Five men who have reached the pinnacle of their respective professions will lead the Greater Chattanooga Sports Hall of Fame's class of 2011.
Buffalo Bills general manager Buddy Nix, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's basketball coach Wes Moore, former NFL cornerback Donnie Elder, NCAA basketball official Curtis Shaw and triathlon/decathlon record-setter James Arthur "Flip" Lyle head a cast of 24 being inducted.
The 46th annual banquet will be held Feb. 28 at the Chattanooga Convention Center. Doors will open at 6. Tickets may be purchased by calling Hall of Fame president Dr. John Farr at 423-875-9282.
Two members of the 2011 class will be inducted posthumously: nationally known wrestler Pistol Pez Whatley and former Chattanooga City football coach Bob Davis.
Other members of the class include Davis May and David Longley (baseball), Sharon Jarrett (basketball), Jim Boyette (boxing), Mike Jenkins (golf), Jack Sample and Linda Cox Pullen (softball) and Gary Sanders (media).
Also being inducted will be Robert Laugherty and George Welborn (swimming and diving), Scott Kelley (special category), Elizabeth Leach Bohac and Park Lockrow (tennis), Stacey Hill and Tom West (track and field) and Steve Henry and Ed Davis (wrestling).
Nix moved to Chattanooga in the mid-1980s when he was named head football coach at UTC. He remained coach until 1992 and was the only UTC coach to guide the Mocs to a berth in playoffs.
He became an NFL scout following his coaching career, serving as a region scout and eventually Southeast director. In 2000, he became the national scouting director for the San Diego Chargers and was promoted a year later to director of player personnel and assistant general manager.
He returned to the Bills in 2009 as the national scouting director and was named general manager in December of that year.
Moore has guided the Lady Mocs to 11 straight Southern Conference regular-season titles and eight NCAA tournaments. He is the only coach in NCAA history to take teams from every level to the postseason tournament, Maryville in Division III, Francis Marion in D-II and UTC in D-I.
Elder, who played his high school ball at Brainerd, became a standout at Memphis State and was drafted in the third round in 1985 by the New York Jets.
A cornerback, Elder played seven seasons in the NFL for five teams. In addition to the Jets, he played for the Detroit Lions, Pittsburgh Steelers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and San Diego.
Greater Chattanooga Sports Hall of Fame inductees
Feb. 28, Chattanooga Convention Center
Tickets $35; call Dr. John Farr, 423-875-9282.
Shaw, a Chattanooga native, began his refereeing career as a high school official in football, basketball and baseball in his hometown, but he rose quickly in the ranks. He began his college career officiating in junior college and NAIA games.
Shaw began officiating Division I games in 1989 and has called contests in the ACC, SEC, Big East, Big Ten and Big 12 among others. He called his first NCAA tournament game in 1993 and has served in that capacity every year since. Shaw has called the last five Final Fours. He is currently the Conference USA, Big 12, OVC and Southland coordinator of officials.
Lyle, a former Brainerd and Georgia Tech football standout, moved into the triathlon/decathlon spheres in a big way. He is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for having competed in most triathlons (289) in history. He also has competed in 96 decathlons.
He won the most prestigious triathlon competition in the world in 1992, the Ironman Triathlon World Championship in Hawaii. He has been a 16-time age winner in the Southwest Challenge Series, the oldest and largest decathlon/triathlon series in the world.
Elizabeth Leach Bohac: United States Professional Tennis Association Player of Year in 2010. Southern PTA Player of Year in 2010, 2009; 10 Southern titles; 15 Tennessee Tennis Association titles; 5 national mother-daughter titles with Zoe Hatcher Williams. Played college tennis at North Carolina and Vanderbilt; Georgia High School singles and doubles champion 1970-71.
James Boyette: A three-time Southern Golden Gloves champion, Boyette was twice runner-up in the National Golden Gloves. Both losses in the Nationals were by split-decision. His record of 152-8 is one of the best in amateur boxing circles. Of those 152 wins, 135 came by knockout or TKO. Also won three Mid-South Golden Glove titles. Voted best pound for pound puncher in history of Memphis in 1973. Boyette never was knocked down in a match.
Bob Davis (deceased): A five-time Coach of the Year honoree when he headed the Chattanooga High football program. Head coach at the school 1968-84, compiling a 112-55-1 record. Led the Dynamo to a 10-1 record in 1975, the best mark at the school since 1944. Made state playoffs twice and won two bowl games. Was an assistant coach when Bradley was state champion in 1961. Also assisted at his alma mater, Meigs County, and Tyner.
Donnie Elder: Played in the NFL for seven years at cornerback with five teams: New York Jets, Detroit Lions, Tampa Bay Bucaneers, Pittsburgh Steelers and San Diego Chargers. Led the NFL in kickoff-return yardage in 1988. Played collegiately at Memphis, where he was an all-star his senior year and drafted in the third round by the Jets. Was all-state at Brainerd High in football and track. Played both ways in football, as a receiver and a defensive back.
