UCLA Athletics Announces 2017 Hall of Fame Class
The members of the Class of 2017 are: Toby Bailey (men's basketball), Robin Beauregard (women's water polo), Monique Henderson (track & field), Maurice Jones-Drew (football), Bob Larsen (track & field/cross country coach), Kristen Maloney (gymnastics), Brandon Taliaferro (men's volleyball),and Gina Vecchione (softball). Additionally, Bobby Field will be inducted for his extraordinary service to the athletic department.
The Hall of Fame class includes seven Bruins who have totaled 17 national championships between them as either a player or coach (Bailey, Beauregard, Henderson, Larsen, Maloney, Taliaferro and Vecchione); three Olympians who combined for five medals (Beauregard, Henderson, Maloney); and a three-time Pro-Bowler (Jones-Drew).
Following are biographies on the 2017 UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame inductees:
Toby Bailey (Men's Basketball, 1995-98)
As a freshman in 1995, Toby Bailey led UCLA to its 11th NCAA Men's Basketball Championship with a 26-point, nine-rebound performance in the title game. A four-year letterman, he finished his career as the No. 5 all-time scorer at UCLA with 1,846 points, averaging 14.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists in 129 career games. He ranks ninth at UCLA with 458 career assists and eighth with 171 three-point field goals made. Bailey earned first-team All-Pac-10 honors from 1996-98 and was UCLA's Co-MVP in 1996 and 1998. He was a second-round draft pick by the Los Angeles Lakers and played for two seasons with the Phoenix Suns before completing his career in Europe.
Robin Beauregard (Women's Water Polo, 1998-03)
Robin Beauregard won three national championships as a Bruin, in 1998 as a true freshman, in 2001 after redshirting two seasons to train for the Olympics, and again as a senior in 2003. A four-time All-American, Beauregard was a two-time nominee for the Peter J. Cutino Award, honoring the top collegiate player, and in 2003, she was named the Most Outstanding Player at the 2003 NCAA Championship. She competed for Team USA at the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games, winning silver in 2000 and bronze in 2004, and she also captured gold at the 2003 World Championships. Beauregard was inducted into the USA Water Polo Hall of Fame in 2011.
Monique Henderson (Women's Track & Field, 2002-05)
Monique Henderson had a storied career at UCLA, winning three NCAA titles (2004 outdoor team and 400m, 2002 indoor DMR), seven Pac-12 titles and 10 All-America awards, not to mention an Olympic gold medal in the 4x400m relay following her junior season. Henderson went on to capture Olympic gold again in 2008. In 2004, she scored 11.25 of UCLA's 69 points to help the Bruins capture the NCAA Outdoor Championship. Still UCLA's record-holder in five events (400m outdoor, 4x400m relay indoor and outdoor, 200m indoor, DMR), Henderson is also the Pac-12 record-holder in the 400m, clocking in a time of 49.96 in 2005. She was the Pac-12 Track Athlete of the Year in 2005 and the Newcomer of the Year in 2002 and was recently named to the Pac-12 All-Century Team.
Maurice Jones-Drew (Football, 2003-05)
Running back Maurice Jones-Drew electrified Bruin fans with record-breaking performances on the gridiron. By the end of his playing career at UCLA, he had set school records in career and single-season all-purpose yards, touchdowns in a game, single-game rushing yards, and single-season punt returns for touchdowns. He also set a NCAA record that still stands with a punt return average of 28.5 yards in 2005 and went on to earn first-team All-America honors as an all-purpose back/kick returner. Jones-Drew was selected in the second round of the 2006 NFL Draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars and was a three-time Pro Bowler and three-time 1,000-yard rusher (2009-11), leading the league in rushing in 2011 with 1,606 yards. After retiring from the NFL in 2015, he became an analyst with the NFL Network and is currently on the radio broadcast team for the L.A. Rams.
