BYU announces 2021 Athletic Hall of Fame class
PROVO, Utah — Brigham Young University will induct four former All-Americans and a nationally recognized athletic trainer into its Athletic Hall of Fame on Friday, Sept. 24.
Brian Banks (baseball), Jimmer Fredette (basketball), Gaye Merrill (trainer), Amy Menlove Otis (track and field) and Carrie Summerhays Roberts (golf) will be formally inducted during a ceremony hosted by the Cougar Club. The five inductees will also be honored during a special halftime presentation at the BYU versus South Florida football game on Saturday, Sept. 25.
Since its inception in 1975, nearly 250 student-athletes, coaches, administrators, teams and broadcasters have been inducted into the BYU Athletic Hall of Fame. Among the criteria to be considered for induction are All-American status, university graduation, professional accomplishments and community service. Below is a bio of each of the 2021 inductees.
Mesa native Brian Banks was named the Arizona High School Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year in 1989 and was selected in the sixth round of the MLB Draft by the Baltimore Orioles. Instead of signing a professional baseball contract, the 6-foot-3-inch, 200-pound catcher/outfielder chose to attend BYU.
Banks had a successful freshman year as a catcher and designated hitter for the Cougars in 1990 where he hit .278 with four home runs and 28 RBI. Following a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Seattle from 1991-92, Banks returned to Provo where he started all 57 games as a sophomore for the Cougars in 1993. He led BYU in batting average (.389) hits (84), walks (30), home runs (20) and RBI (73). His 20 home runs were third in the NCAA and his 73 RBI 11th.
Following his sophomore season, Banks was named an All-American by the American Baseball Coaches Association and Baseball News. He was also named first team All-District and All-Western Athletic Conference.
Banks was drafted in the second round of the 1993 MLB draft by the Milwaukee Brewers and signed a professional contract. He made his MLB debut with the Brewers just three seasons later in September 1996. Banks would go on to play six seasons in the majors with the Brewers (1996-99) and the Florida Marlins (2002-03). In 2003, Banks reached the pinnacle of his professional career, when he helped the Florida Marlins win the World Series over the New York Yankees.
Upon retiring from professional baseball, Banks went on to earn a degree from ATSU Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health in 2011, where he graduated with honors as a member of the Omicron Kappa Upsilon National Dental Honor Society.
Banks did a two-year residency as a pediatric dentist at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City from 2012-13 and later opened Banks Pediatric Dentistry in Mesa. He is board certified by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, is a diplomate of The American Board of Pediatric Dentistry and a member of the American Dental Association. Banks has also been on staff at Cardon’s Children’s Hospital in Mesa since 2016.
In addition to his profession, Banks has been very active in a variety of charity work and community service. He has served as the chairman for Give Kids a Smile event at the Arizona School of Dentistry, served a humanitarian mission to Atoyac, Mexico, with the Flying Samaritans to provide dental treatments and surgical procedures, and was the honorary speaker at the opening of the BSA National Jamboree in West Virginia. Banks has also coached little league baseball and All Stars for the Four Peaks Little League for many years. He was inducted into the Mesa Sports Hall of Fame in 2013.
He is married to Tarrah Davis Banks. They have four children.
One of the most decorated athletes in BYU history, Jimmer Fredette came to BYU in 2007 and had an immediate impact. As a freshman on the 2007-08 basketball team, Fredette averaged 18.5 minutes, 7.0 points and 1.7 assists per game.
Over the next three seasons he would rewrite the BYU record book, finishing his senior year as BYU’s all-time leading scorer with 2,599 points, passing BYU hall of famer Danny Ainge. Along the way, Fredette set BYU and Mountain West Conference records for points in a career, points in a season (1,068), points in a game (52) and season scoring average (28.9).
He also set BYU records for most free throws made in a game (23), season (252) and career (627), as well as most field goals made in a game (22) and season (346), three-points in a season (124) and career (296), as well as 30-point (24) and 40-point (6) career games.
