Every November, the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame board meets to approve the incoming class, and this year was one of the most interesting votes as the more than 700 members who voted nailed it.
The top four vote-getters in both the regular division and senior division were voted in, as well as one other well-deserving inductee.
The banquet is set for March 29 at the Statehouse Convention Center. It is another outstanding class, and congratulations to the following (in alphabetical order):
Gary Adams, the pride of Piggott, was undefeated as a high school quarterback but switched to defense at the University of Arkansas and helped the Hogs to a 22-8-1 record during his playing days. He was a three-time All-Southwest Conference player and had 13 interceptions. Adams was selected to Arkansas' All-Decade Team for the 1960s. He also was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles.
Richard Akel, according to Paula Juels Jones, is the single best tennis player in Arkansas history. In youth tennis, he was No. 1 in every age group through his junior year. He played at Clemson and helped the Tigers to a No. 5 national ranking. He turned pro in 1983, and before injuries forced him to retire two years later, he played in every Grand Slam event.
David Alpe is a legend in Malvern, coaching there for 36 years, winning 16 conference championships and the 1993 state championship before becoming athletic director. He was an outstanding athlete, scoring 39 touchdowns for Lake Village High School, and was a three-time All-AIC running back at Southern Arkansas University.
Denny Flynn is one of the best bull riders ever and was runner-up in the World Bull Riding Championship three times and third place three times. His 98-point ride is second best in Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association history. He's in the Professional Rodeo Hall of Fame, and the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Rodeo Hall of Fame.
Madre Hill ran for 6,010 yards and 68 yards at Malvern. As a Razorback, he helped the team to its first SEC Championship Game and was named All-SEC. He missed a year because of an injury, but he came back and played another year before being drafted by the NFL, where he played for three years.
Jerry Jones Jr. is the executive vice president and chief sales/marketing officer of the Dallas Cowboys. He was instrumental in the planning and development of AT&T Stadium and The Star, the Cowboys training facility. He was named twice by Sports Business Journal to its "40 Under 40" for his contributions to the Cowboys.
Jim King, a native of Bee Branch, helped Fort Smith Northside win consecutive boys basketball state championships. He was an all-conference player at Tulsa before being drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers. He played 10 years in the NBA and reached the playoffs nine times, twice making the NBA Finals.
Houston Nutt, an outstanding high school athlete, played for Arkansas and Oklahoma State. He was 31-16 as head coach at Murray State, then spent a year at Boise State before taking over the Razorbacks. He took teams in 2002 and 2006 to the SEC Championship Game and was SEC Coach of the Year twice, one of only nine in SEC history to accomplish that.
Sherry Raney White, a sharp-shooter and hard-nosed defender in high school, is the second leading scorer and was an All-American at Arkansas Tech University. She has dedicated her career to high school coaching and been named outstanding coach of the year twice. She has coached three Arkansas High School all-star games.
Sports on 11/13/2018
Print Headline: Arkansas HOF to add distinguished class