The University of Tennessee has announced its Hall of Fame Class of 2023. The UT Athletics Hall of Fame induction process has been on a hiatus since 2020 due to the pandemic, but Athletics Director Danny White has called for a return to welcome in the 12-member class of 2023.
Tennessee’s class features 10 players, a former head coach and a transformational administrator. The entire list is as follows.
Chris Burke (Baseball)
Ali Christoph (Soccer)
Ted Daffer (Football) *posthumous
Tianna Madison (Track)
Chelsea Pemberton (Rower)
Carl Pickens (Football)
Violeta Retamoza (Golfer)
DeeDee Trotter (Track)
Caitlin Whoriskey (Tennis)
Chris Woodruff (Tennis) *current UT Tennis Head Coach
Chuck Rohe (Track & Field HC)
Joan Cronan (Administrator)
“We haven’t welcomed a new class of hall of famers since 2019,” Tennessee Athletics Director Danny White said. “For that reason, we’ve selected a larger class to celebrate this spring. These individuals each earned a special place in the history of Tennessee Athletics and left remarkable legacies that continue to inspire those who have followed them.”
The 10 athletes in the class combined to win eight National Championships during their times at Tennessee, 10 SEC titles, six Olympic medals, one world record and an Academic All-American.
Burke, one of the top hitters in Tennessee Baseball history, headlines the class. Burke earned All-American honors three times while on Rocky Top and set several records, including runs scored, hits, singles, doubles, triples, total bases and extra-base hits. Burke was also a main member of Tennessee’s 2001 team that went to the College World Series. In that season, Burke recorded 118 hits and scored 105 runs, which were NCAA-leading numbers.
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Current UT Tennis Head Coach Chris Woodruff is also among the 12-member class for his time as a player at UT.
Woodruff, a Knoxville native, had a decorated career on Rocky Top. In 1993, Woodruff won Tennessee’s only NCAA singles champion in program history. Additionally, he won ITA National Player of the Year and SEC Player of the Year in 1993 thanks to a 45-7 singles record. The 1993 season highlighted Woodruff’s two-year career that ended with a 81-16 singles record. Woodruff went on to become a multiple-time ATP Tour champion and was as high as the No. 29 singles player in the world. The former professional-turned-coach has been head coach for Tennessee Men’s Tennis since 2017.
Carl Pickens and Ted Daffer represent Tennessee Football on the list, though Daffer passed away in 2006. Pickens played at Tennessee from 1989-1991 as a wide receiver and return specialist. Pickens was a member of Tennessee’s back-to-back 1989 and 1990 SEC Championship teams. The VFL was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team in 1989 and won defensive MVP of the 1990 Cotton Bowl. Pickens, who saw time at defensive back as a redshirt freshman, made a pivotal interception against Arkansas to help lead the Vols to the win in the game.
Pickens’ best year as a receiver came in 1991 when the Murphy, North Carolina, native caught 49 passes for 817 yards, giving him an SEC-leading 79.7 yards per game. The former Vol ultimately was drafted in the second round of the 1992 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. Pickens had a productive career in the NFL, winning AP Offensive Rookie of the Year and recording four 1,000-yard seasons in his nine-year career.
The Tennessee Athletics 2023 Hall of Fame class will be honored the weekend of April 14 and 15, the same weekend as Tennessee Football’s Orange & White Game.