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GAINESVILLE, Fla.—The 2017 UF Athletic Hall of Fame class was announced Thursday by the University of Florida F Club and Gator Boosters, Inc.
The 2017 Hall of Fame class is star studded with national champions and All-America performers.
Three members of the back-to-back Men's Basketball National Champions – Corey Brewer, Al Horford and Joakim Noah – join the Hall of Fame. All-American wide receiver Jacquez Green and two-time SEC Player of the Year Matt LaPorta (Baseball) are also among the class.
Rounding out the 2017 class are All-Americans Matt Every (Golf), Alexis Gordon (Tennis) and Benavia Jenkins (Volleyball). Honorary Letterwinner Buddy Alexander (Golf), who led the Gators to two NCAA Championships and was named National Coach of the Year three times, will also be inducted.
The nine-member class will be honored at an induction ceremony, presented by Sasso & Sasso, P.A., on Friday, Sept. 15, at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
In addition, Caeleb Dressel and Bridget Sloan will be honored as the 2016 Ben Hill Griffin Award Winners – honoring the top male and female student-athlete for the calendar year.
Each year, the F Club Committee selects members to the Hall of Fame, divided into three different categories: Gator Greats, Distinguished Letterwinners and Honorary Letterwinners.
This year's class includes eight Gator Greats and one Honorary Letterwinner.
A Gator Great is a letterwinners who has brought recognition and prominence to the University and themselves by athletic accomplishments as a student-athlete. An Honorary Letterwinner is a coach or athletic official (after retirement) who were not letterwinners or athletes at the University of Florida, yet have rendered outstanding service to the program through personal time, effort, interest.
Fans interested in attending the ceremony can contact Kyle Rogers in the Gator Boosters, Inc., office at 352-375-4683, option 3.
2017 UF ATHLETIC HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES
- Buddy Alexander (Men's Golf Coach 1988-2014): 2-Time NCAA Champions (1993 & 2001); 8-Time SEC Champions; 3-Time National Coach of the Year (1993, 2001 & 2004)
- Corey Brewer (Men's Basketball 2004-2007): 2007 First Team All-SEC; 2007 Final Four Most Outstanding Player; Member of the 2006 and 2007 NCAA Champion Basketball Team.
- Matt Every (Men's Golf 2003-2006) 3-Time First Team All-American; 3-Time First Team All-SEC; 2006 Ben Hogan Award for Most Outstanding Collegiate Golfer
- Alexis Gordon (Women's Tennis 2002-2004, 2006) 4-Time First Team All-American; 5-Time First Team All-SEC; 2004 SEC Female Tennis Player of the Year; Member of 2003 NCAA Championship Team
- Jacquez Green (Football 1995-1997): 1997 First Team All-American; 1997 First Team All-SEC; Member of the 1996 NCAA Champion Football Team
- Al Horford (Men's Basketball 2004-2007): 2007 First Team All-SEC; Member of the 2006 and 2007 NCAA Champion Basketball Team.
- Benavia Jenkins (Volleyball 2000-2003): 3-Time All-American; 4-Time First Team All-SEC; 4-Time SEC Champion
- Matt LaPorta (Baseball 2004-2007): 2-Time First Team All-American; 2-Time First Team All-SEC; 2005 & 2007 SEC Player of the Year.
- Joakim Noah (Basketball 2004-2007): 2006 and 2007 First Team All-SEC; 2006 Final Four Most Outstanding Player; Member of the 2006 and 2007 NCAA Champion Basketball Team.
- Thread: Old Gold
To countless people, the clip isn’t necessarily associated with the name Kerwin Bell.
Instead, it’s “that guy who spiked a football into his own groin, then gets pushed by an opponent,” a GIF so hilarious that we recently named it the GOAT sports GIF.
But that poor guy is Kerwin Bell. He’s now the head coach at Division II Valdosta State in Georgia, and he absolutely doesn’t mind talking about the play that’s followed him around for nearly two decades.
In October of 2000, as a quarterback for the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts, Bell faced his former team, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, with a shot at a playoff spot. In the first half, he saw nine yards of daylight and an end zone in front of him, and the not-so-fleet-of-foot QB found paydirt, a rare rushing touchdown.
