Sports Illustrated Selects Simons, Lieberman-Cline and Donovan as Top 50 Athletes in Their States

December 24, 1999
By ODU Athletics
NORFOLK, VA.-- (Dec. 24) The December 27th issue of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED magazine has selected wrestling coach Gray Simons, and Lady Monarch basketball greats Anne Donovan ('83) and Nancy Lieberman-Cline ('80) as the greatest 50 athletes in their respective states where they were born.

Anne Donovan, now the interim head coach for the new WNBA franchise in Indiana was selected the eighth greatest athlete from New Jersey. The two-time gold medal winner for the United States, Donovan completed her career at Old Dominion with 2,719 career points, 1,976 career rebounds and 801 career blocked shots. The blocked shots are still and NCAA career record. She was a three-time All-American and the 1983 Naismith National Player of the Year. Donovan helped the Lady Monarchs capture the 1980 National Championship. She was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1995 and the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999. She is also a member of both the Old Dominion Sports Hall of Fame and the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame.

Nancy Lieberman-Cline, currently the General Manager and head coach of the Detroit Shock in the WNBA was selected the 26th greatest athlete from the State of New York. "Lady Magic", as she was known helped Old Dominion teams collect an astounding 72-2 record during their back-to-back National Championships in 1979 and 1980. As a 16 year-old, she competed for the United States in the 1976 Montreal Olympics. The three-time All-American at Old Dominion completed her career with 961 career assists, 512 career steals, 2,430 career points and 1,167 career rebounds. She is the only two-time winner of the Wade Trophy in 1979 and 1980, and is also a recipient of the Broderick Cup in 1980. Lieberman was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1996, the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999 and is also a member of the Old Dominion Hall of Fame and the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame.

Gray Simons, a two-time Olympian wrestler was selected the 33rd greatest athlete from the state of Virginia. Simons was 91-2 during his four-year career at Lock Haven, including 84 straight victories. In four years he won four NAIA National Championships and three NCAA National Championships and was twice voted as the Outstanding Wrestler at the NCAA Tournament. As a head coach, he led Lock Haven to a 59-10-1 record and two NAIA Champion ships and was National Coach of the Year in 1966 and 1967. At Tennessee, he was 92-56-2 and trained ten All-Americans. After Tennessee dropped the sport in 1986, Simons came to Old Dominion in 1988 and has coached four All-Americans, one National runner-up, and 19 different Monarch wrestlers have qualified for the NCAA Championships.

Simons has been inducted into the following Hall of Fames. The Helms Foundation (1971), the NAIA (1975), National Wrestling Hall of Fame (1978), the U.S. Achievement Hall of Fame (1982), the Pennsylvania State Wrestling Hall of Fame (1983), the All-Time Collegiate Wrestling Team by Amateur Wrestling News (1988), and the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame (1992).

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