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UT Athletics Hall of Honor inductee, Dr. Jim Willerson, dies at 80

Willerson was a three-year letter winner from 1959 to 1961 for the Longhorns swim team and was a member of the Texas Cowboys, according to UT.
Credit: University of Texas
Courtesy: University of Texas

AUSTIN, Texas — A former University of Texas swimmer and UT Men’s Athletics Hall of Honor inductee, Dr. Jim Willerson, died on Wednesday in Houston at 80 years old, UT officials announced.  

Willerson was a three-year letter winner from 1959 to 1961 for the Longhorns swim team and was a member of the Texas Cowboys, according to UT. 

Texas Athletics officials said Willerson was born in Lampasas, Texas, in 1939, but grew up in San Antonio and went to the San Antonio Academy and Texas Military Academy (TMI). He won five individual titles in the state private school swim meet.

Willerson graduated Phi Beta Kappa from UT in 1961 with a degree in pre-med and received the UT Academic Award as the student-athlete with the highest grade point average (3.8).

In 2017, UT Austin named its top cardiovascular research center at the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences (ICES) in honor of Willerson. 

A swimming scholarship is also named in his honor at UT, and he was inducted into the UT Men’s Athletics Hall of Honor in 2009.

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