Eight Senior Swimmers Become ''Ghosts in the Rafters''

Jan. 26, 2009

At a place like the University of Tennessee, tradition is held in high regard. Since the legendary head swimming coach Ray Bussard began building the program's traditions more than 40 years ago, several UT swimmers have made their own mark on the program. To honor those swimmers, current head coach John Trembley started a tradition of his own. "Ghosts in the Rafters" gives graduating seniors a chance to leave a permanent signature on the history of the program.

At the end of the last meet of every season, senior Vol and Lady Vol swimmers climb up to the top of the pool and sign there name in the rafters of the building. The names etched into the beams include Olympians and NCAA champions such as Ricky Busquets, Jeremy Linn, Tripp Schwenk and Evan Stewart. After Saturday's dual-meet with Georgia, eight more joined the ranks of these "Ghosts."

2008-09 Tennessee Swimming Seniors
Jimmy Dabney
During his four years in Knoxville, Jimmy Dabney has represented the true spirit of a Tennessee Volunteer. He is a school record holder in the 200 freestyle relay and also earned an honorable mention All-America selection in the 800 freestyle relay. Jimmy has made the Southeastern Conference Academic and Freshman honor rolls and is a three-time letter winner. At the conclusion of the 2007-08 season, Dabney was awarded the most dedicated swimmer award. He is from Charlotte, N.C. and is the son of Jack and Lynne Dabney. He is seeking his degree in human resource management.
Stephen Fortney
Stephen Fortney has been an integral part of leading Tennessee's resurging swimming and diving program. Earlier this year Stephen placed on the UT All-Time Top 15 Times list in the 200 individual medley. His performance has aided Vols to improve each year in SEC and NCAA final standings. Fortney will earn his second letter this season and is pursuing a degree from the College of Business Administration. He is from Sacramento, Calif. and is the son of Tom and Michelle Fortney.
Greg Houchin
At the Tennessee Invitational, Greg Houchin moved onto the Vols' All-Time Top 15 Times list in the 200 butterfly. Houchin is one of three seniors who will earn four varsity letters during his collegiate career. He has been a leader in the middle distance butterfly events for the Vols and helped UT finish third in the SEC last season. He has twice been selected to the SEC Academic Honor Roll and is pursuing a degree from the College of Business Administration. Greg is from Nashville and is the son of Tom and Barbara Houchin.
Nolan Morrell
Nolan Morrell is an eight-time All-America selection and was first-team All-SEC last season. He will earn his fourth letter this season and now holds the Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center Record in the 100 and 200 backstroke. His 200 backstroke is second all-time in UT history. Morrell is also a member of the school-record holding 400 and 800 freestyle relay teams and a former Mr. Clutch Award winner. He is from Bend, Ore. and pursuing a degree from the College of Arts and Sciences. Nolan is the son of Michelle Morrell, LeRoy Morrell and step-mother Rhonda Morrell.
Barry Murphy
His leadership skills led the 2008-09 team to select Barry Murphy as the co-captain. Barry is a four-year letterman and a 14 time All-America selection. He swam for Ireland in December 2008 at the European Short Course Championships in Croatia. Murphy is a Ray Bussard Spizzerinctum Award winner and a two-time Mr. Clutch award winner. He holds the Allan Jones Center record in the 100 breaststroke and the school record in the 200 and 400 freestyle relays. He is pursuing a degree from the College of Business administration. Barry is the son of Brian and Elizabeth Murphy and hails from Dublin, Ireland.
Jonas Persson
Since transferring to UT two years ago, Jonas Persson has had a tremendous impact on Tennessee swimming. In his first year as a Vol, he earned the UT Most Outstanding Swimmer Award and six All-America selections. He is the school record holder in the 50, 100 and 200 freestyle events as well as the 200 medley relay, the 200, 400 and 800 freestyle relays. Persson represented Sweden in the Beijing Olympics this past summer. He is pursuing a degree in marketing and international business. Jonas is from Malmo, Sweden and is the son of Lars and Ingegerd Persson.
Andrew Thirlwell
Andrew Thirlwell has been a strong force in the middle distance freestyle, butterfly and individual medley. He will earn his third letter this season and earned his first All-America selection last season in the 800 freestyle relay. Thirwell was a member of the SEC champion 800 freestyle relay team in 2007-08. He is a former Ray Bussard Spizzerinctum Award winner. Thirwell is pursuing a degree from the College of Business Administration. Andrew is from Newcastle, England and is the son of Paul and Helen Thirwell.
Scott Wherry
After competing in a wide range of events as a Vol, Scott Wherry found success in the sprints. He started the 2008-09 season with a win in the 50 butterfly. He was awarded last season's most improved swimmer award and will earn his second letter this season. Wherry is a member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll. He has also contirbuted to Tennessee's rise in standing within the conference and on the national level. Wherry is from Lawrenceville, Ga. and is pursuing a degree in biomedical engineering. Scott is the son of Bruce and Diane Wherry.





  • Loading Tweets...
    1 second ago