Bob Larsen (Men's Track & Field Coach, 1985-99/Men's and Women's Cross Country Coach, 1980-99)
Distance guru Bob Larsen led the UCLA men's track and field teams to two NCAA Championships, nine Pac-12 titles and four national dual meet titles during his nearly 20 years as head coach. He had an incredible dual meet record of 118-3-1 that included an unbeaten 15-year dual mark versus rival USC. In cross country, he led UCLA to two conference crowns and six NCAA appearances. The four-time NCAA Coach of the Year guided 13 athletes to a total of 25 national championships. Larsen was inducted into the National Track & Field Hall of Fame in 2013, and in 2014, he coached his star runner Meb Keflezighi, also a UCLA Athletics Hall of Famer, to the Boston Marathon Championship.
Kristen Maloney, Women's Gymnastics (2001-05)
Kristen Maloney's legacy with UCLA Gymnastics can be summed up in the team award that was named after her – the Kristen Maloney Heart of a Champion Award. The 2000 Olympic bronze medalist fought through multiple surgeries and a nearly career-ending bone infection to become a five-time NCAA champion and nine-time All-American. Maloney helped lead UCLA to the 2001 NCAA title as a freshman but was forced to sit out both the 2002 and 2003 seasons due to complications from the surgeries. She returned in 2004 to help the Bruins win another NCAA team title in record-breaking fashion, and in 2005 she was the Honda Award winner, as well as the National, West Region and Pac-12 Gymnast of the Year. She won three events and the all-around at the 2005 Pac-12 Championships and finished her career by winning the vault and beam titles at the NCAA Championships.
Brandon Taliaferro, Men's Volleyball (1997-2000)
One of the best setters in collegiate volleyball history, Brandon Taliaferro led UCLA to NCAA Championships in 1998 and 2000 and finished his career as the Bruins' all-time leader in set assists with 6,840. Taliaferro also owns school records for single-season (1,848 in 1998) and single-match (110 in 1998) set assists and ranks No. 3 in career aces (176), No. 3 in career digs (831) and No. 10 in total blocks (396). He began his Bruin career by winning MPSF Freshman of the Year honors in 1997 and finished it as a three-time first-team All-American and All-MPSF honoree and the 2000 NCAA Championship Most Outstanding Player. Taliaferro went on to play for the U.S. National Team from 2000-03 and 2006-08 and was recently named to the Pac-12 Men's Volleyball All-Century Team.
Gina Vecchione, Softball (1980-82)
A member of UCLA's first NCAA Softball Championship team, Gina Vecchione excelled at UCLA as a player and assistant coach. During her playing career, she earned All-Pacific Region honors three times and was a second-team All-American in 1982, as well as a member of the 1982 All-Women's College World Series team. Vecchione, who had her #2 jersey retired in 2007, led UCLA in doubles and tied for the team lead in triples and RBI in 1981. She was later named to the Pac-12 All-Century Team. Vecchione went on to play 12 years professionally with the Raybestos Brakettes, winning eight ASA titles and three World titles. She was a seven-time ASA All-American and became the first UCLA player ever to be inducted into the ASA Hall of Fame in 1997. Vecchione coached at UCLA from 2000-12, helping guide the Bruins to three additional NCAA titles (2003, 2004, 2010). She is currently an associate head coach at Cal Poly.
Bobby Field, Extraordinary Service (Football Coach, 1978-79, 1981-2000; Administrator, 2001-13)
Bobby Field spent 35 years impacting UCLA student-athlete lives as either a coach or administrator. He coached football for 22 years from 1978-79 and 1981-2000, serving as defensive coordinator for 16 years and assistant head coach for five years. He helped coach UCLA to seven conference championships (the most all-time for a UCLA coach) and five Rose Bowl appearances. He was also part of an NCAA-record eight consecutive bowl wins, which included three Rose Bowls, a Fiesta Bowl and a Cotton Bowl. During his tenure, UCLA played in 15 bowl games and posted a winning record against every conference opponent, including a 12-9-1 mark against USC. He moved into an administrative role in 2001 and served as the sport supervisor for football, rowing, track and field and golf, in addition to overseeing housing, parking, training table and video services for all sports. In 2001, he instituted the UCLA Coaches Development program, which continues to provide professional growth opportunities for UCLA coaches. He also oversaw the transition of women's rowing from a club sport to a varsity sport, giving a large number of women the opportunity for athletics scholarship and to compete in a NCAA sport at the highest level. Field and his wife Valorie Kondos Field (2010 inductee) become the first-ever married couple to be inducted into UCLA's Athletics Hall of Fame.