MEMPHIS, TN – The University of Memphis M Club, the university’s official honoree organization, welcomed six Tigers to the Hall of Fame on Saturday, February 26 at its annual induction ceremony, presented by First Horizon. The class will also be recognized at halftime of the men’s basketball game against Wichita State on Sunday, Feb. 27 at FedExForum.
The 2020-21 promotion included football players Artis Hicks (1998-01) and Tony Williams (1993-96), baseball Collins Day (1993-96) and Jacob Wilson (2009-12), softball Heather Mott (2007-11) and women’s football Soldla Strnadova (2007-10).
The M Club also honored five special award winners. Mike and Marian Bruns received the Golden Tiger Award from Dr. Cecil C. Humphreys, while Gary Farr received the Billy J. Murphy Award. Sally Andrews received the Ralph Hatley Silver M Award and Louis J. Strasberg received the Murray Armstrong Award.
Soccer | 1998-01
A native of Jackson, Tennessee, who came to the Tigers in the fall of 1998, Hicks started 43 of 44 games on the offensive line he played during his career, including 2,717 Tigers 2,979 offensive hits on the total over its four seasons. . He was named to The Sporting News All-America Freshman Team and Conference USA All-Freshman Team in 1998. Hicks was also named First-Team All-Conference USA in 2001 and was selected to play in the East-West Shrine game. Following his Memphis career, Hicks was selected in the 2002 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles in the fifth round and played 11 NFL seasons for the Eagles, Vikings, Redskins, Browns and Dolphins. Hicks also appeared in the 2005 Super Bowl with the Eagles.
Soccer | 1993-96
After an outstanding prep career at Germantown High School, Williams came to Memphis and spent four years on the Tigers defensive line. For his career, he recorded 178 solo tackles, 237 total tackles, 35 tackles for loss and 11 sacks. In Memphis’ 1996 win over Tennessee, Williams had 13 tackles, 10 solo and a school-record six tackles for loss. Williams ranks second on the program’s single-season tackles list with 20 in 1996 and sixth on the TFL’s career list with 35. Among his career accolades, he was named Memphis’ Outstanding Athlete of the Year Vanguard Club (1996), All-Conference USA (1995, 1996), All National Independent (1995), Highland Hundred MVP (1996), and Tiger Defensive Player of the Year (1996). After his career at Memphis, Williams was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the fifth round of the 1997 NFL Draft. He would play 10 years in the NFL with the Vikings, Cincinnati Bengals and Jacksonville Jaguars.
Baseball | 1993-96
Day joined the Memphis Tigers in 1993 and was a starter for four years in the Memphis rotation. After three starts as a freshman, Day went 12-0 with a 2.38 ERA and 68 strikeouts as a sophomore. In 252 career innings pitched, Day went 24-9 with a 3.82 ERA and 214 strikeouts. At the plate, Day hit .262 during his career and added 19 home runs and 91 RBIs. Day was named to the 1994 All-Great Midwest Conference Team as well as the 1994 and 1995 GMC All-Tournament Teams.
Baseball | 2009-12
Wilson, a graduate of local Bartlett High School, was a four-year letter winner and starting third baseman for the Tigers. Wilson appeared in 222 of the Tigers’ 227 games during his career, which took off in his second season when he hit .341 with 41 RBIs. Wilson followed that with 17 homers as a senior, tied for fourth in Tigers history. He finished his Memphis career with a .301 batting average and ranks in the top five in seven different offensive categories, which include runs scored (170), hits (257), doubles (64) and circuits (31). Wilson was named 2012 College Baseball All-American, was named First-Team All-Conference USA in 2012, and was the 2012 Conference USA Player of the Year. The St. Louis Cardinals drafted Wilson in the 10and round of the 2012 MLB Draft. Wilson spent eight seasons in the minor leagues and reached AAA before making his professional debut for the Korea Baseball Organization in 2019. Wilson made his Major League debut on July 10, 2021 for the Oakland Athletics.
Softball | 2007-11
Mott, a native of Pensacola, Fla., was an All-Conference USA first-team selection for the Tigers in his final season with Memphis after hitting .353 and had a stolen on-base percentage of .993. Mott’s .502 batting percentage for her career ranks third in school history, while she is also ranked in the top 10 in career games started (168), at bats (496) , in runs scored (97) and in total hits (135). Mott has 25 homers in his Tiger career, which is tied for second among all Memphis players, and his 86 RBI is third all-time. During her time with the Tigers, she was also named to the Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-Region Second Team as well as the C-USA Spirit of Service Award and All-Academic Team in 2011.
