Six former college athletes will receive the NCAA Silver Anniversary Award in recognition of their collegiate and professional achievements.
The Silver Anniversary Award annually recognizes distinguished individuals on the 25th anniversary of the conclusion of their college athletics careers. Representatives of NCAA member schools and conferences, along with a panel of former student-athletes, select each year’s recipients.
The 2018 recipients are Jason Elam, Julie Foudy, Jim Hansen, Nnenna Lynch, David Morrow and Lance Pilch. The NCAA will recognize the honorees at the Honors Celebration during the 2018 NCAA Convention on Jan. 17 in Indianapolis.
A four-year starter for the Hawaii football team, Jason Elam helped his team reach its first Western Athletic Conference championship, win its first bowl game, and earn its first end-of-year national ranking. Elam, who made 91 straight extra points, finished his collegiate career as the school’s and conference’s all-time leading scorer, with 395 points, and holds the school record for field goal length at 56 yards. Elam was recognized three times as a member of the Academic All-WAC team, and in 1992, he was the male recipient of the Stan Bates Award, presented to the WAC’s top scholar-athlete. After graduation, Elam was selected in the third round of the National Football League draft by the Denver Broncos, and he went on to a 17-year NFL career. Elam is a two-time Super Bowl champion and three-time Pro Bowl selection. He remains the Denver Broncos all-time leading scorer with 1,786 career points and holds the NFL record for second-longest field goal (63 yards) and second-longest field goal in Super Bowl history (51 yards). Elam also has authored four novels. He now works as the director of Israel for E3 Partners/I Am Second Ministries, which coordinates, recruits and supports mission trips assisting Palestinians, Israelis and other nationals so they can evangelize and establish churches in their regions. Elam also has been active in the community throughout his career. He has served on the board of directors for Chosen People Ministries and Arctic Barnabas Ministries. During his time in the NFL, Elam also twice joined the U.S. military Super Bowl morale tour, once in Kosovo and once in Kuwait.
Major: Biological sciences
Sport: Women’s soccer
Julie Foudy was a four-year starter for the Stanford women’s soccer team, where she earned three National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-America honors. In 1989, Foudy was named the Soccer America Freshman of the Year, setting the tone for her exceptional collegiate career, and in 1991 she was named the Soccer America Player of the Year. She graduated with the school career records in points (137), goals (52) and assists (33), and in 2015, she was voted the Pac-12 Conference Player of the Century in women’s soccer. Foudy earned her bachelor’s degree in biological sciences in 1994, two years after she completed her athletics eligibility. She was accepted into the Stanford University School of Medicine but decided instead to pursue a career in professional sports. Foudy made 272 appearances with the U.S. women’s national team from 1988 through 2004, where she won two FIFA World Cups and two Olympic gold medals. The former U.S. team captain and her teammates were named the Sports Illustrated Sportswomen of the Year in 1999. In 2006, she was named one of the 100 Most Influential NCAA Student-Athletes in recognition of her significant impact and major contributions to society. Since her retirement from professional sports, Foudy has worked as a soccer commentator, analyst, feature reporter and host for ESPN and ABC coverage of several World Cups. She is now the leading voice for soccer for espnW. She founded the Julie Foudy Sports Leadership Academy, which focuses on developing young women using sports as a vehicle, and founded the Julie Foudy Leadership Foundation, which works to empower young women from all socioeconomic backgrounds to become leaders who positively impact their communities. In addition to her involvement in numerous other foundations and organizations, Foudy serves as an ambassador for Beyond Sport, a global organization that promotes, develops and funds the use of sport to create social change across the world.
Major: Aerospace engineering
Jim Hansen, a former football student-athlete at Colorado, was a three-time College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-American. In 1992, he was awarded the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship, and in the same year earned the Vincent Draddy Award (now the William V. Campbell Trophy), presented to the college football player who demonstrates the best combination of academics, community service and on-field excellence. In 1992, Hansen graduated from Colorado with a degree in aerospace engineering, and he completed a master’s at Colorado in 1993. He studied at Oxford and returned to the United States to hold teaching positions at MIT and Navy. Hansen now serves as the superintendent of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, Marine Meteorology Division, where he leads a team of 120 scientists, engineers and support personnel and oversees a $35 million budget annually. In his spare time, Hansen volunteers as the president of the local PONY softball league, where he coaches baseball and softball.
