2023 Texas A&M Athletics Hall of Fame Class Enshrined at 45th Burgess Banquet

Published: Sep. 16, 2023 at 12:39 AM CDT
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BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The Texas A&M Lettermen’s Association enshrined the 2023 Texas A&M Athletics Hall of Fame Class on Friday evening inside the Ford Hall of Champions.

The 2023 class consisted of Shea Groom ‘15 (Soccer), Jerrod Kappler ‘99 (Men’s Swimming & Diving), Ashley Knoll ‘07 (Women’s Golf), Deon Lendore ‘15 (Men’s Track & Field), Jake Matthews ‘13 (Football), Kristie Smedsrud-Dock ‘98 (Volleyball), Jeneba Tarmoh ‘12 (Women’s Track & Field) and Michael Wacha ‘13 (Baseball)

Additionally, Lynn Hickey and Erika Eriksson were honored as this year’s Hall of Honor and Lettermen’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipients, respectively. The Hall of Honor recognizes individuals who have gone above and beyond in contributions and support of the athletic programs at Texas A&M. The Lettermen’s Lifetime Achievement Award is given to lettermen, who after graduation, have gone on to gain prominence through his or her efforts in industry, commerce, technology, athletics, the professions or other worthy endeavors.

For more information on the Hall of Fame and the Lettermen’s Association, visit aggielettermen.org.

2023 Texas A&M Athletics Hall of Fame Class Bios

Shea Groom ‘15 – Soccer

The Liberty, Missouri, native is one of the most decorated players in the history of Texas A&M soccer as a two-time All-American and three-time All-SEC performer.

Groom enjoyed a glorious four-year career in Aggieland, playing in 85 matches, including 78 starts. She finished with 107 career points on 41 goals and 25 assists. The points and goals tallies both rank seventh on Texas A&M’s all-time list. During her tenure, the Aggies posted a 75-19-7 (.777) mark with the school’s first College Cup appearance and three Sweet 16 trips. Texas A&M also claimed the SEC Double in her last two seasons as the Maroon & White won the league’s regular-season and tournament titles in 2013 and 2014.

The speedy forward spearheaded the Aggies’ arsenal in their most successful season as a senior. Groom earned SEC Offensive Player of the Year in 2014 as Texas A&M posted a 22-3-2 record and advanced to the College Cup Semifinal match. She was branded NSCAA All-America First Team after receiving second team designation her junior season.

The 12th overall pick of the 2015 NWSL Draft, Groom is in her ninth season of professional soccer, including stints with FC Kansas City, Sky Blue FC, Reign FC and the Houston Dash. She has played in 155 NWSL matches, notching 86 points with 33 goals and 20 assists. Groom continued to win games and earn honors after leaving Aggieland. She won an NWSL championship with FC Kansas City in 2015 and led the Houston Dash to a NWSL Challenge Trophy title in 2020, claiming Challenge Cup Best XI, as well as being named NWSL Player of the Game and Budweiser Woman of the Match in the championship bout. Groom also earned a U.S. National Team callup and was named one of the Top 100 Female Footballers in the World by The Guardian in 2020.

Groom also shined in the classroom. In 2014, she became the third Aggie soccer player to earn Academic All-America honors and the first A&M player to ever receive first-team recognition. She garnered NSCAA Scholar-All-America First Team distinction as a junior and senior. Groom is the only player in school history to earn All-America First Team and Academic All-America First Team accolades in their career.

Jerrod Kappler ‘99 – Men’s Swimming & Diving

Kappler concluded his career in Aggieland as a 14-time All-American and five-time Big 12 Champion. He helped the Aggies to four consecutive top-three finishes in the Big 12 and four straight top-25 finishes at NCAA Championships as a team.

The Tarpon Springs, Florida, native claimed individual Big 12 titles in the 50 free and 100 free as a senior in 1999, while also helping the 200 free and 200 medley relay teams to first-place finishes. His school record time of 19.64 in the 50 free from 1998 Big 12 Championships stood as the top time in the event in program history for 10 years.

Kappler posted a top-eight time in the 50 free at 1997 NCAA Championships for his first individual All-America accolade and helped lead six Aggie relays to top-eight finishes throughout his four-year career.

Ashley Knoll ‘07 – Women’s Golf

Knoll was a three-time letter winner for the Aggies from 2005-07. During her time at A&M, she received All-America honors in 2006 and 2007. She is one of six Aggie golfers to have been named an All-American two-or-more times in their career. During the 2006 and 2007 seasons, she was named the Big 12 Golfer of the Year, the only golfer in program history to receive the honor twice.

