Alabama Sports Hall of Fame Honors Reeves Sims 2021 Frank “Pig” House Award

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Board of Directors of the State of Alabama Sports Hall of Fame is proud to announce that Reeves Sims will be recognized as the 2021 Frank “Pig” House Award recipient at the 53rd Annual Induction Banquet and Ceremony on Saturday, May 8, 2021.

The Frank “Pig” House Award is given to someone who has performed outstanding service to sports in Alabama, and whom the Board of Directors feels worthy of special recognition. The award is named after the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame’s first Chairman of the Board who was instrumental in the founding of the Hall of Fame.

Reeves Sims was born May 25, 1936 in Birmingham, AL. A graduate of Woodlawn High School and Auburn University, Sims is being recognized for his life of volunteer service, including 25 years in the Air National Guard where he retired as a Lt. Colonel. As a member of the Monday Morning Quarterback Club and charter member of the Birmingham Tip-Off Club, he volunteered at the first AHSAA Super Six and AHSAA Final 48 championships when they were established in the 1990s; he has been a part of every championship event since. Sims has also been a Pro-Am Chairperson for the Regions Tradition golf tournament since it began in 1992. He proudly serves his alma mater Auburn University and volunteers annually at the SEC Baseball Tournament. Since the late 1990s, he has volunteered with the Bryant-Jordan Student-Athlete Program. Among many other organizations, he has also served as director for local chapters of the YMCA and FCA. For his selfless contributions, Sims has already been recognized with the 2005 Birmingham YMCA Lifetime Achievement Award, 2004 Birmingham Tip-Off Club Leon Marlaire Award, 2014-15 Birmingham Tip-Off Club Frank Nix Distinguished Service Award, 2016 PGA Tour Champions Volunteer of the Year Award, and the 2019 NFHS State Award for Outstanding Service.

Sims joins a distinguished list of others who have been honored by the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame as Frank “Pig” House Award recipients. They are: Sammy Dunn (2004), Avalee Willoughby (2007), Buddy Anderson (2014), Emanuel “Tubb” Bell IV (2017), and Don Hawkins (2020).

The 53rd Induction Banquet and Ceremony will be held in the Birmingham Ballroom, at the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel, on Saturday, May 8, 2021. For more information or to purchase tickets, please contact the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame Museum at (205) 323-6665.

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Alabama Sports Hall of Fame Honors Rubin Grant 2021 Mel Allen Media Award

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Board of Directors of the State of Alabama Sports Hall of Fame is proud to announce that Rubin Grant will be recognized as the 2021 Mel Allen Media Award recipient at the 53rd Annual Induction Banquet and Ceremony on Saturday, May 8, 2021.

The Mel Allen Media Award was created to honor media members in the State of Alabama who have made a lifetime contribution to sports through their work as a media member. The award is named after the 1974 ASHOF Inductee Mel Allen, of Birmingham, who was known as the “Voice of the New York Yankees” for two decades.

Rubin E. Grant was born August 3, 1957 in Montgomery, AL. His roots are planted deeply in Alabama sports, dating to his days as a student at Carver High School in Montgomery. While attending school at the University of Alabama, he was the sports editor for the Crimson White, covering the Crimson Tide under Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant. After graduating in 1979, Grant spent 25 years covering sports for the Birmingham Post-Herald. At the Post-Herald, he served as prep editor, reporting on local high school football stars like Bo Jackson, Cornelius Bennett, and Carnell “Cadillac” Williams. In 1981, Grant won the Herby Kirby Award, the Alabama Sports Writer’s Association’s highest award. For his 25 years of covering the Barons he was inducted into the Birmingham Barons Hall of Fame. In 2002, Grant won first place in the Alabama Associated Press Managing Editors Competition for his columns on high school sports. Since 2004, he has worked as a freelance journalist and he co-authored the book Tales from Alabama Prep Football in 2006.

