BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Board of Directors of the State of Alabama Sports Hall of Fame is pleased to announce the Class of 2024 to be inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame on May 4, 2024. The Class was selected by ballot through a statewide selection committee; votes were tabulated by the accounting firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers.
The newly elected inductees for the Class of 2024 are as follows:
PENNEY HAUSCHILD BUXTON
Starting with the first class in 1969, this will be the 56th Class inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. The eight newly elected inductees will bring the total number of inductees to 401.
The 56th Annual Induction Banquet and Ceremony will be held in the Birmingham Ballroom, at the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel, on May 4, 2024. For more information or to purchase tickets, please contact the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame Museum at (205) 323-6665.
CLASS OF 2024 BIOGRAPHIES:
MIKE ANDERSON – BASKETBALL – COACHING | Born December 12, 1959, in Birmingham, AL. Anderson played basketball at Jefferson State Community College, before being recruited to play at the University of Tulsa. While at Tulsa, he averaged 12 points per game and helped lead the team to an NIT title. After graduating, Anderson served as an assistant coach at Tulsa for four seasons before joining the University of Arkansas as an assistant coach for 17 years. In 2002, Anderson returned to Birmingham to become the head coach at the University of Alabama-Birmingham. He led the team to a 22-win season in his first year. UAB reached the NCAA Tournament each of the following three seasons, upsetting top-ranked Kentucky in 2004 on their way to the Sweet Sixteen. Anderson was named C-USA Coach of the Year in 2004. Since leaving UAB in 2006, Anderson has been the head coach at Missouri, Arkansas, and St. John’s where he was honored as Big East Coach of the Year in 2021.
PENNEY HAUSCHILD BUXTON – GYMNASTICS | Born August 6, 1964, in Horsham, PA. Buxton was the first Southeastern Conference gymnast to win an NCAA title and won four during her time at the University of Alabama: two NCAA all-around championships in 1985 and 1986, the 1985 NCAA uneven bars championship, and the 1986 NCAA floor exercise championship. Between 1983 and 1986, she was named an All-American 10 times. She won back-to-back Honda Awards in 1985 and 1986, becoming the first UA gymnast to win the award and the only one to win multiple. Buxton was honored as an SEC Great in 2006.
LARRY CHAPMAN – BASKETBALL – COACHING | Born April 11, 1941, in Ludowici, GA. Chapman was the head coach of the Auburn University at Montgomery men’s basketball team for 37 years from 1976-2014. He won 20 games in his second season at AUM and had fifteen 20-win seasons in his career. Chapman’s 1987-88 team posted a record of 32-3 and reached the NAIA National Championship game. Following the 1988 season, he was named NAIA Coach of the Year. He has also coached two teams to the tournament quarterfinals. In total, 11 teams coached by Chapman qualified for the NAIA National Tournament. His 714 career wins ranks in the top 70 of men’s college basketball coaches. In 2005, Chapman was inducted into the inaugural AUM Athletic Hall of Fame class.
JOHN DREW – BASKETBALL | Born September 30, 1954, in Vrendenburgh, AL. While at J.F. Shields High School, Drew led his team to a basketball state championship, and he set the AHSAA career scoring average record with 41 points per game. He attended Gardner-Webb University where he played basketball from 1972 to 1974. As a sophomore, Drew averaged 26 points and 13 rebounds per game. He was selected by the Atlanta Hawks in the second round of the 1974 NBA Draft. Drew made his NBA debut on October 18, 1974, scoring 32 points along with 12 rebounds. During his nine seasons with the Hawks, he was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team and was a two-time NBA All-Star. In 1982, Drew was traded to the Utah Jazz where he would play three seasons. He finished his NBA career with 15,291 points and 5,088 rebounds.
ROBERT MATHIS – FOOTBALL | Born February 26, 1981, in Atlanta, GA. Mathis played football at Alabama A&M University starting all four years at defensive end and outside linebacker. During his senior season, he set the NCAA I-AA single-season sack record with 20 sacks. Mathis was selected by the Indianapolis Colts in the fifth round of the 2003 NFL Draft. In 2006, Mathis started all 16 games for the first time in his career and recorded a career-high 65 tackles while helping lead his team to a Super Bowl victory over the Chicago Bears. Mathis was a five-time Pro Bowler and spent his entire 14-year NFL career with the Colts. He holds the NFL record for most career forced fumbles (54). Mathis finished his NFL career with 538 tackles, 123 sacks, 54 forced fumbles, and 17 fumble recoveries. He retired in 2016 and has served as a pass rush consultant for the Colts since 2017.
DAVID PALMER – FOOTBALL | Born November 19, 1972, in Birmingham, AL. Palmer played at the University of Alabama and was the school’s first single-season 1,000-yard receiver. In 1992, he was a member of the Crimson Tide’s consensus National Championship team. Following his junior season, Palmer was recognized as a consensus First-Team All-American and was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy. He won the Paul Warfield Trophy as the nation’s top collegiate wide receiver. In the 1994 NFL Draft, Palmer was selected in the second round by the Minnesota Vikings. He played seven years with the Vikings, primarily as a return specialist. He led the NFL in punt returns in 1995 and finished his career with 4,884 return yards.
SCOTT SULLIVAN – BASEBALL | Born March 13, 1971, in Tuscaloosa, AL. Sullivan joined the Auburn University baseball team as a walk-on in 1991 and pitched three seasons for the Tigers, finishing with a 13-9 record as a relief pitcher. He was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the second round of the 1993 MLB Draft. Sullivan made his MLB debut with the Reds on May 6, 1995. While playing for Cincinnati, he set a club record by pitching at least 100 innings of relief every season from 1998-2001. Sullivan ranks second in Reds franchise history with 494 pitching appearances. He also played one season with the Chicago White Sox and the Kansas City Royals. Sullivan finished his 10-year MLB career with an ERA of 3.98 and 622 strikeouts.
MIKE WASHINGTON – FOOTBALL | Born July 1, 1953, in Montgomery, AL. Washington played defensive back at the University of Alabama where he was a member of the 1973 national championship team. He was named All-SEC and All-American in 1973 and 1974. Washington was drafted by the Baltimore Colts in the third round of the 1975 NFL Draft and was later traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He played nine seasons in Tampa Bay and started 105 games. Washington finished his career with 28 interceptions, two fumble recoveries, and three touchdowns.