Former Colorado soccer star Nikki Marshall, shown in 2007, is CU's all-time leader in scoring has is one of nine members of the CU Athletic Hall of Fame class of 2021.
Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer
Former Colorado soccer star Nikki Marshall, shown in 2007, is CU’s all-time leader in scoring has is one of nine members of the CU Athletic Hall of Fame class of 2021.

On Thursday night, eight of the greatest athletes to come through the University of Colorado, as well as a legendary coach, will be inducted into the University of Colorado Athletic Hall of Fame.

The inductees for CU’s 16th Hall of Fame class:

Donnie Boyce, men’s basketball (1991-95): The third-leading scorer in CU history (1,995 points) earned first-team All-Big Eight honors twice during his career with the Buffaloes, as well as senior-team honors as a senior. Just the second player in program history (after Emmett Lewis) to lead the team in scoring four years in a row, Boyce likely would have topped the 2,000-point mark had he not suffered a broken leg just 13 minutes into his final game.

Chris Brown, football (2001-02): Although he played just two seasons at CU, he was one of the best running backs in program history. As a junior in 2002, he was a first-team All-American and runner-up for the Doak Walker Award, presented to the country’s best running back. That season, he ran for 1,744 yards and 18 touchdowns. He ranks seventh at CU in career rushing yards (2,690) and still holds the record for most touchdowns in a game, with six in a 62-36 win against Nebraska in 2001.

Nikki Marshall, women’s soccer (2006-09): In the 25-year history of the women’s soccer program, no player has been as decorated as Marshall, a graduate of Longmont’s Skyline High School. Just the second women’s soccer player in the CU hall of fame – along with Fran Munnelly in 2016 – Marshall still holds 20 school records, including career goals (42). She was a four-time first-team all-conference selection.

Chris Naeole, football (1993-96): Throughout his time in Boulder, he was a dominant offensive lineman for the Buffs. A first-team All-American in 1996, he was also a two-time first-team all-conference selection. He had a school-record 58 pancake blocks as a senior and was a four-year letterman. He also finished his career riding a 28-game streak of not allowing a quarterback sack.

Mickey Pruitt, football (1984-87): Only seven players in CU football history have received first-team all-conference honors three times, and Pruitt is one. He was first-team All-Big Eight in 1985, 1986 and 1987. One of the first stars under Bill McCartney, Pruitt was a second-team All-American as a senior and a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, which is presented annually to the nation’s top defensive back.

Dathan Ritzenhein, men’s cross country/track (2001-04): Among the top American distance runners in the past two decades, Ritzenhein turned pro after his junior year with the Buffs. He won the national title at the 2003 NCAA Cross Country championships – still the most recent Buff to win a title. He was a six-time All-American (twice in cross country, four times in track and field) and a three-time U.S. Olympian (2004, 2008, 2012). He still holds some CU records and is currently coaching with the Buffs.

Richard Rokos, skiing coach (1988-2021): This past winter, Rokos wrapped up his 31st year as the head coach of the Buffs’ ski team – and 34th year overall with the program. During his tenure, he guided the Buffs to eight national championships, nine runner-up finishes and six third-place finishes. Under his watch, CU had 46 individual national champions and 247 All-Americans. CU won three more individual titles this year, giving Rokos 100 total by the athletes he coached.

Jack Ryan, men’s gymnastics (1966-68): Married shortly after high school, Ryan adjusted to life as a new husband while balancing a rigorous academic schedule, a job and the demands of being an elite athlete. He starred in men’s gymnastics for CU, helping the Buffs to their only Big Eight championship in 1968. That year, the Buffs also had their best finish (sixth) in the NCAA championships. Ryan won CU’s only individual title in men’s gymnastics, taking first in the pommel horse with a score of 9.6.

Lee Willard, football/basketball/baseball/track and field (1918-22): The only member of the class being honored posthumously, Willard was one of CU’s first star athletes. In all, he earned 16 varsity letters and 10 first-team All-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference honors. He was a captain for at least one season in all four sports. He was a three-time All-RMAC performer in football; led the RMAC in scoring twice in basketball; and was CU’s leading hitter in baseball three times. He also won multiple conference titles in track and field.