Football stars Warrick Dunn and Deuce McAllister are among eight athletes and coaches who will be inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Saturday night during a ceremony at the Natchitoches Events Center.
Other inductees are LSU football great Terry Robiskie, Louisiana Tech wide receiver Roger Car, former Southern head football coach Pete Richardson, three-time Grambling basketball All-American Aaron James, LSU baseball stalwart Eddy Furniss and nationally acclaimed jockey Mark Guidry.
Dr. L.J. Mayeux of Marksville, the former national president and Chairman of the Board for Ducks Unlimited, is the 2012 recipient of the Dave Dixon Louisiana Sports Leadership Award. Mayeux, who is called “Dr. Duck” by members of Ducks Unlimited, is known for his efforts to restore duck habitat across North America, including Louisiana.
Two influential figures in the coverage of sports across Louisiana for decades, Baton Rouge sports editor Butch Muir and New Orleans sportswriter Bill Bumgarner, are the winners of the 2012 Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism from the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.
Muir ended a 49-year career this spring when he retired after nearly 33 years in charge of the Advocate’s sports section. Bumgarner is in his 40th year as an acclaimed New Orleans sportswriter, and is regarded as one of the state’s foremost experts on high school sports.
Dunn was a three-time Pro Bowl selection over 12 NFL seasons who ranked 19th in league history in rushing.
McAllister is the New Orleans Saints’ career rushing king and made two Pro Bowl appearances.
Furniss holds five major Southeastern Conference hitting records and was a three-time All-American who helped LSU to consecutive national championships in 1996-97.
Guidry, a Lafayette native, became the 21st U.S. jockey to record 5,000 career wins.
James was a high school and college All-America pick who averaged nearly 11 points per game as the first-ever draft pick of the NBA’s New Orleans Jazz.
Robiskie was a prep sensation at Second Ward High School who became LSU’s career rushing leader and has become a highly-respected NFL assistant coach.
Carr’s pass catching won him two All-America awards and helped Louisiana Tech win a small college national title before he had a 1976 All-Pro season to highlight a 10-year NFL career.
Richardson revitalized a long-struggling Southern football program, leading the Jaguars to 134 wins, five Southwestern Athletic Conference championships and four black college national crowns in 17 seasons.
Saturday’s induction dinner is sold out.
The 2012 inductions will be conducted as construction nears completion on 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 should be completed this winter with installation of exhibits following over the next few months in time for opening by the 2013 Induction Celebration next summer.
The 2012 athletes and coaching inductees will raise the total of Hall of Fame members to 293 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.
Additionally, 50 journalists have previously received the Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism, along with nine previous Dave Dixon Award winners. This year’s 11 inductees will bring the total Hall of Fame membership to 355 in its 54 years of existence.
The Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame includes nine members of the Basketball Hall of Fame, six of the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players, six Baseball Hall of Fame inductees, 13 Pro Football Hall of Fame members, seven Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame enshrines, 18 Olympic medalists (10 gold medal winners), 32 College Football Hall of Fame members, three National High School Hall of Fame enshrines, jockeys with a combined 12 Triple Crown victories, six world boxing champions, three College Baseball Hall of Fame inductees (Furniss will be the fourth), three NBA Finals MVPs and two Super Bowl MVPs.