Grant joins a distinguished list of others who have been honored by the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame as Mel Allen Media Award recipients. They are: John Pruett (2014), George Smith (2014), Tom Roberts (2015), Ron Ingram (2017), Cecil Hurt (2019), and Paul Finebaum (2020).

The 53rd Induction Banquet and Ceremony will be held in the Birmingham Ballroom, at the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel, on Saturday, May 8, 2021. For more information or to purchase tickets, please contact the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame Museum at (205) 323-6665.

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Alabama Sports Hall of Fame Honors Angus Cooper II & John McMahon, Jr. 2021 Distinguished American Sportsmen

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Board of Directors of the State of Alabama Sports Hall of Fame is proud to announce that Angus Cooper II and John McMahon, Jr. will be recognized as 2021 Distinguished American Sportsmen at the State of Alabama Sports Hall of Fame 53rd Annual Induction Banquet and Ceremony on Saturday, May 8, 2021.

Angus R. Cooper II was born March 28, 1942 in Mobile, AL. He graduated from University Military School in Mobile in 1960, where he excelled in football, basketball, and baseball. He served as team captain of all three sports his senior year. Cooper earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Alabama in 1964. Throughout his business career, he has leveraged the success of his family business to benefit sports and education institutions throughout the Southeast. For a number of years, he served on the Athletic Committee of Tulane University and played a role in the construction of a new football stadium for the school. From 2000-2012, he served on the University of Alabama Board of Trustees and was chosen to lead the Chairman of the Board’s Athletic Committee. During Cooper’s tenure as Chairman of the Athletic Committee, the University of Alabama developed one of the most successful athletic programs in the nation. In 2006, Cooper was involved with the search process for a new head football coach that resulted in the hiring of Coach Nick Saban. Since 2010, Cooper has served as Chairman of the Senior Bowl in Mobile. Along with serving as the final evaluation of college football players before the NFL Draft, Cooper has expanded the Senior Bowl’s mission to encourage and support inner-city kids through year-round athletic programs.

John J. McMahon, Jr., a well-known business and community leader in Birmingham, has supported numerous civic, public, and athletic efforts of statewide significance during his career. McMahon graduated with his bachelors degree from Birmingham-Southern College in 1965 and his law degree from the University of Alabama in 1968. He currently serves as Chairman of Ligon Industries, LLC, and formerly served as President and Chairman of McWane, Inc. He served on the Board of Trustees at both Birmingham-Southern College and the University of Alabama, where he served as Chair of the Athletic Committee. He has served as a board member and officer of the Crimson Tide Foundation since its inception. He is also an original member of the 4 and 20 Club – a support organization established in the mid-1970s for University of Alabama basketball. For many years, he has been a member of the Monday Morning Quarterback Club, Red Elephant Club, and Birmingham Tip-Off Club. McMahon played an instrumental role in assisting the Birmingham Athletic Partnership with the development of the BAP Corporate Partner program, which provides funding to athletic and extracurricular programs within the Birmingham City Schools. For his generous contributions to the success of University of Alabama Athletics, he has been recognized as a member of the Bryant Society and an honorary member of the Alabama A Club.

Cooper and McMahon join an impressive list of others who have been honored as Alabama Sports Hall of Fame Distinguished American Sportsmen. They are: Bob Hope (1988), Hugh Culverhouse (1991), Former President George H.W. Bush (1992), Charles O. Finley (1993), Larry D. Striplin, Jr. (1998), Bill Ireland (2000), Roy Kramer (2003), Jim Wilson, Jr. (2005), Michael E. Stephens (2006), Joseph Gibbs (2008), Nick Bollettieri (2009), Rick Woodward (2010), Don Logan (2011), Ron Froehlich (2015), Mike Slive (2015), Edgar Welden (2016), Pete Derzis (2017), Jimmy Rane (2018), Daniel Moore (2019), and Robbie Robertson (2020).

The 53rd Annual Induction Banquet and Ceremony will be held in the Birmingham Ballroom, at the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel, on Saturday, May 8, 2021. For more information or to purchase tickets, please contact the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame Museum at (205) 323-6665.

