Athletic Hall of Honor adds 4, recognizes outstanding teams

Four athletes were inducted into the Athletic Hall of Honor in September, along with the football teams of 1956-57 and the volleyball teams of 1988-89.

Athletic Hall of Honors

Eshrined were Justin Rowland, football, 1956-57; Shawn Sweeten, volleyball, 1987-89; Ronald Hancock, track and field, 1988-91; and Eva Jonsson, track and field, 1995-98.

Also recognized were members of the 1956 and 1957 football teams, which won back-to-back Pioneer Conference and Junior Rose Bowl titles when Arlington State College (now UTA) was a two-year school, and the 1988 and 1989 volleyball teams, which went 61-8, culminating in an NCAA Final Four berth in ’89.

Sixty-seven individuals are in the Hall of Honor. This was the first year that teams were recognized.

“We thought it would be an appropriate way to recognize our championship teams in UTA athletics history and also provide a way to facilitate team reunions, particularly if one of the teammates is being honored with induction into the Hall of Honor,” Athletics Director Pete Carlon said.

Rowland, a native of Hamlin, Texas, was a member of those Junior Rose Bowl teams, which went 21-1-1 over two seasons and a perfect 12-0 in 1957. In the days of two-way players, he was both a receiver and a defensive back.

Rowland completed his career at TCU, playing in Cotton Bowl and Bluebonnet Bowl games with the Horned Frogs. He played professionally with the Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings and Denver Broncos. He recently retired as president of First American Title and lives in San Antonio.

Sweeten was the setter on the 1987-89 volleyball teams, guiding the Lady Mavs to the Final Four in 1989. She earned first-team All-America honors as a senior and was named Southland Conference MVP.

Sweeten ranks third on the all-time assist chart at UTA and has the second best single-season mark. She also has the top three assist marks for a match. She earned her bachelor’s degree in exercise science in 1991 and is volleyball coach at Weatherford High School.

Hancock was a two-time All-American, competing in the 200-meter dash in three consecutive NCAA Outdoor Championships from 1989-91. He still holds the school’s second best indoor 200 and third best outdoor 200 times and was a member of the record-setting outdoor 1,600-meter relay (1990) and sprint-medley relay (1989) teams.

A native of Killeen, Hancock earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism from UTA in 1992. He manages a Wal-Mart store in Pflugerville.

Jonsson was one of the best all-around athletes in UTA history, earning All-America honors after finishing eighth in the heptathlon in the 1996 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. She was named SLC Outstanding Field Performer four times, twice at the conference indoor meet and twice outdoors. She won the conference heptathlon title all four years at UTA.

A native of Sweden, Jonsson earned her bachelor’s degree in biology in 1998 and is working toward another bachelor’s degree, this one in engineering, at the University of Lund in Sweden.

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