Five former Cougars enter the BYU Hall of Fame
PROVO, Utah — Five former All-Americans were inducted into the BYU Athletic Hall of Fame on Thursday, Oct. 2, in a ceremony hosted by the Cougar Club at the Marriott Center. The 2014 class included Kelly Parkinson Evanson (gymnastics), Dmitri Malinovski (swimming), Jim McMahon (football), Tara Rohatinsky Northcutt (cross country/track) and Aleisha Cramer Rose (soccer).
The five newly enshrined hall of fame members will also be honored during a special halftime presentation at the BYU vs. Utah State game on Friday, Oct. 3.
“It was a great night — an opportunity to pay tribute to some of the finest student-athletes in BYU history,” said director of athletics Tom Holmoe. “This is an incredible class. They accomplished amazing things at BYU in athletics, in the classroom and in our community."
Since its inception in 1975, more than 200 student-athletes, coaches, administrators, teams and broadcasters have been inducted into the BYU Athletic Hall of Fame. Among the criteria to be considered for induction are All-American status, university graduation, professional accomplishments and community service.
Kelly Parkinson Evanson finished her four-year career (1999-2002) as a Cougar gymnast with nine of the top 10 all-around scores in BYU history. As a sophomore she set a new school record of 39.550 in the all-around competition. As a senior two seasons later, she broke her own record with a new BYU mark of 39.700 — a record that still stands today.
During her junior season, Evanson was ranked among the top six in the nation in the all-around. She finished her senior season ranked seventh in the nation on balance beam and 11th in the all-around. Evanson qualified to compete in the NCAA finals three years in a row. At the NCAA Nationals in 2000, she garnered two National Association of College Gymnastics Coaches for Women All-America citations for finishing 17th in the all-around and 16th in the floor exercise. She also attained All-America honors on vault as a junior.
Evanson currently holds seven of the top 10 all-around scores in BYU history. She has 10 scores that rank in the top 10 all-time for bars, vault and all-around. She holds a bachelor’s degree from BYU in business finance.
“I appreciate my parents and coaches who pushed, encouraged and helped me reach my goals and fulfill my dreams,” said Evanson during her induction speech. “I had other options where I could have gone to college to compete in gymnastics. I'm so grateful I chose to attend BYU. I have never regretted that decision."
Dmitri Malinovski took the long route to get to BYU. After being baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Moscow, Russia, and leaving for the United States not expecting to become the first Russian swimmer on a U.S. collegiate team, the former Cougar All-American is the ultimate example of hard work and dedication.
Malinovski was a member of the Russian Junior National Swim Team and was selected to train with top Russian Olympic athletes. Shortly after coming to the United States, Malinovski received a scholarship to swim at the University of Alaska Anchorage. He was outstanding in the pool, earning two All-America citations as a freshman and setting new school records in the 100-meter and 200-meter breaststroke.
After a stellar freshman season, and a lot of time improving his English, Malinovski transferred to BYU for the 1996-97 season where his hard work continued to pay off. His junior season saw him win the team’s Most Improved Swimmer award while placing second in the 100 and 200 breast at the WAC championships. At the 1998 NCAA Championships, he finished 10th in the 100 and 11th in the 200 and earned two more All-America honors.
During his senior year in 1999, Malinovski was at his best, setting a new BYU record in the 100 breast (53.15) — a record that still stands today. He would go on to place seventh at the NCAA championships and earn first-team All-America honors while garnering another All-America award in the 200 breaststroke. He received BYU’s Most Valuable Swimmer award, along with the Ed Stein Award, which is presented annually to the outstanding senior athlete at BYU who displayed great desire, performance and scholarship.
Malinovski graduated from BYU in 2000 with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting and business administration, respectively. He started his business career with Deloitte in Washington, D.C., advanced it at PWC and has gone on to work for the Chicago Advisory Group as a principal consultant. Malinovski believes in constant learning and now continues his education at Harvard Business School.
“I am very honored to be inducted into the BYU Hall of Fame,” said Malinovski during his induction speech. “It's a real honor. We are a big BYU family, and I am very humbled to be a part of that. I would like to think my parents and coach Powers for their support and for helping make all this possible."
Jim McMahon arrived at BYU in fall 1977 and finished his career in 1981 with an astonishing 70 NCAA football records. In his final two seasons as a Cougar, McMahon threw for 8,126 yards and 77 touchdowns. He led the nation in numerous offensive categories both years, including passing yards, total offense and touchdown passes. He was first-team All-America as a junior in 1980, and was a consensus choice as a senior in 1981.
At the conclusion of his senior season, McMahon won the inaugural Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award and the Sammy Baugh Trophy. He was named NCAA Co-Offensive Player of the Year along with Marcus Allen of USC and finished third in the voting for the Heisman Trophy. From 1977-81 he was part of five consecutive WAC championship teams (redshirted in 1979) and was a three-time All-WAC First Team quarterback in 1978, 1980 and 1981.
