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Happy Birthday - June 22

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We've got four Big Orange birthdays to celebrate on June 22!



First, we're sending happy birthday wishes to A.J. Simcox of Vol Baseball! A Knoxville native, Simcox appeared in 50 games for UT last season, playing primarily at shortstop. He finished the year with a .293 batting average to go along with 27 RBIs and one homer. On June 10 he was selected in the 14th round of the 2015 MLB Draft by the Detroit Tigers. He is 21 years old today.



Teammate Tyler Schultz is also celebrating a birthday today. A senior catcher out of Huntington Beach, California, Schultz appeared in 32 games for UT during the 2014 season. He made 71 plate appearances and hit .254 with eight RBIs. He began his collegiate career at the University of San Francisco before transferring to Cypress CC for his sophomore stint. He turns 23 years old today.



From Vol Track, we wish a happy birthday to rising senior thrower Carson Frost. Frost was sharp in 2015, setting a new personal best in the weight throw during the 2015 indoor season and achieving his highest individual finish ever during the outdoor season. He logged a career-best weight throw of 57 feet, 5.5 inches at the Doc Hale VT Elite Meet during the indoor campaign and finished a career-high fifth during the outdoor season in the hammer throw at the War Eagle Invitational. Today is Frost's 22nd birthday. 

Ariel Kupritz

Lastly, we wish a happy birthday to Ariel Kupritz of women's soccer. A native of Maryville, Kupritz began her collegiate career at Miami before transferring home to UT. She sat out the 2014 soccer season. She appeared in eight matches during her freshman season with the Hurricanes and achieved Dean's List status in the business school with a perfect 4.0 GPA. Kupritz is 20 years old today.

Happy birthday, A.J., Tyler, Carson, and Ariel!


Happy Birthday - June 19

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On June 19 we wish a happy birthday to baseball pitcher Jacob Westphal



A native of Sioux City, Iowa, Westphal recently completed his freshman season on Rocky Top. He appeared in 12 games over the course of the season, posting a record 1-1 with a 3.79 ERA and 13 strikeouts over 19.0 innings of work. His first win of the season came against ETSU when he threw 3.2 innings, allowing three runs and striking out four. 

Westphal is 19 years old today.

Happy birthday, Jacob!


Happy Birthday - June 11

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We've got a quartet of birthdays to celebrate on Rocky Top on this 11th day of June. We're wishing a happy birthday to the fearless leader of Lady Vol basketball, Holly Warlick, as well as to women's swimming's Colleen Callahan, former men's swimmer Sam Petersen, and baseball VFL Will Maddox.



Warlick has spent 30 years at the University of Tennessee -- a span that includes time as a player, an assistant coach, and three years in her current role of head women's basketball coach. A three-time All-American point guard for UT (1976-80), Warlick spent 27 years as a loyal assistant to legendary coach Pat Summitt before taking over the reins of the program in 2012.



A rising junior, Callahan was an NCAA qualifier during her sophomore season. She competed in the 200 breaststroke, 200 IM, and 400 IM at the national meet, recording a new career-best time of 1:59.70 in the 200 IM. Callahan is a member of the 2015 SEC Academic Honor Roll and is celebrating her 20th birthday today.



Petersen saw his UT career come to a close in 2014 as he finished ranked No. 6 all-time in program history in the 1000 freestyle (9:09.17) and No. 9 in the 1650 freestyle (15:11.21). The Short Hills, New Jersey, native was a two-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll.



Before being drafted in the 18th round of the 2014 MLB Draft by the Detroit Tigers, Maddox played infield for three seasons with the Diamond Vols. He started in 157 of his 160 career games and posted a .309 batting average with five home runs and 60 RBIs. He is currently playing first base for the West Michigan Whitecaps of Class A.

Happy birthday Holly, Colleen, Sam, and Will!

 

Happy Birthday - June 9

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On June 9, we're celebrating the birthdays of baseball's Zach Warren, women's swimmer Madison Hahn, and football VFL Craig Colquitt!



Warren, a left-handed pitcher, recently completed his freshman season on Rocky Top. The Vineland, New Jersey, native went 2-0 in his first season, appearing in eight games and getting five starts along the way. He finished the year with 16 strikeouts and a 5.09 ERA in 23 innings pitched. Born this day in 1996, Warren is 19 years old.



