Aug. 7, 2002
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Former Santa Clara University and NBA standout Dennis Awtrey was elected to the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame. He will be enshrined with the other four honorees at the 2002 Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the Compaq Center on November 13.
The 2002 inductees are: Dennis Awtrey (basketball), Ed Burke (track & field), Betty Hicks (golf), Carney Lansford (baseball), and Craig Morton (football).
This year's induction ceremony is run by the San Jose Sports Authority and is presented by the Private Banking Group of Comerica Bank, in cooperation with SBC Pacific Bell, Hewlett-Packard Company, and San Jose Magazine. A portion of the event proceeds will benefit the Silicon Valley Region of Special Olympics.
This is the eighth annual induction for the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony will begin with a reception at 5:30 p.m. followed by the dinner and ceremony at 7:00 p.m. This year's event will also feature a silent auction. For information regarding the purchase of tickets for the event or sponsorship packages, please call the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame information line at 408.288.2932.
The San Jose Sports Hall of Fame recognizes great athletes and coaches of San Jose and Santa Clara County. A bronze relief of each of the inductees will be permanently displayed on the concourse level of Compaq Center at San Jose. Among the Hall of Fame's current members are Peggy Fleming Jenkins, Dave Righetti, Jack and John Elway, Jim Plunkett, and Bill Walsh.
For further information about the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame, please contact the San Jose Sports Authority at 408.288.2934, or visit them online at www.sjsa.org.
2002 InducteesDennis Awtrey
A graduate of Blackford High School in San Jose, Dennis Awtrey is considered to be one of Santa Clara University's greatest athletes. In his three years as a member of the varsity team at Santa Clara, Awtrey led the Broncos to three straight West Coast Athletic Conference championships and captured back-to-back conference MVP awards in 1969-70. During his sophomore and junior seasons, Santa Clara advanced to the NCAA Regional Championships but lost to the eventual NCAA champion UCLA Bruins. His stellar college career also included two first-team Academic All-American honors and graduating as Santa Clara's all-time scoring and rebound leader. Awtrey went on to play 12 seasons in the NBA, the majority of it with the Phoenix Suns. Revered for his strong and tenacious rebounding ability, he won an NBA Championship as a member of the Seattle Supersonics. Awtrey remains the WCAC's second all-time career field goal shooter (58.2%). In 2001, he was named one of the top 50 athletes in West Coast Conference history. Today, Dennis and his wife Peggy reside in Phoenix, Arizona.
The epitome of unwavering determination, Ed Burke's Olympic hammer throwing career spanned two decades. Arriving at San Jose State in 1959 on a football scholarship, he quickly became intrigued by the hammer. An accident in 1962 caused Burke to abandon the sport, but with the support of his wife, he returned and soon became one of the country's premier hammer throwers. Burke made his first Olympic team in 1964 and went on to win three straight national titles from 1966 - 1968. In 1967, he set an American record that stood for 14 years. Disappointed by the results of his second Olympic Games, he retired in 1968. After an 11-year absence from the sport, he embarked on a difficult comeback trail. In 1984, at the age of 44, he made his third Olympic Team. The oldest member of the United States Olympic team, Burke was chosen by his teammates to carry the American flag in the opening ceremonies in Los Angeles. Today, Ed and his wife Shirley own and operate the Los Gatos Athletic Club.
A pioneer in the truest sense, Betty Hicks paved the way for today's professional woman golfer. Encouraged to take up the game of golf by her father, Hicks won her first tournament at the age of 18. In 1941, she won the U.S. National Amateur Championship and was named the Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year. Her competitive drive and rigorous preparation propelled her to second place finishes in the U.S. Open in both 1948 and 1954. Her pioneering spirit led her to become one of the Women's Professional Golf Association's three founding members in 1944. The organization sought to address the inequalities that existed in women's golf and counter racial discrimination. Her list of extraordinary achievements also includes serving as a member of the Coast Guard reserves, co-authoring a golf manual for instructors, and earning her pilot's license. In 1999, Hicks was honored with the LPGA's Ellen Griffin Rolex Award for teaching. A member of five golf halls of fame, Hicks is currently finishing her first autobiography.
A graduate of Wilcox High School, Carney Lansford became a Major League All-Star and played in three consecutive World Series. Drafted by the California Angels, Lansford's breakout season in 1978 earned him the team's rookie of the year award. His career highlights continued, when in 1981, as a member of the Boston Red Sox, he was crowned American League batting champion with a .336 average. The following year he was traded to Oakland, where he would spend the remaining ten years of his career. Lansford was named to the All-Star team in 1988; the year Oakland made their first of three straight World Series appearances. In 1989, he helped lead the A's to a World Series victory over their cross-town rivals, the San Francisco Giants. After returning from reconstructive knee surgery, Lansford won the Fred Hutchinson Award in 1992 for his fighting and competitive spirit. He retired that same year with a .290 lifetime batting average, 1007 runs scored, and 884 runs batted in. Recognized as one of the games outstanding hitters, Carney and his wife Debbie currently reside in Santa Clara with their two sons.
One of the finest quarterbacks to come out of Santa Clara County, Craig Morton's brilliant career began with Central Coast MVP honors, continued with All-American honors at University of California Berkley, and concluded with two Superbowl appearances. Heavily recruited out of Campbell High School, he accepted a scholarship to Cal, where he was a three-year starter and received All-American honors his senior year. In 1965, he was chosen as a first round draft pick by the Dallas Cowboys and the fifth selection overall. Under legendary coach Tom Landry, Morton led his team to Superbowl V in 1970. After a brief stint with the New York Giants, he joined the Denver Broncos in 1977. In his first season with the Broncos, he led Denver to their first ever Superbowl appearance. His performance that year, 1,929 passing yards, 14 touchdowns, and a 12-2 regular season record, earned him the American Football Conference's MVP and the NFL's Comeback Player of the Year. Morton was inducted into the Broncos Ring of Fame in 1988 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1992. He is currently the proprietor of Mel Hollen's restaurant in San Francisco.