Courtesy of CoSIDA
A Rhodes scholar, the NFL’s all-time leading scorer, a two-sport athlete turned global health leader and an elite gymnast now leading international communications efforts highlight the CoSIDA Academic All-America Hall of Fame Class of 2021.
Created in 1988, the Academic All-America Hall of Fame recognizes former Academic All-Americas who received a college degree at least 10 years prior, have achieved lifetime success in their professional careers, and are committed to philanthropic causes. The four Hall of Fame inductees will join the prestigious 158-member CoSIDA Academic All-America Hall of Fame.
The 2021 inductees into the CoSIDA Academic All-America Hall of Fame are:
- Dr. Nicki Pesik, McDaniel College, softball and volleyball;
- Dr. Myron Rolle, Florida State University, football;
- Ann (Woods) Smith, University of Florida, women’s gymnastics; and
- Adam Vinatieri, South Dakota State University, football.
A four-time Super Bowl champion, Vinatieri is the NFL’s all-time leading scorer with 2,673 total points in 24 seasons as a placekicker. An undrafted free agent, Vinatieri signed with the New England Patriots in 1996 after a one-year stint in the World League of American Football.
He went on to play in four Super Bowls with the Patriots, winning three. He kicked last-second, game-winning field goals in Super Bowl XXXVI and Super Bowl XXXVIII. Vinatieri signed with the Indianapolis Colts in 2006, winning a fourth Super Bowl that same season. A three-time Pro Bowl and All-Pro selection, Vinatieri became the NFL’s all-time leading scorer in October 2018, when he passed Morten Andersen. He currently has 2,673 total points—129 more than Andersen. He earned NCAA Division II All-America recognition at South Dakota State in 1994 after setting the school single-season record with an average of 43.5 yards per punt.
During his collegiate career, he set numerous school placekicking records, including career marks for field goals (27), PATs (104), points by a kicker (195) and longest field goal (51 yards). Vinatieri graduated with a bachelor’s degree in fitness and wellness and was a 1994 CoSIDA Academic All-America selection.
"On behalf of the CoSIDA executive board of directors, we are proud to welcome this elite class of former student-athletes into the CoSIDA Academic All-America Hall of Fame,” noted Sam Atkinson, associate athletic director for communications at Gallaudet University and the 2020-21 CoSIDA president. “Dr. Nicki Pesik, Dr. Myron Rolle, Ann Smith and Adam Vinatieri have distinguished themselves in ways that have transcended their athletic and academic accomplishments to make a lasting impact on our world, most notably during a global health crisis.”
The CoSIDA Academic All-America Hall of Fame Class of 2021 will be recognized in a ceremony June 9, during CoSIDA’s virtual convention. This will follow a recognition ceremony for the CoSIDA Academic All-America Hall of Fame Class of 2020 June 7.
Both ceremonies will air at 6 p.m.
The CoSIDA Convention, held each year in conjunction with the annual National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and Affiliates Convention, transitioned to a virtual format for 2020 and 2021 due to the global health pandemic.