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Alabama Sports Hall of Fame Announces Class of 2021

The Board of Directors of the State of Alabama Sports Hall of Fame is pleased to announce the Class of 2021 to be inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame on May 8, 2021. The Class was selected by ballot through a statewide selection committee; votes were tabulated by the accounting firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The newly elected inductees for the Class of 2021 are as follows:

WILLIE ANDERSON

HAL BAIRD

CLIFF ELLIS

STEVE HUDSON

LILLIE LEATHERWOOD

GEORGE TEAGUE

BEN WALLACE

DEMARCUS WARE

Starting with the first class in 1969, this will be the 53rd Class inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. The eight newly elected inductees will bring the total number of inductees to 377.

The 53rd Annual Induction Banquet and Ceremony will be held in the Birmingham Ballroom, at the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel, on May 8, 2021. For more information or to purchase tickets, please contact the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame Museum at (205) 323-6665.

CLASS OF 2021 BIOGRAPHIES:

WILLIE ANDERSON – FOOTBALL | Born July 11, 1975 in Mobile, AL. Anderson played offensive tackle at Auburn University from 1993-95 where he was named All-American and twice-named All-SEC. He was selected 10th overall in the 1996 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. A four-time Pro Bowler and three-time first-team All-Pro selection, Anderson played his first 12 seasons with the Bengals before playing his final season with the Ravens in 2008. During his NFL career he played in 195 games, starting 184. Anderson only surrendered 16 sacks in his 13-year career and did not give up a sack between 1999 and 2001.

HAL BAIRD – BASEBALL – COACHING | Born August 23, 1949 in Fayette, AL. Baird pitched at Eastern Carolina where he recorded 105 strikeouts in the 1970-71 season. He was drafted by the Cleveland Indians and also played for the Kansas City Royals organization. In 1977, he returned to ECU as an assistant and was named head coach in 1980. He accumulated a 145-66-1 record, three NCAA Tournament appearances, and two ECAC-South championships. In 1985, he was hired as the head baseball coach at Auburn University where he would coach until 2000. Under his tenure, Auburn had a 634-328-0 record; the most wins by a baseball coach in Auburn history. Baird also earned three NCAA Regional titles, an SEC Western Division Championship, an SEC Tournament Championship, and two College World Series appearances in 1994 and 1997. Ten of his players earned All-American honors and 51 were drafted (including Bo Jackson, Tim Hudson, and Frank Thomas).

CLIFF ELLIS – BASKETBALL – COACHING | Born December 5, 1945, in Marianna, FL. After starting his college coaching career at Cumberland University, Ellis was hired as the head coach at South Alabama in 1975. Four years later, he had the Jaguars in the NCAA Tournament and six seasons later, they were ranked in the nation’s top 10. From 1975 to 1984, he led the Jaguars to three Sun Belt titles, two NCAA Tournament appearances, and two NIT appearances. After the 1984 season, he was named the head basketball coach at Clemson University. In 10 years at Clemson, Ellis led the Tigers to postseason play eight times, including three NCAA Tournaments. During the 1989-90 season, Ellis led Clemson to its only ACC season title in school history and made it all the way to the Sweet 16. He was a two-time ACC Coach of the Year (1987 and 1990) while at Clemson and is currently the winningest coach in Clemson history. From 1994-2004 Ellis was the head coach at Auburn University, where he won 186 games, second only to Joel Eaves. Ellis led the 1998-99 Tigers to the SEC Championship with a 29–4 record and the Sweet 16. The Tigers also reached the Sweet 16 during the 2002-03 season. Since 2007, Ellis has coached at Coastal Carolina where he is second all-time in school wins. Going into the 2020–21 season, Ellis’s 780 NCAA Division I wins rank him 15th all-time and third amongst active coaches.

