Phoenix Regional Sports Commission

Hall of Fame

History of the Hall of Fame

The Arizona Sports Hall of Fame was founded in 1957 by the Phoenix Press Box Association. Thirty-six induction ceremonies were held by the Association before it ceased operations in 1991. In the years that followed, the Phoenix Regional Sports Commission assumed oversight of the Hall of Fame and developed a plan in the mid-1990s to find it a permanent home.

In December 1999 the Sports Commission partnered with the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce to launch an Arizona Sports Awards luncheon at the Civic Center. The Hall of Fame was a key piece of that event.  In January 2001 another luncheon event was held, and in 2002 a cocktail function took place at the Herberger Theater during which Jerry Colangelo and Curly Culp were inducted. The Hall of Fame was then dormant from 2002 to 2009.

In early 2008, the Sports Commission began planning a re-launch of the Hall of Fame. On April 16, 2009 the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame was revitalized with an induction ceremony at The Phoenician. Over 300 people were on hand to honor four inductees including Al McCoy, Darren Woodson, Linda Vollstedt and Bob Horner.

Today, the Hall of Fame ceremony helps raise fund for the Sports Commission and its mission to “Enrich Our Community Through Sports.”  To do this the Commission collaborates with hundreds of  partners, bringing national and international sporting events to the state, assisting in the promotion of existing events and Arizona sports teams, and developing youth sports programs throughout the Phoenix metropolitan area.  In 2012, the Sports Commission also assumed oversight of the Grand Canyon State Games.

Hall of Fame nominees are eligible under one of three criteria:

  1. The nominee is a native of Arizona, or
  2. The nominee spent a majority of their careers in Arizona and is known primarily as an Arizonan, or
  3. The nominee has two significant career contributions to Arizona Sports.

Note – Athletes that do not meet the above criteria and that have spent a limited amount of time in Arizona (usually at our area universities prior to turning professional, or simply residents of Arizona) are NOT eligible for induction.  Examples of these circumstances include Annika Sorenstam, Lorena Ochoa, Reggie Jackson, Teddy Bruschi, Jennie Finch, Charles Barkley, Lovieanne Jung, Lyn St. James, Luis Gonzales, Randy Johnson, Trevor Hoffman, Phil Mickelson, Steve Kerr, Barry Bonds, etc.

Arizona Sports Hall of Fame Inductees

(As of April 2009 – 39 induction ceremonies, 69 members)

1957             Lewis Tewanima Hopi Indian, 1912 Olympic silver medalist
1958 J.F. “Pop” McKale University of Arizona coach and athletic director
Jess Mortenson Thatcher, AZ, track star, long-time USC coach
1959 Art Nehf Sr. Major-league pitcher
1960 Thornton Lee Major-league pitcher
Robbie Robinson Phoenix Union High School football coach
1961 Dr. Charles Borah First Arizonan to win Olympic gold, 1928
1962 Earl Grace Major-league catcher
1963 Hank Lieber Phoenix Union/UofA major-league star outfielder
1964 Jimmy Bryan First Arizonan to win Indianapolis 500
Joseph Lancer Sr. Owner of minor-league Phoenix Senators
1965 Vic Housholder Legendary sports official, umpire
E. Earl Pomeroy Mesa High School, BYU athletic great
1966 George Hoy Phoenix College coach, athletic director
Rudy Lavik Arizona State University athlete and coach
1967 Milt Coggins Amateur golfer and golf instructor to thousands
1968 C.W. “Doc” Pardee Legendary Thoroughbred horse trainer
Wilford “Whizzer” White Mesa H.S./ASU star running back
1969 Fred Enke Sr. University of Arizona basketball coach
1970 Miles W. Casteel Arizona State University athletic director
1971 Bobby Ball Arizona auto racing pioneer
Edgar “Mutt” Ford Long-time football coach at Mesa High School
1972 Dallas Long North-Phoenix H.S. Olympic shot put winner
Frank Sancet University of Arizona baseball coach
1973 Joe Famulatte Long-time Phoenix Indian School all-sports coach
1974 Clyde B. Smith Arizona State University athletic director
1975 Bob Housholder Legendary softball player, big-game hunter
Warren Livingston Mesa H.S., UofA, Dallas Cowboys Football Player
Dot Wilkinson Softball legend, international bowling champ
1976 Patsy Willard Olympic diving medalist from Mesa
1977 Fred Enke Jr. UofA, Washington Redskins football star
Bill Miller Olympic javelin thrower
1978 Johnny Bulla Professional Golf Association standout
Art Van Haren Sr. Legendary baseball and softball umpire
1979 Shanty Hogan UofA football, baseball star, long-time coach
1980 Clint Brawner Legendary auto-racing mechanic
Roger McCluskey USAC auto-racing start from Tucson
1981 Dick Van Arsdale Phoenix Suns all-star guard
1982 Ed Doherty Football coach at ASU, UofA, St. Mary’s H.S.
1984 Bob Goldwater Sr. Golf Pioneer who helped found Phoenix Open
Karsten Solheim Golf club manufacturer and golf benefactor
1985 Ned Wulk Arizona State University basketball coach
1986 Ed Long Phoenix Union High School basketball coach
1987 Kathy Gibbons Olympic runner who made miraculous comeback
Jack Stewart Founding father of Fiesta Bowl
Frank Gianelli Sports Editor, Arizona Republic
Bob Allison Sports Editor, Phoenix Gazette
1988 Alvan Adams Phoenix Suns long-time center
Larry Walker Fast-Pitch softball kingpin, founder of BCI
Dave Hicks Columnist, Arizona Republic
1989 Frank Kush Arizona State University football coach
John Riggle Executive director of Arizona Golf Association
Abe Chanin Sports Editor, Arizona Daily Star
George McLeod Sports Editor, Tucson Daily Citizen
1990 Danny White Westwood H.S., ASU, Dallas Quarterback
Dwight Patterson Founding father of Cactus League
Bob Vache Channel 12 sports anchor, Suns broadcaster
1991 Al Van Hazel Casa Grande High School football, track coach
Gov. Rose Mofford Softball star, Cactus League backer as governor
Ben Avery Outdoors columnist, Arizona Republic
1999 Herman Frazier ASU Olympic gold medal track star
2001 Jim Brock Arizona State University baseball coach
Charles Hickox Olympic gold medal swimming star
2002 Jerry Colangelo Phoenix Suns, Arizona Diamondbacks executive
Curley Culp Yuma H.S., ASU football player, wrestler
2009 Al McCoy Phoenix Suns
Linda Vollstedt Arizona State Golf Coach
Bob Horner Arizona State, Major League Baseball player
Darren Woodson Arizona State, Dallas Cowboys
2010 Billie Harris Women’s pioneer softball player
Billy Mayfair Arizona State, professional golfer
Bob Baffert University of Arizona, Renowned horse trainer and Kentucky Derby winner
Sean Elliott University of Arizona, NBA All Star
2011 Lute OlsonRandall McDanielCurt SchillingKerri StrugTy MurrayU of A 1997 Basketball Team University of Arizona Men’s Basketball Championship CoachArizona State University Football Player, member of college and pro football hall of famesMajor League Pitcher, six all-star teams, three world seriesOlympic Gold Medalist from Tucson9 time world rodeo champion, born in Phoenix1997 NCAA Basketball Champions
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