As a senior in 2010-11, Fredette led BYU to the Sweet 16 at the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1981. The 6-foot-2-inch guard led the nation in scoring with 28.9 points per game. He also averaged 3.4 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.3 steals as a senior, while shooting .452 from the field, .396 from three and .894 from the free throw line.
At the conclusion of the 2010-11 season, Fredette was unanimously named the National Player of the Year by 10 organizations, including Naismith, John Wooden, Associated Press, Oscar Robertson, NABC, Adolph Rupp, Sporting News, Basketball Times, CBSSports.com and SI.com.
He was named first-team All-American by 11 organizations including AP, Sporting News, NABC Coaches Division I, USBWA, John R. Wooden Award, CBSSports.com, SI.com, Yahoo! Sports, FoxSports.com and Lute Olson. In addition, he won the 2011 Lowes Senior CLASS Award and an ESPY for Collegiate Male Athlete of the Year.
Over his four-year career, Fredette was named All-MWC first-team three times (2009, 2010 and 2011), MWC all-tournament team three times (2009, 2010 and 2011) and was the MWC Tournament MVP in 2011.
He was a USWBA All-District VIII first team selection three times (2009, 2010 and 2011) and the USWBA District VIII Player of the Year in 2010 and 2011, as well as a NABC All-District 17 first-team selection in 2010 and 2011.
Fredette received All-America citations in 2010 from the Associate Press, NABC Coaches, Sporting News, Lute Olson and Basketball Times, and was an All-America honorable mention selection in 2009.
Following graduation, Fredette was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks with the 10th overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft and was subsequently traded to the Sacramento Kings where he immediately recharged the fanbase with Jimmermania. Fredette played six seasons in the NBA with the Kings, Chicago Bulls, New Orleans Pelicans, New York Knicks, Phoenix Suns and has also played several seasons overseas in China and Greece.
He is married to former BYU cheerleader Whitney Wonnacott. They have a daughter and a son.
For nearly 30 years, Gaye Merrill worked in a variety of positions in both teaching and clinical work. Although she enjoyed being in the classroom, her first love was helping the hundreds of BYU student-athletes she served as an athletic trainer for three decades.
While at BYU, Merrill served in a variety of capacities. In addition to serving as an athletic trainer for numerous sports, she worked as the undergraduate athletic training curriculum director from 1995-2000. Merrill was also involved in the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, serving on the Salt Lake Organizing Committee as the athlete medical care coordinator.
In 2005, Merrill was named the BYU Director of Sports Medicine, where she faithfully served until her passing, following a valiant fight with cancer in May 2010.
In addition to running the Sports Medicine Department, Merrill also served as athletic trainer for several sports including women's volleyball and gymnastics. In fall 2009, BYU President Cecil O. Samuelson announced that Merrill had earned the faculty rank of clinical professor.
Merrill received a bachelor's degree from BYU in 1978 and went on to earn a master's degree in athletic training from Indiana University the following year. She got her first job as an assistant athletic trainer at Pittsburgh State University, where she worked for two years before being hired by BYU in 1981.
Merrill was an active member of several professional organizations including the Utah Athletic Trainers Association, Rocky Mountain Athletic Trainers Association and the National Athletic Trainers Association. Over her distinguished career she was the recipient of numerous awards, including the NATA Athletic Trainer Service Award (2004), the NATA 25 Year Award (2002), the RMATA Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award (2009) and the UATA Collegiate Athletic Trainer Award (2001). In addition, her staff was named the 2008 Mountain West Conference Sports Medicine Staff of the Year.
A native of Blackfoot, Idaho, Merrill traveled all over the world serving as athletic trainer for many organizations, including the U.S. National Swimming Team. She was an outstanding ambassador for BYU and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and had a profound influence for good on the many people she worked with through the years.
Amy Menlove Otis
A seven-time All-American, Amy Menlove Otis competed for the Cougars in track and field from 2004 to 2010. She won an individual NCAA title in 2009 and was both a nine-time Mountain West Conference individual champion and nine-time All-MWC honoree.
