Dec. 13, 2001
ATLANTA — Former Georgia Tech golf standout Bryce Molder has been named a recipient of the NCAA’s Today’s Top VIII Award, the NCAA Honors Committee announced on Thursday. The prestigious annual awards recognize the nation’s top-eight student-athletes who have distinguished themselves in athletics, academic achievement, character and leadership.
Molder, who is the first Georgia Tech student-athlete to win the NCAA’s Top VIII Award, completed one of the most successful careers in the history of Tech athletics during the 2000-01 school year. In his four years on the Flats, Molder re-wrote the Georgia Tech, Atlantic Coast Conference and NCAA record books. He finished his career with a stroke average of 70.69 and his senior year with an average of 69.43, both of which are school and NCAA records. A four-time first-team All-American, Molder joined Tech’s David Duval, Wake Forests Gary Hallberg and Arizona State’s Phil Mickelson as the only players to earn the honor four times in NCAA history. Molder was named ACC Player of the Year for three-straight years, the first player in league history to accomplish the feat.
“Bryce is the first student-athlete that I’ve ever been associated with in my 15 years of coaching to have received this award and I think that’s about as good as it gets,” said Tech head golf coach Bruce Heppler. “I know that he is very excited about receiving the award and going out to Indianapolis to be part of the ceremony. Obviously I’m proud of him and I think that he is certainly deserving of every award that he gets. I hope that it will inspire other members of our team to reach out and try to achieve the things that Bryce has in his career.”
As a senior, Molder won three tournaments, to tie Duval for the Tech career lead in victories with eight and was named a the Verizon Academic All-American of the Year in the spring of 2001. Last year, at the Golf World Invitational, Molder fired a 12-under-par round of 60, which tied the NCAA record for a single round score.
“Bryce really convinced people here that academics and athletics were not mutually exclusive things,” said Heppler. “When I first got here, there were some people that thought one detracted from the other, but now we have the attitude that the two do go hand in hand. Bryce was an Academic All-American for two years and both Kris Mikkelsen and Troy Matteson will accomplish that feat as well. He really helped change the attitude of what you can accomplish at Georgia Tech both academically and athletically as far as being successful in both at the same time.”
The seven other members of the 2001 NCAA Today’s Top VIII list include: Kimberly Black from the University of Georgia (swimming), Emily Bloss from Emporia State (basketball & track), Andre Davis from Virginia Tech (football & track), Misty Hyman of Stanford (swimming), Leah Juno from Wisconsin-Stevens Point (trach & cross country), Nancy Metcalf from Nebraska (volleyball) and Ruth Riley from Notre Dame (basketball).
All eight of the honorees will be recognized at the 30th annual NCAA Honors Dinner on January 13 in Indianapolis, Ind. The banquet will be in conjunction with the NCAA Convention and will be emceed by CBS Sports broadcaster Clark Kellogg. Full bios and information on all of the honorees can be found at www.ncaa.org.