Ed Fisher: Three-time Mid-South wrestling champion while competing for McCallie, a feat that probably earned him the Best Athlete award at the school his senior year. Wrestled collegiately at Vanderbilt and played college tennis at Tennessee. Started two years in football at McCallie. Captained McCallie's tennis team and was a three-time Tennessee State Junior skeet shooting champion. Served as chair of Jaycees U.S. Olympic team vs. Russians wrestling match.
Steve Henry: A member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. Coached Soddy-Daisy to five state championships and 11 runners-up; has won region titles 24 times. Has compiled a record of 491-166-3 as the head coach of the Trojans. Coached four high school All-Americans, 24 state champions. Coached the first girls' state championship team. Four-time Coach of the Year. Lettered in football, wrestling and track in high school at Red Bank. Competed in track at Middle Tennessee State. Current president of the Tennessee Wrestling Coaches Association.
Stacey Hill: A two-time All-American in track and field at Carson-Newman, Hill became an even better teacher. He coached Girls Preparatory School to seven cross country state titles in the 1990s and was the head coach of the track team when it won the 1997 championship. Also assisted with the state track champs in 2005 and '06. The National Federation of High School Sports selected him for the Distinguished Service Award and Administrator of the Year in 2003. He was the National Cross Country Coach of the Year in 2005.
Sharon Jarrett: Is entering her second Hall of Fame in less than four months. She was inducted into Tennessee State University's Hall in November. She was the first Tigerette to have her jersey retired. Third leading scorer in nation and an All-American in 1981-82 with 26 points per game. Averaged 24 points in her three-year career. Still holds school record for free-throw percentage (.770). In TSU's top 10 in career points, assists and steals. Averaged 33 points a game during two seasons in the Venezuelan pro league.
Mike Jenkins: Arguably the most powerful man in golf circles today in Chattanooga. Jenkins has guided the Chattanooga District Golf Association for the past 20 years. He founded the Tournament Players Championship in 1993 and the CDGA Four-Ball Match Play in 2001. He has served as chair of both every year since and co-chaired the Men's Metro since 1992. On the Tennessee Golf Association board since 1992. Co-chaired Futures Tour event in Chattanooga 1988-91. Current president of First Tee.
Scott Kelley: Scott was a two-time wrestling champion when he was a student at Baylor School, but his dominance in handball justifies his addition to the Sports Hall of Fame. Like his father before him (Bud), Kelley was virtually unbeatable on the handball court. He has been a national YMCA singles champ twice, has won two national Masters singles and two Masters doubles. From 1990 to '95, he was ranked in the top 12 among pros, garnering the top ranking in 1974. He also has won numerous city, state and southeast region titles.
Robert Laugherty: Four-time All-America swimmer at Florida. The Gators won the NCAA title in 1983 and '84 and the SEC all four of his years. He was an All-American at Baylor School four years. His high school times qualified him for All-American in every meet in which he swam. He was the state and the Eastern Prep School champion in the 200 IM and breaststroke, setting records in both that lasted over 20 years. On USA National team twice (1981, '83) and a Junior Olympic champion in the 200 breaststroke and 200IM. Set national 11-12 record in 100 breaststroke.
Park Lockrow: Was an NCAA Division II All-American in 1976 while playing for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Lockrow was a star on the tennis team from 1972 to '76. Numerous city championships, but perhaps better known as a coach. Coached Baylor boys 1982-1990 and 1992-93. Won six state championships with the Red Raiders and was nominated in 1986 as the National Tennis High School Coach of the Year. Baylor team won 10 districts, nine regions and nine Rotary team titles. with Lockrow as coach and had a string of more than 100 straight dual match wins.
David Longley: Set four season records in Vanderbilt baseball in 1963 and had the eighth best batting average in the SEC during the 1962 season. Longley set marks in home runs, RBIs, total bases and slugging average in '63, but the Commodores played only 21 games then. They played three times that many last year. A great athlete at Baylor, Longley was all-city and all-Mid South in baseball, football and basketball in 1958 and '59. He coached Baylor baseball from 1969 through 1974, winning the Mid-South in 1970. Longley also played football at Vandy and in the Army, making the all-Army team as a quarterback in 1964.
James Arthur "Flip" Lyle: One of America's most distinguished triathlon/decathlon athletes. Lyle grew up in Chattanooga, was an all-state football player on Brainerd's undefeated inaugural team and went on to start as a lineman three years at Georgia Tech. In 1986, he began competing seriously in triathlons/decathlons, and the rest is history. Lyle is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for competing in the most triathlons in history, 289 and counting. He also has competed in 96 decathlons. He is a former Ironman World Championship winner (1992) in Hawaii and has won 16 age-division titles in the Southwest Challenge Series, the oldest triathlon/decathlon series in the world.
