The Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame induction class that will be honored here on June 30 is clearly the most diverse and disparate group of sports figures to enter the shrine in a single year since it was established in 1958.
It is appropriate on this 60th anniversary of the Hall of Fame that the inductees will represent such a wide range of the high school, college and professional sports and athletics-related activities that are so deeply rooted in Louisiana’s history and culture.
Honorees include a bass fishing champion, one of the state’s most successful high school football coaches, the winningest college tennis coach in Louisiana history, a huge star in the world of auto racing, a pitcher with an 18-year career in the Major Leagues, two NFL football greats and a basketball coach and NBA standout.
Going into the hall will be NBA greats Reggie Wayne and Brandon Stokley, big league pitcher Russ Springer, NBA star and Grambling coach Larry Wright, football coach Lewis Cook who guided three different schools to 30 state playoffs, Bassmaster Classic champion Jack Hains, LSU tennis coaching legend Jerry Simmons and international drag racing icon Paul Candies.
Other honorees will be Dave Dixon Louisiana Sports Leadership Award Winner Steve Gleason and Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism recipients Scooter Hobbs of Lake Charles and Lynn Rollins of Alexandria.
Rollins, a Northwestern graduate who will add some local flavor to the event, has been a sports radio and television personality in Louisiana for 45 years and has called more televised college baseball games than anyone in the nation.
All of those inductees will join more than 400 other athletes, coaches and other sports figures in the impressive $23 million shrine on Front Street that showcases Louisiana’s extraordinary sports history and personalities.
The sprawling building opened just five years ago, but the Hall of Fame was housed on the Northwestern State University campus for more than 40 years and has attracted some of the biggest names in sports to the community over those decades.
Among the superstars who have come here for the induction programs are Terry Bradshaw, Morten Anderson, Billy Cannon, Shaquille O’Neal, Skip Bertman, Joe Adcock, Eddie Robinson and Vida Blue.
Local folks should support this important local event that puts Natchitoches in the national sports spotlight every year and brings extensive positive attention to the community year-round
Tickets for the induction program and other activities may be reserved by calling 318-332-8539.