Brady Quinn and Ruth Riley rank as the best male and female athletes to put on University of Notre Dame uniforms at some point in the last decade (between 2000 and 2009).
That's based on the response to a recent und.com poll that offered Irish fans the chance to vote for their top three male and female athletes (three points for first place, two for second, one for third) from a lengthy list of candidates.
Here's what the top 10 looked like for both men and women:Notre Dame Male Athlete of the Decade Voting
1. Brady Quinn (Football, 2003-06)
2. Jeff Samardzija (Football/Baseball, 2003-06)
3. Ryan Sachire (Tennis, 1997-2000)
4. Luke Harangody (Basketball, 2006-10)
5. Jimmy Clausen (Football, 2007-09)
6. Golden Tate (Football/Baseball, 2007-09)
7. Ryan Shay (Cross Country/Track and Field, 1997-2002)
8. Joey Kemp (Lacrosse, 2005-08)
9. Jordan Pearce (Hockey, 2005-09)
10. Troy Murphy (Basketball, 1998-2001)
Notre Dame Female Athlete of the Decade Voting
In terms of those who made the top 10s, und.com voters honored four football players, plus three from basketball, two each from baseball, tennis, soccer, lacrosse and cross country/track and field - plus one each from hockey, fencing, swimming and diving, softball and volleyball.
Here are more detailed biographies on the 20 individuals who made the final top 10 for both genders:
Notre Dame Male Athletes of the Decade
Won Maxwell Award in 2006 as outstanding player in country and Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award (as top senior quarterback), took third in Heisman Trophy race (finished fourth in '05) and was finalist for the O'Brien Award and the Walter Camp Foundation Player of the Year Award for second straight year . . . set 36 career, single-season, single-game and miscellaneous records in his career . . . finished as Notre Dame career and single-season leader in passing yards (3,919 in '05; 11,762 in career), pass completions (292 in '05; 929 in career) and TD passes (37 in '06; 95 in career) . . . ranked third in country in '06 with those 37 TD passes and also ranked third in '05 with 32 TD passes.
One of Notre Dame's best-ever multi-sport athletes . . . consensus first-team All-American was one of three finalists for 2006 Biletnikoff Award as the top receiver nationally . . . runner-up for the '05 NCAA title in TD receptions with 15 . . . finished number one on Notre Dame career pass reception chart with 179 . . . season total of 78 receptions in '06 broke the season mark of 77 he tied in '05 (Tom Gatewood caught 77 in '70) . . . led Irish baseball team in 2005 with 8-1 record and 56 strikeouts, then was 8-2 with 61 strikeouts in 2006 . . . first-team all-BIG EAST in 2006.
Only Notre Dame player ever to win 30-plus singles matches in all four of his collegiate seasons . . . one of only two to earn four invitations to the NCAA Singles Championship . . . one of three Notre Dame players ever to be three-year All-American . . . finished in national top 40 in singles four times and on five occasions appeared at career-high of #2 in ITA national singles rankings . . . posted 138-43 record in singles, placing him second on Notre Dame's all-time wins list, and 73-32 mark in doubles . . . swept ITA's major awards for seniors in 2000, being tabbed National Senior Player of Year and winning John Van Nostrand Memorial Award . . . among notable career rankings are second in combined singles and doubles victories (211) and combined singles and doubles dual-match victories (141), third in wins at #1 singles and doubles dual-match victories (64), and fifth in singles dual-match wins (77) . . . helped Irish compile four consecutive finishes in the national top 35, four NCAA tournament bids and 1999 BIG EAST Conference championship . . . twice tabbed conference tournament MVP and was ITA Midwest Region Player of the Year in 1998 and 2000 after being the region's top rookie in '97.
On pace to become Notre Dame's all-time leading scorer and second-leading career rebounder . . . will easily become the greatest scorer and rebounder in history of BIG EAST Conference . . . two-time first-team All-American in 2008 and 2009 . . . BIG EAST Conference Player of the Year in 2008 . . . currently averaging 24.7 points and 9.8 rebounds and ranks second in the nation in scoring.
