Czyz and Linnen Inducted into KU Athletics Hall of Fame
Sept. 30, 2011
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Don Czyz and Amy Linnen proved to be true champions while competing at KU during the last decade, with one helping his team earn a conference title and the other earning an individual national championship. Friday a new chapter was written in their athletic legacies as both were officially inducted into Kansas Athletics Hall of Fame.
Linnen a pole vaulter, who transferred to KU from Arizona following her junior year, took the podium first.
“It was not easy transferring and being here for only a year and a half,” Linnen said. “But what I did made me realize that even though it was hard, the people here at Kansas made the transition easy for me to become successful.”
To say Linnen was successful during her one year in Lawrence would be an understatement as the Westhampton, N.Y., native set the school record in the indoor and outdoor pole vault, with a height of 4.30 meters.
“When you have someone like Amy come into our program like she did, it elevates everyone associated with the program,” said KU’s pole vault coach Tom Hays. “She is a quality person and has done everything the right way.”
Linnen was recognized for her performance on and off the track as she was named “Female Jayhawk of the Year” in 2005.
Introduced next by event MC and longtime Kansas broadcaster Max Falkenstien was Don Czyz, who was KU’s first “Stopper of the Year”, selected by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association in 2006.
“This is a tremendous honor for me,” Czyz said. “When I came to KU, I started playing baseball and quickly realized the type of tradition that they have here. It is truly amazing to see the passion that everyone has for this university and I’m proud to say that I am a Jayhawk for life.”
Czyz set the school’s single-season and career records for appearances (37, 138) as well as saves (31). A First Team All-American, he was selected by the Florida Marlins in the 2006 Major League Baseball draft and pitched in the organization for three seasons.
“Don Czyz exemplifies everything our baseball program stands for,” head coach Ritch Price said. “He was an outstanding student and a great teammate.”
The Hall of Fame inductions at Allen Fieldhouse kicked off a homecoming celebration for K-Club members and families. Friday night at the Oread Hotel in Lawrence, a special ceremony will take place honoring the 1961 Bluebonnet Bowl football team as well as the 25 and 50-year letterwinners. Football team manager Todd “Leaper” Williams will also be honored for his 40-years of service to the athletic department. The celebration will continue at Memorial Stadium Saturday morning as there will be a special K Club tailgate before KU’s home football game against Texas Tech.