Cliff Lee, Calvin Borel Among 11 Inductees into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame
Texas Rangers pitching ace Cliff Lee from Benton and famed thoroughbred jockey Calvin Borel, a regular rider at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, are among the 11 new inductees into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame’s Class of 2011 was inducted Feb. 11, 2011 during the organization’s annual induction banquet at Verizon Arena in North Little Rock.
The Hall of Fame inducted six people from the regular category, two from the senior category and three from the posthumous category.
In addition to Lee and Borel, those being inducted from the regular category include former University of Arkansas All-American defensive tackle Dick Bumpas, former University of Arkansas running back Ben Cowins, former Arkansas Tech football sensation Bill “Sleepy” Curtis and former University of Arkansas quarterback Quinn Grovey.
The two Arkansans being inducted from the senior category are bass fishing pioneer Forrest Wood and former University of Arkansas basketball star Jerry Carlton.
Those being inducted from the posthumous category are former University of Central Arkansas men’s basketball coach and athletic director Cliff Horton, former Ouachita Baptist University women’s basketball coach Carolyn Moffatt and martial arts pioneer Haeng Ung Lee.
The Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame inducted its first class in 1959. Andrew Meadors is the organization’s president, and Ray Tucker serves as the executive director.
The Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame Museum on the west side of Verizon Arena is open each Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. It includes an 88-seat theater with a video highlighting the careers of Arkansas sports greats and a touch-screen kiosk with a database of all Hall of Fame inductees.
Members of the Hall of Fame vote each year on inductees. Membership dues are $50 annually. Membership forms can be obtained at this link.
The Class of 2011 consists of:
Calvin Borel – This world-class thoroughbred jockey first captured the riding title at Oaklawn in 1995. He has been a frequent rider at the track for almost two decades. Borel is one of the many talented jockeys to have come from the Cajun country of south Louisiana. He began racing horses on small tracks near his hometown of Catahoula. Borel is known for his ebullient personality, his emotionalism after big wins and his work ethic. His ability to go to the rail has led racing fans to nickname him “Calvin Bo-Rail.” He won the Kentucky Derby in 2007 aboard Street Sense and then finished a close second behind Curlin in the Preakness Stakes. A month later, Borel became only the sixth jockey in Churchill Downs history to win six races on a single card. Borel won the Kentucky Derby again in 2009, this time aboard a 50-1 long shot, Mine That Bird. He had won the Kentucky Oaks the previous day aboard Rachel Alexandra. Two weeks later, Borel won the Preakness Stakes aboard Rachel Alexandra, becoming the first jockey to win the first two legs of the Triple Crown while riding different horses. This year, Borel rode Super Saver to a Kentucky Derby win, becoming the first jockey to win racing’s premier event three times in a four-year span. On June 4, Borel became only the second jockey to win 1,000 career races at Churchill Downs, joining Pat Day, a 1999 inductee into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame.
Dick Bumpas – The Fort Smith native lettered three years for the Razorbacks. He was the Southwest Conference Defensive Player of the Year in 1970, earning consensus All-America honors at tackle. Bumpas went on to play tight end and linebacker for the Memphis Southmen of the World Football League and the British Columbia Lions of the Canadian Football League. He began his collegiate coaching career as a graduate assistant at Arkansas in 1977. He’s now widely recognized as one of the top defensive coordinators in the country, having worked at Texas Christian University since 2004. TCU led the nation in defense in 2008 and 2009. Both times, Bumpas was among the five finalists for the Broyles Award, which recognizes the nation’s top assistant coach. Bumpas was inducted into the University of Arkansas Sports Hall of Honor in 2006.
Ben Cowins – Considered one of the best Razorback running backs of all time, Cowins was one of just 10 Arkansas players to earn All-Southwest Conference honors three times (1976-78). Though many of his school records were later broken by Darren McFadden, Cowins left Arkansas with what at the time was the school rushing record of 3,570 yards. He had 16 100-yard rushing games. The St. Louis native led the Southwest Conference with a 6.3-yard rushing average in 1976. He led his team in rushing in 1976 (1,162), 1977 (1,192) and 1978 (1,006). Cowins had 30 career rushing touchdowns and scored 180 points. Cowins, a team captain in 1978, was named to the UA’s All-Decade team for the 1970s. He played in the 1979 Hula Bowl and later played for the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs along with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League.
Bill Curtis – The Marianna native known as “Sleepy” was among the top college running backs in Arkansas in the 1960s. He was an All-Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference selection three times while playing at Arkansas Tech University and was named to the Arkansas Democrat’s All-Decade team for the 1960s. He twice led the AIC in rushing and gained more than 1,000 yards his senior season. In high school, Curtis lettered in five sports. Legendary Coach Red Parker, who was at Arkansas A&M (now the University of Arkansas at Monticello) at the time, once said of Curtis after a game against the Wonder Boys: “That little guy is great. I certainly won’t miss him next season.”
Quinn Grovey – As one of the most productive quarterbacks in University of Arkansas history, Grovey led the Razorbacks to back-to-back Southwest Conference titles in 1988 and 1989. Grovey, a native of Duncan, Okla., lettered four years while passing for 4,496 yards and rushing for 1,746 yards. He earned All-SWC honors in 1988 when he led the conference in passing accuracy at .633. He passed for 966 yards and four touchdowns that season while rushing for 515 yards and seven touchdowns. In 1989, Grovey accounted for five touchdowns in a memorable 45-39 victory over a University of Houston team led by Heisman Trophy winner Andre Ware. Grovey was named to the school’s All-Century team and was inducted into the University of Arkansas Sports Hall of Honor in 2001. Arkansas recruited Grovey after he had led his high school teams to records of 12-2, 14-0 and 9-4 with two state championships along the way. Grovey is now part of the radio broadcast team for Razorback football games.