Davis May: He compiled sterling records in minor league baseball, pitching four shutouts for the Class AAA Toledo Mud Hens, hurling three one-hitters in his 1975-81 career. He was the starting pitcher in the AA all-star game in Orlando after pitching 27 consecutive scoreless innings. May was an All-SEC pitcher at Auburn in 1974. He was an all-city baseball and basketball player at Brainerd. May has served as a pitching coach at Auburn and in Class A for the Cleveland Indians. He was an assistant coach at East Cobb High School, where his team won four national titles.
Wes Moore: Five-time Coach of the Year in the Southern Conference as the head coach at UTC. He has directed the Lady Mocs to 11 straight regular-season titles in the SoCon and eight appearances in the NCAA tournament. He is the only coach in NCAA history to take teams to the Division I, II and III tournaments. He led Maryville College to the D-III tournament five times and Francis Marion to the D-II event twice. He is the winningest coach in UTC history with 300-plus, and more than 200 of those were in SoCon games, making him the league leader as well. Moore recently won his 500th as a head coach.
Buddy Nix: Currently the general manager of the Buffalo Bills, Nix is recognized as one of the most astute appraisers of talent in the NFL. He is generally credited with putting together a San Diego team that won four AFC titles in a five-year period when Nix was the director of player personnel and assistant GM. In 2007, 11 players Nix drafted made the Pro Bowl. Nix was in San Diego from 2000 to '08. He returned to the Bills in 2009 as director of player personnel and was named GM in December of 2009. Nix was with Buffalo from 1993 to 2000. A native of Eufala, Ala., Nix coached UTC from 1985 to '92, and his 1985 squad was the only Mocs team to make the NCAA playoffs.
Linda Cox Pullen: A three-time All-American softball pitcher for the Provident Vets, Pullen was a mainstay on a team that won three straight national ASA Industrial championships. She played for the Vets 1975-82, earning All-America honors in 1978, '79 and '81. Provident won the 1980-82 titles with Pullen pitching. The Vets also won in 1983, but Pullen had left the team. She is perhaps best known for pitching six games in one day in the 1982 nationals and winning all six. Provident also won state tournaments in 1976 and '77.
Jack Sample: A five-time All-American who won state and national championships while playing for the marquee slowpitch teams in the 1960s, '70s and '80s, Sample played with Golden Gallon, Duggan & Duggan, Burnette & Associates, St. Luke's and Central Baptist. He played alongside some of the greatest players in Chattanooga slowpitch history, including Ron Patterson, Pinch Harvey and Jerry Daniel. Sample was MVP of numerous tournaments and was chosen to many all-city, all-state and all-region teams.
Gary Sanders: A six-time winner of the Sportscaster of the Year on a national level, Sanders is a Red Bank High School graduate and got his start in broadcasting with WDXB. He has been the voice of the Tennessee Vols (basketball), Vanderbilt Commodores (football and basketball), Auburn Tigers (football and basketball) and the Alabama-Birmingham Blazers (football and basketball). He has worked for ESPN, CBS, Host Communications and the Sun Belt Television Network and done play-by-play for the Birmingham Vulcans, Birmingham Bulls and Birmingham Barons. Before retiring in 2006, he had made the calls in more than 2,000 games.
Curtis Shaw: Currently serves as supervisor of officials in the Big 12, Conference USA, Southland and Ohio Valley Conference. Has officiated in six Final Fours, including the last five. Officiated in the NCAA tournament at some level in 16 of the last 18 years and has called games in Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, SEC, ACC, C-USA, Sun Belt and mid-major leagues. He began by officiating football, basketball and baseball in Chattanooga high schools. Began college career with junior colleges, NAIA schools and the Southern Conference.
George Welborn Jr.: Currently holds eight Georgia state records in two age groups (50-54, 55-59) in both butterfly and freestyle. He set records in the 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly, as well as freestyle and medley relays, at Vanderbilt. At McCallie, he was a two-time All-American and captained the team that won the Mid-South, State and Southern Interscholastic championships. He set school records in 50, 100 and 200 freestyle, 100 butterfly, 200 IM and participated in record-breaking freestyle and medley relays. As a youth swimming for Cumberland Youth Foundation, he won high-point totals three straight years and swam and coached for the CYF team that won 55 straight dual matches.
Tom West: He was the SEC champion in the high jump for two straight years in the mid-1970s, earning him All-SEC honors as a junior and senior. Using the Fosbury Flop method, a relatively new style at the time, West jumped 7-0. He also won the region high school tournament twice for Brainerd High School, was second in the district as a junior and won as a senior. West won the state as a senior. He also wa a member of the undefeated Brainerd football team in 1969 and was all-city as a receiver.
Pez Whatley: Became the first black to win a Tennessee high school state wrestling championship. Wrestling for Notre Dame, he won the first of two titles in 1967 as a sophomore. He was runner-up as a junior but came back his senior year to win again. Whatley was also an outstanding fullback for the Irish. His success in high school earned him a scholarship at UTC, where he became the first black to wrestle for the Mocs. Whatley began to wrestle professionally in 1975, continuing in that sport until the mid-1990s. He wrestled under the professional names of Pistol Pez, Willie B. Hert and Shaska Whatley.