Finished third nationally in passing efficiency in 2009 with an all-time Notre Dame record 161.42 rating while completing 68 percent of his passes for 3,722 yards and 28 TDs with only four interceptions . . . set a Notre Dame record by passing for at least 300 yards in seven games, and his four fourth-quarter comebacks for victories were most ever in a season by an Irish signal-caller . . . finished his career ranked first or second in 32 passing categories - including tops in career completion percentage (.626), completions per game (19.8) and lowest interception percentage (.024) . . . career numbers featured 695 completions on 1,110 attempts for 8,148 yards, 60 TDs and 27 interceptions . . . third-team All-America pick in '09.
Unanimous All-American in 2009 and winner of Biletnikoff Award as top receiver in the nation . . . enjoyed the best season in history by an Irish pass-catcher in 2009 with 93 receptions for 1,496 yards and 15 receiving TDs - then added two rushing TDs, a punt return for a score and totaled 1,915 all-purpose yards (second most in Irish history in a single season) . . . equaled or surpassed eight school records in 2009, including most catches and receiving yards in a season, tied for most touchdown catches in a season, most receiving yards in a career, most 100-yard receiving games in a season and career, most receiving yards per game in a season and tied for most consecutive games with a touchdown reception . . . ranked in the top nine nationally among receivers in 10 different statistical categories in '09, and no wide receiver had more games with at least 100 receiving yards in 2009 than Tate's nine . . . scored at least one touchdown in each of the final 11 contests for Notre Dame in '09 . . . concluded his career as the most prolific receiver in Notre Dame history, with 2,707 receiving yards on 157 receptions with 26 touchdowns . . . ranks second in career touchdown receptions and is tied for third in career receptions.
2001 NCAA 10,000-Meter Champion . . . nine-time All-American . . . two-time Academic All-American . . . 2003 USA Marathon champion . . . most decorated athlete in history of Notre Dame track and field with his two cross country All-America certificates to go with two in indoor track and five in outdoor track and field . . . runner-up in 2002 NCAA 10,000 meters . . . nine-time BIG EAST champion, including one title in cross country . . . had seven top-10 NCAA finishes . . . set Notre Dame records in indoor 5,000, and outdoor 5,000 and 10,000.
Three-time All-America honoree (first team 2008; honorable mention 2006 and 2007) . . . won Kelly Award for Outstanding Goalie in NCAA Division I (2008) . . . Great Western Lacrosse League Player of the Year (2007) . . . NCAA Division I save percentage leader (2005) . . . first among all Notre Dame goalies for career wins with 40 . . . helped Notre Dame to three straight NCAA Tournament berths (2006-08), including a trip to the quarterfinals in 2008
Finished his Notre Dame career with best numbers in Irish history in terms of goaltender winning percentage (.679 on 59-26-7), goals-against average (1.98), save percentage (.918) and shutouts (12, tied with David Brown) . . . finished senior season in 2008-09 with 30-6-3 record and 1.68 goals-against average (second in the nation) plus record .9312 save percentage . . . two-time Academic All-American helped Irish to NCAA Frozen Four national championship game in 2008 . . . led nation in wins (30) and shutouts (eight) as senior . . . MVP of CCHA Tournament that Irish won in 2009 . . . 2009 CCHA Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
Two-time consensus All-American . . . two-time BIG EAST Player of the Year, one of only five players in league history to accomplish that . . . finished fifth on Notre Dame career scoring list with 2,011 points and sixth in rebounding at 924 . . . led BIG EAST in scoring in league games in both '00 and '01 . . . BIG EAST Rookie of the Year in '99.
Notre Dame Female Athletes of the Decade
Finished with career totals of 2,072 points and 1,007 rebounds . . . 2001 consensus national player of the year . . . two-time first-team All-American in 2000, 2001 . . . two-time first-team CoSIDA Academic All-American . . . 2001 CoSIDA Academic All-America Team Member of the Year . . . 2001 NCAA Top VIII Award winner ... Most Outstanding Player of the 2001 NCAA Women's Final Four after leading Notre Dame to its first national championship (sank game-winning free throws with 5.8 seconds left in title game vs. Purdue) . . . Notre Dame career leader in seven categories, including rebounds, blocked shots and field goal percentage . . . won gold medal with 2004 U.S. Olympic Team, becoming one of seven women's basketball players in history ever to win an NCAA, WNBA and Olympic championship in their careers.
