The Virginia Sports Hall of Fame honors athletes, coaches, administrators, journalists and other contributors to athletics. Many of the more than 300 inductees since 1972 were born in Virginia or enjoyed success in college, professional, amateur or Olympic sports after moving to the state. Each April the Virginia Sports Hall of Fameinducts eight new members into its ranks.
From 2005-2017, the Hall of Fame operated a museum in Portsmouth. In 2017, to reduce expenses and dependence on government support as well as increase sponsorship interest, it changed its business model, closing the building in Portsmouth and moving its operations to Town Center in nearby Virginia Beach. There it placed many of its educational exhibits and Hall of Honor, listing all inductees, in high-rise office and hotel lobbies within that popular mixed-use development. It made the displays accessible to the public through a novel and free pedestrian tour called "Walk the Hall" and began hosting a variety of sports oriented programs throughout Town Center of Virginia Beach, where its offices are now situated. The non-profit changed its website address to www.VaSportsHOF.com.
The Hall of Fame has a statewide board of directors and an Honors Court that receives and reviews nominations of potential inductees, announcing its selections each December.
Alonzo Harding Mourning Jr. (born February 8, 1970) is an American retired professional basketball player, who played most of his 15-year National Basketball Association (NBA) career for the Miami Heat.
Nicknamed "Zo", Mourning played at center. Following his college basketball career at Georgetown University, his tenacity on defense twice earned him NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award and perennially placed him on the NBA All-Defensive Team. Mourning made a comeback after undergoing a kidney transplant and later won the 2006 NBA Championship with the Heat. Mourning also played for the Charlotte Hornets and New Jersey Nets. On March 30, 2009, Mourning became the first Miami Heat player to have his number retired. Since June 26, 2009, Mourning has served as Vice President of Player Programs and Development for the Heat. In 2010, Mourning was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame. On August 8, 2014, Mourning was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.Bill Roth (sportscaster)
William B. Roth is an American television and radio sportscaster. Longtime play-by-play voice of Virginia Tech Hokies football and men's basketball from 1988 to 2015, Roth also served as an announcer for the Richmond Braves from 1993–96, and spent 2015-16 with the UCLA Bruins before taking a teaching role at Virginia Tech and doing games on assignment for ESPN.Billy Wagner
William Edward Wagner (born July 25, 1971 in Marion, Virginia), nicknamed "Billy the Kid", is a former Major League Baseball relief pitcher. He pitched for the Houston Astros (1995–2003), the Philadelphia Phillies (2004–2005), the New York Mets (2006–2009), the Boston Red Sox (2009), and the Atlanta Braves (2010). Wagner is one of only six Major League relief pitchers to accumulate a total of 400 or more saves in his baseball career. A left-handed batter and thrower, Wagner stands 5 feet 10 inches (1.78 m) tall and weighs 180 pounds (82 kg).
A natural-born right-hander, Wagner learned to throw left-handed after fracturing his arm twice in his youth in Marion. His 11.9 strikeouts per 9 innings pitched ratio (K/9) is the highest of any major league pitcher with at least 800 innings pitched. He made seven MLB All-Star appearances and was the 1999 National League (NL) Rolaids Relief Man Award winner. He finished in the top ten in saves in the NL ten times in his career and in the top ten in games finished nine times.Bobby Dodd
Robert Lee Dodd (November 11, 1908 – June 21, 1988) was an American college football coach at Georgia Tech. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame as a player and coach, one of four to do so.After playing quarterback at the University of Tennessee, he served as an assistant coach under William Alexander at Georgia Tech beginning in December 1930. Alexander made the hire while Dodd was still a student at Tennessee. Dodd succeeded Alexander in 1945 as the third head coach at the Institute. He retired from coaching after the 1966 season, compiling a 165–64–8 record. He also served as athletic director from 1950 until 1976. All together, Dodd served Georgia Tech 57 years in various capacities. Bobby Dodd died in June 1988 at the age of 79 in Atlanta, Georgia.Charles Oakley
Charles Oakley (born December 18, 1963) is an American former professional basketball player. Oakley was a member of the National Basketball Association's Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards and Houston Rockets. A power forward, he consistently ranked as one of the best rebounders in the NBA. In 2017, he was confirmed to both play and coach the Killer 3's for the debut of the BIG3, a new basketball league focusing on 3-on-3 basketball.Collis P. Huntington High School
Collis P. Huntington High School, commonly referred to as just Huntington High School (opened in 1927) was a black high school located in the East End section of Newport News, Virginia, USA during the era of racial segregation. After desegregation, it became an integrated intermediate school (eighth and ninth grades), and in 1981 was converted to a middle school (sixth through eighth grades). The school was named after the shipping and railroad pioneer, Collis P. Huntington, who founded the local shipyards, the Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Company, at one time the largest shipbuilding concern in the world.
Lutrelle Palmer, the principal of Huntington High, also a strong NAACP advocate, whose own wages were supplemented by voluntary parental contributions, in November 1937 chastised his daughter for accepting a job in Newport News that paid her a third less per month than a beginning white teacher earned. This led to a unanimous vote by the Virginia State Teachers Association to file equal-pay lawsuits in partnership with the NAACP. This move paved the way to a statewide campaign attacking the legal basis for school segregation. Palmer was sacked from the school in 1943 for his activism.