A rising senior out of Norfolk, Virginia, Hahn made a pair of individual finals at the SEC Championships in the spring, finishing in a tie for 13th in the 100 backstroke (53.69) and 21st in the 200 backstroke (1:57.17). She picked up a win in the 100 backstroke earlier in the season, swimming 53.58 to take gold at the Nike Cup. A three-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll, Hahn is 21 years old today.



June 9 is also the birthday of Knoxville native and two-time Super Bowl champion Craig Colquitt. Father of current NFL punters and former Vols Dustin and Britton Colquitt, craig played for the Vols from 1975-77 before being drafted by the Steelers in the third round of the NFL Draft. He would go on to win a pair of Super Bowls with the franchise and was inducted into the Greater Knoxville Hall of Fame in 2009.

Happy birthday Zach, Madison, and Craig!


Happy Birthday - June 4

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On June 4 we're sending 'happy birthday' wishes to Lizzie Cornell of track and field and to baseball VFL Steve Searcy!



A four-year performer from Virginia Beach, Virginia, Cornell recently concluded her career on Rocky Top. A distance specialist, Cornell competed during all three facets of the season: cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track. In 2014-15, she competed in three cross country races, setting a new career-best 6K time at the NCAA South Regional and during the outdoor seasons she recorded a new PR of 2:23.90 in the 800 meters. At season's end, she was named the Tennessee Track & Field Women's Scholar Athlete of the Year.



Searcy spent five seasons in the Major Leagues following the conclusion of his playing career at the University of Tennessee. He pitched at UT from 1983-85, going 3-1 with a 2.60 ERA as a freshman. The Knoxville native would go on to be drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the third round of 1985 MLB Draft and he made his pro debut on Aug. 29, 1988. Searcy would pitch four seasons for the Tigers before being traded to the Philadelphia Phillies. Primarily a reliever, Searcy finished his MLB career with six wins, a 5.68 ERA, and over 187.0 innings pitched.

Happy birthday Lizzie and Steve!

 

Happy Birthday - May 28

On May 28 we're wishing a happy birthday to a quartet of Volunteers: Hannah Wilkinson of women's soccer, Austin Sanders of football, Steven Kane of baseball, and VFL and former big leaguer Mike DiFelice



Wilkinson wrapped up her senior season in the fall but will return in 2015 after being granted a fifth-year of eligibility. That fifth year will come after a stop at this summer's FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada where she will represent her native New Zealand on the global stage. A forward, Wilkinson scored a team-high nine goals for UT last season, including a two-goal performance against No. 17 Kentucky in the SEC Tournament. She is 23 years old today.



Sanders is a rising sophomore offensive lineman for Vol football, standing 6-5 and weighing in at 307. He made his UT debut last season as a redshirt freshman in the season-opener against Utah State and went on to appear in four more games for the Vols. The Cleveland, Tennessee, native turns 20 years old today.



Kane recently completed his debut season for Tennessee baseball after arriving on Rocky Top from Cypress Community College. The righty pitched in 19 games for UT, recording an ERA of 4.64 and a 2-1 overall record in 33 innings of work. A native of Peoria, Arizona, Kane is 22 years old today.



Lastly, we wish a happy birthday to former big league catcher and current minor league manager DiFelice. He was an All-SEC catcher for the Vols and lettered from 1989-91. During the 1990 season, he ranked among the top 10 in the SEC in hitting (.353), home runs (10), and slugging percentage (.624). He was drafted in 1991 by the St. Louis Cardinals and went on to spend 11 seasons as a catcher in the majors. DiFelice was inducted into the Tennessee baseball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Happy birthday Hannah, Austin, Steven, and Mike!





Happy Birthday - May 22

On May 22 we're wishing a happy birthday to baseball's Bret Marks



Marks recently completed his senior season with the Vols and went 4-5 on the hill with a 2.92 ERA. He logged 89 strikeouts through 77.0 innings of work during the 2015 season and will finish his career on Rocky Top with a career ERA of 3.46 to go along with 99 strikeouts over his two seasons in the orange and white. A transfer from Wallace State Community College, Marks prepped at Blessed Trinity Catholic High School in Roswell, Georgia, and is 23 years old today.

Happy birthday, Bret!


