The lion with a heart of gold, a coach that plays to win, the godfather of the Broward County Sports Hall of Fame, a top sports writer, goal oriented soccer coach and a quicksilver track and field star, head up the 2013 Broward County Sports Hall of Fame, presented by the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau Sports Development office. These six greats will be inducted at the annual gala at the Broward County Convention Center on October 29, 2013.
"This deserving group of sports inductees, each exhibit the commitment and dedication of true athletics," said Nicki E. Grossman, president of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Now in its 14th consecutive year, the Broward County Sports Hall of Fame honors and recognizes coaches, athletes and pioneers who are, or have been, Broward County residents. The six inductees were nominated by Broward County residents and chosen by twelve members of the Broward County Sports Hall of Fame Committee. They set a standard of excellence and have positively affected Broward County through sports and athletic involvement.
The class of 2013 joins a distinguished group of members including Dara Torres, Chris Evert, Whitey Ford, Wayne Huizenga, Louis Oliver, Michael Irving, Bob Brudzinski and Dan Marino, among others.
"The Class of 2013 have positively impacted our community by shining the spotlight on Broward County Sports," said Pat Lawlor, Co-Chair, Broward County Sports Hall of Fame.
The Broward County Sports Hall of Fame gala at the Broward Convention Center, to honor this year's inductees begins with a cocktail reception and silent auction at 5:30pm; followed by dinner and induction presentations at 7pm. Tickets are $55 per person or $500 for a table of 10. VIP tables with priority seating are available for $800.For ticket information call the Broward County Sports Development office at (954) 767-2455, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 2013 honorable inductees are:
Horatio "Bennie" Blades - Football
The Fort Lauderdale resident and Piper High School graduate has had an illustrious career playing for the University of Miami and Detroit Lions. He was inducted into the UM Hall of Fame in 2006 and selected to the Detroit Lions 75th All-Time Team in 2008. His name went into UM's Ring of Honor in 2009. He mentors at-risk youth in the South Florida area through his Bennie Blades 36 Foundation.
Walter Dix - Track and Field
The Broward County native, Coral Springs High School graduate, and Fort Lauderdale resident enjoyed collegiate success at Florida State University. He is the fourth-fastest 200-meter runner ever with a best time of 19.53 seconds, and has broken the 10-second barrier in the 100 meters, several times with a best time of 9.88 seconds. He is the only American track athlete to win two individual medals at the 2008 Summer Olympics. In 2011, he won the 100- and 200-meter at the US championships and won silver medals in the same events at the 2011 World Championships. He was the ESPY recipient for best Track and Field athlete for 2012.
Jobie Hughes - Soccer
In his 28 years as a Boys Soccer Coach at Saint Thomas Aquinas High School, Hughes brought the Raiders to 572 wins. Under his guidance, the Raiders won three National Championships, five Florida State Championships, six Florida State Runner-up Championships, twelve Regional Championships, and 23 District Championships. From 2012-2013, as Assistant Soccer Coach he has 36 wins alone.
Mike Mularkey - Football
The Northeast High School and University of Florida graduate was named the NFL's Assistant "Coach of the Year" in 2001 by the Pro Football Writers of America after the Steelers led the NFL in rushing and a spot in the AFC Championship Game, with a 13-3 record. In 2004-2005, as Head Coach of the Buffalo Bills, he led a losing franchise to a winning record his first year with the team. In 2010, while with the Atlanta Falcons, The Sporting News named him "Coordinator of the Year".
Sharon Robb-Sports Media
The longtime Fort Lauderdale resident has been one of America's best amateur sports writers for more than 40 years. The Nova High School and Broward College graduate covered high school and college sports but her priority was grass roots sports from boxing to swimming. Amongst many accolades, she won the Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE) and Florida Sports Writers Association awards for writing and was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame and Florida Boxing Hall of Fame.
John Webb - Sports Development
The Jacksonville native and Florida State University graduate played an instrumental role in putting SportLauderdale on the map in the world of Sports Tourism, working as the VP of Sports Development at the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau and resurrecting the Broward County Sports Hall of Fame in 1999 after a more than 20 year hiatus. His career highlights include head track coach at the University of Florida, induction into the Florida Track and Field Hall of Fame for his achievements including National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) "National Coach of the Year" twice, "Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year" six times and NCAA National Outdoor Track and Field "Coach of the Year" in 1989.
For more information on the Sports Hall of Fame, contact the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, 100 East Broward Boulevard, Suite 200, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301, visit www.sunny.org/sportshalloffame or call (954) 765-4466.