LSU’s all-time leading rusher and three-time Super Bowl champion Kevin Faulk leads the 2015 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame induction class.
NATCHITOCHES – LSU’s all-time leading rusher and three-time Super Bowl champion Kevin Faulk leads the 2015 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame induction class.
Faulk joins UL Lafayette great and Super Bowl quarterback Jake Delhomme, former NBA champion point guard and Coach of the Year Avery Johnson, and coaching legends Pat Collins, Yvette Girouard and Otis Washington, among eight to be enshrined next summer.
College Football Hall of Fame member Leonard Smith and championship Thoroughbred racing trainer Frank Brothers are also in the Class of 2015 announced Tuesday afternoon by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association, the parent organization of the Hall of Fame.
They will be officially enshrined Saturday, June 27, in Natchitoches to culminate the 2015 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Induction Celebration, June 25-27.
Collins coached the University of Louisiana at Monroe football team to the 1987 Division I-AA (now FCS) national championship. Girouard developed the softball program at her alma mater, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and guided the Ragin’ Cajuns and LSU Tigers to five Women’s College World Series. Washington steered New Orleans’ St. Augustine High School to three state football titles and 106 wins in 10 years, and was Southern University head coach from 1981-86.
Smith was a All-American cornerback and special teams star for McNeese State, then helped Buffalo reach two Super Bowls. Brothers, a New Orleans native, became one of the leading trainers in thoroughbred racing, posting Triple Crown wins in the Preakness and Belmont Stakes among 118 graded stakes race victories by his horses.
Faulk helped the New England Patriots win three Super Bowls and reach two more during his 13-year NFL career. Delhomme, a native of Breaux Bridge, set Ragin’ Cajun records with 9,216 passing yards and 64 touchdowns before his 11-year NFL career highlighted by a narrow loss to Faulk’s Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVIII. New Orleans native Johnson, a St. Augustine standout, set the NCAA career assists average record at Southern, then played for the San Antonio Spurs’ 1999 NBA champions and coached the Dallas Mavericks to the 2006 NBA Finals.
The 2015 Induction Class will be showcased in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Museum, operated by the Louisiana State Museum system in a partnership with the Louisiana Sports Writers Association. The two-story, 27,500-square foot structure faces Cane River Lake in the National Historic Landmark District of Natchitoches and has garnered worldwide architectural acclaim and rave reviews for its contents since its grand opening during the 2013 Hall of Fame induction weekend.
A 35-member Louisiana Sports Writers Association committee selected the 2015 inductees. The panel considered 115 nominees from 28 different sport categories on a 24-page ballot, said Hall of Fame chairman Doug Ireland.
The eight new inductees will raise the total of Hall of Fame members to 318 competitors honored since the first induction class -- baseball’s Mel Ott, world champion boxer Tony Canzoneri and LSU football great Gaynell Tinsley -- were enshrined in 1959 after their election a year earlier.
Also to be honored at the event will be three other Hall of Fame inductees, the winner of the 2014 Dave Dixon Louisiana Sports Leadership Award and the recipients of the 2014 Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism presented by the LSWA. Those award recipients will be announced soon.
Adding to the 310 sports competitors currently enshrined, 14 winners of the Dave Dixon Louisiana Sports Leadership award and 54 recipients of the Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism, there are 378 current members of the Hall of Fame before next summer’s inductions.