The Board of Directors of the State of Alabama Sports Hall of Fame is pleased to announce the Class of 2019 to be inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame on April 27, 2019. The Class was selected by ballot through a statewide selection committee; votes were tabulated by the firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers.
The newly elected inductees for the Class of 2019 are as follows:
CAT REDDICK WHITEHILL
Starting with the first class in 1969, this will be the 51st Class inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. The eight newly elected inductees will bring the total number of inductees to 361.
The 51st Annual Induction Banquet and Ceremony will be held in the Birmingham Ballroom, at the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel, on April 27, 2019. For more information please contact the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame Museum at (205) 323-6665.
CLASS OF 2019 BIOGRAPHIES:
TOMMIE AGEE | FOOTBALL Born February 22, 1964 in Maplesville, AL. Agee played football at Auburn University where he was a four-year starter at fullback as lead blocker for Bo Jackson. He finished his college career with 356 carries, 1,733 rushing yards, and 13 touchdowns. He was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the 5th Round of the 1987 NFL Draft. He played one year for the Seahawks, one year for the Kansas City Chiefs, and five years for the Dallas Cowboys. While he was with the Cowboys, they won two consecutive Super Bowl Championships (Super Bowl XXVII and XXVIII).
BILL BURGESS | FOOTBALL – COACHING Born January 26, 1941 in Birmingham, AL. Burgess was a letterman at fullback for Auburn University in 1961 and 1962. He began his coaching career as a football assistant at Banks High School before accepting the head coach position at Woodlawn High School in 1966. Following his time at Woodlawn he coached the Oxford Yellow Jackets to nine playoff appearances, four area titles, and four regional titles. In 1985, he was named head coach at Jacksonville State University. Under Burgess, JSU won the 1988 Gulf South Conference and the 1992 NCAA Division II National Championship. Burgess was honored as the Gulf South Conference Coach of the Year three times and was named the 1992 NCAA Division II National Coach of the Year. His tenure as head coach at Jacksonville State spanned 12 seasons from 1985-1996; and he finished his college career with an 84-49-4 record. He has been inducted into the JSU Athletic Hall of Fame and the NCAA Division II Football Hall of Fame. In 2010, JSU honored him by renaming its football field Burgess-Snow Field.
WILLIE DAVENPORT | TRACK & FIELD Born June 8, 1943 in Troy, AL. Davenport competed in the 110-meter hurdles at the 1964, 1968, 1972 and 1976 Summer Olympics. After the 1964 Summer Olympics, he enrolled at Southern University and won the AAU outdoor title outright in 1965, 1966, and 1967; he tied for first place in 1969. At the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, he won a gold medal in the 110-meter hurdles. Eight years later, he won the bronze medal in the same event at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal. At the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, Davenport and one of his bobsled teammates, Jeff Gadley, became the first two African-Americans to represent the United States at any Winter Olympics. Davenport is one of only ten Americans to compete in both the Summer and Winter Games. He was inducted into the USA Track & Field Hall of Fame in 1982 and the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 1990.
LUIS GONZALEZ | BASEBALL Born September 3, 1967 in Tampa, FL. Gonzalez attended the University of South Alabama where he was named to Baseball America’s All-Freshman Second Team. He was drafted by the Houston Astros in the 4th Round of the 1988 MLB Draft. In 2001, he was a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks’ only World Series championship team and his game-winning hit in Game 7 clinched the title for the Diamondbacks. He was a five-time All-Star, and won the Home Run Derby and Silver Slugger Award in 2001. Gonzalez compiled a .283 batting average, 2,591 hits, 354 home runs and 1,439 RBI during his 19-year career with six different MLB teams. Gonzalez is one of only 19 players in Major League history to collect at least 2,500 hits, 500 doubles, 350 home runs and 1,000 RBI. His No. 20 was the first Diamondback number to be retired. In 2005, he won the Branch Rickey Award for his many community contributions during his playing career. He was inducted into Latin American International Sports Hall of Fame in 2014.
ANTONIO LANGHAM | FOOTBALL Born July 31, 1972 in Town Creek, AL. Langham played collegiately at the University of Alabama, where he was a three-year starter at left cornerback for the Crimson Tide. He holds the school record with 19 career interceptions. As a junior, he was recognized as a consensus first-team All-American. His senior season he was a consensus First-Team All-American and won the Jim Thorpe Award and the Jack Tatum Trophy, both of which are awarded to the nation’s top defensive back. Drafted in 1994 in the 1st Round (9th overall) by the Cleveland Browns, he was named 1994 NFL Rookie Defensive Player of the Year. He played two seasons with the Browns and also played with the Baltimore Ravens, San Francisco 49ers and New England Patriots over a seven-year career.
BUD MOORE | FOOTBALL – COACHING Born October 16, 1939 in Jasper, AL. He played collegiately at the University of Alabama in both football and baseball. After his college career, he had coaching stints at Alabama, Kentucky, Texas A&M and North Carolina. In 1975, he became Head Coach at the University of Kansas and was named Big Eight Coach of the Year by the AP and UPI after taking the Jayhawks to a 7-5 record. He was named District Six Coach of the Year by the American Football Coaches Association. In 1996 he was named recipient of the Paul W. Bryant Alumni-Athlete Award.
STEVE SAVARESE | ADMINISTRATION Born October 16, 1952 in Glen Cove, NY. Savarese grew up in Leeds, Alabama and graduated from Southwestern College in Kansas. He began his head coaching career at Douglass High School in Kansas, where he led the team to a State Championship in 1978. After seven years at Douglass, Savarese returned to Alabama and went on to coach at Ensley High School, Benjamin Russell High School, Daphne High School and McGill-Toolen High School. As the head coach at Daphne, his team won the 2001 State Championship. In 2006, when he left coaching to become the Executive Director of the Alabama High School Athletic Association, he was the winningest active coach in Alabama. As only the fourth full-time Executive Director of the AHSAA, he introduced a revenue-sharing plan and sportsmanship initiatives that have made a significant impact on high school sports in the State of Alabama.
CAT REDDICK WHITEHILL | SOCCER Born February 10, 1982, in Richmond, VA. She started her soccer career at Briarwood Christian School in Birmingham, AL. She played four seasons at the University of North Carolina where she won two national championships and was named to the NCAA All-Tournament Team four times. She was named NCAA Final Four Defensive MVP twice, All-American four times and All-ACC four times. In 2003, her final season at UNC, she won the prestigious MAC Hermann Trophy and the Honda Sports Award, both of which are awarded to the best female player in college soccer. She played for the U.S. Women’s National Team from 2000-2010 where she scored 11 goals in 134 appearances. She played for the U.S. in the Women’s World Cup in 2003 and 2007 and was a member of the Olympic Gold Medal winning team at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. Whitehill played professional soccer in the United States from 2009-2015.