Bell got up and saw his ex-teammate, cornerback Juran Bolden, so he decided to celebrate the score by jumping in front of Bolden and spiking the ball between his legs.
“My competitiveness and the way I played the game got the best of me at that moment,” Bell remembered in an interview with For The Win this week. “I was just sort of playing around and talking trash. But it didn’t turn out quite the way I expected it.”
Instead, Bell nailed himself in the groin and Bolden gave him a push, with the QB landing on another opponent. Bell’s only thought at that moment?
“I was upset that I got a flag,” he said. “I actually got hit with the ball and by Juran. They got me for taunting or whatever it was for.”
Back then, there was no YouTube or Twitter to make the clip instantaneously go viral. But there was TSN, which Bell said ran the highlight “night and day for a week.”
“I realized that it was something that was going to last the rest of my life,” he said.
As the years went by, he would get phone calls while in his native Florida when ESPN ran its list of the worst celebrations of all time.
But that certainly hasn’t fazed Bell, especially after the career he’s had.
Bell grew up on a 200-acre tobacco farm in Mayo, a “one red-light town” in Florida. When he left Mayo-Lafayette High School without a football scholarship, he walked-on to the University of Florida’s team and reported he was the eighth-string quarterback in 1983. A year later, thanks to teammates’ injuries and other factors, he was the starter, and in 1987, he finished his collegiate career with 7,585 yards passing and 56 touchdowns with some rumbles about Heisman candidacy along the way. At the time, he was the all-time leading passer in Gators history.
When the Dolphins took him 180th overall in the 7th round of the 1988 NFL Draft, he thought he’d be “the next Dan Marino.” It was quite the opposite — Bell became a journeyman, joining other NFL teams before he was cut. Eventually, he’d play in the World League and the CFL before he’d join the Indianapolis Colts in 1996. It was then that he’d get to live out his NFL dream for one game before heading back to the CFL for the eventual Groin Shot Seen ‘Round the World.
His chance in the NFL came when starter Jim Harbaugh went down with an injury in a December contest against the Philadelphia Eagles. Bell stepped in for his only NFL game and went 5-for-5 with a touchdown pass, the football equivalent of “Moonlight” Graham. That means he had a perfect quarterback ranking of 158.3, putting him at the top of the record books (if you’re discounting that he’s only thrown five passes in total).
“I always tell people you can always make your life look good,” he said. “I’ve had a lot of failures, but if you say it the right way, it seems pretty good. I was a four-year starter in college, in Hall of Fame there. I was the all-time leading passer there. I’m the all-time leader in quarterback rating and I’m in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.”
Ah, yes. How could we forget? While touring the Hall in 1996 when the Colts visited, Bell’s teammates spotted his helmet and photo on a wall as part of an exhibit on “inventions of the game.” Because Bell was the first person to wear a helmet cam during a World League game, he landed in Canton.
His coaching career had a more conventional path: While rehabbing a knee injury in 1990, he was a graduate assistant for Steve Spurrier during the Ol’ Ball Coach’s first year at Florida, eventually working his way up to coach at Jacksonville University before joining the Blazers in 2016.
That clip of his failed celebration, however, isn’t something he hides from as a coach.
“When I’m recruiting guys, sometimes I’ll bring that up,” he said. “I’ll say, ‘Hey check me out.’ They don’t know who you are, they don’t know you played ball and sometimes it makes a connection for those guys. You can show them the lighter side of you and show some of your faults as a person and as a player. They’ll text me and let me know they enjoyed it. I use it to break the ice.”
He’s not totally against excessive touchdown celebrations, either. On the 15th day of spring practice, he tells the referees to stuff their yellow hankies away and informs his players that he wants to see their best celebrations of a score. And, yes, of course he brings up his viral moment that’s still being mentioned today.
“I think in life, you make mistakes,” he said. “All those things in life are a part of you. You own up to it. It wasn’t a very intelligent play.”
“I always tell kids: It’s not always the smartest guy or the best looking guy,” he added later. “It’s about the guy who’s willing to fail and not be afraid to fail.”
