URI To Induct Four Into The School Hall Of Fame

The newest class of inductees for the University of Rhode Island Athletics Hall of Fame has been announced. Four former Rhody greats – Ed Bradley, Julia Chilicki-Beasley, Tyson Wheeler, and Bob White – will be honored during Hall of Fame weekend – Jan. 21-22, 2011.

“It is an honor to induct four of the finest student-athletes in URI history into our Athletics Hall of Fame,” director of athletics Thorr Bjorn said. “It will be a special weekend for Ed, Julia, Tyson and Bob and I congratulate their many athletic achievements. It will also be special for our fans to welcome them home and celebrate their induction into the Hall of Fame.”

The full slate of Hall of Fame events kicks off on Friday, Jan. 21, with an induction ceremony and dinner held at Quidnessett Country Club in North Kingstown, R.I. The following afternoon, the Hall of Fame class will be honored at halftime of the men's basketball game versus La Salle.

2011 University of Rhode Island Athletics Hall of Fame Inductees
Ed Bradley – Men's Soccer
Bradley is the all-time winningest men's soccer coach in URI history, winning 192 games in 17 seasons at the helm of the Rams. He coached the Rams to six Atlantic 10 Championships en route to six NCAA Tournament appearances (1995, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2005). A two-time A-10 Coach of the Year (1995, 2001), Bradley coached eight All-Americans during his time in Kingston. A 1968 graduate of URI, he was a three-year letterwinner for the Rams' men's soccer program, earning All-Yankee Conference honors as a junior (1966) and senior (1967).

“When I was informed about my induction, I was honored, thrilled and just speechless. It seems like we started coaching at URI just the other day; time goes by so quickly,” said Bradley. “I was thrilled to be the head men's soccer coach and thrilled to be at Rhode Island. I have so many great memories and I am honored to be among so many who contributed to the University of Rhode Island's success.”

Julia Chilicki-Beasley – Women's Swimming, Rowing
Chilicki-Beasley was a standout student-athlete and head coach at the University of Rhode Island. A four-year letterwinner as a swimmer, she was a two-year team captain and school record holder in the 100 and 200 yard breaststroke, as well as the medley relay. Chilicki-Beasley also made her mark on the URI rowing program, as it transitioned from club to varsity status. As a competitor, she rowed to silver medals in the Varsity 4 and 8 at the 1992 New England Championship. A 1996 Olympian, she finished eighth in the quadruple sculls. She was a member of the U.S. national rowing team every year from 1993-96. As URI's rowing coach from 2000-05, she transformed a struggling program into one of the best in the Atlantic 10 – guiding the Rams to a second place finish at the conference championship in 2002.

“I am honored to be in the ranks of my fellow URI Athletics Hall of Fame alums,” Chilicki-Beasley said. “I treasure my days training at our beautiful University – on and in the water. This makes the memories all that more special. It was because of the supportive coaches and the URI community that I was able to reach my fullest potential and it is a proud moment to be able to say you had the chance to represent something so much bigger than yourself.”

Tyson Wheeler – Men's Basketball
Wheeler finished his four-year career as one of the best men's basketball players in the history of the program. The starting point guard on the Rams squad that advanced to the Elite Eight of the 1998 NCAA Tournament, Wheeler is currently the program's second-leading scorer (1,918 points) while ranking first all-time in assists (712). A 1995 Atlantic 10 All-Rookie team selection, the New London, Conn. native was an All-A-10 Second Teamer as a sophomore before earning a spot on the league's First Team as a junior and senior. A finalist for USA Basketball's U-22 national team in 1997, he was drafted in the second round of the 1998 NBA Draft and played with the Denver Nuggets during the 1998-99 season. Wheeler continued on to a successful 10-year playing career in Europe before completing his degree requirements in sociology from URI in 2009. He was named to the school's All-Century Team in 2006.

“Being inducted into the URI Athletics Hall of Fame is an honor and a privilege. I am honored to be in the company of all the inductees – past and present,” said Wheeler. “Nothing can make my family and I more proud than to be considered of as one of the best student-athletes to have played at University of Rhode Island.”

Bob White – Football
White was a four-year standout and All-American offensive lineman during the most successful era in modern URI football history. White played center, guard and left tackle for the Rams from 1982-85, during which the team won 33 games and advanced to two NCAA I-AA Playoffs. A two-year team captain, he was an All-New England and All-Yankee Conference first team selection as a junior and senior. During his final season in Keaney Blue in 1985, he was named a First Team All-American by the Associated Press. Following his playing career at Rhode Island, White was a seventh round selection by the New York Jets of the National Football League. White played five seasons in the NFL with the Jets, Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots.

“I am deeply honored to be inducted into the URI Athletics Hall of Fame. I have always viewed what we accomplished as truly a team effort so I am especially thankful that the entire 1984 and 1985 team have been previously inducted,” White said. “Lessons learned from Coach Griffin and friendships from that team and the entire URI experience continue to be some of my greatest inspirations and memories.”

The 2011 Hall of Fame weekend is a collaborative effort between the athletics department and the alumni association, as part of their Big Chill Weekend.