STEVE HUDSON – GOLF | Born December 2, 1958 in Jasper, AL.  Hudson played collegiately at the University of Alabama where he was a member of their first SEC Championship-winning team in 1979. He also played in the U.S. Amateur Championship at Canterbury Country Club (Ohio) in 1979. He was twice named co-captain of the UA golf team. From 1981-87 he played professionally. Three times he was named Alabama Golf Association (AGA) Player of the Year and twice he was named AGA Senior Player of the Year. He has won the AGA State Mid-Amateur Championship twice and the AGA State Senior Championship twice. In 2014, 2016, and 2017 he won the Senior Amateur Masters Championship. He has reached the top ten in the Golf Week National Rankings four different years and in 2017 he was named the Society of Seniors Player of the Year.

LILLIE LEATHERWOOD – TRACK & FIELD | Born July 6, 1964 in Tuscaloosa, AL. Leatherwood was a three-time NCAA champion in the 400 meters during her time at the University of Alabama, and a 10-time All-American from 1984-87. She was also an eight-time SEC event champion, including three event wins at the 1987 SEC Outdoor Track & Field Championships (200 meters, 400 meters, 4×100-meter relay). In 1984, she became the University of Alabama’s first female Olympic gold medalist as a member of the United States’ 4×400-meter relay team at the Los Angeles Games. In 1987, she was named SEC Female Athlete of the Year, won silver in the 400 meters at the World Indoor Championships, and won bronze in the 4×400-meter relay at the World Outdoor Championships. Her UA school records in the 200 meters and 400 meters have stood since 1987. In 1988, she won an Olympic silver medal as a member of the 4×400-meter relay team at the Summer Olympics in Seoul. In 1991, she won silver at the World Outdoor Championships with the 4×400-meter relay team and bronze at the World Indoor Championships with the 4×400-meter relay team. 

GEORGE TEAGUE – FOOTBALL | Born February 17, 1971 in Oscoda, MI. Teague played safety at the University of Alabama where he recorded 14 career interceptions over four years. In 1992, he was named first-team All-SEC and second-team All-American. He was a key member of the 1992 National Championship team. During the Sugar Bowl versus the No.1 ranked University of Miami, he stripped the ball away from a Miami receiver who was sprinting for the endzone. This iconic play gave Alabama the momentum, and the Crimson Tide went on to win 34-13 and claim the National Title. Teague was selected 29th overall by the Green Bay Packers in the 1993 NFL Draft. He was a member of the 1993 All-Rookie Team. Over a nine-year career he played with the Packers, Cowboys and Dolphins.

BEN WALLACE – BASKETBALL | Born September 10, 1974 in White Hall, AL. He attended Cuyahoga Community College and Virginia Union University and signed with the Washington Bullets as an undrafted free agent in 1996. In his NBA career he played with the Washington Bullets/Wizards, Orlando Magic, Detroit Pistons, Chicago Bulls, and Cleveland Cavaliers. Some of his honors include: NBA Champion (2004), four-time NBA All-Star (2003, 2006), three-time All-NBA second-team (2003, 2004, 2006).  He was five-time NBA All-Defensive first-team (2002-2006) and NBA All-Defensive second-team (2007).  He was the NBA rebounding leader two consecutive years (2002, 2003), NBA blocks leader (2002), and the Detroit Pistons all-time leader in blocks. His jersey No. 3 is retired by the Detroit Pistons.

DEMARCUS WARE – FOOTBALL | Born July 31, 1982 in Auburn, AL. Ware played defensive end at Troy University where he was instrumental in the program’s transition to the Football Bowl Subdivision in 2001. He finished his Trojan career as the school’s all-time leader in tackles for loss with 55.5. He is second all-time in sacks with 27 sacks for a loss of 198 yards. A two-time All-Sun Belt Conference selection, he was also named Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year in 2003. The Dallas Cowboys selected Ware as the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft. During his NFL career, he played 12 seasons; nine with the Cowboys and three with the Denver Broncos. While playing for the Broncos, he was a member of their Super Bowl 50 championship team. His career stats include 654 tackles, 138.5 sacks, and 35 forced fumbles. During his career he was named to nine Pro Bowls, four All-Pro first-teams, and three All-Pro second-teams. Ware is a two-time NFL season sacks leader (tied for NFL record) and two-time winner of the Butkus Award. He was named to the Sun Belt Conference 2000s All-Decade Team. In 2012, he was inducted into the Troy University Sports Hall of Fame and in 2014, he was inducted into the Senior Bowl Hall of Fame.

