52nd Florida Sports
Hall of Fame Enshrinement
Saturday August 10, 2012
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The 52nd Florida Sports Hall of Fame Enshrinement was held at the Terry Theatre at the Florida Times Union Center, Jacksonville, Florida on Saturday August 10th.
The VIP Reception from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. was well attended including all of the Class of 2013 and our Sponsors including A.T.A.P. Companies, PGA TOUR, Jacksonville Suns, PRI, and Everbank.
The Enshrinement followed as an ESPY styled presentation beginning at 7:15 p.m.that was highlighted by inspirational acceptance speeches led off by Brooke Bennett and closed out by Evelyn Motel, sister of LeeRoy Yarbrough.
Special thanks to Alan Verlander and Joel Lamp from the City of Jacksonville Sports and Entertainment Office who produced the event along with Rick Catlett, Gator Bowl Association. Our host hotel, the Omni Jacksonville provided a wonderful venue and experience for all of our Inductees, FSHOF Members, and our Board.
The Class 0f 2013 that was inducted into the Florida Sports Hall of Fame has a distinct Jacksonville flair, headlined by PGA Tour winner Mark McCumber, tennis star Brian Gottfried, football coaching legend Corky Rogers, Jacksonville Jaguars running back Fred Taylor and NASCAR star LeeRoy Yarbrough.
Joining the Jacksonville-connected honorees are Brooke Bennett (swimming), and Pete Clemons (rodeo),
“For more than 50 years, the Florida Sports Hall of Fame has been recognizing Florida's greatest sports figures, and this year was no exception,” said Rick Dantzler, President of the Florida Sports Hall of Fame. “Of the 2013 inductees, six sports are represented, a testament to the diversity of the sports scene in our state."
Class of 2013 Biographies
Brooke Bennett (Swimming)
Brooke is a native of Tampa, who began taking swimming lessons at the age of 3, and earned the nickname “waterbabi.” But it was when she was 16 that she became the known to the world as the sweetheart of the 1996 Summer Olympics, earning a gold medal in the 800 meter freestyle over Janet Evans. She added golds in 2000 at Sydney in both 400 and 800 freestyle races. That year she was also named World America Swimmer of the Year. Brook won 14 total U.S. swimming championships and earned a cover of a Wheaties box. She is a reporter for Bright House Sports Network with a focus on High School sports. She was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 2010.
Pete Clemons (Rodeo)
Pete Clemons is a long-time cattleman in the State of Florida. A member of the Florida Department of Agriculture Hall of Fame and the recipient of the 2009 Florida Folk Heritage Award he was a rodeo star for 25 years. Nine times during that career, he won Beast all Around Cowboy title at the Silver Spur Rodeo in Kissimmee. He competed throughout the U.S., Canada, Cuba and twice traveled to South America as an Ambassador of U.S. rodeo. Pete is also a former chair of the Florida beef Council.
Brian Gottfried (Tennis)
Gottfried, a Miami native, won 14 National Junior Amateur titles, and was a two-time All-American at Trinity University, becoming the 1972 NCAA singles and doubles runner-up. Professionally, he was ranked No. 3 in 1977 in singles and in 1975 and 1976, was ranked No. 1 in doubles with Raul Ramirez. The five-time Davis Cup team member won the 1984 ATP Sportsmanship Award and was elected ATP president in 1987. From 1989-96, he was the ATP Tour’s director of tennis, and is now the GM of the Pointe Vedra Beach club facility.
Mark McCumber (Golf)
McCumber was the youngest winner of Jacksonville’s JAGA Championship in 1965 at age 14. He won more than 15 mini-tour events before earning his PGA Tour card in 1978. McCumber won 10 Tour events in his 24-year career, including two Doral-Eastern Opens, the 1988 Players Championship, and the 1994 Tour Championship. He has played on two World Cup teams and one Ryder Cup team, and now plays on the Champions Tour. He also has made significant impact in golf-course design with Mark McCumber and Associates, the design arm of McCumber Golf.
Corky Rogers (Coaching)
Charles “Corky” Rogers has amassed more high school football victories than any other coach in Florida. His 325-65-1 career record places him in the top 20 active coaches and top 50 all-time nationally. A graduate of Robert E. Lee High School in Jacksonville, where he was a three sport-star playing on the 1960 mythical state champion football team and 1961state baseball championship team. He played for Bobby Dodd at Georgia Tech and briefly for Don Shula with the Baltimore Colts. He coached at Lee and won 10 straight district titles from 1977-86. He took over at The Bolles Scholl in 1989 and has won seven state titles with two runner up finishes. Among Florida coaches with more than 300 wins, Rogers is the only coach with fewer than 100 losses.
Fred Taylor (Football)
A true Floridian, Taylor is a native of Pahokee, played in college at the University of Florida, and spent his pro career with the Jacksonville Jaguars. At Pahokee he was recognized as one of the “100 greatest players of the first 100 years” of Florida High School Football by the FHSAA. He went to Florida where he gained 3075 yards with 31 TDs and was a first-team all-American his senior year. The 9th pick overall by the Jags in the ’99 draft, he gained over 11,000 yards, 15th on the all-time NFL list, making him the Jags all-time leading rusher. He also scored a total of 74 touchdowns. Fred was the second player inducted into the Pride of the jaguars, along with Tony Boselli.
LeeRoy Yarbrough (Auto Racing)
Yarbrough, a Jacksonville native, began NASCAR racing in 1960. In 1969, he won a 300-mile modified race in Dayton and won the Daytona 500 the next day. He also won the Rebel 400, World 600, Firecracker 400, Dixie 500, Southern 500 and American 500 on 1969. He was the first driver to record a “grand slam” by winning on each of the South’s five super speedways in the same year. He was Ford’s Man of the Year and the American Driver of the Year in 1969, and is a member of the Stock Car Racing Hall of Fame.
The Florida Sports Hall of Fame recognizes and honors Florida’s greatest sports figures and events, and leverages this collective celebrity to promote fitness awareness, education and sports activities among our state’s youth and adults. Equally important is the promotion of the qualities of discipline and honor among sports participants.
Founded in 1961 by the Florida Sports Writers Association, the Florida Sports Hall of Fame is home to some of the most prominent figures in sports history. Since its inception, the FSHOF has inducted 215 amateur and professional athletes from a variety of sports including MLB, NASCAR, NBA, NCAA, NFL, NHL, and the PGA.
The general public can view FSHOF tribute and memorabilia displays from the greatest names in Florida sports history by appointment only at the FSHOF Preview Center hosted by Polk County Sports Marketing located at the Lake Myrtle Sports Complex, Auburndale, Florida. For additional details please visit www.floridasportshalloffame.com
52nd Annual Florida Sports Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony and Banquet, Saturday August 10th, Jacksonville, Florida.
FSHOF “Athlete of the Month” recognizing exceptional athletic feats and humanitarian endeavors during a variety of sports specific seasons.
FSHOF “Fame for Fitness Award” designated annually to athletes in recognition of outstanding contributions and commitment to fighting childhood obesity and children’s diabetes.
John Reger, Jr., PGA, Executive Director, 5745 S.W. 75th Street, #333, Gainesville, Florida 32608
352.682.3336, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.floridasportshalloffame.com
Rick Dantzler, President, Florida Sports Hall of Fame, email@example.com