Four-time All-American and two-time recipient of Hermann Trophy (2006 and 2008) . . . first two-time national-player-of-year honoree in any sport in 122-year history of Notre Dame athletics . . . only NCAA Division I player in 2008 to rank among top five in nation in total goals (fifth with 20), assists (third with 15) and points (second with 55) . . . only player in country to finish with at least 20 goals and 15 assists . . . 2008 BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year for second time in three years . . . during her four-year career at Notre Dame, Irish posted a 92-10-3 (.890) record, won three BIG EAST titles (2005, 2006, 2008) and advanced to NCAA College Cup three times (2006-08), including national championship match twice (2006 and 2008) . . . in 2008 helped Notre Dame reel off school-record 26 consecutive victories to open campaign . . . holder (or co-holder) of an astounding 67 records in Notre Dame, BIG EAST Conference or NCAA record books . . . only Division I women's player ever to amass at least 73 goals and 73 assists in her career, finishing with 84 goals and 73 assists in her career . . . won 2008 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award.
First team All-American for 2009 season and was selected first team all-region in each of her four years . . . finalist for Tewaaraton Trophy and candidate for Honda Sports Award in 2009 . . . set Notre Dame single-season record for goals (83) and draw controls (55) in a season while recording career highs in assists (28), points (111), ground balls (34) and caused turnovers (26) . . . her 83 goals ranked second in nation in 2009 and her 111 points were third best in country . . . four-time unanimous first team all-BIG EAST selection . . . BIG EAST co-attack player of the year in 2009 as she led conference in goals and was second in points . . . Notre Dame's all-time leader in goals (262), points (336) and draw controls (154) . . . BIG EAST's all-time leader in goals for a single season (31 in 2009) and career goals with 78 . . . ranks sixth all-time in NCAA history in goals with 262 and 10th in career points with 336.
Three-time individual NCAA champion, claiming the women's foil title in 2002, 2003 and 2004 and then finishing as NCAA runner-up as senior in 2005 . . . one of only two Irish fencers to win multiple NCAA individual titles . . . only Notre Dame fencer to appear in four NCAA championship bouts . . . boasts Notre Dame best 84-8 record in NCAA competition . . . helped Notre Dame to NCAA titles in 2003 and 2005 . . . finished 161-12 in her career - including 39-2 in 2002 as rookie.
Won 2000 Hermann Trophy as national player of year . . . led 2000 Notre Dame team in points (43), goals (14), assists (15) and game-winning goals (6) . . . helped 2000 Irish hold #1 national ranking for much of season and finish with record of 23-1-1, reaching NCAA semifinals . . . won 2000 Missouri Athletic Club (MAC) Collegiate Player of Year Award and collected first-team All-America honors . . . finalist for Hermann Trophy in all four seasons . . . 13th player in Division I history to reach 50 goals and 50 assists in her career (65G-56A, 186 points) . . . fifth in Notre Dame history for points, fourth in goals and fifth in assists . . . 43 points (15G-13A) in 27 career postseason games, including 20 points (6G-8A) in 16 career NCAA games . . . helped Irish compile 88-9-4 record (.891) from 1997-2000 . . . only second BIG EAST player ever named first team all-BIG EAST four times.
Ten-time All-American, three times in cross country (2002-03-05), seven times in track . . . track honors came in 2003 in 3,000 and 5,000 meters outdoors; in 2004 in 3,000 outdoors and 5,000 both indoors and outdoors; in 2006 (placed second) and 2007 (third) in 5,000 . . . seven-time individual BIG EAST champion . . . holds Notre Dame record for All-America honors by any athlete in any sport . . . two-time BIG EAST Outdoor Outstanding Performer . . . left Notre Dame holder of Irish records in indoor 3,000 and 5,000 and outdoor 5,000 and 10,000 and BIG EAST record-holder in 10,000 . . . placed sixth individually in 2002 in best NCAA cross country performance.
Seven-time All-American helped Irish win four BIG EAST Conference titles . . . set league record with 28 all-BIG EAST citations (12 individual, 16 relay) . . . won eight BIG EAST individual titles with seven relay victories at the league meet ... 2004 BIG EAST Championships Most Outstanding Swimmer ... ended career with seven school records, with four of those individual bests still topping the charts.
Most decorated Irish women's tennis player ever, based on her four All-America honors, two in singles (1999, 2001) and two in doubles (also 1999, 2001) . . . ITA National Senior Player of the Year in 2001 . . . left Notre Dame with career records for singles wins (140), doubles wins (109) and combined victories (249) . . . finished 91-16 in career dual matches, 78-25 in career doubles dual matches . . . in 1999 ranked 13th in singles and was #8 seed in NCAA bracket - and was rated #10 in doubles and reached NCAA quarterfinals with Jennifer Hall . . . then in 2001 was ranked #5 in singles, was #4 NCAA seed and reached NCAA semifinals - and in doubles with Becky Varnum was ranked #9.
