Trio of Razorbacks Selected for Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – A trio of former Razorback football greats are among the nine members of the 2019 Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame Class announced on Tuesday. Arkansas natives Gary Adams, Madre Hill and Houston Nutt have been selected and will be formally inducted on Friday, March 29, 2019, at the organization’s 61st annual induction banquet at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock.
The 2019 Hall of Fame Class consisted of five inductees from the regular category and four inductees from the senior category. The Hall of Fame inducted its first class in 1959.
Gary Adams – Football, 1965-68
Adams was a starting quarterback for the Piggott Mohawks. As quarterback, the Mohawks never lost a game, winning 23 straight games. He was an All-State selection and play QB for the 1965 East squad. Gary starred on defense and special teams for the UA 1966-68, helping the Razorbacks to a share of the 1968 SWC championship. He was a first-team All-SWC selection his three seasons at UA. He snagged 13 interceptions in his career, a then school record. In 1966 his 7 interceptions led the SWC and is still tied for 2nd on UA’s record books. Adams also showed his abilities as a punt returner. His career average of 10.31 yards per return ranks among the top 10 among UA’s all-time best marks. He helped UA compile a 22-8-1 record during his time there. Adams represented UA in the 1970 All-American Bowl and was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 12th round of the 1969 NFL Draft. He was selected to Arkansas’ 1960’s All-Decade Team on defense.
Madre Hill – Football, 1994-98
At Malvern, Hill rushed for a then-state record of 6,010 yards and 68 touchdowns. As a senior, he ran for a state record 2,863 yards and led Malvern to a State Championship. Madre was Reebok National HS Player of the Year, All-American by USA Today and Blue Chip, Gatorade Circle of Champions Player of the Year for Arkansas and 3 All-State and All-District selections. Madre played for the Razorbacks from 1994-98 missing the 1996-97 seasons due to an ACL tear. As a freshman, he ran for 351 yards on 74 carries (4.7 avg.) and tied a school record with a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against LSU. He was named 1st team All-SEC, set single game school records for rushing attempts (45 against Auburn) and rushing touchdowns (6 against SC), and the school’s single season record for rushing yards (1,387) and attempts (307). These were broken by Darren McFadden in 2006 and 2007. In 1998, under Coach Houston Nutt’s first year, he helped the Razorbacks to a first-place tie for the SEC West division. In the 1999 NFL draft, Madre was drafted by the Cleveland Browns as the first pick in the 7th round. In his two seasons with the Browns, he returned 8 kicks for 137 yards. He played with NFL Europe in 2001, the San Diego Chargers, and 2002 with the Oakland Raiders.
Houston Nutt, Football, Player – 1976-77; Head Coach – 1998-2007
Nutt lettered one year in basketball and two years in football at the UA, then transferred to Oklahoma State, where he lettered two years in basketball and two years in football. After graduation, he became the head coach at Murray State, compiling a 31-16 record. In 1995, his Murray State team finished 11-1 and won an OVC Championship with an 8-0 conference mark. Nutt received the OVC Coach of the Year honor and was recognized with the Eddie Robinson National Division I-AA Coach of the Year Award. Nutt repeated his success for the 1996 season with an 11-2 record and another undefeated OVC conference record. Nutt received OVC Coach of the Year honors and regional Coach of the Year honors. His next stop was at Boise State, compiling a 5-6 record. In 1998 Arkansas offered him his 3rd head coaching position, and Houston compiled a 75-48 record at UA (42-38 in SEC). The Razorbacks were picked to finish last in the SEC West in 1998, ending up with a 9-3 record and a share of the title. After a loss in the Citrus Bowl they ended the season ranked #16. Nutt was selected as the Football News National Coach of the Year. In 1999, Nutt’s Razorbacks were picked to win the SEC West, but suffered a series of setbacks. They recovered to defeat nationally ranked Tennessee and Ole Miss to earn a bid to the Cotton Bowl Classic vs. arch-rival Texas. They defeated Texas 27-6, propelling them into the Top 20 to end the season. He coached teams to the SEC West championship games in 2002 and 2006 and took teams to 5 different post-season bowls. Nutt was selected SEC Coach of the year in 2001 & 2006. Nutt then left Arkansas for Ole Miss (2008-2011), compiling a 24-26 record (10-22 in SEC) at Ole Miss before his current retirement from coaching. He currently works for CBS Sports as a college football sports analyst.
Other 2019 inductees into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame include tennis star Richard Akel, Malvern football coach and athletics director David Alpe, champion bull rider Denny Flynn, football executive Jerry Jones Jr., Tulsa basketball star Jim King and Arkansas Tech basketball standout Sherry Raney White.
BY Kevin Trainor