McMahon will forever be known as the quarterback who led the Cougars to 21 points in the last 2:33 minutes of the 1980 Holiday Bowl to defeat SMU 46-45 and give BYU its first bowl victory. McMahon was named Offensive MVP of the 1980 and 1981 Holiday Bowls.
Following a historic career at BYU, McMahon was the fifth player selected in the first round of the 1982 NFL Draft — the highest Cougar ever taken. McMahon was drafted by the Bears and played seven seasons in Chicago, leading them to the Super Bowl title in 1986. He played 16 seasons in the NFL for seven teams and won two Super Bowl rings. McMahon was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1998.
McMahon has also been very active in civic service with the Jim McMahon Foundation, Children’s Miracle Network, Jim McMahon Ronald McDonald House Golf Tournament, Juvenile Diabetes Fund, American Cancer Society, Society for the Prevention of Blindness, Think First Foundation for Children and BYU Y-Quarterback Weekend. In 2006, McMahon traveled to Iraq with the USO Supporting Freedom program to visit American forces in the field.
“Thanks so much for having me back and for inducting me into the BYU Hall of Fame,” said McMahon during his induction speech. “I had a wonderful time playing football at BYU. I played with some great players and had some outstanding coaches. We won a lot of ballgames. I want to thank my family and those behind the scenes who got me to where I am today. I'm happy I graduated. I especially want to thank my mom and dad."
Tara Rohatinsky Northcutt enjoyed one of the most decorated running careers in BYU history while competing for the Cougar cross country and track teams from 1997-2002.
As a member of the cross country team, Northcutt helped lead BYU to national titles at the NCAA Championships in 1999 and 2001 and a second-place finish in 2000. She was a first-team All-American in each of those seasons with a 17th-place finish in 1999, an 18th-place finish in 2000 and a ninth-place finish in 2001. Before her breakout success at BYU, Northcutt was the third American finisher in the 1998 Junior World Cross Country Championships in Morocco.
In addition to her achievements in cross country, Northcutt enjoyed a successful career as a distance runner on the track as well. She claimed four top-10 finishes at the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships and received four All-America citations. Northcutt’s defining moment on the track came in 2000, when she claimed the individual national title in the 10,000 meters at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, one year after finishing second in the same event.
Northcutt’s accomplishments were not limited to the track. She was a Cougar Club Scholar-Athlete in 1997 and earned back-to-back Academic All-America honors in 1998 and 1999. After graduating from BYU with a bachelor’s degree in health education, Northcutt moved to San Diego and coached distance runners at Scripps Ranch High School for three seasons.
“Growing up in Provo I looked up to the great athletes here at BYU and wanted to be like them someday,” said Northcutt during her induction speech. “I want to thank my teammates who were not only my best friends, but also my fiercest competitors. I want to thank my parents for their love and support. I also want to thank coach Shane for his influence in my life. He coached us in running and he coached us in life."
Aleisha Cramer Rose was a soccer phenom long before arriving in Provo. She was the third youngest player to ever suit up for the U.S. National Team at the age of 16 and was named National High School Player of the Year in 1999 before starting her BYU career in 2000.
In her four years at BYU (2000-03), Rose never scored fewer than six goals and never had fewer than nine assists in a single season. She was a four-time All-American, including three first-team awards and was named the 2000 ESPN/Soccer Times National Freshman of the Year. As a sophomore in 2001, she was named the Chevy Young Female Athlete of the Year by the U.S. Soccer Federation. Rose led BYU to four straight MWC titles, four trips to the NCAA tournament and was a two-time candidate for soccer's highest national honor, the Hermann Trophy.
As a senior, Rose set the BYU career assist record and the single-game assist record on the same September night against Southern Utah. Her four assists against the Thunderbirds pushed her past Michelle Jensen Peterson to No. 1 on the career list. Neither record has been seriously threatened in the decade since she graduated. The team went on to reach the NCAA Elite Eight for the first time in program history, beating Colorado, Idaho State and Villanova before finally losing to Connecticut on the road. Rose is still the BYU career leader in NCAA tournament assists.
Her playing career ended after her senior season as she had previously decided to give up playing on the U.S. Women's National Team for personal reasons. She earned 16 caps for the senior national team in her career.
Rose began her coaching career the season after she graduated and she can still be found on the sidelines as an assistant to BYU head coach Jennifer Rockwood. Rose graduated in April 2005 with a degree in marriage, family and human development.
“I feel so honored to be here with all these wonderful athletes,” said Rose during her induction speech. “I feel so blessed and lucky to have attended such an amazing university like BYU. I'm thankful for my parents and coaches. I am so lucky to be associated with so many amazing people here at this university. Thank you for this honor."
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