Texas Hall of Honor: Tobie Smith, Clay Britt, Jessica Livingston Gibson Elected

Tobie-Smith-university-of-Texas
Photo Courtesy: J.Fingerhut

Ten former University of Texas student-athletes will be inducted this October into the Texas Athletics Hall of Honor, including swimmers Tobie Smith, Clay Britt and diver Jessica Livingston Gibson.

These 10 individuals will be recognized along with the 14 selections (13 former UT student-athletes and one former coach) who were previously announced as the Class of 2020 in an induction ceremony on Friday, Oct. 15, including swimmer Erika Hansen-Stebbins.

Smith swam at the University of Texas, where she won the NCAA title in the 1650 free in 1994, and she was the World Champion in the 25k open water swim in 1998. Later, she completed a solo crossing of the English Channel. She attended medical school at Stony Brook and received a Masters in public health from Johns Hopkins, and has been Medical Director for Health Care of the Homeless in Baltimore, Maryland.

During her career, Smith won the World University Games title in the 1500 freestyle after claiming several All-American honors.  She successfully swam across the English Channel. After her swimming career, Smith has been a member of the USADA Board of Directors.

 

Clay Britt
Swimming & Diving (1980-83)

Clay Britt

Clay Britt was one of the Longhorn greats who helped launch the Texas Swimming & Diving dynasty and the legendary coaching career of Eddie Reese. After helping Texas to a Southwest Conference Championship and NCAA runner-up finish in 1980, he went on to lead the Longhorns to their first-ever Swimming & Diving National Championship in 1981. His victory in the 100-yard backstroke, and as a member of the winning 400-medley relay, played a key role in UT claiming the title. In his four years at the University of Texas, the Longhorns won that National Championship, finished second twice and third once, along with winning four-straight SWC Championships.

Britt was Texas’ first-ever individual swimming event national champion, winning the 100 backstroke in 1980. He went on to win that event three straight years, joining an elite group of NCAA three-peat winners in the 100 backstroke at the time. A six-time National Champion, three times in the 100-yard backstroke and three times on the 400-medley relay, Britt set an American Record in the 100 back in winning the 1981 national title. His time of 49.08 shattered USA swimming legend John Naber’s American Record of 49.31.

On the conference level, he was a seven-time league individual champion, winning the 100 back three-times and the 50 and 200 back twice each. A native of Rockville, Maryland, Britt made history as a prep athlete in a swimming-rich state that recently has produced Michael Phelps and several other Olympians. He lost out on his opportunity to compete for a spot in the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games when the United States elected to boycott the event. After competing at Texas and in the U.S. Olympic Trials in 1984 and 1988, Britt returned to Maryland and has had a successful career as a financial advisor. A 1983 UT graduate with a degree in advertising, he continues to compete to this day, winning events and breaking records in masters swimming events.

Jessica Livingston Gibson
Swimming & Diving (2006-07, 2009)

Jessica Livingston Gibson

An NCAA individual champion, five-time All-American, four-time Big 12 individual champion and three-time Big 12 Conference Women’s Diver of the Year, Jessica Livingston Gibson is one of the top divers in program history. During her time in Austin, she helped lead the Longhorns to a pair of Big 12 Conference titles and three Top-8 team finishes at the NCAA Championships. Gibson spent her freshman season in 2004-05 at the University of Minnesota, where she earned second-team All-Big Ten honors and was named the team MVP following the year.

After transferring to the University of Texas in the summer of 2005, she won the platform event and placed third on the 1-meter board and fourth on the 3-meter board at the 2006 Big 12 Championship meet. Gibson earned Big 12 Women’s Diver of the Year honors as a sophomore while helping the Longhorns win the league’s team title. She went on to earn All-America honors by placing fourth on platform at the 2006 NCAA Championships. In her junior season in 2006-07, Gibson again won the platform event and placed second on the 3-meter board and third on the 1-meter board at the conference meet to claim Big 12 Women’s Diver of the Year recognition. At the 2007 NCAA Championship meet, she won the individual title on platform with a final score of 357.85 points, edging out Indiana’s Lindsay Weigle by just 1.3 points. Gibson also placed third on the 3-meter board at the NCAA meet. Af

ter redshirting the 2007-08 season, she returned to win the platform and 3-meter events at the Big 12 Championship meet to lead the Longhorns to the conference title and garnered Big 12 Women’s Diver of the Year accolades. Gibson concluded her collegiate career by finishing second on platform and fourth on the 3-meter board at the 2009 NCAA Championships, pacing the Longhorns to a fifth-place team finish.

A first-team Academic All-Big 12 selection in 2007 and four-year member of the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll, she received the Good Right Arm Advertising Scholarship in 2006, the Darrell K. Royal Endowed Presidential Scholarship in 2007 and the Janet Hauber Academic Excellence Award in 2009. Gibson earned her degree in advertising from The University of Texas in 2009. Competing with USA Diving, she won four national titles, earning the win on platform in 2006 as well as combining with former Longhorn Laura Wilkinson in 2005, 2007 and 2008 to win the U.S. Synchronized Platform titles. Gibson was a finalist at two USA Olympic Trials, earning a fourth-place showing on platform in 2004 and a fifth-place result on platform in 2008 in addition to finishing runner-up with Wilkinson in the synchronized platform event in 2008.

As a member of the U.S. National Team, she competed at the 2005 FINA Grand Prix in China, the China FINA Open in 2008 and the AT&T USA FINA Grand Prix in 2008. After graduating from the University of Texas, Gibson spent a year as a diving performer with the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line on the ship Oasis of the Seas. She then served as a graduate assistant coach at the University of Alabama, where she earned her MBA in 2012. She has been with ALDI Inc. for nine years, starting as a District Manager in Birmingham, Ala., and is currently a Director of National Buying at ALDI U.S. headquarters in Batavia, Ill. Gibson and her husband, Grant, currently reside in Geneva, Ill., with their son, Leo, and daughter, Reese.

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