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OPINION | WALLY HALL: It's another stellar state hall of fame class

by Wally Hall | November 28, 2021 at 2:42 a.m.


It was one of the most passionate Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame board meetings that can be remembered.

The last meeting of the year is when the board finalizes the next group to be inducted into the hall of fame.

The 700-plus members had cast their votes that puts the top two vote-getters in the regular class and one in the senior/posthumous division automatically in.

The board then takes the remaining top 15 vote-getters in each class and votes until the remainder of the class, another top-shelf group, is decided.

Listed are the nine who will share the state's greatest athletic honor, and all were deserving, as well as some who came very close and remain on the list for next year.

Corey Beck, who was instrumental in the Arkansas Razorbacks' 1994 basketball national championship season. He was much more than just a point guard. If the Hogs needed a steal, a rebound bucket or defensive stop, Beck got it. After starting three years for the Hogs, he played 88 games in the NBA.

Barry Foster was one of the most powerful fullbacks in the country during his playing days and helped lead the Razorbacks to back-to-back Southwest Conference championships (1988-89). Foster opted for the NFL after his junior year to help his family. He played four years in the NFL and signed for $1 million for a fifth season, but two days later returned the check and went home to take care of mom.

Tyson Gay helped the Razorbacks' track and field program maintain its status as a national power, scoring numerous points competing in the 100- and 60-meter sprints and as part of the nation's best relay teams. As a professional, Gay competed all over the world, including two Olympics, and won a total of 12 gold medals.

Matt Jones was one of the most exciting quarterbacks in Razorback history. He passed for 5,857 yards and 53 touchdowns, fourth on the career-record list, and he ran for 2,535 yards, second on the career average-per carry list at 6.64. He played four seasons for the Jacksonville Jaguars in the NFL. Jones also played basketball for the Hogs.

Basil Shabazz, arguably the best high school running back in Arkansas history, was named the Gatorade Player of the Year his senior season. He scored 28 touchdowns his senior season at Pine Bluff including five in the state championship. Shabazz opted to sign a professional baseball contract after high school.

Brad Taylor was a three-year starter at quarterback for the Razorbacks, passing for 4,802 yards, which still ranks ninth on the all-time record list for a career and 23 touchdowns and rushed for 644 yards. He was also the team's punter, averaging 41.7 yards per punt.

Paul Blair coached most of the swimmers in Arkansas during his time as owner of the Arkansas Dolphins. He was head coach for the USA World Championship team and other national teams winning numerous championships.

Tommy Brashear was a linebacker for the Razorbacks but became known as one of the best defensive line coaches in the NFL with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Tommy Tice is Arkansas' third winningest high school football coach, winning 455 games at Huntsville and Harrison. He won a state championship and 13 conference championships.

Delores "Dolly" Brumfield White was one of the best baseball players in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, playing from 1947-1953. She taught physical education for 31 years at Henderson State University.


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