Aug. 21, 2012
UCLA Athletics continues its celebration of the 40th Anniversary of Title IX with a series of profiles of UCLA's Title IX 40. This group of 40 Bruin women were game-changers in the Title IX era. Next up are UCLA Hall of Famers Kay Cockerill and Gail Devers.
Kay Cockerill, Golf (1983-87)
Kay Cockerill has done very well for herself making a living doing what she loves - to play and talk about the game of golf.
Cockerill entered UCLA as a walk-on and went on to become an All-American on the golf course and in the classroom, a two-time U. S. Amateur Golf champion, a 10-year pro in the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA), and, since 1995, one of nation's leading television analysts and experts on the professional golf tours.
In Cockerill's first season as a Bruin, she won an early tournament, and her walk-on status quickly became a thing of the past. During her senior season, she placed first in two major tournaments and totaled nine Top 10 individual finishes in 12 tournaments. She led the Bruins to a 14th-place team finish at the NCAA Championships and placed fourth individually, which was, at the time, the highest-ever placement by a Bruin women's golfer. That season, she became the first first-team All-American in program history, and her 74.33 stroke average ranked eighth in the nation. She ended her Bruin career with a UCLA-record six tournament wins and was an all-conference performer all four years.
Cockerill's academic achievements were just as grand as her athletic accomplishments. An economics major with a 3.40 gpa, she earned an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship and was UCLA's first women's golf Academic All-American.
As an amateur, Cockerill won two consecutive U.S. Women's Amateur Championships in 1986 and 1987. At the time, she became only the second player since 1940 to win the Amateur in consecutive years.
Cockerill joined the LPGA in October 1987. In 10 years, her career-best finishes were a third-place (1991 Bay State Classic) and fourth-place (1991 Jamie Farr). She had a low round of 66 (1991 Corning Classic/1995 Friendly's Classic) and one hole-in-one (1988 Konica San Jose Classic). Her best season was 1991, when she won $78,151 and had three Top 10 finishes. Her career earnings were $206,230.
Since 1995, Cockerill has been an on-course commentator and analyst with The Golf Channel and NBC. From 1997-2004, she was also with ESPN. She has worked golf events for the LPGA, PGA, nationwide tours and USGA Championships and has also been the talent for promotional and instructional videos and a guest analyst for "Golf Central" and "Post Game Show".
In 1992, Cockerill was given the Budget Service Award for her involvement in the LPGA Urban Golf Youth Program and the implementation of the LPGA Pen Pal program, and in 1993, she earned the Samaritan Award (acknowledging humanitarian and charitable efforts off the golf course), the Founders Cup (presented by Golf Digest for contributions to LPGA Junior Golf Program) and the Good Sport Award (presented by Sports Illustrated for Kids for devotion to helping kids). Cockerill has also received the Jack Lemmon Ambassador of Golf Award from the California Golf Writers Association.
Cockerill was inducted into the National Golf Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1996, and in 1999, she became the first female golfer inducted into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame.
Gail Devers, Track & Field (1985-88)
Following her outstanding collegiate career as a Bruin, Gail Devers overcame Graves Disease to become one of the most dominant sprinters and hurdles in the history of women's track & field.
As a Bruin, she earned 13 All-America accolades and won nine Pac-10 titles in six different events (100m, 200m, 100m hurdles, 4x100m relay, 4x400m relay, long jump). Her times of 10.97 in the 100m and 12.61 in the 100m hurdles are school records, and her marks of 22.71 in the 200m and 22-2.50 in the long jump are all-time Top 5 rankings.
During her senior season in 1988, Devers led the Bruins to a runner-up NCAA Outdoor finish by placing first in the 100m (10.86w), second in the long jump (21-6) and running on both of UCLA's relays (4x100m, second-place, 43.74; 4x400m, first-place, 3:29.82).
Devers is a five-time Olympian, competing in consecutive Olympic Games from 1988-2004. She won back-to-back gold medals in the 100m in 1992 and 1996 and also captured gold in the 4x100m relay in 1996.
In addition, Devers was a 13-time World outdoor and indoor medalist, winning five World Outdoor titles (1993 - 100m/100m hurdles, 1995 - 100m hurdles, 1997 - 4x100m relay, 1999 - 100m hurdles) and four World Indoor crowns (1993 - 60m, 1997 - 60m, 2003 - 60m hurdles, 2004 - 60m). She won the USA Outdoor 100m hurdles title 10 times and the Olympic Trials 100m hurdles title three times.
Devers ranked No. 1 in the World in the 100m hurdles on seven different occasions and was rated No. 1 in the World in the 100m in 1993. In all, she was ranked in the Top 10 in the World in the 100m seven different times.
In 1990, Devers was diagnosed with Graves Disease, a thyroid disorder, and doctors feared they might have to amputate her feet. Following radioactive iodine treatment and thyroid hormone replacement therapy, she recovered and won a silver medal in the 100m hurdles at the 1991 World Championships.
Devers was inducted into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame in 1999 and received the USATF's Visa Humanitarian Athlete of the Year. In 2011, she was enshrined into the National Track & Field Hall of Fame, and, this year, she was elected into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame.
The Gail Devers Foundation raises money for charities throughout the nation.
Previous Title IX 40 Profiles
Karen Moe/Janet Coles
Terry Condon/Jan Palchikoff
Sue Enquist/Ann Meyers Drysdale
Evelyn Ashford/Anita Ortega
Carol Bower/Denise Corlett
Denise Curry/Sharon Shapiro
Jackie Joyner-Kersee/Dot Richardson
Florence Griffith-Joyner/Liz Masakayan