The Houston native holds the school record for most tournament wins in a career with six, including the individual Big 12 Championship in 2006 when she shot a 1-under 215 en route to the title. Knoll’s first tournament championship came in 2005 at the Lady Tar Heel Invitational when she shot a then-school-record 10-under 206.

The hall of famer led A&M to two-consecutive Big 12 Championships and is still in the top-10 in the A&M record book in career par-or-better rounds (34), eagles (5) and birdies (259).

Deon Lendore ‘15 – Men’s Track & Field

Lendore competed for Texas A&M from 2012-2015. In 2014, he went undefeated through 14 races at 400m while claiming individual NCAA titles at the indoor and outdoor championships. Lendore also played a vital role in the 4x400m relays that claimed the NCAA outdoor title and swept the SEC Championships. During the outdoor season, Lendore broke a 45-year-old Aggie record by winning the SEC title at 44.36, it was also the fourth-fastest time in the world in 2014. Following his record-setting season, he was named Texas A&M’s first and only male winner of The Bowerman, which is awarded to the most outstanding collegiate track and field athlete. He was named Texas A&M’s Male Athlete of the Year in 2014 and 2015.

In total, Lendore finished his collegiate career a 12-time NCAA All-American, including four NCAA titles, and a 15-time conference champion.

A native of Trinidad and Tobago, Lendore competed in the 2012, 2016 and 2020 Olympic Games claiming the bronze medal as he anchored the 4x400m relay at the London 2012 Olympics.

Lendore accumulated five world medals, including a gold as a member of the 4x400m relay at the IAAF World Relays in 2019. He earned his first world championship medal as a member of the 4x400m relay in 2015 before earning bronze in the 400m and 4x400m 2016 world indoor championships and bronze at the 2018 world indoor championships.

Jake Matthews ‘13 – Football

A four-year starter on the offensive line for the Aggies from 2010-13, Matthews was a two-time first-team All-American and a finalist for the Outland Trophy as a senior. Finishing his career with 46-consecutive starts, Matthews earned the SEC’s coveted Jacobs Blocking Trophy in 2013, as well as All-America honors from the Associated Press, Walter Camp, The Sporting News and the American Football Coaches Association.

In 2013, Matthews helped clear the way for a powerful Aggie offense that was one of just three nationally that ranked in the top-10 in scoring, passing and total offense. Matthews also won the Bobby Bowden Award, presented to the nation’s top collegiate football player who epitomizes a student-athlete of faith and conducts himself as an exemplary model in the classroom, on the field, on the campus and in the community.

As a junior in 2012, Matthews paved the way for Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel, who became the first freshman to win the award. The 2012 Aggies were the first SEC team to surpass 7,000 yards of total offense in a season with 7,261 yards in 13 games of action. The Aggies broke school records for passing (316.5), scoring (44.5) and total offense (558.5) in the historic season.

For his career, Matthews helped the Aggies to a 36-16 overall record, including bowl victories in the 2011 Texas Bowl, 2013 Cotton Bowl and 2013 Chick-fil-A Bowl.

The son of Carrie and Bruce Matthews, Jake was the second of four children from the family to play at Texas A&M. The other three Aggie brothers included Kevin (2006-09), younger brother Mike (2012-15) and the youngest brother Luke (2019). Jake earned his undergraduate degree from the Mays College of Business at Texas A&M University.

Jake is beginning his 10th year in the NFL playing for the Atlanta Falcons and has the longest starting streak (145 games) of any NFL offensive lineman, following in the footsteps of his NFL Hall of Fame dad, Bruce. Mr. Matthews who was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility in 2007. At his retirement, Matthews had played in more NFL games (296) than any non-kicker in the league’s history to go along with 14-consecutive Pro Bowl selections and he was named All-Pro 10 times.

Kristie Smedsrud-Dock ‘98 – Volleyball

Smedsrud-Dock celebrated a four-year career in the Brazos Valley as one of the programs most prolific offensive weapons from 1994-97. The All-American was instrumental for the Aggies, making four-straight postseason appearances during her tenure, with a pair of East Regional Semifinal appearances. The outside hitter took the reins of the program on the offensive side, leading the program in both kills and kills per set in her final three seasons.

The San Diego, California, native propelled the Maroon & White to a 93-37 record during her four years of service. She also fills the A&M record book, ranking in the top-five all-time in kills (2nd – 1,777), attempts (4th – 4,181) and service aces (5th – 131) and a top-three all-time single season performer in both kills (3rd – 558) and kills per set (3rd – 4.94). At her point of graduation in 1998, she was the program leader in all-time kills and attempts, while also being the topping the standings in single-season kills per set and aces per set.

