31st Greater Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame Dinner and Induction Ceremony to Honor Sports Legends

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31st Greater Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame Dinner and Induction Ceremony to Honor Sports Legends

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Ten of the area’s finest athletes – past and present – will be recognized at the Greater Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame Dinner and Induction Ceremony on Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012, at the Knoxville Convention Center. Major League Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Phil Niekro will serve as keynote speaker for the 31st annual celebration.

For more than three decades, the Greater Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame Dinner and Induction Ceremony has celebrated excellence in athletics while benefiting the life-changing work of Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley (BGCTNV). Each year, ten individuals with ties to the Greater Knoxville region are inducted into the Hall of Fame for their achievements in athletics.

Phil Niekro

Hospitality begins at 5:30 p.m., dinner is served at 6:30 p.m. and the program begins at 7:30 p.m.  Media interviews will take place from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Knoxville Convention Center. Live interviews may be conducted in Room 300A; please contact Sarah Malak Pope at (865) 584-0550 or spope@ackermannpr.com to reserve your interview time slot and/or reserve media pass(es).

About Phil Niekro
Phil Niekro relied not on velocity but on a fluttering knuckleball to frustrate major league hitters. His lifetime record of 318-274 produced a winning percentage significantly higher than those teams for which he pitched. A five-time All-Star and Gold Glove Award winner, Niekro won 121 games after he turned 40, the most wins by anyone over that age in baseball history. During his 24-year career, Niekro played for the Milwaukee Braves (1964-1965), Atlanta Braves (1966-1983, 1987), New York Yankees (1984-1985), Cleveland Indians (1986-1987) and Toronto Blue Jays (1987). He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1997. His #35 is retired by the Braves.

2012 Inductees

Has literally given his life to the fortunes of Fulton High School athletics. Has been part of three state championship football teams (2003, 2004, and 2006) and two second place finishes (1974 and 2002). Member of TSSAA Hall of Fame and has been an official and clinic director. Has been in charge of “chain gang” for University of Tennessee football since 1967.

A respected coach who has accomplished great things for the Belmont University basketball program in his 26-year tenure with 545-284 (.657) record. Led Belmont’s transition from an NAIA institution to a perennial headliner and championship program in NCAA Division I. Has led Belmont to five Atlantic Sun titles in the past seven years. Has won 637 games against 339 losses (.6812) in 31 years overall.

Fleming began playing golf at age 10 and garnered first hole-in-on at age 13. Won the ladies club championship at Green Meadow Country Club in 1999, 2000, 2001, and 2005. Has won seven Knoxville Area Women’s Golf Association Championships and has been a finalist for five. In 2010, she won the Tennessee State Four Ball Championship.

ROCKY GOODE                                         
Bearden High School alumnus who overcame injury that cost him nearly all of his collegiate career to serve as SEC referee since 1990. Was Crew Chief of SEC Referees and served as a Director for the Southeastern Conference Football Officials’ Association. He is currently serving as a Replay Official for the SEC. Has served on the Championship Committee of the Knoxville News Sentinel Knoxville Open.

Earned All-SEC honors and was co-captain of the 1992 Tennessee team. First round selection of the San Francisco 49ers in 1993 NFL Draft and earned a Super Bowl ring in 1995. Was color analyst for CSS Comcast Sports on the McDonald’s High School Games of the Week from 2006-09. Has participated as a local scout for The U.S. Army All-American Bowl in 2009-10.

Was outstanding in track and football in the mid-1950s in Knoxville. Went on to collegiate track scholarships, first at Tennessee, then at ETSU. As a senior in 1957-58, he was chosen first team All-City and tied for the city’s top scorer, playing running back and safety. Has worked with many area track and field athletes over the past 50 years. 

All-SEC cornerback and Academic All-SEC selection at the University of Tennessee in 1987. First round selection by Los Angeles Raiders in 1988, the No. 9 overall player taken. Received the “Commitment to Excellence Award” three times as voted on by his coaches and teammates while with the Raiders. Played with the Raiders 10 years and with the Seattle Seahawks for one year.

Began radio career at Fulton High School in Knoxville in mid-1960s, working under legendary broadcaster George Mooney, at that time the “Voice of the Vols.” Broadcast Fulton games in 1966 on the Fulton High frequency. Began broadcasting Lenoir City High School football in 1967, and has done so on WLIL ever since. Broadcast the first Lady Vols basketball game. Has broadcast 414 Lenoir City High School football games.

In 22 years as University of Tennessee swimming and diving coach, Parrington has achieved unparalleled success coaching on the collegiate, national and international levels. Has scholarship endowed in his name at Tennessee. Helped select the 2008 U.S. Olympic Diving Team. Has coached 33 SEC title-winning divers. A 1983 graduate of the University of Houston, where he holds a variety of Cougar diving records.

