Nov. 15, 2004
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Six people with ties to the University of Tennessee were among the 11 inductees into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame announced today. They will be recognized at the annual awards banquet and induction ceremony on February 18, 2005 at the Renaissance Hotel in Nashville.
"This year's program is very special and diverse," said Joan Cronan, president of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. "For example, we'll be honoring an NBA great, a world-class sprinter, a legendary high school coach and several Olympic medallists. It's an exciting time for the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame."
"The Induction banquet will once again afford our statewide organization the opportunity to showcase our home, the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame Museum located in the Gaylord Entertainment Center in Nashville. We're very proud of this first-class facility and want to share it with all Tennesseans, " Cronan concluded.
The 2005 inductees are as follows:
Dr. Dick Barnett - three-time All American and all-time leading scorer for Tennessee State University (3,009 points in 136 games), led the Tigers to three consecutive NAIA basketball championships and was named MVP two consecutive years. Barnett was the number one draft choice in the NBA with the Syracuse Nationals. Later, he played three seasons with the LA Lakers before being traded to the New York Knicks where he played on the only two championship teams in Knicks history (1970 and 1973). During his 14 year NBA career, Barnett scored 15,358 points and was named to the All Star Team in 1968-69. His number was retired and hangs in the rafters of Madison Square Garden.
Darwin Bond - A three time All American at Dobyns-Bennett High School in East Tennessee, was undefeated in the 440 with 48 victories and is the current TSSAA 440/400 record holder (a record standing since 1970). Bond was a three-time Tennessee State Champion and was a two-time National Junior Olympic 440 Champion. Bond attended the University of Tennessee where he was a three-time (outdoor) and two-time (indoor) NCAA All-American. He was a member of the 1974 NCAA National Championship team and seven SEC championship teams. His UT 400-meter record time of 45.08 was run in 1974 and was only broken recently after standing for 29 years.
Richmond Flowers - After an Alabama high school track season that ended in five first place finishes with five state records in five events, Flowers attended the University of Tennessee where he became the most successful two sport athlete in Tennessee history. Flowers, an NCAA football All-American, left the university as the schools all-time leading pass receiver (105 catches for 1,215 yards in 3 years) while leading the Vols to three bowl games and an SEC Championship. In track and field, Flowers was a four-time All-American, a NCAA High Hurdle Champion and a NCAA record holder in two events. Flowers was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys where he was a member of the Super Bowl V Team. In 1999, Athlon Sports magazine named him one of the 25 top collegiate receivers of the century.
Haywood Harris - Appointed by General Robert Neyland in 1961, Harris has been a steadying force in the University of Tennessee Athletic Department for more than 50 years. A renowned writer, Harris came to the University as Sports Information Director and has served as Assistant Athletic Director and Associate Athletic Director of Media Relations. In 1982, Inside Sports Magazine listed him as one of the top five publicists in the nation. He was named to the College Sports Information Directors of America's Hall of Fame in 1984 and received the organization's top award, the Arch Ward Award, in 1991. He was inducted into the Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame and earned a Chancellor's Citation for Extraordinary Service to the University in 1992. After retirement in 2000, Harris has co-authored a book titled Six Seasons Remembered, The National Championship Years of Tennessee Football.
Bill Justus - A High School All-American in football and basketball at Fulton High School in Knoxville, attended the University of Tennessee and became a basketball standout. He was named All-SEC (in 1967, '68 and '69), an NCAA Academic All-American in '68 and an NCAA All-American in 1969. Justus continues to hold three NIT free throw records as well as three single game NCAA Madison Square Garden free throw records. He played in the East-West College All-Star Game in 1969 before being drafted by Philadelphia (NBA), Denver (ABA) and the Dallas Cowboys (NFL). Justus traveled extensively after college teaching ball-handling and shooting skills for Converse at coaches' clinics and basketball camps throughout the U.S. Since taking up competitive tennis after age 30, he has won numerous amateur USTA tournament championships. Justus, who lives in Nashville, was inducted into the Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame in 1990.
Ed Murphey - A native of Brownsville, Tennessee in Haywood County, Murphey earned a full track and field scholarship at the University of Tennessee. He was named an NCAA All American in 1956 as he set a school record in the 1,500-meter run (3:52) and was the fourth best collegiate miler that year - a benchmark which stood for two decades.
This outstanding runner for the Vols set several additional records which stood the test of multiple years. His mile record (4:16) run at Neyland Stadium in 1956 stands unbroken for that venue. Murphey also set the SEC mile record the following year, 1957 with a time of 4:14. He set the 1956 SEC Cross Country record in Atlanta (21:21).