Huntington's football team, coached by Thad Madden from 1943 through 1971, had 28 straight winning seasons, compiling a 251-114-16 record. Madden's Huntington teams won sixteen Virginia Interscholastic Association eastern District titles and seven VIA state championships. Huntington track and field squads, also under Madden, won 19 VIA state championships and were declared seven times runners-up after the VIA integrated with the Virginia High School League.Dave Robbins (basketball)
David Robbins (born September 10, 1942) is a retired American basketball coach. Robbins is best known for coaching at NCAA Division II power Virginia Union University, where he won 713 games and three NCAA Division II Men's Basketball Tournament titles. Robbins announced his retirement on April 15, 2008. He is a member of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame, inducted in 2012.Eppa Rixey
Eppa Rixey Jr. (May 3, 1891 – February 28, 1963), nicknamed "Jephtha", was an American left-handed pitcher who played 21 seasons for the Philadelphia Phillies and Cincinnati Reds in Major League Baseball from 1912 to 1933. Rixey was best known as the National League's leader in career victories for a left-hander with 266 wins until Warren Spahn surpassed his total in 1959.
Rixey attended the University of Virginia where he was a star pitcher. He was discovered by umpire Cy Rigler, who convinced him to sign directly with the Phillies, bypassing minor league baseball entirely. His time with the Phillies was marked by inconsistency. He won 22 games in 1916, but also led the league in losses twice. In 1915, the Phillies played in the World Series, and Rixey lost in his only appearance. After being traded to the Reds prior to the 1921 season, he won 20 or more games in a season three times, including a league-leading 25 in 1922, and posted eight consecutive winning seasons. His skills were declining by the 1929 season, when his record was 10–13 with a 4.16 earned run average. He pitched another four seasons before retiring after the 1933 season.
An intellectual who taught high school Latin during the off-season, earning the nickname "Jephtha" for his southern drawl, Rixey was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1963 but died a month after his election.Eugene Mayer
Eugene Noble "Buck" Mayer (February 14, 1892 - October 21, 1918) was an American football player. He played college football at the halfback position for the University of Virginia Cavaliers football team from 1912 to 1915. In 1915, he became the first football player from a Southern school to be recognized as a consensus first-team All-American. Mayer died during World War I while serving in the United States Army. He was posthumously inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 1980.Lanny Wadkins
Jerry Lanston "Lanny" Wadkins Jr. (born December 5, 1949) is an American professional golfer. He ranked in the top 10 of the Official World Golf Ranking for 86 weeks from the ranking's debut in 1986 to 1988.List of halls and walks of fame
A hall, wall, or walk of fame is a list of individuals, achievements, or animals, usually chosen by a group of electors, to mark their fame in their field. In some cases, these halls of fame consist of actual halls or museums which enshrine the honorees with sculptures, plaques, and displays of memorabilia and general information regarding the inducted recipients. Sometimes, the honorees' plaques may instead be posted on a wall (hence a "wall of fame") or inscribed on a sidewalk (as in a "walk of fame", walk of stars or "avenue of fame"). In other cases, the hall of fame is more figurative and simply consists of a list of names of noteworthy people and their achievements and contributions. The lists are maintained by an organization or community, and may be national, state, local, or private.List of museums in Virginia
This list of museums in Virginia, United States, contains museums which are defined for this context as institutions (including nonprofit organizations, government entities, and private businesses) that collect and care for objects of cultural, artistic, scientific, or historical interest and make their collections or related exhibits available for public viewing. Museums that exist only in cyberspace (i.e., virtual museums) are not included.
This is a sortable list. Click on the small boxes next to any heading title to reorder the list (in alphabetical order or reverse alphabetical order) by that category.Melissa Belote
Melissa Louise Belote (born October 16, 1956), also known by her current married name Melissa Belote Ripley, is an American former competition swimmer, three-time Olympic champion, and former world record-holder in two events. She represented the United States at the 1972 and 1976 Olympics.Portsmouth, Virginia
Portsmouth is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 95,535. It is part of the Hampton Roads metropolitan area.
The Norfolk Naval Shipyard, often called the Norfolk Navy Yard, is a historic and active U.S. Navy facility that is actually located in Portsmouth rather than Norfolk; the original name "Gosport" was changed to "Norfolk" to reflect its location in what is now the former Norfolk County, Virginia. The shipyard upgrades, remodels, and repairs ships of the US Navy and is one of the few facilities in the world with the capability to dry dock an aircraft carrier.
Directly opposite Norfolk, the city of Portsmouth also has miles of waterfront land on the Elizabeth River as part of the harbor of Hampton Roads. There is a ferry boat that takes riders back and forth across the water between downtown Norfolk and the Portsmouth Olde Towne Historic District.Wendell Scott
Wendell Oliver Scott (August 29, 1921 – December 23, 1990) was an American stock car racing driver. He was one of the first African-American drivers in NASCAR, and the first African-American to win a race in the Grand National Series, NASCAR's highest level.
Scott began his racing career in local circuits and attained his NASCAR license in around 1953, making him the first African-American ever to compete in NASCAR. He debuted in the Grand National Series on March 4, 1961, in Spartanburg, South Carolina. On December 1, 1963, he won a Grand National Series race at Speedway Park in Jacksonville, Florida, becoming the first black driver to win a race at NASCAR's premier level. Scott's career was repeatedly affected by racial prejudice and problems with top-level NASCAR officials. However, his determined struggle as an underdog won him thousands of white fans and many friends and admirers among his fellow racers. He was posthumously inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2015.
Sports halls of fame by state in the United States