Alabama Sports Hall of Fame elects 8 new inductees for 2024

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Alabama Sports Hall of Fame near the BJCC in Birmingham. (Jacob Blankenship/The Bama Buzz)

The Alabama Sports Hall of Fame (ASHOF) released its 2024 list of inductees last week, which includes a popular former UAB basketball coach, SEC’s first All-American female gymnast and one of the most dynamic football players to play for the University of Alabama. 

Read on to learn all the details about this year’s ASHOF class.

401 Inductees in the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame

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Alabama Sports Hall of Fame (Pat Byington/The Bama Buzz)

Since its inception in 1969, counting this new class of inductees, 401 athletes connected to the state of Alabama have “entered” the Hall. This is the 56th Class.

The eight newly elected inductees include:

Mike Anderson — UAB Basketball Head Coach in the 2000s, Anderson led the Blazers to the Sweet 16 in 2004 upsetting Kentucky on the way. Since leaving UAB in 2006, he has been the head coach at Missouri, Arkansas and St. John’s where he was honored as Big East Coach of the Year in 2021.

Penny Hauschild Buxton – A University of Alabama gymnast, Buxton was the first Southeastern Conference gymnast to win an NCAA title, winning four while she was at the Capstone. She won two NCAA all-around championships in 1985 and 1986, and between 1983 and 1986, she was named an All-American 10 times.

Larry Chapman — Head coach of the Auburn University at Montgomery men’s basketball team for 37 years (1976-2014), Chapman won 20 games in his second season at AUM and had fifteen 20-win seasons in his career. Chapman’s 1987-88 team posted a record of 32-3 and reached the NAIA National Championship game.

John Drew — A high school, college and NBA star, Drew set the AHSAA scoring record when he played for J.F. Shields HS in Monroe County. After averaging 26 points at a game at Gardner-Webb University, Drew was drafted by the Atlanta Hawks and spent nine years there earning All-Rookie Team and All-Star twice. He finished his NBA career with 15,291 points and 5,088 rebounds.

Robert Mathis —  A defensive star at Alabama A&M, Mathis set the NCAA I-AA single-season sack record with 20 sacks. He was selected by the Indianapolis Colts in the 2003 NFL Draft. In 2006, Mathis recorded a career-high 65 tackles while helping lead the Colts to a Super Bowl victory over the Chicago Bears. A five-time Pro Bowler, he spent his entire 14-year NFL career with the Colts and holds the NFL record for most career forced fumbles (54).

David Palmer — One of the most dynamic football players in Alabama Football history, Palmer was  the school’s first single-season 1,000-yard receiver. In 1992, he was a member of the Crimson Tide’s consensus National Championship team and a 1993  finalist for the Heisman Trophy having played wide receiver, quarterback and returner. For 7 years, Palmer played for the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings.  

Scott Sullivan – A walk-on to the Auburn University baseball team, he pitched at Plains for three years. He was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds. While playing for Cincinnati, he set a club record by pitching at least 100 innings of relief every season from 1998-2001. Sullivan ranks second in Reds franchise history with 494 pitching appearances. 

Mike Washington — Montgomery native and member of the Crimson Tide’s 1973 National Championship team, Washington was named All-SEC and All-American in 1973 and 1974. He played nine seasons in Tampa Bay finishing his career with 28 interceptions, two fumble recoveries and three touchdowns.

Also last week, the ASHOF named 1980s Alabama great Kerry Goode for their Distinguished Sportsman honor.

Celebrate sports in Alabama

Interested in celebrating the latest batch of Hall of Famers? 

The 56th Annual Induction Banquet and Ceremony will be held in the Birmingham Ballroom, at the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel, on May 4, 2024. 

For more information or to purchase tickets, please contact the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame Museum at (205) 323-6665.

Pat Byington
Pat Byington
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