JOHN INGRAM, MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES, TITLE IX AND ADDITIONAL WINNERS ANNOUNCED FOR THE TENNESSEE SPORTS HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2022 HONOREES
Honors Will Be Presented at the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame 2022 Banquet, Presented By the Tennessee Titans this July
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (May 12, 2022) – Today, the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, sponsored by the Tennessee Lottery, announced the honorees for its 2022 Achievement Awards, with John Ingram topping the list as the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame 2022 Tennessean of the Year. Other top honors include a celebration of the 50 anniversary of Title IX, Memphis Grizzlies, Middle Tennessee State Head Track & Field Coach Dean Hayes, Ja Morant (Memphis Grizzlies), Candace Parker (Chicago Sky), Jack Leiter (Vanderbilt Baseball), Rachel Heck (Stanford Golf), East Tennessee State Football, and Tennessee Southern Women’s Soccer. The honors will be formally presented as part of the hall’s 2022 Banquet, presented by the Tennessee Titans on July 23 at the Omni Nashville Downtown.
The Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame previously announced its 2022 induction class. The star-studded list of inductees include Sharrieffa Barksdale, RA Dickey, the late Harry Galbreath, Artis Hicks, Jevon Kearse, Randy Lambert, David Legwand, Nikki McCray-Penson, David Suddeth, Tony White, the late David Williams II and Toby Wilt.
Tickets for the 2022 Banquet can be ordered at www.tshf.net/2022Banquet.
See below for the full list of 2022 Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame Honorees.
Tennessean of the Year, Presented by the Tennessee Lottery – John Ingram
John R. Ingram was named Chairman of the Ingram Industries Inc. Board of Directors in April 2008, having served as Vice Chairman of the Board since 1999. He is also Chairman of Ingram Content Group.
Ingram is active as a volunteer in a number of educational and charitable organizations. He is a member of the Board of Trust of Vanderbilt University, serves on the board of Montgomery Bell Academy, is an honorary trustee for The Harpeth Hall School, and he actively supports Currey Ingram Academy. He is Chair of the Tennessee Advisory Board of Western Governors University, Vice Chair of the Nashville’s Agenda Steering Committee, and chairman emeritus of the Nashville Entrepreneur Center.
Ingram is an exuberant sports fan and active supporter of Vanderbilt Athletics. In 2017, as lead investor, Ingram spearheaded the effort to bring Major League Soccer to Nashville. In December of that year, the MLS Board of Governors awarded the city of Nashville an expansion team, a huge success for the city and Nashville soccer fans. Nashville Soccer Club began play in MLS to a record crowd on February 29, 2020. On May 1, 2022, the club opened their new home, GEODIS Park – the largest soccer-specific stadium in the United States.
David Williams Significant Historical Achievement Award, Presented by Alexander Thompson Arnold PLLC – Title IX 50th Anniversary
2022 marks the 50th Anniversary of Title IX, which gave women athletes the right to equal opportunity in sports in educational institutions that receive federal funds, from elementary schools to colleges and universities. Title IX was signed into law on June 23, 1972. The state of Tennessee has seen many contributors to the advancement of Title IX, and this year’s David Williams Significant Historical Achievement Award will serve as a spotlight to those contributors. Some of those pioneers in the state of Tennessee are Tennessee Sports Hall of Famers, such as Pat Summitt, University of Tennessee; Marynell Meadors, Tennessee Tech; Bettye Giles, UT-Martin; Betty Wiseman, Belmont; Nera White, Nashville School of Business; Joan Cronan, University of Tennessee; June Stewart, Vanderbilt; and countless others.
Pat Summitt Lifetime Achievement Award, Presented by Curb Records – Dean Hayes, Middle Tennessee State Head Track & Field Coach
Dean Hayes served as Middle Tennessee State’s legendary track and field coach for 57 years. Hayes, 84, passed on January 22 after a heralded hall of fame career. During his tenure, Hayes guided Middle Tennessee to 59 conference championships in three different leagues (29 OVC championships, 19 Sun Belt championships, and 11 Conference USA Championships). He led Middle Tennessee to 21 NCAA Top 25 finishes, and 52 of his student-athletes earned 125 All-America awards. Five of his athletes won six national championships, and several of them went on to compete internationally in the Olympic Games, World University Games, World Championships, Goodwill Games, Pan-American Games and African Championships. Hayes’ peers named him conference coach of the year 35 times (16 OVC, 15 Sun Belt, 4 C-USA). He has been enshrined into seven Halls of Fame (Blue Raider Hall of Fame 1982, Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame 1994, Illinois Sports Hall of Fame 1993, Mason-Dixon Athletic Club Hall of Fame 2005, USTFCCCA Hall of Fame 2008, Lake Forest College Hall of Fame 2009, Naperville Hall of Fame 2019). Hayes’ experience was not limited to the collegiate level. He also coached numerous international teams, whether sponsored by the United States Olympic Committee, USA Track & Field, or an international federation. He was a coach for the Summer Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea, in 1988, and he also acted as a referee at the Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta in 1996.
