Devin Harris, Jim Leonhard headline 2015 UW Hall of Fame Class - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Devin Harris, Jim Leonhard headline 2015 UW Hall of Fame Class

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MADISON, Wis. -– Six All-Americans and a pioneering administrator make up the decorated seven-member Wisconsin Athletics Hall of Fame class of 2015. The class includes an NCAA champion, NHL, NBA and NFL players, as well as two Olympians.

Making up the 2015 class is volleyball player Lizzy Fitzgerald, men's soccer player Mike Gentile, men's basketball's Devin Harris, football star Jim Leonhard, men's hockey skater Brian Rafalski, women's hockey trailblazer Kerry Weiland, as well as longtime administrator Paula Bonner.

Fitzgerald is one of the most decorated volleyball players in Wisconsin history. A two-time All-American, Fitzgerald was named the 2001 Big Ten Conference Player of the Year and the 2001-02 Wisconsin Female Athlete of the Year.  The setter guided the Badgers to the 2000 and 2001 Big Ten Championships and four-straight NCAA tournament appearances, including a national runner-up finish in 2000. Fitzgerald played with Team USA for two years, winning a silver medal at the 2002 World Championship and a bronze medal at the 2003 Pan-American Games. She is currently the head coach at the University of Georgia and is married to former Badger punter Kevin Stemke.

A third-team NSCAA All-American in 1995, Gentile remains one of only seven Badgers to earn All-American distinction in program history. A two-time All-Midwest Region Team member, Gentile earned first-team All-Big Ten honors three times and made the second team once. Gentile was a team captain and UW's scoring leader during its 1995 national championship season. He finished his illustrious career in Madison ranked sixth in school history with 21 career assists and ninth in career points with 53. Gentile is also tied for fourth in UW history for assists in a season with 11 in 1995.

The 2004 Big Ten Player of the Year, Harris was a starter for two regular-season Big Ten championship teams and the 2004 Big Ten Tournament title squad. A 2004 Wooden Award All-American, Harris was a finalist for the Wooden, Naismith, Rupp and USBWA Player of the Year awards as a junior at Wisconsin. Runner-up for the 2004 Cousy Award, given to the top collegiate point guard, Harris was a second-team Associated Press All-American in 2004. His 1,425 points rank 11th all-time in program history for career scoring. Harris started all 96 games of his career before being drafted by Washington with the fifth overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft. Now a 10-year NBA veteran, Harris began his career with the Dallas Mavericks, helping the team reach the 2006 NBA Finals, before playing for the New Jersey Nets, Utah Jazz and Atlanta Hawks. He is back with the Mavericks, having spent the past two seasons in Dallas.

For four years, Leonhard was a fixture on the field for the Wisconsin football team. After joining the Badgers as a walk-on for the 2001 season, he quickly established himself as one of the best defensive players in school history. Leonhard went on to play in every game of his four-year career, including 39 starts at safety, and matched the UW career record with 21 interceptions, fourth-most in Big Ten history. He was named first-team All-Big Ten in each of his final three seasons and earned at least one first-team All-America nod in each of those years, as well. After going undrafted, Leonhard put together a 10-year NFL career with the Bills, Ravens, Jets, Broncos, Saints and Browns that ended when he announced his retirement prior to his final game last December.

Rafalski, a 2014 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame inductee, skated four seasons at Wisconsin from 1991-95, posting 100 points on 20 goals and 80 assists in 150 games played. A 1995 first-team All-American, he was also the 1995 WCHA Defensive Player of the Year and a member of that year's All-WCHA first team when he helped the program win the 1995 WCHA playoffs. He also earned a spot on the 1992 All-WCHA Rookie Team. Rafalski went on to a 15-year professional career, including 11 seasons in the NHL with the New Jersey Devils and Detroit Red Wings, where he won three Stanley Cups. A three-time Olympian, he won silver medals in 2002 and 2010, while being named the 2010 tournament's best defenseman. He spent his first four seasons as a pro in Finland and Sweden, and was named the Finnish Elite League's top defenseman before playing in the NHL. Rafalski also played for the 2004 U.S. World Cup of Hockey Team, 1995 U.S. Men's National Team, and the 1992 (bronze medal) and 1993 U.S. National Junior Teams.

Weiland (pronounced WHY-lihnd), a pioneer on the ice as one of the members of the inaugural women's hockey team in 1999-2000, opens another door as the first Wisconsin women's hockey player in the hall of fame. The school's first All-American made the second team in 2001 and the first team in 2002. Second all time among defenseman with 124 points at UW, Weiland is a two-time WCHA first-team and two-time WCHA second-team skater. Winner of two gold medals and one silver medal as a four-time member of Team USA at world championships, she also captured silver at the 2010 Olympics and played in four Women's World InLine Hockey Championships.

As a UW Athletic Department administrator from 1974-89 overseeing 11 women's sports, Bonner was a champion for the rights of female students who sought a chance to compete in intercollegiate athletics. That included overseeing the transition for women's sports as they officially joined the Big Ten and the NCAA in 1982. Guiding the 11-sport women's program to the 17th-best ranking in the country in 1989, she helped expand the women's sports budget from $780,000 to $1.2 million during her tenure.

These days, Bonner serves as the president and chief alumni officer of the Wisconsin Alumni Association. Under her leadership, the WAA has been a national leader in providing opportunities for women and minorities. The association created the Cabinet 99 women's initiative to support leadership development, mentoring and advocacy for women at the university, and also instituted the first GLBT alumni council in the Big Ten. She is currently serving as the 2014-16 president of the Council of Alumni Association Executives (CAAE), is a vice-chair of Capitol Lakes Board of Directors and is a member of the Madison Club and the Bascom Hill Society. She was honored with the Madison Civics Club Advocate Award in 1999.

The Wisconsin Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2015 will officially be inducted on Friday, Sept. 11 at Union South. The group will also be honored the next day on the field at Camp Randall during the football team's home opener vs. Miami (Ohio).

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