Cliff Lee – The Texas Rangers pitcher has been remarkable again in this postseason. Lee’s American Legion coach was former major league relief pitcher Wes Gardner, who helped develop him at an early age. Lee was drafted out of Benton High School in the eighth round of the 1997 major league draft but chose to attend Meridian Community College in Mississippi. Lee transferred to the University of Arkansas after two seasons at the community college and pitched one season for the Razorbacks. In the 2000 amateur draft, Lee was chosen in the fourth round by the Montreal Expos. He signed in July of that year. He played for the Class A Jupiter, Fla., team in 2001. In June 2002, the Expos traded Lee to the Cleveland Indians. He was called up to the major league club in September of that year and had his big league debut on Sept. 15, 2002. Lee won at least 14 games in each of his first three full seasons. Following the 2008 season, Lee was a near unanimous choice for the American League Cy Young Award as he went 22-3 with a 2.54 ERA for the Indians. On July 29, 2009, just before the trading deadline, the Indians traded Lee to the Philadelphia Phillies. Lee posted a 2-0 record in the first two rounds of the playoffs and then pitched a complete game in the first game of the 2009 World Series as the Phillies beat the New York Yankees. He was the first pitcher since Deacon Phillippe in Game 1 of the 1903 World Series to pitch a complete World Series game with 10 or more strikeouts and no walks. Lee earned another victory as the Phillies won Game 5. The Yankees, however, went on to win the World Series. Lee was traded to the Seattle Mariners in December and traded again to the Texas Rangers on July 9. As of Oct. 22, he had 34 strikeouts and only one walk in the 2010 postseason with two wins against Tampa Bay and a win against the Yankees.
Jerry Carlton – The Sheridan native starred in both basketball and baseball at the University of Arkansas after being recognized as one of the top high school basketball players in the country at Sheridan. As a Razorback, he led the baseball team in batting three times with averages of .341, .375 and .382. In basketball, he became only the second player to that point in the school’s history to score more than 1,000 points and posted the highest field goal and free throw percentages to that point in Razorback history. Carlton’s free throw percentage was fifth in the country as a junior and second in the country as a senior. He earned All-Southwest Conference honors in basketball following the 1961 and 1962 seasons. Carlton was drafted out of college by both the St. Louis Hawks in basketball and the Cincinnati Reds in baseball. He chose to play professionally in the Reds organization. Carlton was inducted into the University of Arkansas Sports Hall of Honor in 2004.
Forrest Wood – The man known as the father of the bass boat already is a member of the Professional Bass Fishing Hall of Fame, the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame, the International Boating Hall of Fame, the National Marine Manufacturers Hall of Fame, the Legends of the Outdoors Hall of Fame, the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame and the Arkansas Outdoor Hall of Fame. Wood founded Ranger Boats in 1968 and built it into the largest manufacturer of bass boats in the country. The Flippin native became known at a young age as a skilled fishing guide on the White River, Buffalo River, Crooked Creek and Bull Shoals Lake. Ranger made six boats in its first year of operations. In 1969, 600 boats were built. By 1970, sales had topped 1,200 boats. In 1996, a major bass fishing tournament organization was renamed using Wood’s initials, FLW. Wood was appointed to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission in 1998 and in 2005 had the commission’s Forrest L. Wood Crowley’s Ridge Nature Center in Jonesboro named after him.
Cliff Horton – After lettering for three seasons in basketball at the University of Arkansas and helping lead the Razorbacks to the Southwest Conference championship in 1949, Horton began a long coaching career. He had successful stops at the high school level at St. Joe, Waldo, Crossett and Pine Bluff (where he was 221-68). Horton later was hired as head basketball coach at what’s now the University of Central Arkansas. His teams won 20 or more games six times in his 14 seasons, including two trips to the NAIA national tournament. His 24-4 team of 1958-59 was among the best in school history. Horton later served as UCA’s athletic director in the early 1970s. A number of Horton’s players such as Cliff Garrison, Monroe Ingram, John Hutchcraft and Joe Graham went on to successful coaching careers.
Eternal Grand Master Haeng Ung Lee – The founder, president and first grand master of the American Taekwondo Association was a pioneer in the field of martial arts. Lee was born in China after his family had left Korea. The family returned to Korea following World War II. Lee taught taekwondo to members of the South Korean military and later opened a school near a U.S. Air Force base. An American serviceman named Richard Reed became a friend and in 1962 sponsored Lee’s move to the United States. Lee co-founded the American Taekwondo Association in Omaha, Neb., in 1969 and moved the organization’s headquarters to Little Rock in 1977. Lee was an ambassador for Arkansas for almost three decades, and the ATA championships remain the largest annual convention in Little Rock. Lee died of cancer in October 2000.
Carolyn Moffatt – The Crossett native built a national women’s basketball powerhouse at Ouachita Baptist University, where she coached from 1965-84. She became the first female coach inducted into the NAIA Basketball Hall of Fame. She posted a record of 213-162 at Ouachita while taking her teams to tournaments across the country. She also held numerous national positions with the AAU through the years and served as a women’s basketball adviser to the U.S. Olympic Committee.