2017 NCAA Silver Anniversary Award
Dec. 8, 2016
Three former Big Ten standouts are among the six former students to be recognized with the NCAA Silver Anniversary Award for their collegiate and professional achievements.
The Silver Anniversary Award annually recognizes distinguished individuals on the 25th anniversary of the conclusion of their college athletics careers. Representatives of NCAA member schools and conferences, along with a panel of former student-athletes, select each year’s recipients.
The 2017 recipients include Penn State’s Susan Robinson Fruchtl and Wisconsin’s Heather Taggart and Troy Vincent. The NCAA will recognize the honorees at the Honors Celebration during the 2017 NCAA Convention on Jan. 18 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Susan Robinson Fruchtl
Susan Robinson Fruchtl, a former women’s basketball student-athlete at Pennsylvania State University, graduated in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in exercise and sports science. She was a standout on the basketball court, where she is one of only two players in Penn State history to score 2,000 points and record 1,000 rebounds. As a senior, Robinson Fruchtl was named a CoSIDA Academic All-American, Kodak Women’s Basketball Coaches Association All-American and U.S. Basketball Writers Association All-American. She also earned the 1992 Wade Trophy as the national player of the year and was recognized by the NCAA as a Top VIII Award recipient. Robinson Fruchtl also received an NCAA postgraduate scholarship and the Rawlings postgraduate scholarship. After her graduation, she went on to earn a master’s degree in higher education from Penn State in 1998 and a master’s degree in secondary guidance from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania in 2000. Robinson Fruchtl worked as an assistant coach for Penn State’s women’s basketball team until 2007. She then accepted a role as head coach for the women’s basketball team at Saint Francis University (Pennsylvania), where she was named the Northeast Conference Coach of the Year in 2011 after leading her team to a conference championship. In 2012, she became the head coach at Providence College. In 2016, she returned to Saint Francis as the athletics director. Robinson Fruchtl volunteers in her spare time with Making Strides Against Breast Cancer and the Special Olympics.
Heather Taggart graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1992 with dual degrees in biochemistry and molecular biology and two nods as a National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-America goalkeeper. She holds school records for career shutouts and goals-against average in a season, and ranks second all-time in career saves and goals-against average. In 1991, Taggart was named the Adidas/Missouri Athletic Club Collegiate Goalkeeper of the Year and the Intercollegiate Soccer Association of America Goalkeeper of the Year. In 1992, Taggart was named a CoSIDA Academic All-American and a recipient of the Big Ten Medal of Honor. She received an NCAA postgraduate scholarship and attended the University of Nebraska College of Medicine, graduating with high distinction, before joining a group medical practice in Omaha, Nebraska, as a physician of obstetrics and gynecology. Taggart also served as chairwoman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Alegent Health Midlands Hospital from 2005 to 2012. She teaches medical students as a volunteer at Creighton University, and has conducted a medical mission trip to the Dominican Republic, where she provided care in underserved rural areas of the country.
Troy Vincent, a former University of Wisconsin-Madison football player, earned multiple accolades for his skills on the field. In 1991, he was named the Big Ten co-Defensive Player of the Year and was runner-up for the Jim Thorpe Award. During his senior year at Wisconsin, he served as a team captain, was recognized as an American Football Coaches Association All-American and was voted most valuable player by his teammates. He was selected in the first round of the 1992 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins. Vincent played in five Pro Bowls during his 15 seasons as a professional athlete. After his playing days ended, he returned to college at Thomas Edison State College, where he graduated with his liberal arts degree in 2007 while also serving as the president of the NFL Players Association. In 2010, Vincent accepted a job with the NFL as the head of player engagement, before being named the executive vice president of football operations in 2014. Vincent has engaged in community service throughout his career, earning him the 2002 Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, the NFL Players Association Byron “Whizzer” White Award and the Athletes in Action Bart Starr Award. He also founded the Love Thy Neighbor Community Development and Opportunity Corporation, which has awarded more than $500,000 in college scholarships to inner-city students.