Happy Birthday, Coach Henson!

Happy Birthday, Coach Henson!

Illini Legends, Lists & Lore

David Zeddies

Illini gymnastics legend David Zeddies celebrates his 46th birthday today.

Winner of the Nissen Award as the nation’s top male gymnast in 1988-89, he combined his marvelous athletic ability with sportsmanship and leadership, and also was an outstanding scholar. Zeddies excelled on the rings and the parallel bars, earning 1988 Big Ten Gymnast of the Year honors and helping to lead coach Yoshi Hayasaki’s Illini squad to the 1989 NCAA title.

As impressive as his time was as an undergraduate athlete, Zeddies has risen to the top of his field in marine science. After earning a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at Illinois, he became a Ph.D. in neuroscience at Northwestern in 2001.

Following two years as a research associate at Loyola University, Zeddies became a postdoctoral fellow and lectured in cochlear mechanics and hair cell function at the University of Maryland-College Park. He also conducted experiments in Seneca Lake, N.Y., on the effects of exposure to high-intensity naval sonar systems on fish hearing.

From 2008 to ’11, Zeddies was a staff scientist and engineer for Marine Acoustics Inc. in Arlington, Va. Currently, he is a senior scientist for JASCO Applied Sciences, providing environmental risk assessment due to anthropogenic sound in marine environments. Zeddies has written more than 25 published articles about marine acoustics and other related subjects.

Illini Birthdays

Today: J.P. Machado, football (37)

Monday: Jonelle Polk, basketball (48)

Tuesday: Jeff Johnson, golf (29)

Wednesday: Amanda Fortune, softball (31)

Thursday: Lou Henson, basketball coach (81)
— Stop by and say hi to Coach Henson during The News-Gazette Sports Page beginning at 5 p.m. Monday night at the Esquire Lounge in downtown Champaign.

Friday: Lorna Henderson, volleyball (43)

Saturday: Peter McCarty, football coach (57)

—By Mike Pearson, author of Illini Legends, Lists & Lore and assistant athletic director at Miami (Ohio)

— Get Illini birthdays, trivia and historical tidbits daily on Twitter @IlliniLegends