Smedsrud-Dock’s performances throughout her time in Aggieland garnered her a plethora of athletic honors, including a trio of AVCA First Team All-District selections (1995-97), a pair of All-Southwest and All-Big 12 and honors in 1994-95 and 1996-97, respectively. She was also named the Southwestern Conference Freshman of the Year in 1994 and was selected as the Texas A&M Female Athlete of the Year in her senior season.

Jeneba Tarmoh ‘12 – Women’s Track & Field

A native of San Jose, California, Jeneba Tarmoh finished her two-year Aggie career as a three-time NCAA National Champion and nine-time Big 12 Conference Champion. Tarmoh also finished her collegiate career with 10 First-Team All-America honors.

A speedster and relay specialist, Tarmoh earned her first NCAA title as a member of the outdoor 4x100m relay in 2010 before claiming titles in the indoor and outdoor 4x400m in 2011. Individually, she finished runner-up in the 200m at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in 2010 and 2011, as well as placing runner-up at the 200m NCAA Indoor Championships in 2010.

At the conference level, Tarmoh won individual titles in the 100m (2010, 2011), outdoor 200m (2010, 2011) and indoor 200m (2011). As a member of the relay groups, she claimed back-to-back crowns in the indoor 4x400m and outdoor 4x100m.

Tarmoh wrapped up her time at Texas A&M with school records in the indoor 4x400m (3:29.72) and outdoor 4x400m (3:26.31). She also recorded three other All-time top-12 marks, including the second-fastest outdoor 4x100m (42.49), second-fastest indoor 200m (22.88) and outdoor 200m (22.28), third-fastest indoor 60m (7.24) and fifth-fastest outdoor 100m (11.19.) The 4x100m relay time of 42.29 still stands as the second-fastest in program history.

Following her collegiate career, Tarmoh competed professionally and earned an Olympic gold as a member of the 4x100m at the 2012 London Olympics and in 2013 she won a world championship silver medal running on the 4x100m.

Michael Wacha ‘13 – Baseball

Wacha enjoyed a stellar three-year career in Aggieland as one of the most feared pitchers in the nation. The two-time All-American pitcher was the ace of the Texas A&M staff during a run that included a College World Series appearance in 2011. He helped Ol’ Sarge’s charges win back-to-back Big 12 Tournament titles in 2010 and ‘11 as well as the league regular-season crown in 2011.

The Texarkana, Texas, product crafted a career record of 27-7 with a 2.40 ERA and 336 strikeouts in 348.2 innings. Wacha’s other stellar numbers included a 1.06 WHIP, 4.67 strikeout-to-walk ratio, four complete games and two shutouts. His career tallies for innings pitched (3rd), strikeouts (4th), wins (6th) and ERA (9th) rank in the top 10 in Texas A&M annals. The 27 wins and 336 strikeouts both rank ninth in the Big 12 career lists.

Wacha won nine games in each of his three seasons in Aggieland, culminating in a junior campaign in which he posted a 9-1 mark with a 2.06 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 5.80 strikeout-to-walk ratio and 116 strikeouts in 113.1 innings. He fired two complete-game shutouts en route to earning All-America Second Team honors from Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball, as well as third-team recognition from the NCBWA. Wacha also picked up his third All-Big 12 award for the efforts.

During the Aggies’ 2011 CWS run, Wacha was 9-4 with a 2.29 ERA and 123 strikeouts in 129.2 innings, to earn Baseball America Third Team, All-Big 12 Second Team and Big 12 All-Tournament Team honors. He was an All-Big 12 Honorable Mention as a freshman in 2010, following a 9-2 campaign.

Wacha was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the first round (19th overall) of the 2012 MLB Draft and made his Major League debut the following year. His rookie campaign was capped off by earning National League Championship Series MVP recognition. The 11-year veteran has crafted an 82-52 record with 1,094 strikeouts during his stints with the Cardinals, New York Mets, Tampa Bay Rays, Boston Red Sox and San Diego Padres. He posted a 17-7 record with a 3.38 ERA during a 2015 season which landed him a spot in the 2015 MLB All-Star Game. His most recent honor was being named National League Pitcher of the Month in May 2023.

Lynn Hickey – Hall of Honor

Hickey served Texas A&M for 15 years (1984-99) as both the head coach for the women’s basketball team and the senior women’s administrator and senior associate athletics director. She was hired in 1984 by former athletics director and Heisman Trophy winner John David Crow.

