Volleyball, 1994-97)

Four-time All-American Paul Nihipali finished his career as UCLA volleyball’s all-time kills leader with 2,096 and is still the only Bruin ever to surpass 2,000 career kills. He also holds school records for most kills in a single match (52) and in a season (650 in 1997), as well as career kills per game (5.40). Nihipali helped lead UCLA to back-to-back NCAA Championships in 1995 and 1996 and to runner-up finishes in 1994 and 1997. He was named to the All-Tournament team at the NCAA Championships from 1995-97 and earned first-team All-MPSF honors three times and first-team All-America acclaim in 1996 and 1997. Nihipali went on to play for the U.S. National Team from 1995-97 before embarking on a film career. He wrote, produced and directed a feature film, Beach Kings, and is currently producing and show running reality television.


Jan Palchikoff (Women’s Rowing, 1973-75/Swimming & Diving, 1971-74)

One of the true pioneers for women’s athletics, Jan Palchikoff was a member of UCLA’s rowing program as a club sport in 1973 and as a varsity sport in 1974 and 1975. She also competed on the UCLA swimming team from 1971-74 and competed in the AIAW Swim Nationals in 1971, 1972 and 1974. Palchikoff helped UCLA reach the U.S. Women’s Rowing Association National Championships for the first time in 1974. She was a five-time member of the U.S. National Rowing Team, a national champion in double sculls in 1979 and a member of the U.S. Olympic teams in 1976 and 1980, finishing fifth at the Olympics in the double sculls in 1976. In 2014, she established a masters’ hour world record for her age group in track cycling. While she had great success as a competitor, perhaps her greatest contributions came off the playing surface. One of the founding members of the Union of Women Athletes, she was a strong advocate for Title IX and served as a student representative on the Chancellor’s Advisory Council on the Status of Women and on the UC Athletic Advisory Board. Since 2004, she has served as the Senior Vice President and Chief Program Officer for Special Olympics Southern California.


Janice Parks (Softball, 1986-89)

The 1989 Honda Award winner for softball, Janice Parks led UCLA to NCAA championships in 1988 and 1989 and was a three-time first-team All-American. She led UCLA in RBI every year she played and was the team’s leader in batting average, runs scored, hits, doubles and triples in 1989. She finished her career with a .352 batting average with 11 home runs, 136 RBI and 104 runs scored and still holds the school record for triples with 21. A four-time all-conference and three-time all-region honoree, Parks was named to the NCAA All-Decade Team for the 1980s and received the Pac-10 Conference Medal in 1989. She continued to play internationally following her graduation and represented Puerto Rico in the 1996 Olympic Games. Parks recently became the first female athlete ever to have her jersey retired at Mayfair High School.   


Eric Valent (Baseball, 1996-98)

Eric Valent was one of the most productive baseball players in UCLA history, finishing a three-year career as the Pac-10’s career home run leader with 69, a record he still holds. He also continues to hold UCLA’s career RBI record with 219, as well as the school’s single-season mark with 91 in 1997. Valent helped lead UCLA to the College World Series in 1997 with a six-HR performance at the NCAA Regional, where he was named the MVP. Also that year, he hit for the cycle against USC. In 1998, he earned Pac-10 Player of the Year honors and first-team All-America acclaim from four publications after leading the team with 30 home runs and batting .336. UCLA’s starting center fielder for three seasons, he was a Freshman All-American in 1996 and ranked third on the team in home runs and RBI. Valent was selected as the 42nd overall pick in the first round of the 1998 MLB Draft and played for five seasons in the big leagues. He is currently an East Coast Supervising Scout for the Philadelphia Phillies.


Richard Washington (Men’s Basketball, 1974-76)

The Most Outstanding Player of the 1975 NCAA Tournament, Richard Washington averaged 14.2 points and 6.7 rebounds per game as a Bruin and currently ranks No. 35 on UCLA’s all-time scoring list with 1,245 career points. A two-year starter and 1976 team co-captain, he earned consensus first-team All-America and first-team All-Pac-10 honors as a junior after leading the team in scoring with a 20.1 points per game average, scoring in double figures in 30 of UCLA’s 32 games and 20 points in 17 games. During UCLA’s 1975 Championship season, he led the Bruins in field goal percentage, shooting at a 57.8% clip. Washington was selected as the No. 3 overall pick in the 1976 NBA Draft by the Kansas City Kings and enjoyed a seven-year NBA career, playing in 351 career games and averaging 9.8 points and 6.3 rebounds per game.  

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