The Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame announced today the Honorees for their 51st Induction Banquet on Saturday, June 3rd at the Omni Nashville.
Honorees announced today include the 2017 Professional Athlete of the Year, former University of Tennessee Track and Field sprinter and Olympic medalist Justin Gatlin for winning the silver medal in the 100m dash at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. Amateur Team of the Year, Rhodes College Women’s Golf Team for claiming their second National Championship in the last three years. Amateur Female Athlete of the Year, King University Women’s Wrestling, Haley Augello for competing in women’s wrestling at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and winning her third WCWA national title in three years. Amateur Male Athlete of the Year two years in a row, from University of Tennessee Track & Field, Christian Coleman for winning two NCAA Indoor National Championships and being named USTFCCCA National Indoor Track Athlete of the Year along with earning a spot on the USA team at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
2017 Honoree Selections
Professional Male Athlete of the Year – Justin Gatlin
Former Tennessee sprinter Justin Gatlin won the silver medal in the 100m dash at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics That was Gatlin’s fifth Olympic medal. He was the oldest U.S. sprinter to reach the Olympic Games since 1912.
Amateur Male Athlete of the Year – Christian Coleman, University of Tennessee
Christian Coleman won two NCAA Indoor National Championships and was named USTFCCCA National Indoor Track Athlete of the Year. Coleman won both the 60m and 200m national titles in record-setting fashion as he joined Justin Gatlin (2002) and Kim Collins (2001) as the only athletes to win the double in the last 30 years
Amateur Female Athlete of the Year – Haley Augello, King University
Haley Augello a 2016 Olympian, women’s wrestling selection. Competed for the United States at the Olympic games in women’s wrestling at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Augello won her third WCWA national title in three tries.
Amateur Team of the Year- Rhodes College Women’s Golf Team
The top-ranked Rhodes College women’s golf team capped off a remarkable season in 2016 by claiming their second National Championship in program history and their second in the last three years.
In conjunction with our Honoree Class, the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame will be inducting Ashley McElhiney Ayers, Vanderbilt University Women’s Basketball player and the 1st female coach of a male professional basketball team, Nashville Rhythm; Chantelle Anderson, Vanderbilt University Women’s Basketball star and former 2nd overall pick of the 2003 WNBA Draft; Julius Chuck Meriwether, former Major League Baseball Umpire; Chad Clifton, University of Tennessee and Green Bay Packer Hall of Fame Offensive Lineman; Al Wilson, University of Tennessee All-American Linebacker and 1st Round selection of the 1999 NFL Draft. Additional inductees include Haskel Stanback, University of Tennessee and Atlanta Falcons Running Back; Candy Reynolds, Knoxville-born Professional Tennis player; Willie Gault, University of Tennessee All-American Wide Receiver and 1st Round selection of the 1983 NFL Draft. Rounding out the class are posthumous inductions for Graham Vowell, University of Tennessee’s 1st All-American, and Burnis “Wild Bill” Wright, a Negro League All-Star and Mexican Baseball Hall of Fame member.
The Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame’s goal is to enshrine successful teams and individuals who display sportsmanship, good character and success by creating a legacy for others to follow. The Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame is housed inside the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville and is celebrating 50 years of Tennessee Sports history (1966-2016).
The Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, a 501-C3 pays tribute to all those who have made an impact through sports in Tennessee. The Hall subscribes to the principle that sports serve society’s highest ideals by educating and shaping youth. It promotes the virtues of competition, fair play, friendship, solidarity, mutual understanding and respect for human dignity. The best way to honor our sports legends is to pass this legacy down to future generations.