By Leilana McKindra, The NCAA News
November 20, 2009 - For NCAA student-athletes, the lessons learned on the field are as valuable as the ones they pick up away from the action. Those lessons are evident through the professional achievements of former student-athlete Deb Richard, a recipient of the 2010 NCAA Silver Anniversary Awards. The Silver Anniversary Awards annually recognize six distinguished former student-athletes on the 25th anniversary of the conclusion of the college athletics careers. For Richard, the time spent competing for Florida was about much more than perfecting her short game.
"Living the dream began the day I signed my National Letter of Intent to go to the University of Florida," she said. "I was challenged everyday on the golf course and in the classroom to push the bar to the next level by my teammates and coach. Committing everyday to get the most out of every day in order to have a successful college experience provided invaluable lessons that have guided me through every endeavor in my life."
The Silver Anniversary Award winners will be recognized in January during the Honors Celebration at the 2010 NCAA Convention in Atlanta.
Following is a summary of Deb Richard's accomplishments.
Foundation president and chairperson
• Guided Florida to its first NCAA women's golf national championship in 1985
• Earned the Honda Broderick Cup as the top female golf athlete
• Only women's golf student-athlete in SEC history to earn three league championships
• 1984 U.S. Women's Amateur champion
• Inaugural recipient of the SEC's Women's Golfer of the Year honor in 1985
• Posted six career LPGA wins and 71 top 10 finishes
• Member of the United States' 1992 Solheim Cup team
• Retired in 2005 with more than $2.75 million in career earnings
• Served as LGPA senior vice-president of golf in 2006
• Created a leadership program that became the Soaring with Eagles Foundation, which will launch national programming for high school seniors and college freshman in 2010
Professional and civic contributions
• Established the Deb Richard Foundation in 1995 to award college scholarships to physically challenged kids. To date, the scholarship program has awarded 13 five-year grants of $25,000 and has been endowed at the University of Florida
• Named as recipient of the Sports Illustrated for Kids Good Sports Award
• Established a pro-am for the American Juvenile Arthritis Foundation
• Recipient of Florida's Distinguished Alumnus Award (2004)