Six Razorbacks Selected for Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Six former Razorbacks are among the 10 members of the 2022 Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame Class announced on Sunday. Razorback football greats Tommy Brasher, Barry Foster, Matt Jones and Brad Taylor, men’s basketball star Corey Beck and former men’s track and field standout Tyson Gay have been selected and will be formally inducted on Friday, April 8, 2022, at the organization’s 63rd annual induction banquet at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock.
The 2022 Hall of Fame Class consisted of six inductees from the regular category and four inductees from the senior category. The Hall of Fame inducted its first class in 1959.
Corey Beck – Men’s Basketball
Corey Beck, who played at the University of Arkansas from 1993-95, was a 1995 All-SEC selection as he drained 49 percent of his 3-point shots, second on the school’s single-season list, while handing out 207 assists, which ranks third. Both of those totals are additionally records by a Razorback for a senior season. For his career, Beck had 483 assists, third on the Arkansas all-time list as he led the team in the category in each of his three years with Razorbacks. In SEC games only, Beck made 54 percent of his shots for his career, which ranks second on the school’s all-time list. Beck had a double-double – scoring 15 points and getting 10 rebounds – in the 76-72 victory over Duke to secure the 1994 NCAA Championship. The Memphis, Tenn., native would also be named to the 1994 NCAA Final Four All-Tournament Team. While Corliss Williamson and Scotty Thurman garnered most of the attention, Beck was described as the “blue-collar leader” of that squad. He played for the Charlotte Hornets (1995–96, 1997–98, 1998–99) and Detroit Pistons (1998–99) in the NBA for 88 games. He was also under contract with the Chicago Bulls (October 1996), Vancouver Grizzlies (January 1999) and Minnesota Timberwolves (October 2000). Following his NBA career, he played one season with Memphis with the ABA. He also played professionally in Italy for Fila Biella (Serie A2, 2001) and Euro Roseto (Serie A, 2001). Beck was a member of the 1994 Arkansas Razorback Basketball National Championship Team, NCAA All-Tournament Team – 1994, 3rd in SEC Steals – 1994, Second Team All-SEC – 1994, 1st in NCAA & SEC Games Played – 1994, 1st in SEC Total Assists – 1994, SEC Honorable Mention – 1993, 2nd in SEC Total Assist – 1993, 2nd in SEC Assists Per Game – 1994.In 2019, Beck was named Arkansas’ Allstate® SEC Basketball Legend. Hall of Honor. In 2021, Beck was inducted into the University of Arkansas Sports Hall of Honor.
Tommy Brasher – Football
A letterman in 1961, ‘62 and ‘63, Brasher finished his career with 106 tackles as a middle guard. He recorded 68 tackles and five pass deflections in 1961. He had 38 tackles in 1962. Arkansas was 8-3 and No. 8 in the nation in 1961, and 9-2 and No. 6 in the nation in ‘62. The Razorbacks went 5-5 in 1963. The 1961 and ‘62 teams each earned a spot in the Sugar Bowl. He helped the 1962 unit lead the Southwest Conference in total defense (200.1) and rushing defense (90.7), and the 1961 defense lead the league in passing defense (62.9). Brasher went on to coach 6 years at El Dorado High School. He then became a defensive assistant with the Razorbacks in 1970. In 1975 he was the DC for the World Football League’s Shreveport Steamers. He then went on to be a defensive coach in the NFL, serving two stents as defensive line coach for the Philadelphia Eagles. Between that he was for seven years the Seattle Seahawks’ defensive line coach. He won a battle with salivary gland cancer in 2001, but throughout all his treatments he missed only 5 days of work. Recipient of Ed Block Courage Award.
Barry Foster – Football
Barry Foster attended Duncanville High School in Texas. He went on to attend the University of Arkansas, where he played fullback for the Razorbacks in Ken Hatfield’s wishbone offense. Foster lettered for the Razorbacks from 1987-89 and was selected to the UA All-Century Team in 1994. He rushed 375 times for 1,977 yards and 19 touchdowns during his time in Fayetteville and ranked sixth on the school’s all-time career rushing yardage list at the end of his career. He also returned 23 kickoffs in 1988, a single-season school record that stood until 2002, and ended his career with 1,008 kickoff return yards, which still ranks sixth all-time at UA. During his time at Arkansas, Foster helped lead the Razorbacks to back-to-back Southwest Conference championships in 1988 and 1989. Arkansas posted a combined record of 26-8 and earned trips to the 1987 Liberty Bowl and the 1989 and 1990 Cotton Bowls. He was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers with the 19th pick of the 5th round (128th overall) by Chuck Noll. Barry Foster’s NFL career was cut short because of injuries. For his career, he carried the football 915 times for 3,943 yards, a 4.3-yard per carry average, caught 93 passes for 804 receiving yards, scored 28 touchdowns, and went to 2 Pro-Bowls. His 1,690 rushing yards in 1992 is still the Steelers single season rushing record. Foster was known in the 90’s as “The NFL’s Other Barry.”, a reference to himself and Barry Sanders. His second NFL season, in 1991, started out with a 121-yard rushing game with a 56-yard touchdown run against the Buffalo Bills in week 2 but he sprained his ankle a few weeks later and missed five games. In 1992, Barry Foster got the Bill Cowher era going in Pittsburgh after two seasons on the bench. Foster got the starting nod and rushed for a Steelers single season record 1,690 yards and also broke Franco Harris’s team record for 100-yard games in a season with 12, that also tied Eric Dickerson’s NFL record for 100-yard games. He was voted to the Pro Bowl that year and also scored 11 touchdowns. Foster finished 1992 as the AFC top rusher and second to Emmitt Smith by 23 yards for the rushing title. In 1993, Foster’s season started off strong, but injuries limited him to 711 yards in nine games with eight touchdowns. Despite the injuries, Foster still made the Pro Bowl for the second year in a row. The 1994 AFC Championship game would not only be Foster’s last game in a Steeler uniform, but his last NFL game.
