Michigan Athletics Announces 2020 Hall of Honor Class
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The University of Michigan athletic department announced its six-member 2020 Hall of Honor class on Thursday, May 21 with Sarah Cain (women’s gymnastics), Kelli Gannon (field hockey), Ty Law (football), Jim Paciorek (baseball), Tripp Welborne (football) and Lexi Zimmerman (volleyball) set to join the prestigious Hall.
The induction ceremony will take place at a date to be determined. Criteria for consideration included being a NCAA champion or member of a national championship team, an All-American, Olympic medalist, Olympic team member, professional league champion or world championship team medalist/member, NCAA or conference player of the year, conference champion, record holder or all-conference award winner.
Cain (1997-2000) becomes the fourth women’s gymnast to be selected for the Hall of Honor. She was a 12-time All-American with eight first-team honors, a six-time Big Ten Conference champion and seven-time NCAA Regional champion. She was the 2000 Michigan Female Athlete of the Year as well as the Big Ten Gymnast of the Year in 1997 and 2000 and Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 1997. She recorded 11 perfect 10.0 routines in her career and is tied for the record all-around score in program history with a 39.825.
A native of Grand Island, Nebraska, Cain helped lead Michigan to three Big Ten championships and three NCAA Regional titles during her tenure. She was a member of three teams that reached the NCAA Super Six, including the 1999 team that finished as the NCAA runner-up to tie for the best finish in program history.
A two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, Cain graduated in 2000 with a degree in organizational studies and was a volunteer assistant coach for the Wolverines for the 2014 season.
Gannon (1997-2000) is the second field hockey student-athlete to enter the Hall of Honor. She was Michigan field hockey’s first three-time All-American, earning first-team honors as a midfielder during her junior and senior seasons, and played a major contributing role in the Wolverines’ rise to national prominence. Over Gannon’s tenure, U-M captured two Big Ten regular-season titles, a pair of Big Ten Tournament titles and back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances, including a national runner-up finish in 1999 — all firsts in program history.
A 2000 Honda Broderick Award finalist and the 2001 Michigan Female Athlete of the Year, Gannon bracketed her career with prestigious conference honors, earning the 1997 Big Ten Freshman of the Year award before claiming the Big Ten’s Offensive Player of the Year award in 2000. She was also a two-time All-Big Ten first team selection and was named the 1999 Big Ten Tournament MVP after leading U-M to the program’s first tournament crown. She was the team’s leading scorer in each of her final three seasons, accumulating 49 goals, 28 assists and 126 points for her career.
After graduation, Gannon played four years with the U.S. Women’s National Team, earning 60 international caps and 12 goals. Her younger sister, Kristi, joined her in Ann Arbor in 2000 and herself was a Big Ten Athlete of the Year and two-time All-American.
Law (1992-94) led Michigan’s secondary in the early 1990s, recording 161 tackles, 19 pass breakups, eight interceptions and one forced fumble in 30 career starts over three seasons. Law posted a career-best 10 tackles on three occasions and set his career high with three pass breakups against Illinois in 1994. His six interceptions during the 1993 season list tied for seventh in school history, while his 19 career pass breakups rank 16th. Law was a two-time All-Big Ten first team selection (1993-94) and earned first team All-America honors in 1994. The Wolverines posted a 25-8-3 record during his time in Ann Arbor, including the 1992 Big Ten championship and three post season bowl games with victories in the Rose, Hall of Fame and Holiday bowls.
A native of Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, Law entered the 1995 NFL Draft after his junior year and was a first-round draft pick of the New England Patriots (23rd overall pick). He played 15 seasons in the NFL, winning three Vince Lombardi Trophies in four Super Bowl appearances as a member of the Patriots. Law played 10 seasons for the Patriots (1995-2004) and finished his illustrious career with stints with the New York Jets (2005, 2008), Kansas City Chiefs (2006-07) and Denver Broncos (2009).
Law was selected to the Pro Bowl on five occasions, winning the game’s Most Valuable Player award in 1998, and was twice selected to the All-Pro team (1998, 2003). His 53 career interceptions rank tied for 24th all-time in NFL history as he led the NFL in interceptions during the 1998 and 2005 seasons. A two-time NFL Alumni Defensive Back of the Year (1998, 2003), Law was named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team for the 2000s and is a member of the New England Patriots 50th Anniversary Team as well as the organization’s Hall of Fame. He became the ninth Wolverine inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2019.
