2021 ASHOF Inductees
The Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame has announced nine new inductees to the hall who will be honored on April 16, 2021.
The group features four from basketball, two from football, and one each from golf, baseball and track and field.
The 2021 class, listed alphabetically, includes:
Lisa Cornwell - Golf
Cornwell was a four-time Arkansas Women's State Amateur champion, three-time American Junior Golf All-American and 1992 Arkansas Female Athlete of the Year. She was 14 when she won her first AWGA championship, which was a record for the youngest champion ever. There was no girls golf team at Fayetteville High, so she played on the boys high school team. She lettered in golf first at SMU, then at the University of Arkansas when it started its women's golf program. From 2004-08, she was a sports anchor and reporter for stations located in Columbus, Miss., and Cincinnati. From 2007-11, she was a studio host, reporter and play-by-play analyst for the Big Ten Network. Currently she is a host and reporter for the Golf Channel and hosts the live nightly news show "Golf Central."
Lance Harter – Coach – Track & Field
Harter is the most successful coach in UA and SEC women's cross country and track and field history, and is in his 30th year at the helm of the Razorbacks program. His programs have won every conference title from the 2014 SEC Outdoor championships to the 2018 SEC Indoor championships, winning 14 consecutive titles, and becoming the first program since LSU to four-peat at the Outdoor championships in 2017. Harter's 2015 team won the NCAA Indoor national title, the first-ever title by a women's program at UA. In 2016, his outdoor team won the NCAA title. Harter has guided Arkansas to 29 top-10 NCAA finishes (10 cross country, 12 indoor track and seven outdoor) in his tenure, including 16 top-five performances.
Tim Horton - Football
Horton was a four-year letter winner at Arkansas, starting as a split end and punt returner from 1987-89. As a senior captain, Horton earned second-team All-SWC honors after hauling in 23 catches for 453 yards and serving as the team's top punt returner.
During Horton's Arkansas playing career, the Razorbacks compiled a 38-11 record, won back-to-back SWC titles (1988-89) and appeared in four consecutive bowl games. Prior to coaching at Arkansas, Horton spent the 2006 season as running backs coach at Kansas State, and wide receivers and running backs coach at Air Force from 1999-2005. At Arkansas, Horton was the recruiting coordinator and running backs coach. Horton was one of just two coaches in the nation to coach four different 1,000-yard rushers from 2007-10, including 2007 Doak Walker Award winner Darren McFadden and All-American Felix Jones. Starting in 2013, Horton served as Auburn's running backs coach. He also served as the Tigers' recruiting coordinator in 2015-16.
He is currently the running backs coach at Vanderbilt. He has coached in 13 bowl games, including the 2013 NCAA national championship game.
Joe Johnson - Basketball
Johnson played high school basketball for Little Rock Central and college basketball for the Arkansas Razorbacks. In the 1999-2000 season, Johnson was named to the SEC All-Freshman team and SEC All-Tournament team after averaging 16.0 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 2.0 steals per game. Johnson led Arkansas to the 2000 SEC Tournament championship. In his sophomore season, Johnson was named to the All-SEC second team and SEC All-Tournament team, while also receiving honorable mention All-American honors. After his sophomore season, Johnson declared for the 2001 NBA Draft where he was selected as the 10th overall pick by the Boston Celtics. He is a seven-time NBA All-Star and also played for the Phoenix Suns, Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets, Miami Heat and Utah Jazz. He played 18 seasons in the NBA and finished with a career average of 16 points per game. He participated in 120 playoff games.
Kevin Kelley – Coaching - Football
Kelley has been the head football coach at Pulaski Academy for 18 years and has won eight state championships (2003, 2008, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2019). Nationally, his teams have ranked in the top 10 in total offense for 11 of the past 12 years, averaging more than 540 yards per game. The Bruins hold or are in the top 10 in 36 national football record categories. At the state level, his teams hold the top 12 places for single-season total offense in Arkansas history. He was named the 2016 USA Today National Football Coach of the Year.
Jesse William Mason, Jr. - Basketball
Mason was a three-year starter at Arkansas Agriculture, Mechanical and Normal College (now University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff), earning All-Southwestern Athletic Conference honors in 1958, 1959 and 1960. As a junior, he led the Golden Lions in scoring with a 24.3 average per game.
As team captain his final season, Mason led the Golden Lions and the SWAC in scoring, averaging 25.2 ppg. There was no three-point line during his playing days, and Mason was shooter with great range. Mason is just one of three former players in the school's basketball history to have his jersey number retired. He is the Lions' third all-time leading scorer.
Billy Joe Murray – Coaching - Basketball
Murray had a 38-year career (1981-2018) as a high school basketball head coach at Altheimer, Crawfordsville and Earle. At Altheimer and Crawfordsville, he coached both the boys and girls teams. While winning over 1,100 games, he also won a combined seven boys state championships at Crawfordsville (1995) and Earle (2008, 2010, 2012, 2016, 2017 and 2018). Murray played for the Morrilton Devil Dogs from 1971-73, leading them to their first state basketball championship. He was named MVP of the Class AA state basketball tournament in 1973. Murray played collegiate basketball at Arkansas Tech University from 1974-77. He was a two-time All-AIC selection in 1974 and 1975.
Lawson Pilgrim - Basketball
Pilgrim helped the Conway Wampus Cats to an 88-5 overall record from 1973-76. The run included three conference championships, two state championships and a 36-0 overall record in 1976. He was the Gazette and Democrat's Sophomore of the Year in 1974, and was named to both Super Teams in 1975 and 1976. He was also named the MVP in AAA in 1976, as well as All-American. Upon graduation from Conway, Pilgrim lettered for the Razorbacks (1976-77) before transferring to Hendrix College, where he joined five of his high school teammates. He helped the Warriors earn a 69-18 overall record and 43-11 in AIC play, including back-to-back AIC championships. He was the first and only two-time All-American at Hendrix.
Johnny Ray - Baseball
A two-time all-Southwest Conference second baseman, Ray helped Arkansas record a runner-up finish at the 1979 College World. He hit .319 over his two seasons at Arkansas and led the team in hits and runs. Ray was drafted by Houston, but made the majors with Pittsburgh and finished with the California Angels. He had a 10-year Major League Baseball career and was named Rookie of the Year by The Sporting News. The next year, he won the Silver Slugger award as the top hitting second baseman in the National League. He had a career batting average of .290 and a fielding percentage of .982, which ranks 81st among second basemen in MLB history.