Two-time All-American . . . named 2002 BIG EAST/ Aeropostale Scholar-Athlete of the Year for all women's sports in the conference . . . named the 2002 Verizon/CoSIDA Academic All-American of the Year for softball . . . ranked first all-time at Notre Dame in home runs (36), RBI (174) and putouts (1,337) . . . named 2002 BIG EAST Player of the Year . . . during senior season led BIG EAST Conference in six statistical categories, including batting average (.462), home runs (at the time a league record - 8), runs scored (23), RBI (23), on-base percentage (.559) and slugging percentage (.962) . . . became the fourth Irish softball player to earn the 2002 Byron V. Kanaley Award (the top honor earned by a student-athlete at Notre Dame) . . . BIG EAST Rookie of the Year in 1999.
Two-time All-American (2005 second team, 2004 third team) . . . one of only five Division I players to be an AVCA All-American and CoSIDA Academic All-American in 2005 . . . 2003 NCAA blocking champion . . . tabbed BIG EAST Preseason Player of the Year in 2005 after being the conference tournament MVP in 2004 . . . first team all-BIG EAST pick in final three seasons (unanimous in 2004 and 2005) to become the first player from any school since 1997 to be a three-time selection on that team.
Other Nominees for Notre Dame Athlete of the Decade
Earned All-America honors in 2007 as Irish finished 32-7-4 overall . . . CCHA Player and Goaltender of the Year in 2007 . . . finalist for 2007 Hobey Baker Award as top player in the country . . . set Notre Dame season marks for wins (30), goals-against average (1.58), save percentage (.931) and shutouts (six) in 2006-07 . . . finished as Notre Dame career leader in goals-against average (2.32), save percentage (.916), shutouts (12) and was second all-time in wins at 55.
All-American in 2008 . . . first member of Irish squad to advance to multiple NCAA Championships (2006 and 2008) and tallied the first team points ever for Notre Dame at the national meet . . . 28th in one-meter event at 2008 NCAA Championships, 16th in three-meter diving . . . Notre Dame record holder off one- and three-meter boards . . . helped Irish to BIG EAST titles in 2006, 2008 and 2009 . . . BIG EAST runner-up at both one and three-meter boards in 2009.
Four-time All-American in foil . . . remains third-best fencer in Notre Dame history in terms of win percentage at .952 on 157-8 record . . . was 42-3 in 2000, 30-2 in 2002, 42-2 in 2001 and 43-1 in 2003 . . . add to that his 73-19 record in four years of NCAA competition while helping Notre Dame to '03 NCAA title . . . his 73 NCAA wins are second most in Irish fencing history.
When he left Notre Dame he qualified as school's 14th four-time All-American . . . only 14th player in college baseball history to win 40 or more games and strike out at least 400 hitters . . . 43-7 in his Irish career with 2.49 ERA and 425 strikeouts . . . led nation in ERA as freshman in '98 at 1.61 . . . first-team Al-American in both 2000 and 2001 . . . set BIG EAST records for conference play with his 23-4 record and 199 strikeouts . . . set Notre Dame career records for wins, innings and strikeouts.
Two-time All-America honoree . . . finished Notre Dame career second in program history with 134 goals . . . just second Irish player ever to notch back-to-back 40-goal seasons (40 in 2007, 41 in 2008) . . . led team in goals scored for three straight seasons (2007-09) . . . helped Notre Dame to four straight NCAA Tournament berths (2006-09) and a trip to the quarterfinals in 2008.
Broke school record for single-season stroke average (72.71) in 2007 and tied 54-hole school scoring record that same season . . . three-time all-league pick tied for fifth at 2007 BIG EAST Conference Championship . . . owns a share of the Irish career stroke average record (73.76), while his 19 team-leading tournament efforts also set a school standard . . . registered 16 career top-10 finishes, along with nine top-five outings and a career-best tie for first place at the 2005 Shoal Creek Intercollegiate . . . helped Irish to three BIG EAST titles (2004-06) and three NCAA regional berths (2004-06).
