Commissioner Mark Ezell, Tennessee Department of Tourist Development; Patrick Willis, 2019 Inductee; David Cutcliffe, 2019 Inductee; Peyton Manning, 2019 Inductee; Amy Adams Strunk, 2019 Tennessean of the Year; Kara Lawson, 2019 Inductee; Renee Buckner, daughter of George Taliaferro, 2019 Inductee; Phillip Fulmer, University of Tennessee Director of Athletics and Chairman of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame; Kippy Brown, 2019 Inductee; Charles Davis, 2019 Inductee.
Kippy Brown, David Cutcliffe, Charles Davis, Kara Lawson, Peyton Manning, George Taliaferro, Bob Tillman, Kimberly Anne Valek and Patrick Willis are now members of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.
Nearly 1,000 guests were in attendance for the 2019 Induction Ceremony June 15 at the Omni Hotel in Nashville.
Renee Buckner, daughter of George Taliaferro; John and Joel Tillman, sons of Bob Tillman; Brad Valek, brother of Kimberly Anne Valek; and Gail Williams, wife of David Williams, accepted honors of the posthumous inductees.
Memorable remarks included:
“It is impossible to look at tonight’s group and not be blown away by the talent, the courage, and the resolve of these players and their stories. They’re not just athletes to be emulated, they are people to be emulated; people who've done things the right way, people who continue to do things the right way. Their stories may be different, but athletics is the common fiber.” -Phillip Fulmer University of Tennessee Director of Athletics and Chairman of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.
“Being installed in the Hall of Fame and celebrated in history like this is certainly a huge honor, but in some ways encases us in stone, which makes us like relics of a past era and no one should live their life in the rearview mirror...Whatever sport we played, coached or amplified, each of us still has more to give back and give back we must.”-Peyton Manning, 2019 Inductee
Additionally, the Hall of Fame honored Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk as the 2019 Tennessean of the Year. David Williams, former Vanderbilt Vice Chancellor for Athletics And University Affairs and Athletics Director, posthumously received the Significant Historical Achievement Award. His wife, Gail Williams, accepted the award on his behalf. It was later announced the award will be renamed the David Williams Historical Achievement Award.
Belmont University’s former men’s basketball coach Rick Byrd received the Pat Summitt Lifetime Achievement Award. Mookie Betts was honored with the Professional Athlete of the Year Award; Maria Bulanova was awarded the Female Amateur Athlete of the Year Award; Pro Sports Team(s) of the Year Award winners were Jackson Generals and Memphis Redbirds; Tennessee Tech Baseball received the Male Amateur Team of the Year Award; Vanderbilt Bowling received the Female Amateur Team of the Year Award; and Grant Williams won the Male Amateur Athlete of the Year Award.