Tulane Athletics announces Hall of Fame Class of 2020

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NEW ORLEANS – The 2020 inductees into the Tulane Athletics Hall of Fame were announced on Friday by Green Wave Director of Athletics Troy Dannen.

The five former student-athletes that were selected to the 2020 class include: One of the best fullbacks to ever play at Tulane, Jerald Sowell (1992-96); four-time all-conference performer and three-time NCAA participant Gemma Dryburgh (2011-15) from the women’s golf team; three-time SEC champion Lester Sack (1956-58) from the men’s tennis team; three-time all-conference honoree and women’s basketball’s all-time leader in games played Olivia Grayson (2009-13); three-time all-conference selection and All-America honorable mention recipient Jenn Miller (2006-09).

The 1991-92 Tulane men’s basketball team which finished the year as the Metropolitan Collegiate Athletic Conference regular-season champions and became the first Green Wave squad in program history to earn a trip to the NCAA Tournament will enter the Hall of Fame as a team.

The Billy Slatten Award, given annually to someone who has given extraordinary service, commitment and support to Tulane University and its student-athletes, will be presented to the Chair of the Tulane Board Doug Hertz. This award was established in 2004 in honor of William A. “Billy” Slatten, a longtime supporter of Tulane Athletics, a member of the Tulane Board of Trustees and the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee.

“This is a class that should bring a lot of pride for all Tulanians,” Dannen said. “Each of these individuals has significantly contributed to the history of Tulane Athletics with their accomplishments both on and off the field which has built the foundation for the opportunities that we enjoy today.”

Each of these individuals has set the standard for athletic achievement throughout their careers and we could not be more thrilled to welcome them back to campus this fall.”

The induction ceremony for the 2020 Hall of Fame Class will be set for a later date this fall.

2020 Tulane Athletics Hall of Fame Class
Jerald Sowell, Football, 1992-96
Established himself as one of the program’s top fullbacks in Tulane football history.
Showed great versatility throughout his career as both a blocker and as a runner.
His 98-yard touchdown run against the defending national champion Alabama Crimson Tide still stands as the longest rushing play in school history.
Led the team in rushing in three seasons.
Was selected to play in the Blue-Gray All-Star Classic and the Senior Bowl following his collegiate career.
Drafted in the seventh round of the 1997 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers.
Played 10 years in the National Football League, including nine seasons with the New York Jets.

Gemma Dryburgh, Women’s Golf, 2011-15
A four-time all-conference performer and three-time All-Louisiana selection.
A four-year letterwinner who played 126 rounds in 43 tournaments and posted a 74.33 (9,365 strokes) career scoring average, which ranks second in school history.
Claimed two career individual titles: the 2012 Old Waverly Bulldog Invitational and the 2013 C-USA Championships.
Finished par or better 35 times with 15 Top-20 performances.
Posted nine career rounds in the 60’s.
Played in three NCAA Championships, including 2013 (Athens, Ga.), 2014 (Tulsa, Okla.) and 2015 (Bradenton, Fla.).
Three-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll and four-time selection to the Tulane 3.0 Club.
Member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee during her final three seasons.

Lester Sack, Men’s Tennis, 1956-58
SEC Tennis Champions (1956, 1957 and 1958).
Ranked No. 1 in SEC Doubles with Ron Holmberg (1958).
Reached Round of 16 in NCAA Singles Championship (1958).
Reached Quarterfinals in NCAA Doubles Championship (with Ron Holmberg, 1958).
Played No. 3 singles and No. 1 doubles for Tulane team (1958).
Member of the 1957 team that finished the season as the NCAA Runner-UP
As a professional, he represented the United States on the Dubler Cup, Gordon Cup and Stevens Cup teams.
Earned an induction into the Mississippi Tennis Hall of Fame in 1994 and the Louisiana Tennis Hall of Fame in 2009.
Olivia Grayson, Women’s Basketball, 2009-13
A three-time All-Conference USA performer.
Selected to the All-Louisiana team in both her junior and senior seasons.
Was a four-year letterwinner and played in a school-record 134 games with 116 starts for her career.
Became the 24th player in Tulane history to score 1,000 career points reaching the mark as a junior to become the ninth Green Wave student-athlete to do so in their first three collegiate seasons.
Off the court, she was a member of the C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll and Tulane’s 3.0 Club.
Joined head coach Lisa Stockton’s staff as its director of student-athlete development and video in August of 2018.

Jenn Miller, Volleyball, 2006-09
A four-year letterwinner from 2006-09 who helped Tulane to a combined record of 89-33 during her career, a pair of conference championships and two NCAA Tournament appearances.
Led the Green Wave to a Conference USA regular season and C-USA Tournament title in 2008 and to the school’s first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance in 2008.
Helped Tulane return to the NCAA Tournament in 2009.
A two-time member of the All-Conference USA Second Team (2006, 2007) and was a member of the 2006 All C-USA Freshman Team.
In 2007, earned Honorable Mention AVCA All-America honors, along with first-team AVCA All-Midwest Region selection and was tabbed the C-USA Libero of the Year.
Named to the 2007 and 2008 C-USA All-Academic Team.
Was a seven-time C-USA Defensive Player of the Week (2006-2008).
Owns school career records for most digs (1973) and most digs per set (4.57) and owns single-season records for digs (609) in 2007.

1991-92 Men’s Basketball Team
Became the first Tulane men’s basketball team to earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament.
Collected the program’s first-ever victory in the NCAA tournament, as it defeated St. John’s 61-57 to advance to the Round of 32.
Captured the Metropolitan Collegiate Athletic Conference championship.
Finished the year with a 22-9 record.
Opened the year with 13 straight wins.
Ranked as high as No. 13 in the USA Today Coaches Poll and No. 14 in the Associated Press Poll.
Anthony Reed and Kim Lewis earned NABC All-District and All-Metro Conference team honors.

Billy Slatten Award
Doug Hertz, Chair of the Board of Tulane, 2017-present

Has been instrumental in elevating the University’s level of commitment to athletics.
Currently serves as the chair of the Board of Tulane.
Served as past chair of the Tulane Intercollegiate Athletics Committee.
Provided the lead gift for the athletic department’s state-of-the-art, 43,000 square-foot basketball and volleyball practice facility. The facility which opened in 2011 still remains as of the finest practice facilities in the nation.
Was a strong advocate for the construction of Yulman Stadium and bringing Tulane football back to campus in 2014.
Serves as a limited partner for the Atlanta Falcons.
Earned his undergraduate degree and MBA from Tulane.
Competed on the men’s tennis team during his time as an undergraduate student.

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Tulane University is located in the city of New Orleans. It is a city built on tradition and resiliency. The lessons Green Wave student-athletes have learned through their connection with this university and city have BUILT doctors, lawyers, business leaders, conference champions, all-conference players, All-Americans, professional athletes and NCAA tournament teams. The city of New Orleans has shaped us into who we are today. We are One City. We are Tulane. We are NOLA BUILT. Check out our story at NolaBuilt.com.

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