Hailing from Sandy, Utah, the Alta High School graduate arrived at BYU for the 2003-04 season and quickly won the conference indoor and outdoor long jump championship on her way to being named the 2004 MWC Freshman of the Year.
As a sophomore in 2005, Otis won the MWC pentathlon, indoor long jump and 60m hurdle titles, as well as the outdoor long jump title. She finished national runner-up at the NCAAs in the pentathlon and earned All-American honors in the indoor long jump, pentathlon, outdoor long jump and the heptathlon while also being named the USTFCCCA Indoor Mountain Region Field Athlete of the Year.
Following her sophomore year, Otis became one of the first female BYU student-athletes to interrupt her playing career to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
After returning from serving in Cleveland, Ohio, Otis won the 2009 MWC pentathlon, 60m hurdles and heptathlon titles. She went on to win the NCAA pentathlon title, becoming just the fourth BYU women’s athlete to win an individual indoor championship. That season, Otis also earned All-American honors in the pentathlon and indoor long jump and was again named the USTFCCCA Mountain Region Field Athlete of the Year.
Otis capped off her career at BYU in 2010 by once again earning All-American honors in the pentathlon. During her time at BYU, she set MWC records in the pentathlon and indoor long jump. She also set four BYU records, three of which still stand today—pentathlon (4,365 points), 4x100m (44.88) and 4x200m (1:38.64).
After being named to the USTFCCCA All-Academic Team in both 2009 and 2010, Otis graduated with a degree in health science. Since graduation, she has worked as a personal trainer and a sports nutritionist, with some coaching on the side.
Otis and her husband Dave met at BYU and married in 2009. They currently reside in Goodyear, Arizona with their five children.
Carrie Summerhays Roberts
Before coming to BYU, Carrie Summerhays Roberts was a four-sport athlete at Wasatch High School, lettering in basketball, golf, soccer and softball. As a basketball player, she played on the state championship team and was named the 3A MVP during her sophomore year and was named to the 3A All-State Team during her junior and senior seasons. With all her success as a basketball player, she was an equally accomplished golfer.
Roberts put together an impressive resume during her time as a junior golfer. She was the Utah Junior Golf Association Player of the Year in every age division. In 1990, she posted a top-10 finish at the Junior World Championship in San Diego. In 1997, she took sixth at the Big I in Pueblo, Colorado and made the 36-hole cut at the USGA Junior Girls Championship. She was also named to the 3A All-State boys golf team as a senior at Wasatch.
Following her impressive junior career, she chose to attend BYU to play golf. She was a four-time all-conference award winner and was named back-to-back MWC Golfer of the Year in 2000 and 2001.
As a sophomore, Roberts was named an NGCA All-American following a 40th place finish at the NCAA Championships. She finished her BYU career with 28 top-20 finishes, 23 top-10s and six wins, which ties her with Pam Miller Gietzen (1976-80) for the most all-time victories at BYU. Miller was inducted into the BYU Athletic Hall of Fame in 2016.
As an amateur, Roberts won three straight Utah Women’s Match Play Championships in 2000, 2001 and 2002. She was a semifinalist in the North and South Amateur, the USGA Public Links Amateur and was the MVP of the USA-Japan Cup.
Following her BYU and amateur career, Roberts became the first native Utahn to earn status on the LPGA Tour. She played on the Tour from 2002-04, qualifying for two U.S. Women’s Open Championships and was later named to the MWC All-Decade Team in 2010.
Roberts has been the head coach of the BYU women’s golf program since 2010. In nine seasons under her direction, the Cougars have won 13 stroke play events, three match play events and three WCC Championships (2016, 2017 and 2018). She was named the WCC Coach of the Year in all three championship seasons and has coached three WCC Golfers of the Year.
Roberts graduated from BYU in 2002 with a degree in community health. She is the daughter of Senior PGA Tour veteran Bruce Summerhays. Her brother Joseph and cousins David and Daniel both played collegiate golf at BYU.
Roberts and her husband Cory now reside in Lindon, Utah, with their three children.