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2009 UA Sports Hall of Honor

2009 UA Sports Hall of Honor

Eight former University of Arkansas standout student-athletes were added to the UA Sports Hall of Honor as members of the 2009 class, including the first sophomore first-team football All-American, the winningest quarterback, the assists leader on the 1978 Final Four basketball team, a coach who led his teams to three NCAA Elite Eight and three Sweet 16 finishes, and a two-time Olympic gold medalist.  Football leads the way with All-American Shawn Andrews, former South Carolina head coach Richard Bell, quarterback Ron Calcagni, and NFL and AFL draft pick Billy Joe Moody. They are joined by track and field gold medalist Veronica Campbell-Brown and seven-time NCAA champion Alistair Craig, basketball’s Dr. Jim Counce and former tennis coach Tom Pucci.  They were elected to the UA Sports Hall of Honor by a vote of former letterwinners in conjunction with the “A” Club.

Andrews completed his Arkansas career as perhaps the most decorated offensive lineman in school history. He was a three-year letterman from 2001-03. In his 35 career games, he only gave up two sacks. Andrews improved each year and was a consensus All-American during his junior season. He was a finalist for the Lombardi Award and the Outland Trophy that same year as he helped Arkansas lead the SEC and rank fifth in the nation in rushing (241.9). He earned the Jacobs Award during the 2002 and 2003 seasons as the best blocker in the Southeastern Conference. He was also a first-team All-SEC selection by the coaches and the AP during those two seasons. He was the first sophomore in school history to earn first-team All-America honors and was only the third freshman in Arkansas history to start on the offensive line. Andrews was a first-round selection (16th overall pick) in the 2004 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. During his time at Arkansas, he helped the Razorbacks to one SEC Western Division Championship and an appearance in the SEC title game as well as three bowl games (Cotton, Music City and Independence).

Bell was a two-year football letterman for Arkansas (1957, 58) as a right end. He was the captain of the 1958 team, which was the first team for head coach Frank Broyles. Bell stood out defensively and he also caught 12 passes for 241 yards and one touchdown in his career. Prior to his career at Arkansas, he played center and end at Little Rock Central High School and was selected as the team’s Most Valuable Player on the state championship squad. A 1959 graduate of Arkansas, Bell earned a degree in physical education and later earned a master’s degree from the school in 1962. After Arkansas, Bell went into a career in coaching and became the head coach at South Carolina. Bell was named NCAA Division I-A Assistant Coach of the Year in 1998 by the American Football Coaches Association.  

Calcagni lettered four years from 1975-78 and was a three-year starter at quarterback. He completed his career as the winningest quarterback in Arkansas history with a 25-4-2 record (20-3-1 over his junior and senior seasons). He is best remembered for one of the greatest upsets in college football history when he helped Arkansas to a 31-6 victory over second-ranked and Big Eight champion Oklahoma in the 1978 Orange Bowl. The win capped an 11-1 season. He followed with a 9-2-1 record and an appearance in the Fiesta Bowl to conclude his collegiate career. For his efforts, he was named a first-team All-SWC honoree in 1977. His 81-yard pass to Donny Bobo in the 1977 New Mexico State game ranks as the seventh-longest in school history.
Arkansas’ most decorated Olympian, Veronica Campbell-Brown spent a short but successful year in Fayetteville, culminated by an NCAA title and collegiate record. The 2004 NCAA Indoor Champion in the 200 meters, she was named an All-American four times. She won three SEC individual titles and earned All-America accolades in the 60 meters, indoor 200, indoor 4×400 relay and the 4×100 relay. She holds school records in the 60, 100, indoor 200, outdoor 200 and as a member of the 4×100 relay. Still one of the world’s top short sprinters, she was a member of Team Jamaica for the third time in her career at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, and won the 200-meter gold medal. She became the first Razorback women’s Olympic gold medalist at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. Holding five Olympic medals total, she is the only Razorback woman to win multiple gold medals. In 2008, she became only the second woman is history to successfully defend the Olympic 200-meter title. Her clocking, 21.74, is eighth on the all-time list.

Counce was a four-year letterman from 1975-78 and an academic All-American in 1978. A member of Eddie Sutton’s first recruiting class, he started in 1977 and ’78, and usually guarded the opposing team’s top scorer. The 1977 club went 26-2, including 16-0 in the Southwest Conference, and won SWC regular season and tournament championships. Arkansas earned its first NCAA Tournament bid since 1958 and ended the year with a No. 18 national ranking. In 1978, Arkansas went 32-4, won the SWC, finished the year ranked No. 5 and advanced to the Final Four. As an assistant coach under Sutton in 1981 and 1982, he helped those teams win SWC titles with each advancing in the NCAA Tournament. He earned his BA in chemistry in 1979, his MD from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in 1986, and is a cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon in Northwest Arkansas.

A 13-time All-American and seven-time NCAA champion, Cragg is one of Arkansas’ most dominant and decorated distance runners. Cragg excelled at any distance – from the mile run indoors to the grueling 10,000 meters outdoors. He won nine SEC individual titles, four indoors and five outdoors. He was named the SEC Athlete of the Year during the 2003 and 2004 indoor seasons, and  the 2004 outdoor season. Cragg owns seven NCAA individual titles; five indoors, including three straight in the 5K, and two outdoors. He holds the NCAA record in the 3,000 meters. He remains Arkansas’ record holder in the 3,000 meters, the indoor 5,000 and the outdoor 5,000. His international experience includes being a member of Team Ireland for the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games. Additionally he was the 2005 European Indoor Champion in the 3,000 meters.

Moody was a three-year football letterman for the Razorbacks (1960, ’61, ’62) at fullback and defensive back. During his playing career at Arkansas, the Razorbacks won the 1960 SWC championship and were co-champions in 1961. Arkansas played in three New Year’s Day Bowl games (1960 Cotton, 1961 and ’62 Sugar). Moody carried the ball 18 times in 1963 for 51 yards, and had 12 tackles and four pass breakups. He was drafted by Denver in the 1963 AFL Draft and by Los Angeles in the NFL Draft.

Pucci coached the Razorback men’s tennis team to a 218-60 (.784) record during his nine years at Arkansas from 1976-1984. His .784 winning percentage is the best in school history while the 218 victories rank second. In 1979, Pucci’s Razorbacks advanced to the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA Men’s Tennis Championship for the first time in school history. The following year the Hogs made their first ever appearance in the Elite Eight, finishing the season ranked No. 7 in the nation. In the six-year span of 1979-84, Pucci’s teams made three appearances each in the Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight, finishing each year ranked in the top 10 in the country, including No. 6 in 1981, No. 10 in 1982, No. 7 in 1983 and No. 9 in 1984. Pucci’s teams were anchored by a slew of All-Americans: Ron Hightower (1980), Chip Hooper (1980-81), Peter Doohan (1980-83), Pat Serret (1981-84) and Kelly Evernden (1984). Doohan and Serret were NCAA doubles champions and the No. 1 doubles team in the country in 1982. Hooper was ranked No. 1 in 1980 and was the ITA Indoor National Champion in 1981. Center court in the Dills Indoor Stadium is named Tom Pucci Court.

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