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Illinois Athletics Hall of Fame 2023: Nicole Evans Cazley



Illinois Athletics Hall of Fame: Nicole Evans
Libby Knight/Illinois Athletics

The Illinois Athletics Hall of Fame inducts Nicole Evans Cazley.

This series of articles features athletes who will be inducted into the Illinois Athletics Hall of Fame in September.

This installment of features Illinois softball star Nicole Evans Cazley.

The University of Illinois Division of Intercollegiate Athletics named 12 new members to the UI Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2023, including athletes and coaches from nine teams. This is the seventh Hall of Fame class. It includes two Olympic medalists, members of their sport’s national hall of fame, national champions, high professional draft picks, a Super Bowl champion, and a national record holder for more than 70 years.

Consistency was the key. 

Nicole Evans Cazley’s journey to the Illinois Athletics Hall of Fame is about consistency. After playing sparingly as a freshman, Evans Cazley hit her stride in 2015. She hit .324, leading the Illini in home runs (19) and RBIs (52). She kept the momentum going during her junior year, leading the Illini in batting average (.337), home runs (12), and RBIs (53). Evans Cazley All-Big Ten Second Team her junior year.

Evans Cazley saved her best for her final season in Champaign. She led the Illini in batting average (.349), home runs (18), and RBIs (58). She was named the Arthur Ashe Female Sports Scholar of the Year winner. The Glen Ellyn native was Illinois’s Big Ten Medal of Honor recipient in 2017. Also, she was an All-Big Ten First Team selection and Illinois Female Athlete of the Year.

Not only was she fantastic on the field, but she was also a fantastic student. Evans Cazley was a three-time Academic All-Big Ten, First Team Academic All-American, and an Easton NFCA Academic All-American (2014, 2016, 2017).

By the time her playing days were over, Evans Cazley’s name was all over the record books. Altogether, she finished her career first all-time in home runs (53), first in slugging (.675), 9th in runs scored (127), 10th in hits (200), first in RBIs (176), and total bases (419).

Her career cemented her as one of the best athletes in school history and an Illinois Athletics Hall of Famer.


Armchair Illini is a comprehensive site dedicated to covering University of Illinois Athletics owned and operated by Alex Kyi. Dante Pryor has been writing about College Football for years on Saturday Blitz and is now the Lead Football Author for Armchair Illini.