Arkansas hall of fame adding 11 more in 2014

Published: Sunday, December 22, 2013
NWA Media/MICHAEL WOODS --01/06/2013-- Texas A&M coach Gary Blair walks the sideline during Sunday afternoon's game at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville.
Photo by Michael Woods
NWA Media/MICHAEL WOODS --01/06/2013-- Texas A&M coach Gary Blair walks the sideline during Sunday afternoon's game at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville.

A professional golfer and a pair of former University of Arkansas football players are among the 11 members of the 2014 class who will join the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame at its 56th annual induction banquet Feb. 28 at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock.

The class will consist ofsix inductees from the regular category, three inductees from the senior category and two inductees from the posthumous category.

Those honorees includeformer University of Arkansas football player David Bazzel, former University of Arkansas women’s basketball coach Gary Blair, former Henderson State golfer and PGA Tour member Ken Duke, former Arkansas School for the Deaf basketball player Bennie Fuller, former Arkansas Tech basketball player Stephanie Strack Mathis and former University of Arkansas linebacker Dennis Winston.

Senior category inductees include former Wynne high school football coach Don Campbell, former Arkansas-Monticello women’s basketball and softball coach Alvy Early and former University of Central Arkansas and Arkansas Tech coach Ken Turner.

Posthumous inductees are Tuckerman native and former New York Knicks player Jim Barnes and Harry Vines, a former high school All-American at Little Rock Central who also served as the longtime coach of the Arkansas Rollin’ Razorbacks wheelchair basketball team.

Ronnie McFarland of Searcy, a longtime member of the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame board of directors, also will be presented with the William H. “Buddy” Sutton Meritorious Service Award.

Bazzel, a native of Panama City, Fla., was a three-year starter and four-year letterman (1981-85) at linebacker for the Razorbacks under Lou Holtz and Ken Hatfield. He was a defensive team captain for the 1985 team that didn’t allow a rushing touchdown during the conference season.

Bazzel now serves as a cohost on a morning drive-time program on KABZ-FM, 103.7,in Little Rock and has been involved with various sports awards and productions. He was chairman of the Arkansas Governor’s Council on Fitness for nine years, a founder of the Little Rock Touchdown Club and created the Broyles Award, which is given to the top assistant coach in college football.

Blair, the women’s basketball coach at Texas A&M, coached Arkansas from 1993-2003 and is one of only three NCAA Division I women’s basketball coaches to lead two schools to the NCAA Women’s Final Four. He led the Aggies to a national championship in 2011 after guiding Arkansas to the Final Four in 1998.

Duke, who lives in Florida, was born in Hope, grew up in Arkadelphia and played college golf at Henderson State. He turned professional in 1994, and in June he won the Travelers Championship by defeating Chris Stroud with a birdie on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff for his first PGA Tour victory. Duke also has two victories on the Tour (formerly the Nationwide Tour) and two on the Canadian Tour. He was the 2006 Nationwide Tour Player of the Year.

Fuller, who grew up near Hensley, is the all-time leading scorer in Arkansas boys’ high school basketball history and still ranks fourth on the national list after scoring 4,896 points while playing for Arkansas School for the Deaf from 1968-71.He averaged 50.9 points a game during the 1970-71 season, and in 1971 he scored 102 points in a gameagainst Leola.

Mathis played basketball at St. Joseph High School in Conway and went on to become a three-time All-American and the women’s career scoring leader at Arkansas Tech. She scored 2,298 points during her college career while helping lead the Golden Suns to NAIA national championships in 1992 and 1993.

Winston, a Forrest City native, played high school football at Marianna and was a linebacker for the Arkansas Razorbacks from 1973-76. He went on to play 11 seasons in the NFL for the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New Orleans Saints, and was a member of Steelers teams that won the Super Bowl following the 1978 and 1979 seasons.

Campbell, a Forrest City native, was a longtime highschool football coach who had stints at Corning, Sheridan and Wynne. He had an overall record of 257-98-6, and his teams won 16 district championships along with state championships at Wynne in 2001 and 2004.

Early was one of the state’s most successful college coaches with more than 1,000 career victories as a women’s basketball and softball coach. In 21 seasons at Arkansas-Monticello, his basketball teams went 425-211. He produced 11 All-Americans, won or shared four AIC titles and led the Cotton Blossoms to the national championship game in 1990. Early became UAM’s softball coach in 1997 and built that program into a powerhouse as well. His teams won seven Gulf South Conference division titles and a regular-season championship in the Great American Conference.

Stephens was a standout athlete at Conway High School and at what is now the University of Central Arkansas. In 1972, Stephens took over a UCA football program that had suffered three consecutive losing seasons and four years later had the Bears playing in the NAIA Champion Bowl. He compiled a record of 67-35-6 at UCA and won four AIC championships. He also coached Arkansas Tech from 1985 to 1992.

Barnes played basketball for what is now Texas-El Paso before being chosen by the New York Knicks as the first selection in the 1964 NBA Draft. Barnes, whose nickname was “Bad News,” was named to the 1965 NBA All-Rookie team and played seven seasons in the NBA with the Knicks, the Baltimore Bullets, the Los Angeles Lakers, the Chicago Bulls and the Boston Celtics. He also won a gold medal as a member of the U.S. team at the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Vines, a Little Rock native, was a standout from 1955-57 at what is now Little Rock Central High School, earning All-America honors in 1957. He played college basketball under Abe Lemons at Oklahoma City from 1957-61, but he is probably best known for coaching the Rollin’ Razorbacks. His wheelchair teams posted 21 winning seasons in his 22 years as coach and won National Wheelchair Basketball Association championships in 1991, 1993, 1994, 1996 and 2000.

2014 Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame inductees

Sports, Pages 36 on 12/22/2013