Sports: Women’s cross country and track and field
Nnenna Lynch, a former track and field student-athlete at Villanova, won five NCAA national championships during her time in college, including four as a member of a championship cross country team and one as an individual in the outdoor track and field 3000-meter run. She is a seven-time U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-American, 10-time individual Big East champion, and three-time Penn Relays champion. In 1992, Lynch was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship. In 1993, she became the third recipient of the NCAA Woman of the Year Award, which recognizes outstanding female student-athletes for their achievements in academics, athletics, leadership and community service. She graduated in 1993 from Villanova with a degree in sociology. Lynch competed professionally in running for six years after her graduation, serving as a spokesperson for FILA. She now works as the managing principal and director of development for the Georgetown Co., a real estate developer and owner. She previously has worked in politics, as a senior policy advisor for the New York City mayor, as well as in finance with Goldman Sachs. Lynch currently serves on the board of trustees for Villanova and the board for the Association of American Rhodes Scholars. She also volunteers as a housing advisory board member for the Robin Hood Foundation, which works to alleviate problems caused by poverty in New York City and administers disaster relief in the area.
Sport: Men’s lacrosse
A former men’s lacrosse student-athlete for Princeton, David Morrow led Princeton lacrosse to its first national championship in 1992. In 1993, he received the U.S. Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association’s Lt. Raymond Enners Award, presented to the Division I men’s lacrosse national player of the year. He remains the last defenseman to receive the award. A two-time USILA first-team All-American and three-time first-team all-Ivy League member, Morrow also was awarded the 1992 and 1993 William Schmeisser Award, presented to the top defenseman in Division I lacrosse. In his junior year at Princeton, Morrow founded Warrior Sports after he invented the titanium shaft for a lacrosse stick, and the design was first used during Princeton’s 1992 NCAA championship run. After graduation, in addition to continuing to grow Warrior Sports, Morrow competed for the U.S. national men’s lacrosse team, winning the World Championships in 1994 and 1998. His company is now a global sports brand that specializes in lacrosse and hockey equipment, employing more than 500 people and supplying collegiate teams across the country. Morrow is listed as an inventor for more than 60 U.S. and international patents. He also co-founded Major League Lacrosse, a professional league that wrapped up its 17th season in August. In the community, Morrow focuses on supporting organizations helping economically challenged and disabled children to play lacrosse and hockey, and in the past 25 years, he and Warrior Sports have supported more than 70 different charitable organizations with financial and equipment donations.
School: Air Force
Major: Electrical engineering
Now a brigadier general in the U.S. Air Force, Lance Pilch played baseball as a student-athlete at Air Force and graduated in 1993 with a degree in electrical engineering. Pilch earned College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-America honors in 1992 and 1993 and co-captained the baseball team his senior year. He competed in 106 games throughout his collegiate career, earning a .343 career batting average, 122 hits in 356 at bats, 109 runs and 26 stolen bases. His 11 career triples still rank 10th all-time at Air Force. Immediately after graduating, Pilch entered the Air Force, where he held a variety of flying assignments, including serving as commander of the 27th Fighter Squadron at Langley Air Force Base, where he was the first to lead the F-22A to the Central Command area of responsibility. Pilch graduated first in his class at Air Force Weapons School in 2001 and was the worldwide No. 1 pilot for the F-16 in 2002. He is one of three pilots in the world who is qualified to fly the F-15, F-16 and F-22. Pilch now serves as vice commander of the 7th Air Force at Osan Air Base in South Korea. Previously, he was commander of the 33rd Fighter Wing at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. Pilch has remained active in the community throughout his career, speaking at elementary schools and high schools about military service and the importance of education. He has organized several youth groups to tour Air Force bases and learn about the flight simulators, has organized simulators for Air Force personnel who wanted to fly but never had the opportunity, and has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and Focus: Hope, which delivers food to needy families in inner-city Detroit.