BIRMINGHAM, AL (WIAT) – There are eight new members of the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. Ronnie Baynes, Forrest Blue, Eric Davis, Bill Jones, Vickie Orr, Nick Saban and Dannette Young Stone will be inducted in a ceremony at the Birmingham Sheraton on Saturday night. Friday they took part in a luncheon where the inductees reflected on becoming a part of one the nation’s most prestigious halls.
Alabama head football coach Nick Saban was among those honored. He is the only member of the class still active. He reflected on his unique position in this year’s class. “When you’re in it and I’m still in it, you’re always worried about the next game. Michael Jordan always says ‘no matter how many game winning shots you made, the only one that mattered is the next one,’ so that’s what you’re always caught up in. But to be honest, when something like this happens it makes you sort of realize what an honor it is and it is very self fulfilling and flattering to know that people recognize it.”
The newly elected eight inductees will bring the total of all inductees since 1969 to 313.
The 2013 Induction Banquet will take place in the Birmingham Ballroom, at the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel, on Saturday, May 18, 2013. Reception and banquet tickets can be purchased by contacting the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame museum.
RONNIE BAYNES / OFFICIATING – Born August 2, 1943 in Talladega, AL. He was an SEC and NFL official for twenty-six years. He was a line judge in two Super Bowls (XXIX and XXXIII) and a member of officiating crews for three NFC and one AFC Championship Games. He also officiated three Divisional playoff games and four Wildcard games and one Pro-Bowl. From 2001 to 2008 was the supervisor of NFL Officials. He has also been Director of Scouting and Officiating Development for the NFL. He officiated 13 years in the Southeastern Conference. He played collegiately at Auburn University where he was a three year starter on the football team (1962-1965) and a two year starter on the Baseball team (1963 & 1964). Back to Top
FORREST BLUE Jr. / FOOTBALL – Born September 7, 1945 in Marfa, TX. He played collegiately at Auburn University. He started out as a defensive tackle before playing center. He was named All-American his senior year and was also captain of the team that year. He played in the Senior Bowl and the College All-Star games. He also played baseball for Tigers hitting over .440 his freshman year. He was a first round draft choice of the San Francisco 49ers in 1968. He played seven seasons with the 49ers and is regarded as one of their top centers in team’s history. He was named to the first-team All-Pro in 1971 and ’72 and he played in four consecutive Pro Bowls. He helped lead the 49ers to three straight divisional titles in early 70’s. He ended his career with the Baltimore Colts playing four seasons. He passed away on July 16, 2011. Back to Top
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ERIC DAVIS / FOOTBALL – Born January 26, 1968 in Anniston, AL. He played collegiately at Jacksonville State University. He helped lead the Gamecocks to a Gulf South Conference Championship and an appearance in the Division II National Championship game. He finished his senior season with 51 total tackles, eight pass break-ups and six interceptions. He was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the second round of the 1990 NFL Draft. He played 13 seasons in the NFL with the 49ers, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos, and the Detroit Lions. He was named to two consecutive Pro Bowls 1995 and 1996. He was All-Pro three times. He is one of just two players in NFL history to have five or more interceptions in five consecutive seasons. He is the NFL leader in consecutive playoff games with at least one interception (5). For his career he had 38 interceptions, returned four for touchdowns; recovered 12 fumbles and returned two for touchdowns. He was a member of the 49eres Super Bowl XXIX Championship Team in 1994. Back to Top