As the leader of the Aggie women’s basketball program from 1984-1994, Hickey amassed over 150 wins and coached Texas A&M hall of famers Lisa Branch and Dr. Lisa Langston. In her final season as head coach, before transitioning to a full-time administrator, she led A&M to a 23-8 record and its first ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament. During the 1994 NCAA tourney, Hickey and the Aggies became the lowest seed to ever reach the Sweet 16, defeating Florida and San Diego State as the No. 13 seed. The Maroon & White to this day still shares that distinction with Liberty (2005) and Marist (2007) as the lowest seed to advance to the third round at NCAAs.

As an administrator, Hickey was a trailblazer at Texas A&M for women’s athletics. She oversaw all women’s sports programs and played a pivotal role in the transition of Aggie soccer becoming an NCAA DI sport in 1993. She was instrumental with the construction of the softball team’s own stadium 1994 and spearheaded the school’s name change from Lady Aggies to Aggies for all women’s sports.

Hickey’s influence can still be seen at A&M events to this day, as she helped initiate the formation of the Aggie Dance Team and Hullabaloo Band. Additionally, she brought equestrian and archery to Aggieland, ensuring new and diverse opportunities for future student-athletes at A&M.

Hickey has gone on to an impressive career as an athletics director, leading the UTSA athletics department from 1999-2017 and most recently as the director of athletics at Eastern Washington (2018-23). At UTSA, Hickey was the only female Division I athletics director that oversaw both men’s and women’s sports in the state of Texas and initiated the formation of women’s golf, women’s soccer and football.

In 2007, Hickey was named to the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee, one of the most prestigious appointments in all of collegiate athletics. The 10-member committee oversees administration of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, including the selection and seeding of teams for the tournament. Hickey, whose five-year term expired in 2012, became just the second female ever selected to the committee, joining Charlotte Athletics Director Judy Rose, who served from 1999-2003.

Hickey has been honored nationally and locally for her work in collegiate athletics. She was named the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators 2005 Division I-AAA Administrator of the Year. Hickey earned her second national award in June 2006 as the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics/GeneralSports TURF Systems Division I-AAA West Region AD of the Year. The San Antonio Express-News tabbed her as its 2010 Sportswoman of the Year and she also was selected to and completed the Masters Leadership Program of San Antonio and Bexar County. In September 2011, she received the ATHENA Leadership from the North San Antonio Chamber of Commerce. In 2020, she was inducted into the San Antonio Sports Hall of Fame.

Erika Eriksson ‘89 – Lettermen’s Lifetime Achievement Award

Eriksson was a four-year letterwinner (1987-90) for the Texas A&M softball program and was a member of the 1987 NCAA Championship team that went 56-8 en route to the title. The La Marque, Texas, native was also a two-time team captain for the Aggies during her time as a student-athlete. The Aggie earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Texas A&M in 1989 and 1991, respectively. Since becoming a Former Student, she has been a leader and innovator with the Lettermen’s Association, having served in various roles for the organization of the past 25+ years. In 1996, Eriksson was appointed to serve on the Board of Directors, which she still holds to this day. Additionally, she has acted as Secretary/Treasurer (2007), Vice President (2008), President-Elect (2009) and President (2010). In 2010, Eriksson founded the Aggie Legends Golf Classic (ALGC), alongside Robert Wilson ‘92, and remains director of the tournament. The ALGC raised over $80,000 from 2010-15 to help fund the Jackie Sherrill Lettermen’s Club construction in Kyle Field. It has also established an endowment for a Foundation Excellence Award (FEA) through the Texas A&M Foundation. FEA scholarships support outstanding undergraduates from historically disadvantaged groups often underrepresented in Texas A&M’s student body, including minorities and those who face significant economic hurdles.Additionally, the ALGC also established with the Association of Former Students the Aggie Legends Golf Classic Endowed Aggie Ring Scholarship that helps provide financial assistance to students who are seeking to purchase their Aggie Ring. Another organization the ALGC has impacted is Aggie ACHIEVE which is a comprehensive transition program for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities who have exited high school. Aggie ACHIEVE provides an inclusive and immersive college education and equips students for employment in the community. Eriksson has been deeply involved with the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo and has been a lifetime member of the organization since 1992. As a former Livestock Show & Rodeo Scholarship recipient, she has given back by serving in various capacities such as scholarship judge, Corral Club Assistant Division Chairman, Chairman of the Hideout Club and has been involved with the International Committee. The La Marque High School alumna has played a pivotal role in the organization of her senior class’s 10-, 20- and 25-year reunions. Additionally, since 2010, she has been the Red Suit Captain of the Krewe of Gambrinus and Knights of Momus, helping coordinate the annual Galveston Mardi Gras Parades. Eriksson lives in Tomball, Texas, where she has enjoyed a long and successful career in the well control/oil and gas industry. She has worked for Cudd Well Control as a Well Control Risk Assessor since 2021.

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