Nov. 6, 2006
With Indiana's Athletics Hall of Fame induction set for Friday, Nov. 10, IUHOOSIERS.com will highlight 2006 inductees Jon McGlocklin (basketball - 1963-65), Dave Power (tennis - 1964-66), Mike Smith (baseball - 1989-92) and Erika Wicoff (golf - 1992-96), as well as Indiana alumnus and legendary sportscaster Dick Enberg, in the week leading up to the induction. Alan Henderson (basketball - 1992-95) will be inducted when his schedule permits. The first feature in the week-long series will focus on Wicoff.
One of the most decorated female athletes in school history, former Hoosier women's golfer Erika Wicoff is one of six former Indiana University standouts comprising the 2006 group of inductees into the Indiana Athletics Hall of Fame.
"I'm truly honored to be inducted," Wicoff said. "It was a goal of mine when I went to Indiana. I wanted to do whatever I needed to do to get there; I wanted to achieve anything I needed to achieve to make it. I was ecstatic when Director of Athletics Rick Greenspan called me and informed me that I was going in. It was very exciting."
One of the top collegiate players in the nation while a Hoosier, the Hartford City, Ind., native went on to spend eight years competing on both the LPGA and Futures tours after graduation. In 1996, Wicoff tied for fourth at the LPGA Qualifying Tournament to gain fully exempt status for the coming season. She also captured one title on the Futures Tour that year.
During her career, Wicoff notched five top-10 finishes on the LPGA Tour, including a career-best tie for fourth at the Safeway LPGA Golf Championship in 1998. That same season, she carded a career-low 65 in the final round of the Oldsmobile Classic. The following season, Wicoff recorded two holes-in-one in two different events, one during the second round of the ShopRite LPGA Classic and the other in the first round of the Japan Airlines Big Apple Classic. She also turned in two top-10 finishes on the Futures Tour in 2002.
Now the head professional at Indian Creek Golf Club, a nine-hole course in Loomis, Calif., Wicoff credits much of what she learned while a student-athlete at IU, and as a player under former head coach Sam Carmichael, to the success that she saw while a touring professional.
"Sam Carmichael and his teaching, his lessons in the game, as well as learning time management, really helped prepare me for the tour," Wicoff said. "His teachings helped me play well enough that I could get on tour. He even went beyond that and caddied for me in several events, including a couple of U.S. Opens. As for the time management part of it, in college I had to plan my study time, my travel time and my class time around playing golf. And out on tour, we were out at a different state every week, so it really helped prepare me time managementwise and getting everything organized in advance."
However, before embarking on tour life, Wicoff cemented her place in the Indiana women's golf record books. The school record holder for single-season scoring average, a 73.92 mark in her junior season of 1994-95, she became the first golfer in Big Ten history to claim three consecutive individual conference titles, between 1994 and 1996. She led the Hoosiers to Big Ten championships in 1995 and 1996 and a fifth-place finish at the NCAA Championships in 1995, IU's highest finish at the event in program history. At that same event, Wicoff finished fourth with a total of 288, the second-best 72-hole total in program history.
In addition to her team accomplishments, Wicoff was a three-time All-American while at IU, including becoming the first Indiana women's golfer to earn first-team status, which she did in 1995 and again in 1996. Prior to that, she was the 1993 Big Ten Freshman of the Year and earned three straight conference player-of-the-year honors to close out her career. She was also the first women's golfer to be named IU's Female Athlete of the Year, an accomplishment that she achieved during her senior year of 1996.
Although Wicoff has left IU, the university and the time that she spent here will always be fond memories.
"My favorite part of being a student-athlete was probably the practice, the playing, the competition and traveling to different universities," Wicoff said. "Being able to compete in the Big Ten, winning the Big Ten and making it to the NCAA nationals for three years was great, too. I really liked the competition of it all."