Today the BYU Cougars announced that the BYU Athletic Hall of Fame will grow by five members. The formal introduction will take place on Thursday, October 15th. All five members will also be recognized during halftime of the BYU vs Cincinnati football game on Friday the 16th. The five members of the 2015 class are John Hedengren, Willard Hirschi, Nina Puikkonen Mortensen, Rob Morris, and Luke Staley. The BYU Athletic Hall of fame was introduced in 1975 and has grown to be over 200 strong.
Luke Staley: Staley played football for the Cougars from 1999-2001 where he was one of the most exciting and effective running backs for the Cougars. He quickly became a fan favorite and won the Doak Walker Award in 2001. The Doak Walker Award is given to the nations top running back. Along with the award he was a Consensus All-NFL draft and was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the seventh round. He left as one of the most decorated running backs for the Cougars and is still the BYU career leading in points scored by a player other than a kicker.. After winning the Doak Walker award he declared early for the
Rob Morris: Morris played for the Cougars in 1993 before serving an LDS mission and then returned to play for the Cougars again from 1997-1999. Initially recruited as a running back, he switched to linebacker and made a name for himself as he earned All American honors in both his junior and his senior seasons. Many fans remember the campaign to promote Morris to the national media when the athletic department handed out train whistles at the home opener for the Cougars. Morris was selected in the first round of the NFL draft after his senior year by the Indianapolis Colts. During his eight seasons with the Colts he helped lead them to a Super Bowl win in 2006.
John Hedengren: Hedengren was a runner for the BYU cross country and track teams. In 2000 he was named an All-American at the NCAA Championship and earned All-Mountain West Conference honors three years in a row. As a student he was also an Academic All-America five times.
Nina Puikkonen Mortensen: Nina Played volleyball for the Cougars from 1998-2001. During her time at BYU the team went to the Sweet Sixteen, the Elite Eight and and a conference championship. Individually she earned All-American status for three years, and it may have been a fourth if not for an injury her senior year. She left the Cougars as the all time leader in blocks per game and career hitting percentage.
Willard Hirschi: Hirschi joined the Cougars as a full time coach in 1988 when he was named the men's head track coach. Previous to this time he assisted the track and field coaches as an assistant. During his time with the Cougars he won 11-straight indoor conference championships and nine outdoor conference championships. He was also name the indoor or outdoor conference coach of the year 14 times. Not only did he spend time with BYU, he also was a two-time OIympic coach for the US.
For full biographies on the new Hall of Fame members, take a look at the BYU Press Release.