Tyson Gay – Men’s Track and Field
Born in Lexington, Kentucky, Tyson Gay attended Barton County Community College. The move to the college in Great Bend, Kansas, marked further progression for Gay: in 2002 his 100 m and 200 m times dropped to 10.08 s and 20.21 s respectively, albeit with wind assistance. He improved upon his legal personal bests too, recording a 100 m run of 10.27 s and 20.88 s in the 200 m. He also continued to outstrip the competition, winning the 100 m at the NJCAA National Championship. Returning to the NJCAA event the following year, with the wind in his favor, Gay took bronze in the 100 m with 10.01 s and silver in the 200 m with 20.31 s. Injuries upset the rest of 2003 for Gay, and his Coach Lance Brauman moved on to work as the sprint coach at the University of Arkansas. Gay decided to follow his tutor and he was keen to join the university’s highly successful amateur track and field program. The NCAA Men’s Outdoor Track and Field Championship in June proved far more fruitful, however, as Gay became Arkansas’ first 100 m NCAA champion, setting a school record of 10.06 s. Furthermore, his efforts in the event helped the Arkansas athletic team win the NCAA Championship. The results of Gay’s first 2004 US Olympic Trials confirmed his status as a rising contender in the 100 m and 200 m events. Although he did not reach the final of either event, he reached the semis of the highly competitive 100 m and posted a 200 m personal best of 20.07 s in the qualifying stages. A hamstring injury due to dehydration prevented Gay from competing in the 200 m final, but he did not see the trials as a missed opportunity, rather a springboard for future events: n Gay’s final year as an amateur athlete he started well, setting a personal best and school record of 6.55 s in the 60 m at the 2005 Championship Series. He helped the university team to another NCAA outdoor victory, setting a new personal best of 19.93 s in the 200 m qualifiers and placing third in the finals. Training partner and friend Wallace Spearmon took first place with 19.91 s—his time and Gay’s 19.93 s were the second and third-fastest 200 m times in the world that year. The pair teamed up for the 4 × 100 m relay, along with Michael Grant and Omar Brown, and won with an Arkansas-record-breaking time of 38.49 s. Unfortunately, Gay’s results at the University of Arkansas were later vacated as result of an NCAA ruling. In June 2005 Gay decided to become a professional athlete, setting his sights on a place in the US 200 m team for the Helsinki World Championships.
Matt Jones – Football
Born in 1983, Matt Jones was a McDonald’s All-American in football, a finalist for their All-American basketball team, and was named the AR Democrat-Gazette’s Super Sophomore. He led Van Buren to the state basketball title, breaking Corliss Williamson’s scoring record. As a Hog freshman, he set a record for rushing (592 yards) and broke his own record the next year and the year after that as well, ending up as the Hogs’ all-time rushing quarterback leader. He led the Hogs to wins in the NCAA’s 2 longest games on record – 7 OT’s. His career Razorback stats are: 417 completions/755 attempts; 5,857 passing yards; 53 passing TD’s; 2,535 rushing yards; and 24 rushing TD’s. As a result, his 53 passing and 24 rushing TD’s, his total of 77 TD’s still stands as tops in Razorback history. He was 2nd Team All-SEC, was drafted in the first round by Jacksonville; and as a pro, he had 166 catches for 2,153 yards and 15 TD’s.
Brad Taylor – Football
A four-year letterman for the Razorbacks under Coaches Lou Holtz and Ken Hatfield, Taylor started games at QB and led the Razorbacks in passing in all four of his seasons, while also logging time as the punter. A gifted passer, Taylor played early in his career and led the Hogs in total offense in his final three seasons. Taylor passed for more than 1,000 yards in three of his four seasons and finished his career completing 333 of 644 passes for 4,802 yards and 23 TD’s. His career passing yards total of 5,145 ranks ninth on the UA record list, with his completions (10th) and attempts (8th), also ranking in the top 10. Taylor rushed for a combined 343 yards and 12 TDs in his career. Taylor also punted 99 times for 4,131 yards and 41.7 yards per punt average in his career. A SWC Offensive Newcomer of the Year as a freshman, Taylor shined in the 1981 Gator Bowl as a sophomore, throwing for 307 yards and two TDs against North Carolina. Taylor was named the Gordon Campbell Senior Spirit Award recipient in 1984. He went on to play three seasons of professional football in the Canadian Football League with the Edmonton (1985-86) and Ottawa (1987).
Other 2022 inductees into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame include Coach Tommy Tice, who was Brandon Burlsworth’s high school coach, Paul Blair, Basil Shabazz and Delores Brumfield “Dolly” White.