Six distinguished student-athletes make up the 2021 University of Nebraska Athletic Hall of Fame class, announced on Wednesday, June 9.
The class includes Therese Alshammar (women’s swimming & diving, 1998-99), Jordan Burroughs (wrestling, 2007-11), Bob Cerv (baseball and men’s basketball, 1947-50), Kelsey Griffin (women’s basketball, 2006-10), Larry Jacobson (football, 1969-71) and Cathy Noth (volleyball, 1981-84). The six members of the class came to Nebraska from five states and one foreign country.
The 2021 Nebraska Athletic Hall of Fame class is an outstanding group who each accomplished historic “firsts” in their respective sports. The class will be permanently enshrined with a granite plaque with the names of the six members added to the University of Nebraska Athletic Hall of Fame Plaza.
This year’s Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place on Friday, Oct. 1, a day before Nebraska takes on Northwestern in the annual Homecoming Game at Memorial Stadium. In addition to the 2021 class, the 2020 class will also be inducted in October after last year’s induction ceremony was postponed due to the pandemic. The 2020 Nebraska Athletics Hall of Fame class included Amanda Burgoyne (bowling, 2004-07), Eric Crouch (football, 1997-2001), Sam Francis (football and track and field, 1935-37), Maurtice Ivy (women’s basketball, 1985-88), Jordan Larson (volleyball, 2005-08) and legendary volleyball head coach Terry Pettit.
The Nebraska Athletic Hall of Fame Plaza is located on a walkway, stretching from just outside of East Memorial Stadium and continuing to the historic NU Coliseum. The University of Nebraska Athletic Hall of Fame Plaza is accessible to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week at no charge and is lit for night viewing. The plaza recognizes each annual Hall of Fame class, along with columns dedicated to the history and successes of each of Nebraska’s athletic programs.
Class Full of History Makers at Nebraska and Beyond
The common theme among the six members of the 2021 Hall of Fame class is that each individual accomplished a historic “first” in his or her sport at Nebraska or made history at the international level.
Alshammar made her mark as the only woman to swim in six Olympic Games. Burroughs was Nebraska’s first two-time national champion wrestler. Cerv was Nebraska baseball’s first All-American and was the first Husker to play in Major League Baseball. Griffin was Nebraska’s first Senior CLASS Award winner who led the Husker women’s basketball team to the greatest season in program history. Jacobson was a member of Nebraska’s first two national championship football teams and was the first Husker to win a major award as the 1971 Outland Trophy Winner. Noth was the only volleyball player to be a three-time Big Eight Tournament MVP in conference history, and she was also the first of Nebraska’s nation-leading total of American Volleyball Coaches Association All-Americans.
Alshammar was a 13-time All-American at Nebraska who went on to a historic international career. She helped Nebraska to the 1998 Big 12 title and then tied the school record by earning seven All-America awards at the NCAA Championships. Alshammar then went on to make Olympic history. A three-time Olympic medalist, Alshammar is the only female to swim in six Olympic Games. She was also a 12-time world champion and the 2010 World Swimmer of the Year. Alshammar set world records in four different events in her career, and she is still the world record holder in the 50-meter butterfly short course.
Burroughs is the most decorated wrestler in Nebraska history and among the most accomplished international wrestlers ever. At Nebraska, he posted the only two undefeated seasons in program history, is the only Husker to be a two-time national champion and is the only Nebraska wrestler to win the Hodge Trophy as the nation’s most outstanding wrestler. Internationally, Burroughs set an American record for the longest winning streak on the senior level (69 matches), and he ranks second in the history of U.S. Wrestling with five combined Olympic and World Championship titles and eight combined medals.
Cerv served a three-year tour of duty with the U.S. Navy in World War II before beginning his Husker career. At Nebraska, he helped the Huskers win two conference titles in men’s basketball and two more in baseball. The first All-American in Nebraska baseball history, Cerv was also the first Husker to play in Major League Baseball, the first to be an MLB All-Star and the first to be a World Series champion.
In 1958, Cerv hit 38 home runs with the Kansas City A’s, a franchise record that stood until 2017.
Griffin elevated the Nebraska women’s basketball program during her outstanding career. As a senior during the 2009-10 season, Griffin helped the Huskers to the first perfect regular season in Big 12 history (29-0). Led by Griffin, Nebraska achieved its highest ranking in school history (3rd), was a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the program’s first Sweet 16. Griffin was the Big 12 Player of the Year, a first-team All-American and Nebraska’s first Senior CLASS Award winner in any sport.
Jacobson played a prominent role in establishing Nebraska football’s winning tradition as a member of the Huskers’ first two national championship teams in 1970 and 1971. Individually, Jacobson was the first Husker to win a major national award. He won the 1971 Outland Trophy, becoming the first of Nebraska’s nation-leading nine Outland Trophy winners.
Noth was a two-time All-American for the Husker volleyball program and was the first female Nebraska student-athlete to have her jersey retired. She earned first-team All-America honors from the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) in 1983, becoming the first of Nebraska’s nation-leading total of 47 players who have been AVCA All-Americans. The only player in conference history to be a three-time Big Eight Tournament MVP, Noth went on to serve as an assistant coach at Nebraska from 1988 to 1998, helping the Huskers to their first national championship in 1995.