ASHOF Museum Reopening Guidelines

The ASHOF Museum reopened to the public on Monday, October 5, 2020. The Museum is open Monday-Friday 9AM-5PM. In order to ensure the safety of employees and guests, the following health and safety procedures will be in place until further notice:

Stay Home If You’re Sick

If you feel sick, have a fever, have recently experienced COVID-19 symptoms, or have been exposed to COVID-19; please stay home

Masks Required

All staff and visitors over the age of two are required to wear a mask inside the ASHOF Museum

Look, Don’t Touch!

Please refrain from touching or leaning on displays and items within the ASHOF Museum

Sanitize and Social Distance

Stay with your family unit throughout your visit and utilize the hand sanitizer station upon entry

No Events or Tours

The ASHOF will be suspending all public events and tours until further notice to limit the number of individuals inside the Museum

Virtual Induction Ceremony Viewing Information

Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame 52nd Annual Induction Ceremony will be held virtually on Saturday, August 1, 2020 at 6:30 p.m. CT.

The ASHOF Class of 2020 is as follows:

RONNIE BROWN

SYLVESTER CROOM

DOUG KENNEDY

Q.V. LOWE

WOODY MCCORVEY

JORGE POSADA

DUANE REBOUL

STEVE SHAW

The Induction Ceremony will also include several special awards: Robbie Robertson will be honored as the 2020 Distinguished American Sportsman; Paul Finebaum will be honored as the 2020 Mel Allen Media Award recipient; Don Hawkins will be honored as the 2020 Frank “Pig” House Award recipient; and Brodie Croyle will be honored as the Inaugural Starr-Sullivan Achievement Award recipient.

The Ceremony will be broadcast on WOTM. Attached is a viewing map with information on how to access WOTM in local areas. Viewers can stream the broadcast online at wotm.tv. The link will also be available on the ashof.org homepage.

ASHOF Class of 2020 to be Inducted Through Virtual Induction Ceremony

Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame 52nd Annual Induction Ceremony will be held virtually on Saturday, August 1, 2020 in lieu of the previously scheduled Induction Banquet.

“While we are very disappointed that we are not able to honor the Class of 2020 at a banquet, we are very thankful technology will allow us to still induct these sports heroes in a way that is safe for everyone,” said Scott Myers, Executive Director of the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.

The ASHOF has worked out an agreement with WOTM TV to broadcast the induction ceremony on the WOTM channel throughout Alabama, and online at ashof.org and wotm.tv. The show will air on August 1st beginning at 6:30 p.m. CST. The ASHOF Induction Ceremony emcee Ryan Brown will serve as host of the broadcast.

More detailed viewing information will be made available on the ashof.org website and ASHOF social media channels. The ASHOF Museum can be reached at (205) 323-6665.

Alabama Sports Hall of Fame Honors Brodie Croyle Inaugural Starr-Sullivan Achievement Award

The Board of Directors of the State of Alabama Sports Hall of Fame is proud to announce that Brodie Croyle will be the inaugural recipient of the Starr-Sullivan Achievement Award at the 52nd Annual Induction Banquet and Ceremony on Saturday, May 2, 2020.

Brodie Croyle was born on February 6, 1983 in Rainbow City, AL. As quarterback at the University of Alabama from 2002-2005, Croyle was MVP of the Cotton Bowl during his senior season and a finalist for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award. He was drafted 85th overall by the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2006 NFL Draft where he played five seasons before finally closing the book on his football career. 

Croyle serves as Executive Director of Big Oak Ranch, a Christian home for children needing a chance. Founded by his father, John Croyle, in 1974, Big Oak exists to serve orphaned, abused, abandoned and neglected children and has been home to more than 2,000 children.

