Ronda Price Brinley and Rachel Price Bell are two of the most decorated athletes in the University of North Alabama’s athletic history.
All-American athletes on the volleyball court and All-American students off it, honors rolled in throughout their careers.
Fourteen years after they left UNA, the Price sisters have received another honor. They are being recognized among 49 other athletes from across the country as part of the NCAA’s 40th anniversary celebration of Division II.
One male and one female athlete from each of the 23 Division II conferences were selected. The Gulf South Conference, of which UNA is a member, had three honorees, and UNA is one of only three schools with two honorees.
“This group of former student-athletes is meant to reflect the core values of Division II athletics,” said Josh Looney, associate director of Division II, in a news release. “Commissioners have helped identify a diverse group of championship individuals from Division II’s 40-year history. Not only did these former student-athletes act as champions in athletics and in the classroom, they’ve gone on to live championship lives as well.
“This group is a true representation of Division II’s commitment to providing its student-athletes a ‘Life in the Balance’ that extends beyond athletics.”
The Price sisters, who were inducted into UNA’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2011, were instrumental in the success of the Lions volleyball program. Both were four-year starters and helped the Lions compile a 156-22 record. UNA captured four consecutive GSC championships and played in four NCAA tournaments.
Rachel Price Bell finished her career with 1,539 kills and was the NCAA Division II Conference Commissioner’s Association Female Scholar Athlete of the Year in 2000. After graduating from UNA, she earned a Ph.D., in Biomedical Engineering from Purdue. She is employed as a clinical project manager in West Lafayette, Ind.
Ronda Price Brinley set a NCAA record with 6,091 kill attempts while setting six school and five GSC records. After graduating from UNA, she graduated from the Indiana School of Medicine. She is a employed as an anesthesiologist in Fort Wayne, Ind.
According to the news release, each member of the Division II 40th Anniversary Tribute Team will receive a commemorative gift and is slated to have his/her accomplishments profiled through Division II media channels.
Conferences submitted a list of nominees representative of Division II’s ideals. The only requirement was that nominees exhausted their athletics eligibility within the past 40 years and attended a college or university active in Division II.