Professional Team of the Year, Presented by the Nashville Sports Council – Memphis Grizzlies
The Grizzlies posted a 56-26 record and earned the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference entering the 2021-22 NBA Playoffs. The Grizzlies won the Southwest Division in 2021-22, marking the first time the franchise has won a division championship. The 56 wins are tied for the most in franchise history, equaling the 2012-13 squad.
Female Professional Athlete of the Year, Presented by Tennessee Athletics – Candace Parker, F, Chicago Sky
Candace Parker was named to the W25, consisting of the 25 players considered by a panel of media and pioneering women’s basketball figures to have been the best and most influential in the league’s 25 seasons. Parker joined the Chicago Sky in 2021. The regular season ended with Parker and the Sky earning the No. 6 seed in the playoffs. They won two single-elimination games, followed by an upset of Connecticut in the semifinals, before beating the Phoenix Mercury to win the 2021 WNBA Finals. Parker averaged 16.6 points and 8.6 rebounds per game on the way to her second World Championship.
Male Professional Athlete of the Year – Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies
One of the top point guards in the NBA, Ja Morant’s third year in the league has been his best as a member of the Grizzlies. The franchise’s No. 1 draft pick in 2019, and the No. 2 overall pick in the draft, Morant averaged 27.4 points, 6.7 assists, and 4.4 rebounds to go with a 34.4 percent shooting clip from 3-point range. Morant was named to the 2022 NBA All-Star Game for the first time in his career and was a starter for the West. He is Top 20 in the NBA for assists with 384. He set the franchise record for points in a regular-season game with 52 vs San Antonio on Feb. 28, 2002. He has scored 30-plus 25 times, including 40 points or more six times.
Female Amateur Team of the Year, Presented by Bristol Motor Speedway – Tennessee Southern Women’s Soccer
Tennessee Southern captured the NAIA National Championship and was ranked No. 1 in the final NAIA Top 25 national poll. Tennessee Southern defeated previously undefeated and No. 1 seed William Carey (Miss.) in the NAIA National Championship game. Tennessee Southern won the title 5-4 in PKs after the teams were tied 3-3 at the end of regulation. Tennessee Southern posted a 23-1 overall record and won the Mid-South Conference Championship on its way to the National Championship.
Female Amateur Athlete of the Year, Presented by the TSSAA – Rachel Heck, Stanford Golf
Heck is a native of Memphis, and a graduate of St. Agnes Academy in Memphis. She is a five-time AJGA All American, two-time USA Today High School Golfer of the Year, a four-time individual state champion, and winner of many events through the course of her prep career. Now, as a sophomore at Stanford, she is already tied for third most victories in school history. Her accomplishments in 2021 include NCAA Individual Champion, Ping/WGCA Player of the Year, Pac-12 Golfer of the Year, Ping/WGCA Freshman of the Year, Pac-12 Newcomer of the Year, WGCA First Team All-American, All Pac-12 First Team, and Pac-12 Academic Honor Roll.
Male Amateur Team of the Year – East Tennessee State Football
East Tennessee State put together a remarkable year in which it posted an 11-2 overall record and reached the quarterfinals of the FCS Playoffs before falling to second-seeded North Dakota State. The Bucs won the Southern Conference, marking their fifth conference championship in program history.
Male Amateur Athlete of the Year, Presented by the TSSAA – Jack Leiter, Vanderbilt Baseball
Jack Leiter was one of five consensus first-team All-Americans nationally. He named a first-team All-American by the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA), Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA). He was also the SEC Newcomer of the Year. He was selected by the Texas Rangers with the second overall pick of the 2021 MLB Draft. He was named All-Tournament at the College World Series. Leiter ended the 2021 season having started 18 games, in which he compiled an 11-4 record, a 2.13 ERA, and 179 strikeouts over 100 innings. He was named the Baseball America 2021 Freshman of the Year.
About the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame
Established in 1966, the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, sponsored by the Tennessee Lottery, enshrines and honors athletes, teams, coaches, sportswriters and sports administrators who have impacted the history of Tennessee sports. The Hall serves as a platform to connect athletes, coaches, sports fans, and supporters by acknowledging life achievements implemented through sports. The Hall celebrates athletes of all forms from all across the state. Additionally, the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame aspires to educate youth about the importance of healthy habits and the positive impact they have on lifestyle choices. The Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame is located at 501 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203. For more information, visit www.tshf.net.
About the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation
The Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation operates entirely from the revenue it generates through the sale of its products. Since January 20, 2004, the Lottery has raised more than $6 billion to fund designated education programs, including college grants, scholarships, Drive to 55 initiatives and after-school programs. In addition to the educational beneficiaries, players have won more than $16.5 billion in prizes and Lottery retailers have earned more than $1.5 billion in commissions. For additional information, visit tnlottery.com and follow the TEL on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.