Six to join state 'Hall'

When the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame holds its 2005 induction ceremonies Friday at the Renaissance Hotel in Nashville, six of the 11 inductees have ties to the University of Tennessee.

The honorees include Darwin Bond and Ed Murphey (track and field) Richmond Flowers (track and field and football), Bill Justus (basketball), W.J. "Petie" Siler (football) and Haywood Harris (sports publicity).

-- Bond was a three-time All America selection at Dobyns-Bennett High School in Kingsport, was undefeated in the 440 with 48 victories and is the current TSSAA 440/400 record holder (a record that has stood since 1970). He was a member of the 1974 NCAA national championship team and seven SEC championship teams. His UT 400-meter record time of 45.08 set in 1974 and was broken after standing for 29 years. Bond now lives in Cooper City, Fla.

-- A native of Brownsville, Murphey earned a full track and field scholarship at UT. He was a three-time champion in the mile run and won the 1956 SEC cross-country title with a time of 21:21. He was a 1956 All-America, finishing sixth in the NCAA mile run. He set a school record in the NCAAs and was the fourth best collegiate miler that year. He also made the Olympic Trials. Murphy now is in private business in Memphis, heading Ed Murphey and Associates, an estate planning company with emphasis on life insurance.

-- After a distinguished state of Alabama high school track season that ended in five first-place finishes with five state records in five events, Flowers attended the University of Tennessee. On the track, Flowers was a four-time All-America, an NCAA high hurdle champion and an NCAA record holder in two events. An football All-America selection in 1967, he left the university as the school's all-time leading pass receiver (105 catches for 1,215 yards in three years), helping the Vols to three bowl games and an SEC Championship. Flowers now is a real estate developer in the Destin, Fla., area.

-- Justus, a high school All-America in football and basketball at Fulton High School in Knoxville, attended UT and became a basketball standout. Known as the "Adrenaline Kid" for his no-holds-barred style of play, he was named All-SEC in 1968 and 1969, Academic All-America in 1968 and All-America in 1969. Justus traveled extensively after college, teaching ball-handling and shooting skills for Converse at coaches' clinics and basketball camps throughout the U.S. He now lives in Nashville and is with Giant Photos in Goodlettsville, working with high schools and colleges.

-- Honored posthumously, Siler had a 30-year coaching career beginning in 1916, coaching 25 years at Morristown High School. He also coached the UT freshman football teams in 1922-23, guiding them to an 8-4 overall record. His teams won a state football championship, three track state championships, 11 East Tennessee basketball championships and his two-mile relay team set a national high school record in Chicago in 1928. He was known much of his life as "Petie," with the Morristown High gymnasium named after him in 1954, the football field in 1998 and the Petie Siler Park opened in 1998.

-- Harris was appointed sports information director by Gen. Robert Neyland in 1961 and has been a steadying force in the UT Athletics Department for more than 40 years. A renowned writer, he has served as Assistant Athletics Director and Associate Athletics Director of Media Relations. In 1982, Inside Sports magazine listed him as one of the top five publicists in the nation. After retirement in 2000, Harris, along with longtime compatriot Gus Manning, co-authored a book titled Six Seasons Remembered. He now is a special assistant to the athletics director at UT.

Others to be inducted include:

-- Dr. Dick Barnett, who went from a heralded career at Tennessee State University to the NBA. During his 14-year NBA career, Barnett scored 15,358 points and was named to the All-Star team in 1968-69. His number was retired and hangs in the rafters of Madison Square Garden

-- Betty Booker-Parks, a four-time high school basketball MVP from Hampshire, who was named to the Tennessee All-Star game in 1976 with a career average of 30.2 points per game. She was named the Commercial Appeal's "Best of the Prep" Coach of the Year in 1991, 1992 and 1993 and was manager/coach of the WBA Memphis Blues Basketball Team in 1994.

-- Susan Russ, who founded of the women's track program at the University of Memphis in 1969 and who made three national AIAW track appearances as coach of the Lady Tigers. She has a total of 19 state championships, more than any other coach of any sport in the history of Tennessee prep sports.

-- Verties Sails Jr., who, in his 26th year as head men's basketball coach at Southwest Tennessee Community College (formerly Shelby State), has guided his teams to 18 Western Division titles, 13 TJCCAA state championships and seven Region VII Championships and national tournament appearances. Sails holds a 539-219 career record at STCC for a .711 winning percentage and has been named TJCCAA Coach of the Year nine times.

-- John W. Overton (posthumous), a native Nashvillian who attended Yale University where he was a celebrated member of the track team. He set or tied world records in the two-mile relay, the 1,000-yard and in cross-country. At the height of his track career, Overton reported for military duty in World War I and lost his life in a heroic act of leadership, with Grantland Rice marking the occasion with a 40-line poem entitled "A Marine Comes Home." v Located in Nashville, the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame is a statewide non-profit organization founded to honor and preserve the outstanding achievement of Tennesseans in the realm of sports.

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