Atwater elected to SWC Hall of Fame

By: Matt Jones
Published: Tuesday, July 3, 2018
Arkansas safety Steve Atwater is shown during a game against Texas on Saturday, Oct. 15, 1988, in Austin, Texas. The Razorbacks won 27-24.
Photo by Arkansas Democrat-Gazette File
Arkansas safety Steve Atwater is shown during a game against Texas on Saturday, Oct. 15, 1988, in Austin, Texas. The Razorbacks won 27-24.

— Steve Atwater, the former hard-hitting Arkansas safety who later spent 12 years in professional football, will be inducted into the Southwest Conference Hall of Fame in September.

Atwater will be one of nine inductees - one from each school that comprised the SWC - during a banquet Sept. 10 on the TCU campus in Fort Worth, Texas. The SWC Hall of Fame is part of the Texas Hall of Fame museum in Waco, Texas.

Atwater was an All-American as a senior in 1988 and was named to the All-SWC first or second team as a sophomore, junior and senior. He had 229 career tackles and holds the program's career record with 14 interceptions.

The St. Louis native played on four bowl teams that had a combined 38-11 record and won the SWC championship in his final season.

Atwater was an 8-time Pro Bowl safety with the Denver Broncos from 1989-98, and later played two seasons for the New York Jets. He has been a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame the past two years but has not received the 80-percent vote from the hall's 48-member selection committee that is necessary for induction.

Other members in the 2018 SWC Hall of Fame class are: former football player Joe Barnes of Texas Tech; former basketball players Tommy Bowman of Baylor, Larry Micheaux of Houston, Denny Holman of SMU and Kurt Thomas of TCU; baseball player Brooks Kieschnick of Texas; track coach Victor Lopez of Rice; and two-sport standout Curtis Dickey of Texas A&M.

In addition to the nine-member class selected each year, a separate panel of voters has selected large classes of Razorback inductees each fall to populate the SWC Hall with former Arkansas coaches and athletes. Another large class of inductees is expected to be announced later this year.

The SWC Hall of Fame was absorbed in 2013 by the Texas Sports Hall of Fame. More than 300 SWC-affiliated inductees of the Texas Sports Hall of Fame were grandfathered in at the time, but only two, Jerry Jones and Jimmy Johnson, had any connection to the Razorbacks. Jones and Johnson had been inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame by virtue of their affiliation with the Dallas Cowboys.

Arkansans in Southwest Conference Hall of Fame

Football: Lance Alworth, Steve Atwater, Jim Benton, Frank Broyles, Dick Bumpas, Bill Burnett, Ronnie Caveness, Chuck Dicus, Joe Ferguson, Quinn Grovey, Dan Hampton, Leotis Harris, Wayne Harris, Ken Hatfield, Steve Little, Fred Marshall, Wayne Martin, Bill Montgomery, Billy Moore, Loyd Phillips, Cliff Powell, Wear Schoonover, Clyde Scott, Billy Ray Smith Sr., Billy Ray Smith Jr.

Men's Basketball: Ron Brewer, Todd Day, Joe Kleine, Lee Mayberry, Sidney Moncrief, Nolan Richardson, Eddie Sutton, Darrell Walker

Women's Basketball: Bettye Fiscus, Amber Shirey

Baseball: Norm DeBriyn, Kevin McReynolds

Golf: R.H. Sikes

Men's Track & Field: Mike Conley, Joe Falcon, Edrick Floreal, John McDonnell, Frank O'Mara, Niall O'Shaughnessy

Women's Track & Field: Bev Lewis, Cynthia Moore, Melody Sye

Journalist: Orville Henry

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