Mississippi Sports Hall Of Fame And Museum – JACKSON (MSFame.com) – Bill Blackwell, chief operating officer of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum for the past eight months, will soon become the museum’s executive director.
Rick Cleveland, MSHOF’s Executive Director since April 2012, will remain MSHOF’s Historian and will continue to work on community and media relations and fundraising.
Mississippi Sports Hall Of Fame And Museum
“I am honored to be selected by the Board of Trustees to be the museum’s third executive director, following the museum’s founder, Michael Rubenstein, and Rick Cleveland, who will continue this work and provide some financial stability,” Blackwell said.
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“I am relieved and delighted that Rick will continue to work with us as a historian,” added Blackwell. “His knowledge and memories of people and places in the state’s sports history are unmatched.”
“I look forward to maintaining our current momentum and bringing new exhibitions and events to the hall.”
Cleveland, the author of four books and a syndicated newspaper column, said his decision to step down as executive director will allow him more time to write, including a column and blog for the museum’s website, msfame.com.
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“I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished, largely because of the hard work of our staff and volunteers. At the same time, writing remains the part of my workweek that I enjoy the most,” Cleveland said. “I have some projects in mind and some things to talk about.”
Jackson Banker Ron Winford, Chairman of the MSHOF Board of Directors, believes the future is bright for Mississippi’s premier sports museum.
“Under Rick’s leadership, the museum has grown in every way,” Winford said. “His extensive knowledge and sports connections have put the museum in its best financial position since its inception. Bill Blackwell is an equally recognized sports personality and he is ready to continue the staff’s rich and excellent work.”
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The Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum will celebrate its 20th anniversary on July 4, 2016. This spring, the museum will host the Smithsonian Institution’s traveling exhibit, “Hometown Team.”
Blackwell was named Minor League Baseball Executive of the Year four times, including Texas League Executive of the Year in 1992 in Jackson.
Blackwell served on MSHOF’s original board of directors while serving as general manager of Jackson Generals.
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“The Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame has grown from its earliest existence into something the entire state of Mississippi should be proud of,” Blackwell said. “It’s truly one of the best facilities of its kind in the country.” In a 4-2 loss locally… Decorated Vietnam War veteran fired in lawsuit against H.B. accused of killing neighbor Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice… Cathead Jam music festival returns to Jackson after 3 years More fugitive-related arrests Officers hunt fugitive in Gluckstadt after car theft …named USM’s Tanner Hall varsity baseball first-team All-American pitcher. Paul Byers steps down as state epidemiologist to win… $6M grant for Washington Avenue Gateway project after suspect in Brandon shooting that leaves police officer dead
The Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2022 has been announced. The class includes three record-setting coaches, two collegiate and major league baseball players, a Bulldog, an NFL catcher, the most respected swimmers and divers in state history and the PGA Tour’s top performance on July 30, 2022.
Maggie Bowen-Hannah – A native of Jackson, Michigan has combined her swimming and diving career like no other. She became an SEC Women’s Legend for her excellence at Auburn University. The daughter of former Ole Miss running back Bo Bowen, Maggie and her older sister were star swimmers on the local Sunkist and Mississippi McCaws swim teams while at Jackson Prep. While at Auburn, she earned 21 All-American honors and was named SEC Women’s Swimmer of the Year three times. She was inducted into the Auburn University Swimming and Diving Hall of Fame and was named the Clarion-Ledger Sports Personality of the Year in 2001.
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Kermit Davis, Sr. – A distinguished college and high school basketball coach, Davis Sr. went 187-31 in his high school coaching career and will begin college as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Mississippi State University. He served as head coach for four seasons before being named Michigan State’s head coach in 1970. He played three years at point guard under coach Babe McCarthy and was the first player to earn a scholarship under McCarthy. Good Scout, National Recruit Bailey Howell Recommends!
David Dellucci – David Dellucci, now a baseball analyst for the SEC Network, has had a distinguished career in sports. A native of Baton Rouge, David was MVP in baseball and football at his Catholic high school. After being recruited by Ole Miss, he earned Rebels All-SEC and All-American honors. During his 4 years at Ole Miss, he set 10 school records, won the conference batting title, and was inducted into the M Club Hall of Fame. He was selected by the Baltimore Orioles in the tenth round of the 1995 draft. Two years later, Drudge scored his first major win over Boston’s Tom Gordon. He went to Arizona in the expansion draft and was part of their World Series winning team in 2001. After battling a career-ending wrist injury, he played and made two more World Series appearances for the Yankees, Rangers, Phillies, Indians and Blue Jays.
Jim Gallagher, Jr. – Gallagher was born in Pennsylvania, raised in Indiana, attended college in Tennessee, and has called Greenwood, Michigan home since 1989. Jim is a decorated PGA pro who played on tour from 1983 to 2016. He has won five PGA events and four other off-tour events. He was part of the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup teams and is best remembered for defeating Spain’s Seve Ballesteros in the famous 1993 Ryder Cup final. Jim is a member of the Indiana Golf Hall of Fame, the Grant County Indiana Hall of Fame and the University of Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. He is inducted into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame along with his wife Cissy. Gallagher is an analyst for the Golf Channel. His entire family is involved in golf. Sissy is a 12-time state amateur champion, his sister and brother Jeff are tour professionals, his sons are accomplished players, and daughters Mary Langdon and Elizabeth are state amateur champions.
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Barry Lyons – Raised in a family of athletes in the coastal city of Biloxi, Barry Lyons proved himself to be an athlete to be reckoned with. Lyons was recruited for college football and baseball. He chose to attend Delta State University, where his mentor, “Boo” Ferris, quickly convinced him that his future lay in baseball as a catcher. He became all-conference and All-American at DSU and led the Statesmen to the Division II World Series. After being selected by the Tigers in the 25th round of the 1981 draft, he returned to school. After the 1982 season, the Mets selected him in the 15th round and signed him to a professional contract. A distinguished minor league career earned him 10 major league seasons, including with the Mets, Dodgers, Angels and White Sox. He managed the minor leagues for a few years before returning to Biloxi to become a leader in building the stadium for what is now the Shuckers’ Double-A team.
Eric Molds – Born and raised in Lucedale, Mississippi, Molds laid the foundation for becoming one of the most important receivers in NFL history. At George County High School, Eric earned All-State honors, earned college scholarships in football and basketball, and earned three letters in baseball. Mississippi State won a recruiting battle for his services, and he was an instant sensation as a key playmaker when State passed the ball. During his time at Starkville, he also showed his ability as a ball returner. An SEC performer ends his career as the third leading receiver in Molders history. He played 12 years in the NFL, mostly for the Buffalo Bills. Nicknamed Electronic Money, he was a 3-time Pro Bowl selection and was named to the Bills’ 50th Annual All-NBA Team.
Bob Taylor – A standout athlete at Water Valley, Taylor earned a college degree at Ole Miss before joining the Army. He began coaching football at Water Valley High School in 1955 and went on to coach at Okolona, Senatobia, Meridian and Corinth. His high school record was 94-19-6. He served as an assistant coach at Ole Miss, Alabama and Mississippi State, where he coached for six years before landing his first college head coaching job at Mississippi State. He was the head coach at North Texas and Millsaps. His team won the only bowl game they played
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