Women’s football | 2007-10
Strnadova, a native of Las Cruces, New Mexico, who signed with the women’s soccer program in 2007, became an immediate starter as a midfielder and earned Soccer Buzz magazine Freshman All-America honors at the her first season in addition to being selected to the NSCAA. Second team all regions. Strnadova was the first team NSCAA All-Region in 2008, 2009 and 2010 and was honored CoSIDA Academic All-America in 2009 and 2010. She was ESPN Academic All-American in 2010 and was the first female student-athlete to be a two-time Academic All-American. In addition to his national recognition, Strnadova was a four-time All-American Conference draft pick, was a two-time American Conference Midfielder of the Year, holds the Tiger record for most career games played with 88 and is ranked second in shooting in a season at age 68 in the 2009 season. Strnadova led her Tiger teams to four consecutive C-USA championships and was named Conference USA Rookie of the Year in 2007, Offensive Player of the Year in 2008 and was Conference USA Midfielder of the Year in 2008 and 2010. During his career, Strnadova helped Memphis set a four-year record of 63-20 -6 and four consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament.
Mike and Marianne Bruns
Dr. Cecil C. Humphreys Gold Tiger Award
Presented to individuals for their financial support of Memphis Athletics.
Married for 49 years with two children and five grandchildren, Mike and Marian Bruns have been outstanding Memphis Athletics supporters over the years. Mike, who received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Memphis, is a member of the university’s board of trustees, as well as other local and national organizations. Besides being philanthropic supporters of Memphis Athletics, the Bruns family also supports a number of organizations with their generosity.
Billy J. Murphy Award
Presented to a former student-athlete who has excelled in his profession since leaving the University of Memphis.
After a stellar career at Taylorville High School, where he was later inducted into the Taylorville High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2014, Farr came to Memphis on a football scholarship, playing on Tiger teams from 1971 to 1975. After graduating, he spent over 40 years in the Houston, Texas area specializing in the oil and gas industry with Compressor Dynamics, Weatherford International Compression, Exterran Compression, Mustang Caterpillar, and finally, Cummins Engine Company (new engine development) before retiring in 2020. For his outstanding work, Farr has won numerous awards, including presidents at GPSA Midstream and the Gas Compressor Association. Farr continued his relationship with Memphis football over the years, helping out on the radio broadcast booth, as a member of the M Club, and an active participant in the Football Players’ Reunion.
Ralph Hatley Silver M Award
Presented to a dedicated supporter who has given many years of outstanding service to Memphis Athletics.
Andrews served the University of Memphis for more than 20 years, serving as head coach, assistant coach and director of operations for the women’s golf program, as well as time in the department’s administration and compliance office. During his tenure as head coach, Andrews guided the Lady Tigers to 31 top-10 finishes and 12 top-five finishes, including four consecutive top-five finishes in the Metro Conference Championships. From 1988 to 1991, Andrews’ teams did not finish below third place (1988-90, third place; 1991, second place). She also led the Lady Tigers to the program’s first tournament title when they won the UAB Lady Blazer Invitational in the fall of 1988. Two of Andrews’ golfers – Leslie Folsom in 1989 and Gia Kronske in 1990 and 1991 – won All-Metro Conference Honors. As an assistant from 1983 to 1986, Andrews helped the Lady Tigers to 14 top-10 finishes, including a fifth-place finish at the 1986 Metro Conference Championships.
Louis J. Strasberg
Presented to a Tiger coach, administrator or employee for distinguished service to Memphis Athletics.
After coming to Memphis State as the team manager of the basketball team in 1963, Lou graduated from the University of Memphis in 1968. He officially started his career in Memphis in 1970 and held several positions in the procurement and annual fund office, but was most often known to the teams as the travel coordinator, never missing a deadline to get the Tigers where they needed to be. He remained in Memphis through several college presidents, athletic directors, facility improvements, and coaches, totaling over half a century in college.
How to follow the Tigers: For complete information on Memphis Tigers Athletics, visit www.GoTigersGo.com and follow the department’s social media channels at TwitterInstagram and Facebook.