University News

SUU Athletics Announces 2017 Hall of Fame Class

Published: January 17, 2017 | Author: Chanel Barnes | Category: Athletics

Southern Utah Hall of FameThe Southern Utah University Department of Athletics is proud to announce the Hall of Fame class for 2017.

This year's class includes: Julie Talbot Grant (Gymnastics; 1994-97), Keenan Hart (Track & Field; 1980-81), Natalie Gibson (Track & Field; 1998-99) and Sean McCaw (Allen) (Men's Basketball; 1993-95).

"The Hall of Fame is a wonderful reflection of the history of Southern Utah Athletics," said Jason Butikofer, Director of Athletics. "It is our honor as a department to introduce this tremendous class of inductees whose contributions represent the very best of our program."

Julie Talbot Grant

Grant started competing in the all-around right away for the Thunderbirds, and did so all four years she was a member of the gymnastics program.

She was once the school record holder on beam and qualified for NCAA competition multiple times as an individual, putting the Thunderbird gymnastics program on the map nationally and laying the groundwork for future generations of gymnasts at SUU.

Grant was named GTE Academic All-American First Team in 1997 after being named to the Third Team in a previous year. She was named Most Outstanding Gymnast in 1996 and Female Athlete of the Year in 1997. Grant graduated from Southern Utah in 1998.

According to SUU head gymnastics coach Scott Bauman, Julie Talbot Grant was the first true level 10 gymnast that the program recruited. Bauman also noted that Julie set the bar for a higher standard of recruits throughout her competing years, and over the duration of Julie's time as a Thunderbird, the team was structured around her.

Following her gymnastics career, Talbot Grant spent a couple years as an assistant coach for the Flippin' Birds before moving to Dallas, Texas, where she currently lives with her husband, raising their four children.

Keenan Hart

Keenan Hart was extremely influential in regards to helping build the Thunderbird track and field program to the point it is today. Hart was an NAIA All-American, finishing fourth place in the five-mile run in a time of 24:40. He competed at that NAIA National Championships in both track and field and cross country during his tenure at Southern Utah.

Hart is still featured in the Thunderbird record book with the sixth fastest mile time in school history, when he ran a 4:20.67 in 1980.

Hart competed for SUU back when it was still SUSC (Southern Utah State College).

Keenan Hart currently lives in the Cedar City area, as he teaches sixth grade at Escalante Valley.

Natalie Gibson

Natalie Gibson had an enormous impact on the track and field program at Southern Utah University. Gibson garnered All-American status while at Southern Utah by finishing in seventh place in the 400-meter hurdles in a time of 58.38.

She was Southern Utah track and field's first DI All-American and the first runner in what has become a long line of track and field athletes at Southern Utah to earn the same honor of being an All-American.

Gibson was also a member of the 1998 women's track and field team at SUU that won the 1998 Summit League Championships for the indoor and outdoor track and field.

To this day, Gibson holds the school record in the 400-meter hurdles, with a time of 57.5 in 1998. Gibson also holds the fourth fastest time in the 400-meters and 110-meter hurdles.

According to coach Houle, Gibson got the team moving in the right direction and laid the foundation for the women's program at SUU.

Gibson concluded her track career as she competed in the 2000 Olympic Trials. She has since had six children and spends most of her time raising her kids and competing in triathlons when time permits.

Sean McCaw

Sean McCaw was a leader for the Thunderbird basketball program during the mid-90s. In 1994, he lead the team in scoring with 16.8 points per game and blocked shots with 6.6 a contest. He led the team in the same two statistical categories the following season, with 15.2 ppg and 5.9 blocks per game.

McCaw went on to play professional basketball, where he played for several teams all around the world. He played for eight teams in six different countries, starting with the Kapfenberg Bulls in Austria and ending with the Science City Jena in Germany.

He has since entered a career in coaching in Germany, most recently coaching professional European teams. Since 2012, he has served as the assistant coach of the Cuxhaven BasCats, Lowen Braunschweig, and Spot Up Braunschweig.

Join Us

The Hall of Fame induction will take place on March 4, 2017. The inductees will be introduced at halftime of the men's basketball game against the University of Idaho. Tip time against the Vandals is set for 4 p.m. in the Centrum Arena.

Following the game there will be an Induction Dinner that will start at 7 p.m. inside the Ballroom of the Sharwan Smith Student Center. Dinner is $25 for adults and $15 for children seven years of age and younger.

Please RSVP at the SUU Ticket Office before February 25. Tickets to the SUU vs UI game are included in the cost of dinner.

For all things SUU Athletics, like the Southern Utah Thunderbirds Facebook page and follow @suuthunderbirds on Twitter and Instagram.


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