Pete Derzis, Sr. Vice President for ESPN, is being recognized as the 2017 Distinguished American Sportsman. He has been instrumental in the creation of numerous sporting events in the State of Alabama most notably two ESPN owned and operated post season bowl games (the Birmingham Bowl and the Raycom Camellia Bowl in Montgomery). He was the associate athletic director at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) from 1977-1990. While at UAB, he managed various areas of the athletic department, including all sports administration, broadcasting and fundraising, as well as game day management. In addition to his current role of leading the ESPN Events team and its 30 owned and operated events in ESPN’s Charlotte offices, he adds college sports programming, including oversight of college football, men’s and women’s college basketball, NCAA Championships, Olympic sports and rights acquisitions.
Dr. Gaylon McCollough, a renowned facial plastic surgeon, is being recognized as the 2017 Distinguished Alabama Sportsman. Previously a member of the Board of Directors of the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, he has been involved since the beginning with the Bryant-Jordan Student-Athlete Scholarship Program, providing scholarships to graduating seniors interested in studying medicine. The Bryant-Jordan program annually awards over 100 scholarships to high school seniors based on athletic and scholastic achievement. While at the University of Alabama, he was an Academic All-American center for Coach Bear Bryant and was a member of the University of Alabama’s national championship team in 1964, graduating with honors in 1965. After he graduated, he enrolled in Medical School at the University of Alabama in Birmingham.
They join an impressive list of others who have been so honored as the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame Distinguished Sportsmen. They are: Hall Thompson (1987), Bob Hope (1988), Jack Warner (1989), Ray Scott (1990), Hugh Culverhouse (1991), Dr. James Andrews (1992), Former President George H. Bush (1992), Charles O. Finley (1993), Dr. David Bronner (1994), Dr. Wilford Bailey (1995), Tom York (1996), Dr. Larry Lemak (1997), Larry D. Striplin, Jr. (1998), Bill Ireland (2000), Bill Legg (2001), John Croyle (2002), Roy Kramer (2003), George Mann 2004), Jim Wilson Jr. (2005), Michael E. Stephens (2006) David Housel (2007), Mal Moore (2007), Joseph Gibbs (2008), Ronald Bruno (2009), Nick Bollettieri (2009), Mickey Newsome (2010), Rick Woodward (2010), Don Logan (2011), Dr. Ken Blankenship (2014), Charles Kelley (2014), Ron Froehlich (2015), Mike Slive (2015) and Edgar Welden (2016).
The 49th Annual Induction Ceremony will be held at the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel. For more information, call the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame at (205) 323-6665.
BamaMag.com spoke to Dr. Gaylon McCollough and Peter Derzis at the ASHOF luncheon on Friday afternoon.