NASHVILLE, Tenn. (release) -- The Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame announced today the names of eleven inductees to be enshrined at its annual Induction Banquet on Saturday, May 4, 2013, at the Renaissance Hotel in Nashville.
This year’s inductees include Rick Byrd, basketball coach at Belmont University; Penny Hardaway, University of Memphis and NBA basketball star; Leonard Hamilton, former UT-Martin athlete and current basketball coach at Florida State University, Kelly Holcomb, NFL football player and Middle Tennessee State University star; Chris Jones, basketball standout and coach at Carson-Newman College; Larry Seivers, All-America wide receiver at the University of Tennessee; Trey Teague, outstanding center at the University of Tennessee and Denver Broncos and Frank Wychek, All-pro tight end for the Tennessee Titans. In addition, former Vanderbilt basketball star and Nashville community leader John Ed Miller will be the Hall’s Lifetime Achievement inductee. Also to be inducted posthumous will be longtime radio and TV announcer Bob Bell and standout Morristown athlete and later coach Ermal Allen.
The Sports Hall of Fame, which held its first induction banquet in 1966, has as its goal to enshrine successful teams and individuals who display sportsmanship, good character and success, creating a legacy for others to follow. The Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame Museum is housed the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.
The Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of Tennessee’s sports heritage while honoring the contributions of legendary individuals and teams that have significant ties to the state. Through this mission we recognize the positive attributes of our inductees such as hard work, team work, dedication, focus and how these attributes are needed to achieve success in life.
Coach Rick Byrd is one of the most successful and respected coaches in the country. Widely-regarded for his offensive philosophies and half court execution, Byrd continues to rewrite the coaching record books. With 637 career victories, Byrd ranks eighth among all active NCAA Division-I head coaches in wins. Coach Byrd has overseen a program characterized by unparalleled academic achievement. A graduate of Knoxville's Doyle High School, Byrd was an honors student at the University of Tennessee.
Penny Hardaway, former University of Memphis basketball star, was drafted third overall in the 1993 NBA Draft and went on to make the first of four straight All-Star Game appearances. In 1995 and 1996, Hardaway was named first team All-NBA. Giving back to a community that once pushed him to become a better basketball player has been a priority. He is an inspiring entrepreneur that continues to shine, whether on or off the court and contributes much to his Memphis childhood neighborhood.
Leonard Hamilton, current Florida State Head Basketball Coach, had a brilliant college career at UT- Martin. As a senior, Hamilton averaged 11.7 points a game and was named the team’s most valuable and best defensive player. Hamilton has established himself as one of the top basketball minds in the coaching profession during his 23 seasons as a head coach on the collegiate level. Hamilton was the first coach to be named coach of the year in both the Big East and ACC. He is known as an outstanding educator of young men.
Kelly Holcomb played football at Middle Tennessee State University. MTSU went a 31-16 during his career as the Blue Raiders won an OVC Championship and three NCAA Playoff appearances. Following a brilliant career at Middle Tennessee Holcomb was picked up as a free agent by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and went on to play with numerous teams before ending his 13-year NFL career in 2008.
Chris Jones is a member of Carson- Newman and NAIA Hall of Fames and All-Century Teams. An outstanding basketball player, Jones played in four National AAU Tournaments and the World Cup. He was drafted by NBA Cincinnati Royals and ABL Kansas City Steers. After his professional career Dr. Jones returned to Carson-Newman as coach in 1981 where he averaged 30 wins a year the first four years as his 83 and 84 teams each won 31 games.
Seivers, a University of Tennessee two-time All-America, became one of UT’s greatest receiving threats during his college career and finished as the best of his era after leading Vols in pass-catching yardage all three years on the varsity squad. A native of Clinton, Seivers totaled 347 yards as a sophomore, but exploded in 1975 for 840 yards on 41 receptions. It was the first time any Tennessee receiver topped the 800-yard mark in a season, earning him All-America honors. The following year, Seivers caught 51 passes for 737 yards and was again named All-America. He was selected in 4th round of 1977 NFL Draft by Seahawks
Trey Teague, a native of Jackson, is best known for his playing years at the University of Tennessee. While at Tennessee centering the ball to Peyton Manning, Trey capped Associated Press All-SEC honors in 1997. Trey and his offensive line mates helped Tennessee lead the nation in total offense averaging 482 yards per game in winning the 1997 SEC Championship. The Vols compiled a 40-9 career record during his playing days. In 1998 he was drafted by the Denver Broncos where he played four seasons, and was part of the 1998 Super Bowl Championship team.
Since pro football arrived in Tennessee in 1997, Frank Wycheck has been at the center of it all. Staring as a tight end for the Tennessee Titans, Frank caught 505 career passes for 5126 yards and 28 touchdowns. He led the franchise in receptions for five straight seasons (1996-2000), was selected to three Pro Bowls (1998-2000) and was only the fourth NFL tight end in history to eclipse 500 catches. On the field and off the field, Frank Wycheck was a huge part of laying the foundation of the Titans’ amazing success. Currently Wycheck is at the center of the Titans Radio team as the network’s color analyst and also serves as co-host of “The Wakeup Zone” on 104.5 the Zone (WGFX).
Lifetime Achievement Inductee
John Ed Miller
John Ed Miller played basketball at Union City High School and had multiple scholarship offers from Division I schools before selecting Vanderbilt University to attend college where he was the Captain of the 1965 SEC Championship team making him part of the first Vanderbilt team to win a regular season SEC title. After graduating from Vanderbilt he served in the US Navy before starting his 35 year career at Bell South. John Ed has served on the Board of Directors on over 15 community organizations, earning him the reputation of selfless service to his community.
Long time radio and television broadcaster Bob Bell—Bob Bell is best known for over 50 years in broadcasting, starting in the business as a 19-year old. Bell broke ground at Nashville’s WLAC-AM as a popular evening sports talk show host, and is also treasured as the longtime play-by-play host for University of Tennessee Volunteer football TV game replays, along with 25 years on TV in the Middle-Tennessee area.
Football great Ermal Allen –Ermal Allen was a standout high school athlete in Morristown, Tenn. and former star athlete at the University of Kentucky who made sports his career. Allen played or coached under some of the most successful football and basketball coaches in history. In addition to Tom Landry of the Dallas Cowboys, Allen worked with and for General Robert R. Neyland, Paul "Bear" Bryant, Adolph Rupp, Paul Brown and Blanton Collier.