Eight to be inducted into the Stanford Athletics Hall of Fame


The Stanford Athletics Hall of Fame will induct eight new members in October. The inductees will be NICOLE BARNHART, NOTAH BEGAY III, TOI COOK , LAURA GRANVILLE, A.J. HINCH, SKIP KENNEY, ANIKA LEERSSEN and HEATHER OLSON.

Following are a list of the inductees’ accomplishments on and off the field:

  • Barnhart ’04, women’s soccer: Barnhart won Olympic gold medals in Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012. A native of Gilbertsville, Pa., she graduated from Stanford with a double degree in studio art and psychology in 2004. She currently serves as a volunteer assistant coach on the Stanford women’s soccer team,
  • Begay, ’95, men’s golf: Leading his Stanford team to the 1994 national championship as a first team All-American, Begay finished his career with a stroke average of 72.6. A three-time All-American, in 1992, ’94 and ’95, Begay’s career low score of 62 came during the 1994 NCAA championships, finishing one stroke shy of the school record, held by teammate TIGER WOODS. Currently an analyst with NBC Sports and The Golf Channel, Begay graduated from Stanford with a degree in economics.
  • Cook ’86, baseball and football: A two-sport standout at Stanford, Cook was equally impressive in football and baseball. Drafted in the eighth round of the 1987 NFL Draft on concerns that he would choose baseball over football, Cook also was drafted in baseball, going in the 38th round to Minnesota. He played 11 seasons in the NFL from 1987-97, winning Super Bowl XXIX with the San Francisco 49ers. Cook currently is president of Empire Sports, a sports, entertainment and consulting company.
  • Granville ’03, women’s tennis:  During her two years at Stanford, Granville won an NCAA-record 58 consecutive singles matches, two NCAA singles titles, one NCAA team title and two ITA Collegiate Indoor singles titles, while compiling a singles win-loss record of 93-3.  During both seasons, the Chicago native was honored as the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Player of the Year. Granville left Stanford in 2001 after her sophomore year, and as a professional she twice reached the round of 16 at Wimbledon, as well as the third round of the U.S. Open, the French Open and the Australian Open.  After nine years on the tour, Granville returned to Stanford to earn her degree in history in June 2012.  She recently completed her second year as head women’s tennis coach at Princeton University.
  • Hinch ’96, baseball: Hinch was a player who rarely makes it to college, an early round draftee out of high school. One of the greatest catchers at Stanford, Hinch never gave up his Stanford dream. He was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the second round of the 1992 Major League Baseball Draft but did not sign, opting to attend Stanford. After a junior season that saw him earn the first of two Pac-10 Player of the Year honors, Hinch was drafted again, this time by Minnesota in the third round in 1995. He opted to remain at Stanford for his senior season, earning another Pac-10 Player of the Year honor, graduating with a degree in psychology and, again, being drafted in the third round, this time by Oakland.  Just two summers after being drafted and helping Team USA to a bronze medal at the Atlanta Summer Olympics, Hinch debuted with the Athletics in 1998 and remained with the team through the 2000 season. He played for Kansas City from 2000-02, Detroit in 2003 and Philadelphia in 2004 before retiring following the 2005 season.  Currently the vice president and assistant general manager for the San Diego Padres, Hinch is a former manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks, where he skippered the team from May 2009 to July 2010.
  • Kenney, men’s swimming coach: One of the most respected coaches in the world of swimming, Kenney led the Cardinal for 33 years before his retirement in 2012. Kenney’s impact on the sport went beyond the seven NCAA titles or 31-straight conference titles, the 1,086 All-America certificates, 134 All-America athletes or 72 NCAA champions. The three-time Olympic coach also produced 23 of his own Olympians, who won a combined 18 medals from 1984 through 2008.
  • Leerssen ’00, sailing: Sailing in her hometown of Newport, R.I., in 1999, Leerssen became the first Stanford athlete to win the Janet Lutz Trophy as the individual national champion in that sport. She won 15 of 16 races to capture the ICYRA Women’s Single-handed sailing championships, becoming the first athlete to win that many races at a national event. Leerssen was not a one-race wonder, however. The senior captain helped Stanford to two team national titles (1997 and 1999) and placed sixth individually in 1998. Leerssen, who later earned a law degree from Oregon, is currently an assistant attorney general for the Oregon Department of Justice in the Natural Resources Section.
  • Olson, synchronized swimming:  As both a student-athlete and coach, Olson has played a role in five of the seven Stanford collegiate national championships, as a student-athlete in 1998 and as a coach for four straight seasons from 2005-08. In 2008, under the guidance of Olson, Stanford became the first collegiate team to capture a U.S. National title. Olson graduated from Stanford in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in English and took over the head-coaching role in 2001, coaching the team from 2001-2012.

The inductees will be honored at a private reception and dinner on Oct. 11. The class also will be introduced at halftime during Stanford’s football game against Washington State Oct. 10.

Read the full announcement on the inductees on gostanford.com.

 — KURT SVOBODA, Stanford Athletics