When Steve Cox, the newest member of the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees, was playing in the NFL he was a highly regarded punter with great hang time and the ability to boot the football deep.
He was also a secret weapon for both the Cleveland Browns and Washington Redskins. Several times he was called on to attempt long field goals, and by long that means 50-plus yards, and twice he was asked to convert a fourth down with his arm, and both times he was successful.
Cox, who started his collegiate career at Tulsa before transferring to Arkansas, is also a really nice, humble guy.
A native of Charleston, Cox led the nation in punting as a Razorback with a 46.5 yard average per punt. He was All-Southwest Conference and an All-American, won a Super Bowl ring with the Redskins, and of all these things, the only one he would mention is that he was proud to be raised in Charleston.
Tomorrow, Cox will do something totally different when he and seven other Arkansas Sports Hall of Famers will present the trophies to the winners of eight of the 10 races at Oaklawn Park as The Fifth Season welcomes Arkansas hall of famers.
Cox has the very first race and is followed by:
U.S. Reed, who hit the buzzer-beating 49-foot shot that gave the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville Razorbacks a 74-73 win over Louisville in the 1981 NCAA Tournament.
Dennis "Dirt' Winston, who helped lead the Razorbacks to the 1975 Cotton Bowl win over Georgia, and the Pittsburgh Steelers to two Super Bowl championships.
Quinn Grovey, these days known as the Razorbacks football analyst. Grovey lettered four years at quarterback for the Hogs and won back-to-back Cotton Bowls. He was named to the Arkansas All-Century team.
After Oaklawn has two presenters of their own for the fifth and six races, Oliver Elders will present the winning owner of the seventh race. Elders will be inducted into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame on April 6. He coached basketball for 36 years, 35 in the Little Rock School District and retired with 656 victories.
Bruce James has the eighth race. James was part of the 1969 Great Shootout with the Texas Longhorns. He was a three-year starter and a 1970 All-American. During football season his opinions are shared on KATV-Channel 7, and 103.7-The Buzz.
Brison Manor has the feature race. He was a two-year starter at defensive end for the Razorbacks and later was part of The Orange Crush, the Denver Broncos' famed defense. He helped them to their first Super Bowl.
Closing out the program is Bill Montgomery, who is coming up from Dallas for the event. Montgomery was a three-year starter for the Hogs at quarterback and besides being a member of the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, he has also been inducted into the Southwest Conference Hall of Fame.
Every inductee of the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame is invited, and for the first time the amazing book The First 60 Years of the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame will be on sale.
Several Hall of Fame members have an Oaklawn background, including former owner and CEO Charles Cella, Larry Snyder, Pat Day, Calvin Borel, John Ed Anthony and Terry Wallace.
A case could be made to someday induct American Pharoah who won the Rebel Stakes, Arkansas Derby and then swept the Triple Crown. He has his own statue at Oaklawn.
Tomorrow will be a big day at Oaklawn, featuring not only some of the greatest horse racing in the country but some of the greatest athletes, coaches and administrators in Arkansas sports history.
Sports on 03/23/2018
Print Headline: Hall of famers stepping into winner's circle