Happy Birthday - May 9

We've got a trio of Tennessee birthdays to celebrate on May 9 as we wish happy birthday to Lauren Higdon of rowing and Jordan Rodgers of baseball, as well as VFL and current Major Leaguer Chase Headley

Higdon competed as a true freshman this last season for the Tennessee rowing squad, appearing initially as a member of the novice squad before rowing with the varsity. She rowed the one seat in the Varsity Four at the Oak Ridge Cardinal Invitational that placed third in two races and fourth in another. She picked up a win as a member of the Varsity Four at the Petite Final in a time of 8 minutes, 8.16 seconds at the 42nd Annual San Diego Crew Classic. Born this day in 1996, Higdon is 18 years old today.

Lauren  Higdon

Infielder Rodgers is in the midst of his sophomore season for the Diamond Vols and has appeared in 32 games this season. He is hitting .260 on the year with 11 RBIs and three doubles. Rodgers is a native of Memphis and attended Memphis University School during his prep years. He is 20 years old today. 



Currently the third baseman for the New York Yankees, Headley played baseball at Tennessee from 2004-05 after transferring from Pacific. He batted .357 during his two seasons on Rocky Top, including a .387 average during a junior season that also featured 14 home runs and 65 RBIs. He also earned Academic All-America status while at UT. Headley was drafted in the second round of the 2005 MLB Draft by the San Diego Padres and made his big league debut in 2007. He remained with San Diego through the 2013 season and was traded to the New York Yankees last summer. He is hitting .229 through 29 games with New York so far this season.



Happy birthday, Lauren, Jordan, and Chase!




Happy Birthday - May 5

On May 5 we're wishing a happy Big Orange birthday to football's Kyle Phillips and to former baseball player Joe McClain

A freshman out of Nashville, Phillips was an early enrollee with the Vols this past spring. He was rated a four-star defensive end upon his arrival on Rocky Top and played in the 2015 Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas. Phillips prepped at Hillsboro High School where he recorded 33 sacks in three seasons and was named All-Midstate en route to helping the Burros reach the Class 5A Championship Game. Born this day in 1997, Phillips is 18 years old today. 



McClain, celebrating his 82nd birthday today, played baseball at the University of Tennessee before signing with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1953 as a pitcher. A six-foot righty, McClain spent the 1954-55 seasons in the military before bouncing around in the minor league systems of the Cardinals, New York Yankees, and the original Washington Senators franchise (now the Minnesota Twins). In 1960, he was drafted by the new, expansion Senators in the expansion draft and made his MLB debut as a 27-year old rookie for the Senators. He earned the win in a complete-game effort -- the first win for the for the new Senators franchise.

UT

Happy birthday, Kyle and Joe!


Happy Birthday - May 2

On May 2 we've got a trio of birthdays to celebrate as we wish a happy Big Orange birthday to rowing's Stephanie Grozio, former women's swimming and diving standout Tori Lamp, and baseball VFL Luke Hudson!

Grozio is a true freshman out of East Brunswick, New Jersey, and is a member of Tennessee's novice squad in the rowing program. She attended East Brunsiwck High School where she played basketball, softball, and volleyball. Born this day in 1996, Grozio is 19 years old today.

Stephanie Grozio

A 2014 graduate, Lamp is considered to be one of the best divers in Tennessee's swimming and diving program history. She was a three-time SEC champion on the platform, winning in back-to-back-to-back years from 2012-14. She also earned a silver medal in the 1-meter springboard in 2013 as well as a silver and a bronze in the 3-meter springboard in 2012 and 2013, respectively. Lamp earned seven All-America certificates during her time on Rocky Top and was the 2013 CSCAA National Diver of the Year. She currently holds the UT record in both the platform and 3-meter springboard categories.



Hudson was a pitcher for the Volunteers from 1996-98, recording a record of 15-5 during his three seasons in the Orange and White. He went on to be drafted by Colorado Rockies in the fourth round of the 1998 MLB Draft and made his major league debut with the Cincinnati Reds in 2002. In 2004, he went 4-2 with a 2.42 ERA in nine starts with the Reds before spending the 2006 and 2007 seasons with the Kansas City Royals. He retired from professional baseball in 2009.



Happy birthday, Stephanie, Tori, and Luke!


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