|Board of Directors/Executive Board|
The Macon Sports Hall of Fame got it’s beginning as the Macon Athletic Hall of Fame in 1976 as a Bi Centennial Project of the Bibb County Jaycees. The Project was chaired by Jaycee Member Billy Hester. The Bibb County Jaycees conducted three induction ceremonies before it’s operation was suspended after 1978 and was dormant until 2000 when a group, headed by former Willingham and Athens High School football coach Billy Henderson revived it.
The initial class for the Macon Athletic Hall of Fame included Professional Golfer Gardner Dickson, who starred at Lanier High School and later at LSU, Longtime University of Georgia football coach and former Mercer gridiron standout Wally Butts, Boxer W.L. Young Stribling, who won more than 200 bouts, Georgia and Lanier football standout Vernon”Catfilsh” Smith, who scored all 15 points in the Bulldogs win over Yale in the dedication game for Sanford Stadium, College and NFL Hall of Famer Jim Parker, who prepped at Ballard Hudson High School before moving to Ohio and longtime Lanier Coach Selby Buck.
A full weekend of activities were held in conjunction with the first Hall of Fame ceremonies. There was a Golden Gloves boxing tournament as well as a Southern League Baseball game at Luther Williams Field between Columbus and Orlando because at the time Macon did not have a Minor League team. In addition to the inductions, awards went to Pittsburgh Steelers Defensive Back J.T. Thomas as Macon’s Pro Athlete of the Year, World Skeet Shooting Champion T.J. Maddox as Amateur Athlete of the Year, and Central Quarterback Michael Jolly and Southwest guard Walter Daniels were named Co Winners as High School Athletes of the Year. Service to Sports Awards were presented to Longtime YMCA Head P.A. McArthur, Author Jimmy Jones and Broadcaster Bob Savage.
The 1977 Class included Golfer Arnold Blum, football player Quinton Lumpkin, Sportswriter Sam Glassman, Sr., Tennis star Gloria Payne, Multitalented Charles Morgan and Mercer standout Ernest “Baggy” Mallard. The 1978 Class members were Football’s Tom Greene, Baseball and football star Billy Henderson, Football and Basketball standout Jim Nolan, Baseball’s John Blue Moon Odom, Mercer football great Joseph“Phoney” Smith and World Skeet Shooting Champion T.J. Maddox.
When the Hall of Fame was revived all 18 of the original 3 classes from the Macon Athletic Hall of Fame were absorbed into the Macon Sports Hall of Fame along with D.T. Bell, Norm Nixon, B.L. Smith and Harley Bowers.
When the current Hall was revived in 2000 Henderson served as President and CEO of Champion Foundation, the chief sponsor of the Hall. The Late Wayne Bevill, at the time the Executive Director of the Macon Rescue Mission, was named the groups Chairman. Phil McGoldrick served as Vice Chair, Gary Hall was named treasurer and Mattie Dean was chosen secretary. The remaining Board of Directors included Wilbur Whitfield, Rachel English, Tommy Mixon, Robert Slocum, Edgar Hatcher, Joe McDaniel, Bobby Cramer, Eddie Battle, Billy Coley and Billy Pilcher.