BILL JONES / COACHING / ADMINISTRATION – Born May 12, 1936, in Lexington, AL. He played collegiately at the University of North Alabama. In 1974 he became the Head Basketball coach at UNA and posted a 259-141 record which included the 1979 NCAA Division II National Championship. His squad was the first collegiate team from the State of Alabama to win a national championship in basketball. He led UNA to three Gulf South Conference Championships, three Gulf South Conference tournament titles. His teams won four NCAA Division II Regional Championships and appeared in four Division II Final Fours. He was named both Gulf South Conference Coach of Year and Kodak District Coach of the Year twice. He stepped down as Head Basketball Coach in 1988 to become the school’s first full-time athletic director with no coaching responsibilities. In his 20-year career as AD, he was instrumental in molding UNA into one of the premier Division II athletic programs in the nation. Under his leadership UNA won three consecutive Division II National Football Championships, won five Gulf South Conference Women’s All-Sports trophies, two men’s GSC All-Sports trophies and 25 GSC championships in nine different sports. He retired on August 31, 1994 as Athletic Director. Prior to being named Head Basketball Coach at UNA he spent five seasons at University of Montevallo, posting a 85-53 record. He passed away in August of 2008. Back to Top
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BILL OLIVER / FOOTBALL / COACHING – Born November 1, 1939 in Epes, AL. He played collegiately at the University of Alabama. He was a member of Coach Bryant’s first National Championship team in 1961. He spent more than thirty years in the coaching profession; and was a renowned defensive coach. He was a member of Coach Bryant’s staff that won three National Championships (1973, 1978, and 1979) and one as member of Coach Stallings staff in 1992. He was Head Coach at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga from 1980-1983 where he had a record of 29-14-1. He was interim Head Coach at Auburn University in 1998. He was defensive coordinator for the Memphis Showboats (USFL) in 1983 and 1984. Back to Top
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VICKIE ORR / BASKETBALL – Born April 4, 1967 in Decatur, AL. She played collegiately at Auburn University. Kodak All-American three consecutive years (1987, 1988, 1989). She was named SEC Player of Year 1988. Currently ranks second in Auburn scoring with 2,035 points. She is one of only two Auburn players to score over 2,000 points and have 1,000 rebounds. She led the Lady Tigers to two straight NCAA Championship games. She was MVP of the SEC Tournament in 1987 and MVP of the NCAA Mid-East Regional in 1989. She was named to the All-Final Four team in 1989. She was a member of the 1990 U.S.A. Team that won a Gold Medal in the World Championships and a member of the 1990 Goodwill team that won the Gold Medal. She was also a member to the 1992 U.S. Olympic Team that won a Bronze Medal. Played professional in Italy from 1990-1992. Back to Top
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NICK SABAN / FOOTBALL / COACHING – Born October 31, 1951 in Fairmont, West Virginia. He is the Head Football Coach at the University of Alabama. He has won two BCS Championships at Alabama (2009 and 2011). He also won a BCS Championship while at LSU in 2003. He is the first coach in college football history to win a national championship with two different football bowl subdivision schools. He and Coach Bryant are the only coaches to win an SEC championship at two different schools. He has had head coaching stints on the college level at Toledo, Michigan State, LSU, and now at Alabama. He also coached the Miami Dolphins in the NFL. He has won numerous national coach of the year awards including A.P. National Coach of Year twice (2003 and 2008); Paul “Bear” Bryant Award (2003); and SEC Coach of Year three times (2003, 2008, and 2009). Back to Top
DANNETTE YOUNG STONE / TRACK & FIELD – Born October 6, 1964 in Jacksonville, Florida. She ran track collegiately at Alabama A&M University. She won the Gold Medal in the 1988 Olympics as a member of U.S. 4 X 100 relay team. She ran the fastest 200 in the world in 1988 at 22.34 seconds. At the 1992 Olympics as member of the 4 X 400 relay team she won the Silver Medal. In the NCAA Division II National Championships she won the 100 and 200 meter dash three consecutive years. In the 1986 SIAC Championship her senior year she ran five times and bettered the existing meet record in all five races. Her sensational performance in that meet earned her the Cleve L. Abbott Award (1995 ASHOF inductee), given to the most outstanding athlete (male or female) in the meet. She also received the Most Outstanding Female Track Performer Award. Won the NCAA Division II 400 meter relay two consecutive years (1985 –1986). She ran the anchor leg in the 1986 race which set a school, meet and all-time NCAA record time of 44.50 seconds (at that time). She was undefeated in four years of SIAC competition. During her career at the NCAA Division II meets she only lost one race. She was named NCAA All-American on 13 occasions. Back to Top