- Thread: ONE Day Until Kickoff
- Thread: Corral on IG live last night
Someone shot it to me just a few minutes ago and and he had some interesting things to say about our recruiting class.
He said we have 2 four star OL coming (Barnes and Gouraige most likely)
1 four star receiver (Cope)
And 2 5 star DB's (no clue who these could be)
He also said he's bringing Jalen Hall with him to the Michigan game and that Hall doesn't like LA.
Hope he's right on those predictions
This is cool. What a great Gator legend!
Louisiana legislature honors Danny Wuerffel for charitable work in state
Baton Rouge honoring a Gator? Thanks to Danny Wuerffel and his service in New Orleans, there’s something that Florida and LSU fans can agree on.
The Louisiana Senate passed a resolution Wednesday night honoring Wuerffel, the former Gators quarterback, for his charitable efforts in the state.
Louisiana Senate Resolution 210, introduced by John Milkovich (D-Shreveport), commends Wuerffel for his “immeasurable service in supporting spiritual and community development.”
Wuerffel began working with Desire Street Ministries, based in New Orleans, around the close of his NFL career with the Saints. He’s continued his efforts with the organization, which has worked to rebuild the communities of New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
In August 2016, the organization opened the Desire Community Square in the city’s Ninth Ward, the region most devastated by the hurricane.
Wuerffel’s latest honor comes more than 20 years after his Heisman Trophy in Florida’s national title season of 1996.
Men's Swimming and Diving repeat for the FIFTH time...congrats boys.
Swonkey will not be pleased - these guys are costing us money!
All you Gator Basketball and Mike White and Hill/Chiozza Haters and Complainers are OWNED and DESTROYED and TRASHED and DOMINATED and FRIGGIN HUMILIATED just like UK tonight baby!! How's that one taste baby?!?! I have ALWAYS been a HUGE defender of the basketball program and you Haters are choking on crow tonight baby!! Where is FireFoley at now??!!??!! Always complaining even when we win. Guess what?? We didn't just WIN, we friggin STUFFED you critics and Gator Haters!! GO GATORS!!
Mike White doin work on those sidelines baby!! Mike White working wonders with this team and our point guards Hill and Chiozza!! Just as I figured, all the Haters and complainers like FireFoley are NOWHERE to be found. He complained that the last game was too boring cause it was a BLOWOUT. Well this one vs #8 UK was a COMPLETE BLOWOUT and DOMINATION too baby!! I guess you stopped watching in the first half of this one too. LOLOLOL FireFoley can't catch a break hoping for UF to lose. GO GATORS!!
FireFoley OWNED and DESTROYED YET AGAIN tonight baby!! FireFoley BANNED FOR LIFE!!
- Thread: SEC Championship Experience
So the wifey got me tickets for Christmas, and I'm really not sure on how we will spend our time Saturday before gametime. I was thinking of just paying for event parking at the dome and walking around the premises like any other away game. Anybody have any suggestions on which lot would be best or places for lunch closeby? It's just myself, my wife, and my 10 year old son...we just want to have a good time and try to stay out of harms way. Thanks in advance for your responses!
- Thread: Jordan Scarlett
we talk about Macs recruiting or lack of, but give credit where credit is due with this flip. The kid is 275 shy of 1,000 on only 140 carries with 1 less game played. Kelvin had like 250 carries to barely break past 1k. He and Perine next year are going to be beasts in the backfield and will take the load off Franks or Trask
- Thread: Best win in 5 to 6 years
Excellent coaching job all round. I don't know what happened against South Carolina but the Oline has really come together starting with that game. TJ McCoy in the center of the line has solidified it. That guy can push up field.
And the 1-2 punch of Scarlet and Perine can be devastating.
Yes, turnovers had a little something to do with the outcome, but the defensive stand at the end was phenomenal and we've had many games where we have lost the turnover battle and got routed. So turnovers are just part of the game.
Just ask...Miss State...Notre Dame...Michigan State...Oregon...UCLA...Arizona...who ALL have 5 losses EACH. Those are programs that are typically ALWAYS good and they STINK this year. We think we have it bad with 1 loss that feels like 10 losses to some of you clowns. Go Gators!!
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