Lettered in five sports at Knoxville’s Central High School. Became part of the Tennessee legend when he and teammates Bill Majors and Wayne Grubb stopped LSU’s Billy Cannon on two-point conversion attempt in 1959. Served in the Tennessee General Assembly from 1980-94. Lifetime member of the University of Tennessee Letterman’s T-Club and serves on the organization’s Board of Directors.

Special Award Recipients

Oak Ridge High School alumnus burst onto the PGA golf scene in 2008 and won his first PGA Tour victory at the Greenbrier Classic in 2011. Made 19 cuts in 28 events on the Nationwide Tour. Won 2012 True South Classic. Two-time Ohio Valley Conference selection at Tennessee Tech, winning seven tournaments. Was All-America selection in 2006.

To her peers, she is forthright, well-respected, ethical, and a winner who serves as a shining example in the sport of collegiate basketball. Lady Vols made unprecedented 31 consecutive appearances in NCAA Tournament. Lady Vols won eight NCAA titles as well as a combined 32 Southeastern Conference tournament and regular season championships.  Compiled record 1,098-208 (.840) that included the most victories in NCAA basketball history.

Ace Miller was the “face” of Knoxville boxing for more than 40 years. Everybody seemed to know him, whether by his given name, Jerry Wayne, or his alter egos of “Ace” or “Colonel.” Miller defied the naysayers, first by taking John Tate to the heavyweight championship of the world, then by hosting a world championship bout telecast by ABC, Tate against Mike Weaver, at Stokely Center. The Ace Miller Golden Gloves Arena on Ace Miller Way just off Magnolia Avenue in East Knoxville stands today in tribute to his life and example. He changed the lives of many young people across the community. He might not have believed he was a legend, but everyone else knew full well that Ace Miller, who died suddenly on March 8, 2012, definitely was one.

Athletic Director for Knox County schools after coaching at East, Austin-East, and Rule High Schools. Named KFL “Coach of the Year” five times and East Tennessee “Coach of the Year” three times. Civic minded and interested in the welfare of our city’s youth, he served as a director and board member of the Knoxville Boys and Girls Club. Was head of the selection committee that chose each year’s awardees at this banquet. 

Elliott Stroupe began attending the Boys Club on Caswell Avenue in 1960 and has lived the lessons taught at the Club throughout his life. Stroupe played basketball at East High School and later graduated from Fulton.  He received the Club’s “Boy of the Year Award” his senior year.  He later became full time Physical Director and organized one of the most prestigious sports programs in the area, winning acclaim at the state and national level. In 1976, he received the distinguished “Man and Boy Award.”
Later, in addition to teaching science at Webb School, he served as head varsity boys’ basketball coach for five years. He also served as middle school track, football, tennis, and basketball coach. In 2011, Stroupe was inducted into the KIL Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame. In 2007, he was a winner of the “Don Tarvin Award,” given annually to members of the Webb School faculty and staff who exemplify the qualities of moral, ethical, and spiritual leadership that the school seeks to impart to its students.

Male High School Athletes of the Year

Twice named the Division II-A BlueCross Bowl Offensive MVP (2009-10). Versatile and talented athlete who was successful in football, basketball, and track. Selected as team captain this past season and Region MVP his senior season. Three-year letter winner in track. Won the “Spartan Award” in football and basketball in 2011-12. In his junior season in track, was a member of three relay teams that placed in the state meet.

University of Tennessee baseball signee helped Farragut High School win TSSAA state titles in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Was the Knoxville News Sentinel’s PrepXtra “Player of the Year.” Rated the No. 1 Player in Tennessee by Perfect Game-Baseball. Drafted by the Colorado Rockies 32nd round. Selected for the Baseball America Second Team All-America and the American Baseball Coaches Association/Rawlings Third Team All-America. 
Female High School Athletes of the Year

University of Georgia basketball signee was named Division II-A “Miss Basketball,” the Knoxville News Sentinel’s PrepXtra Player of the Year in 2011, and the PrepXtra Female Track Athlete of the Year in 2009. Was the 2009-12 All-Region MVP. Was the 2010-11 Division II-A Regular Season MVP in 2011. She was a TSSAA State Tournament All-Tournament Player in 2009, 2010, and 2011.

Carter’s High School’s first Division I softball signee. Named “Most Athletic” Senior Superlative. Was named District Defensive Player of the Year in volleyball in 2012. Was elected team captain in softball and volleyball. Won the 2010 TSSAA Distinguished Scholastic Achievement Award. Was a 2012 selection to “Who’s Who of CHS Senior Class.” Won a 2011 Presidential Award for Community Service.

Track signee at University of Alabama was multiyear pick to Knoxville News Sentinel’s PrepXtra’s cross-country, soccer, and track teams. Holds state records at Bearden High School in 800, 1,600, 3,200 and 5K cross-country. Was a two-time All-State selection. Earned a 3.931 GPA while at Bearden. Was team captain in soccer and All-District IV and All-Region II TSSAA selection.


Media Contact:
Sarah Malak Pope, Ackermann PR
(865) 584-0550

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