Kansas Athletics Hall of Fame Induction Set for K Club and Homecoming Weekend

Sept. 21, 2011

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Two former Jayhawk greats, baseball All-American Don Czyz and NCAA champion pole-vaulter Amy Linnen, will be inducted into the Kansas Athletics Hall of Fame during K Club and Homecoming Weekend, Sept. 30-Oct. 1, 2011.

On Friday, Sept. 30, Czyz and Linnen will be formally inducted into the Hall of Fame and their pictures will be unveiled in a ceremony at the Booth Family Hall of Athletics at 11:45 a.m. The induction ceremony is open to the public. The following day, the duo will be recognized on the field during Kansas’ homecoming football game against Texas Tech, which is slated to kick off at 11 a.m.

Czyz, from Overland Park, Kan., played at KU from 2003-06. He was named a First Team All-American by Louisville Slugger, Pro-Line and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers’ Association. He was also selected as the 2006 NCBWA Stopper of the Year, becoming the first Jayhawk to receive this national award. He was a two-time All-Big 12 selection and earned the conference’s Pitcher of the Week distinction twice in his career.

He set the school’s single-season and career records for appearances (37, 128) and saves (19, 31). Czyz was selected by the Florida Marlins in the seventh round of the 2006 MLB draft and pitched in their organization for three seasons.

“Don Czyz exemplifies everything our baseball program stands for,” said head baseball coach Ritch Price. “He’s a quality person, outstanding student, great teammate, and a young man who will be a Jayhawk for life!”

Czyz put together the best year of any Kansas relief pitcher for Coach Price in 2006, collecting a school-record 19 saves and six wins, leading the Jayhawks to their first conference title in nearly 50 years by sweeping four games at the Big 12 Baseball Championship in Oklahoma City.

“I am thrilled for Don,” Price continued. “He was not only an All-American performer on the field, but an All-American student-athlete as well.”

Czyz was nearly unhittable in 2006, posting a 6-0 record with 19 saves and a 1.56 ERA in 37 appearances. He allowed just 11 earned runs in 63 1/3 innings on the mound and only one run in six postseason appearances at the conference tournament and at the NCAA Regional in Corvallis, Ore.

181398.jpegLinnen, a native of Westhampton Beach, N.Y., won the NCAA indoor pole-vault title in 2005 and earned All-America honors in both the indoor and outdoor track seasons that year.

She transferred to Kansas after three stellar seasons vaulting for the University of Arizona. After coming to Lawrence for her senior year, Linnen put together one of the best single-seasons in Kansas track and field history. She currently holds the school indoor and outdoor records in the event, clearing a staggering height of 4.30 meters (14 ft., 01.25 in.).

“When we have someone like Amy come into our program like she did, it elevates everyone associated with that program,” said KU’s pole vault coach Tom Hays. “She is a quality person and has done everything the right way.”

Linnen was named the Female Jayhawk of the Year for her accomplishments both on and off the track in 2005. She graduated with a degree in Communications and currently resides in New York where she teaches.

The Kansas Athletics Hall of Fame was established to formally recognize outstanding individual and team achievements and to preserve the heritage and tradition of the University’s intercollegiate athletics program. The Hall of Fame display is located in the Booth Family Hall of Athletics, on the east side of historic Allen Fieldhouse.