Named in honor of two extraordinary men from Alabama, Bart Starr and Pat Sullivan, the Starr-Sullivan Achievement Award recognizes a former collegiate quarterback that exhibits exemplary character and has made a significant contribution in his community.

The 52nd Induction Banquet and Ceremony will be held in the Birmingham Ballroom, at the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel, on Saturday, May 2, 2020. For more information or to purchase tickets, please contact the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame Museum at (205) 323-6665.

Alabama Sports Hall of Fame Honors Don Hawkins 2020 Frank “Pig” House Award

The Board of Directors of the State of Alabama Sports Hall of Fame is proud to announce that Don Hawkins will be recognized as the 2020 Frank “Pig” House Award recipient at the 52nd Annual Induction Banquet and Ceremony on Saturday, May 2, 2020.

The Frank “Pig” House Award is given to someone who has performed outstanding service to sports in Alabama, and whom the Board of Directors feels worthy of special recognition. The award is named after the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame’s first Chairman of the Board who was instrumental in the founding of the Hall of Fame.

Don Hawkins has played an instrumental role in the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame and its banquet operations since the first class was inducted in 1969. Hawkins assisted Chairman Frank “Pig” House with the first banquet program; and over the past 51 years, he has coordinated everything from inductee travel arrangements, to memorabilia curation. In the early 1980s, he worked on the team that designed the original ASHOF Museum in Birmingham. The ASHOF would not be what it is today without his selfless contributions.

He joins a distinguished list of others who have been honored by the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame as Frank “Pig” House Award recipients. They are: Sammy Dunn (2004), Avalee Willoughby (2007), Buddy Anderson (2014), and Emanuel “Tubb” Bell IV (2017).

The 52nd Induction Banquet and Ceremony will be held in the Birmingham Ballroom, at the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel, on Saturday, May 2, 2020. For more information or to purchase tickets, please contact the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame Museum at (205) 323-6665.

Alabama Sports Hall of Fame Honors Paul Finebaum 2020 Mel Allen Media Award

The Board of Directors of the State of Alabama Sports Hall of Fame is proud to announce that Paul Finebaum will be recognized as the 2020 Mel Allen Media Award recipient at the 52nd Annual Induction Banquet and Ceremony on Saturday, May 2, 2020.

The Mel Allen Media Award was created to honor media members in the State of Alabama who have made a lifetime contribution to sports through their work as a media member. The award is named after the 1974 ASHOF Inductee Mel Allen, of Birmingham, who was known as the “Voice of the New York Yankees” for two decades.

Paul Finebaum is a longtime sports talk radio host known by many as a leading sports authority in the South. He joined ESPN in August 2013 as host of the The Paul Finebaum Show. In addition to hosting The Paul Finebaum Show, he serves as a weekly analyst on SEC Nation, the traveling pregame show for the SEC Network. He also appears on a variety of other ESPN shows and outlets, including SportsCenterCollege Football LiveCollege GameDay and in ESPN The Magazine. Prior to joining ESPN, Finebaum served as host of the Paul Finebaum Radio Network (2001-2012). Finebaum arrived in Birmingham in 1980 and became an award-winning columnist and investigative reporter for the Birmingham Post-Herald and later the Mobile Press-Register. From 2011-2012, Finebaum wrote a college football column for Sports Illustrated. In January 2012, Bleacher Report named Finebaum one of the “25 Most Influential People” in college football. Finebaum is a 1978 graduate of the University of Tennessee and resides in Charlotte with his wife.

Finebaum joins a distinguished list of others who have been honored by the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame as Mel Allen Media Award recipients. They are: John Pruett (2014), George Smith (2014), Tom Roberts (2015), Ron Ingram (2017), and Cecil Hurt (2019).

The 52nd Induction Banquet and Ceremony will be held in the Birmingham Ballroom, at the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel, on Saturday, May 2, 2020. For more information or to purchase tickets, please contact the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame Museum at (205) 323-6665.