Paciorek (1979-82) lettered for four years and put together one of the best careers in Michigan baseball history. The outfielder and first baseman capped his career by being named the 1982 Big Ten Player of the Year, Michigan’s 1982 Big Ten Medal of Honor winner, and a first team All-American by both the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) and Baseball America.
The Michigan baseball record book is peppered with Paciorek’s name, as he ranks in the top 10 in career numbers in five offensive categories while sitting in the top 10 in six individual season hitting categories. Paciorek is second all-time in career batting average (.375) and triples (14), is fourth in runs batted in (183), sixth in home runs (32) and 10th in runs scored (162). His big senior year has him ranked second in single-season batting average (.443), third in home runs (17) and slugging percentage (.824), sixth in RBI (65) and eighth in total bases (145). He is also second with eight triples in 1981.
During his four years as a Wolverine, Paciorek was a part of two Big Ten championship teams, as well as leading the team to a Big Ten Tournament championship in the tournament’s first season. Paciorek earned a spot on the All-Big Ten first team three times (1980, 1981, 1982) and was an All-Big Ten Tournament team honoree twice (1981, 1982). Michigan won 143 games in the four-year span.
Paciorek returned to Michigan after being drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 14th round of the 1981 MLB draft. Upon his return, he was named team captain and was then drafted in the eighth round of the 1982 draft by the Milwaukee Brewers. He made his MLB debut for the Brewers in 1987.
Welborne (1987-90) was a four-year letterman and three-year starter at safety for the Wolverines. He recorded 227 tackles, eight pass breakups, eight interceptions, two forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries during his career. Welborne had six double-digit tackle efforts to his credit, including a career-best 16 at Purdue during the 1990 season. In addition to his success in the secondary, Welborne returned 67 punts for 773 yards (11.5 avg.) in his career. He started 34 consecutive game at safety prior to an injury during the 10th game of his senior year.
He was a two-time consensus All-American (1989-90), and is one of just 21 players in school history to be named first-team All-America twice in their career. Welborne was a two-time All-Big Ten first team selection (1989-90) and was a finalist for the 1989 Jim Thorpe Award presented to college football’s top defensive back. He was voted the Bo Schembechler Most Valuable Player of the 1990 team by his teammates. Welborne was an integral member of three consecutive Big Ten championship teams (1988-89-90), and he helped the Wolverines win three bowl games during his four seasons — 1988 Hall of Fame Bowl, 1989 Rose Bowl and 1991 Gator Bowl. U-M finished in the top 10 of the final national polls in three of his four seasons and in the top 20 all four years: No. 4 in 1988, No. 7 in 1989 and 1990, and No. 19 in 1987.
A native of Greensboro, North Carolina, Welborne was a seventh-round draft pick of the Minnesota Vikings and played one season for the organization before a knee injury cut short his professional career.
Zimmerman (2007-10) was a four-year letterwinner and is the only player in Michigan volleyball history to earn American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-America recognition in each of her four seasons in the Maize and Blue. The setter earned a first-team selection in 2009, second-team honors in 2008 and 2010 and honorable mention in 2007, when she was the AVCA Mideast Region Freshman of the Year. Zimmerman was a four-time AVCA All-Mideast Region member.
Zimmerman became the first Wolverine freshman setter to start an NCAA Tournament match, setting the program record for most assists in a single season along the way (1,685). She led Michigan to the program’s first NCAA Regional final appearance in 2009 as a junior, following the Wolverines’ first regional semifinal berths the previous two seasons. During her career, Zimmerman led the Wolverines to 100 wins and a .714 winning percentage.
The Barrington, Illinois native, was a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree and remains the program’s all-time leader in career assists (5,903) and matches played (140), as well as ranking second all-time in assists per set (11.60). She is the second volleyball student-athlete to be named to the Hall of Honor (Diane Ratnik, 2009).
The U-M Athletics Hall of Honor was established in 1978 to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions as athletes, coaches and administrators to the tradition of Wolverine athletics and, in doing so, have enhanced the image and reputation of the University of Michigan.