2006 Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy Winner . . . two-time first-team All-American (2006 and 2007) . . . 2006 BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year . . . led nation in goals (22) and points (50) in 2006 . . . led team in goals and points three straight seasons (2005-07) . . . helped Notre Dame to four NCAA Tournament bids, including quarterfinal berths in 2006 and 2007
Four-time All-American in epee . . . finished second, third and first in final three NCAA efforts, helping Irish to 2003 and 2005 NCAA titles . . . won NCAA individual title in epee as senior in 2005 . . . finished 68-24 in his career in NCAA competition . . . set Irish record with 64 single-season wins in 2005 and finished with best Notre Dame career win percentage in epee at .936 with 176-12 overall mark.
Consensus All-American as senior centerfielder in 2002 and also earned first-team honors in '01. . . BIG EAST Player of Year in 2001 and 2002 (first player to win it twice) . . . helped Irish to NCAA College World Series in 2002 . . . finished his career third in college baseball history in hits (385) and second in starts (256) . . . set Notre Dame records for runs, stolen bases, at-bats . . . set BIG EAST career record with 154 hits . . . BIG EAST Tournament MVP in 2002 . . . hit .400 in 2001 and .439 in 2002.
Eight-time All-American in cross country and track and field . . . six-time BIG EAST champion . . . ran Notre Dame's first sub-four-minute mile in January 2003 at 3:57.83, the fastest indoor mile in the country that year . . . two-time Academic All-American won two cross country All-America honors, four in indoor track and two outdoors . . . led 2003 Irish teams to BIG EAST track titles both indoors and outdoors . . . left Notre Dame as Irish record-holder in indoor and outdoor mile, 3,000 steeplechase, indoor 3,000, outdoor 5,000 and as part of distance medley relay.
Four-time All-American who finisher second, third, second and seventh in NCAA individual foil competition in her four seasons with Irish . . . her NCAA runner-up finishes in 2002 as freshman and 2004 as junior came behind her Notre Dame teammate Alicja Kryczalo . . . ended up 78-14 in NCAA bouts, including 22-1 mark in 2002 . . . overall career mark of 164-15 (.916) included 53-3 mark (.946) as senior in 2005 . . . helped Irish to NCAA team titles in 2003 and 2005.
2009 team captain was member of main Irish boat for final three years of her career . . . helped team capture BIG EAST titles from 2005-09, including helping her varsity eight boat win gold in the '07 and '08 conference grand finals . . . competed in '07 NCAA Championships, helping her boat qualify for Petite Finals and 12th-place overall finish . . . 2009 NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship winner . . . posted 3.875 cumulative grade-point average while enrolled in a joint degree program within the College of Science and MBA Program . . . will graduate in May 2010 with bachelor's degree in biological science and an MBA.
Four-time All-American and two-time BIG EAST champion (long jump outdoors and 60-meter hurdles indoors in 2003) . . . finished career with Notre Dame indoor and outdoor records in long jump and also ran on 4x100 relay (10th in 2003 NCAA outdoor meet) . . . earned All-America honors three times outdoors and once indoors and finished in top 10 at NCAA Championships on five occasions . . . in NCAA long jump finished ninth in 2000, seventh in 2002 and third in 2003 outdoors - and 13th in 2002 and sixth in 203 indoors.
Concluded her stellar Notre Dame career with a program-record stroke average of 75.80 . . . 74.71 stroke average from 2006-07 campaign stands as the program's second-best single-season mark . . . only four-time all-BIG EAST women's golfer in Notre Dame history and the only student-athlete in program history to compete in three NCAA Tournaments.
Four-time All-American for Irish, including first-team honors in 2006, 2007 and 2008 . . . helped Irish finish ninth in NCAA Championships in 2006 and 12th in 2007 . . . helped varsity eight boat finish seventh in 2006 and 12th in 2007 . . . helped Notre Dame win four straight BIG EAST titles, with varsity eight boat claiming gold medals each of her last three seasons . . . named to United States Under-23 team that won 2008 gold medal in world championships.
Two-time All-American in NCAA doubles . . . BIG EAST Player of the Year in 2009 . . . ITA National Senior Player of the Year in 2009 . . . part of two #1-ranked doubles teams . . . member of winningest senior class in women's tennis history . . . led the Irish to the NCAA semifinals for first time in school history . . . combined with Brook Buck in 2008 to reach NCAA doubles semifinals.
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