In 1956 he became the first UT runner to become a finalist for a U.S. Olympic Track team as documented in the book, A History of the University of Tennessee 1794-1970. Murphey also was the U.S. Marine Corps mile champion in 1958 and was inducted into the Brownsville Sports Hall of Fame in 1994.
He has continued to support the track program at the university. Since 1965, Murphey has presented the prestigious Ed Murphey Award to the outstanding trackman each year at his alma mater. Ed Murphey has lived and worked in Memphis for the last 45 years.
Betty Booker-Parks - A four-time High School basketball MVP, was named to the Tennessee All Star game in 1976 with a career average of 30.2 points per game. Booker-Parks was named 2nd Team All-American at the University of Memphis in 1975 and still holds school record for games played (137), points scored (2,835), scoring average (20.7), field goals attempted (2,704), field goals made (1,203) and steals (360). She held the record for most points scored in a game (41 in 1978) until passed by All-American Tamika Whitmore in 1999. Booker-Parks was a first round draft choice in the Women's Basketball League and was named to the University of Memphis Athletic Hall of Fame in 1985. She was named the Commercial Appeal's "Best of the Prep" Coach of the Year in 1991, 1992 and 1993 and was manager/coach of the WBA Memphis Blues Basketball Team in 1994.
Susan Russ - Founder of the women's track program at the University of Memphis in 1969, made 3 national AIAW Track appearances as coach of the Lady Tigers. Under her coaching, Wanda (Hooker) Simpson became Memphis' first Lady Tiger NCAA Champion and All-American. In 1979, Russ moved to Nashville as the track coach for the Harpeth Hall School and in 1986 became the Athletic Director/Track Coach. Under her coaching, Harpeth Hall's Track Team has won eleven State Championships, six State Cross-Country Championships and two Team Relay State Championships. She has a total of nineteen State Championships - more than any other coach of any sport in the history of Tennessee prep sports. She was inducted into the University of Memphis Athletic Hall of Fame in 1987.
Verties Sails, Jr. - In his 26th year as head men's basketball coach at Southwest Tennessee Community College (formerly Shelby State), has guided his teams to eighteen West Division titles, thirteen TJCCAA State Championships and seven Region VII Championships and national tournament appearances. Sails holds a 539-219 career record at STCC for a .711 winning percentage and has been named TJCCAA Coach of the Year nine times. Sails came to Southwest after serving as assistant coach at the University of Memphis for five years. Earlier in his career he compiled a 32-35 record at Melrose High School in Memphis where his team won the 1974 State Championship with a perfect 35-0 record. He was voted high school Coach of the Year in 1970 and 1974. Sails was inducted into the Tennessee Junior and Community College Sports Hall of Fame in 1994 and to the National Junior College Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 2004.
John W. Overton (posthumous) - A native Nashvillian, he attended Yale University where he was a celebrated member of the Track Team. Overton set or tied world records in the two-mile relay, the 1000-yard and the cross-country. At the 1916 Millrose Games in New York's Madison Square Garden, he won the Rodman Wanamaker one-and-one-half mile and began a flamboyant rivalry with Joie Ray (three-time Olympian). Capable of becoming the world's first four-minute miler, at the height of his track career, Overton reported for military duty in World War I. By his own request, he was transferred to the front and led his company to a heroic battle with the Germans in the Second Battle of the Marne. Overton lost his life in a heroic act of leadership. Sportswriter Grantland Rice marked the occasion with a forty-line poem entitled "A Marine Comes Home".
Petie Siler (posthumous) - During his thirty-year coaching career (beginning in 1916), he coached 25 years at Morristown High School. His teams won a state football championship, three track state championships, eleven East Tennessee basketball championships and his two-mile relay team set a national high school record in Chicago in 1928. Siler, affectionately called "Petie", was involved in the lives of most students in Morristown. He helped build a 9-hole golf course, a bowling center for kids, supervised a local swimming pool in the summer, and had an intramural program for every high school student. The Morristown High School gymnasium was named after him in 1954, the football field in 1998 and the Petie Siler Park in Morristown was named in 1998. He was inducted into the East Tennessee Chapter of the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame in 1966, into the Northeast Tennessee Hall of Fame in 1993 and into the TSSAA Hall of Fame in 2004. He also coached the University of Tennessee freshman football teams in 1922-23, guiding them to a 8-4 overall record
Along with these inductees, several individual and team honorees will be recognized at the annual banquet on February 18, 2005. Those recipients, to include the Male and Female Amateur Athletes of the Year, the Professional Athletes of the Year and the Professional and Amateur Teams of the Year will be announced in the near future.
Tickets for the awards banquet and induction ceremony are available from the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame for $100.00 each. For more information on attending the event call the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame office at (615) 242-4750.
The Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame is a statewide non-profit organization founded to honor and preserve the outstanding achievement of Tennesseans in the realm of sports.