TENNESSEE SPORTS HALL OF FAME 2015 INDUCTION CLASS

October 23rd, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TENNESSEE SPORTS HALL OF FAME

ANNOUNCES ISSAC BRUCE AND THE LATE JAKE RUDOLPH

ARE JOINING BILLY DUNAVANT IN THE 2015 INDUCTION CLASS

Earlier this month the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame announced 2015 inductees William (Billy) Dunavant Jr., equestrian enthusiasts Henry and Alice Hooker, former Tennessee linebacker great Jamie Rotella, former Tennessee basketball great Jim England, and legendary coaches Bob Cummings and William “Mack” Brown.

Today the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame announced the group that will complete the 2015 Induction Class.   Former Lipscomb basketball standout, and Franklin Road Academy Coach John Pierce Jr., legendary NFL wide receiver Isaac Bruce, coaching great John Cropp, and the late coaching legends Jake Rudolph, and Galen W. Johnson.

The Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame 2015 Induction Banquet will be June 6th at the Nashville Omni Hotel.  For ticket information or to honor your favorite inductee in the program book please contact Lynn Powell Toy at 615.202.3996 or lynnpowelltoy@gmail.com

John Pierce Jr.

John Pierce became college basketball’s all-time leading scorer on February 24, 1994 at Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN. His 4,230 points still stand to this day as the most points scored in a college basketball career.  In his time at Lipscomb, Pierce was a 4 time NAIA All-American and a 2 time NAIA National Player of the Year.  After playing professionally overseas for 5 years, Pierce returned to Nashville, where he serves as the boys high school basketball coach at Franklin Road Academy.

Isaac Bruce

Isaac Bruce came to the Memphis football team as a wide receiver in 1992. The talented Bruce made an immediate impact on the Tiger football squad, earning a starting position before the opening game of 1992. Bruce finished the 1993 season with a school-record 74 catches for 1,054 yards and 10 touchdowns. His 74 catches and 1,054 yards remain Memphis football records and his 10 touchdown receptions ranks fourth all-time.

Bruce was drafted in the second round by the St. Louis Rams in 1994. He played 16 seasons in the NFL, retiring in 2010 as the NFL’s second all-time leading receiver with 1,024 receptions for 15,208 yards and 91 touchdowns.

John Cropp

Coach Cropp spent more than half a century in athletics, including the last 20-plus years as an administrator at the University of Kentucky. For the first 22 years of Cropp’s athletics career he was involved in coaching football. His first head coaching position came at Tennessee High School in Bristol, Tenn. Cropp’s squads complied an impressive 48-15-3 record with two Class AAA state titles (1971-72) and the 1972 mythical national championship.

Cropp returned to his alma mater, Vanderbilt, in 1973 as an assistant coach under Steven Sloan. He followed Sloan as an assistant to Texas Tech, Ole Miss and Duke. In 1984, Cropp returned to Vanderbilt under head coach George MacIntyre. He entered private business for two years (1986-88) before returning to Vanderbilt for a third time. Cropp also served as assistant athletics director for compliance at Vanderbilt for three years before going to Kentucky.

Jake Rudolph

In his 39 years coaching football at Memphis University School, Coach Rudolph won 295 games. That number — once the record for career wins in Shelby County — includes a state championship in 1985, two second-place finishes and a total of 16 trips to the playoffs. Coach Rudolph came to MUS after a college career at Georgia Tech, where he played on the undefeated teams of 1951 and 1952. MUS Headmaster, Ellis Haguewood, said Tech fans still talk about plays Rudolph made.

Galen W. Johnson

Galen W. Johnson Jr., led tiny Porter High School in Blount County to three state championships and two runner-up finishes from the 1950s to the 1970s. A 1946 graduate of Everett High and later Maryville College and the University of Tennessee, Mr. Johnson began his career in Richards, Mo., coaching both the boys’ and girls’ basketball teams from 1952-55. He then arrived at Porter in 1955 as a guidance counselor, boys’ and girls’ basketball coach, and football assistant. At the time, Porter was a small school with an equally limited reputation for girls’ basketball, but Johnson quickly built the school into a state powerhouse.

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