Ozzie Newsome Inducted Into NFHS Hall Of Fame
BOSTON – Football great Ozzie Newsome was one of 12 individuals inducted into the National High School Hall of Fame here Wednesday night at the Marriott Copley Place Hotel to close out the 95th annual NFHS Summer Meeting.
Newsome, who was a three-sport standout at Colbert County High School in Leighton graduating in 1974, was the fourth inductee from the AHSAA’s ranks in the last four years. St. Paul’s Episcopal School track coach Jim Tate was inducted in 2013, former Heisman Trophy winner Pat Sullivan was inducted as an athlete in 2012 and former AHSAA Executive Director Dan Washburn as an administrator in 2011.
Newsome’s induction brings the number of Alabamians inducted to 11. Others enshrined include former AHSAA Executive Directors Herman L. “ Bubba” Scott and Cliff Harper; contest officials Dan Gaylord and Sam Short; athlete Bart Starr; and coaches Glenn Daniel and Mickey “Guy” O’Brien.
“We are happy for Ozzie Newsome and extremely proud of his many accomplishments," said AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese. "He has been an outstanding athlete and an outstanding individual at every step of his legendary career. He is the prime example of the kind of individual we aspire for our student-athletes to be.
“Ozzie is a gentleman who represents all the good things high school sports are about. He has given back so much in his adult life through his character, leadership and service to mankind.”
Newsome helped Colbert County to state championships in football and basketball in 1972 and to the state finals in baseball in 1973. He earned All-America and All-State honors as a receiver and defensive standout for the Indians in football, helping Colbert County go undefeated (13-0) in 1972.
He was a member of the 1972 Indians basketball team that also won the Class 3A state title and was a catcher on the baseball team that reached the finals in 1973 and the semifinals in 1974. Newsome was an All-State basketball selection in 1973 and played in the 1974 North-South All-Star Game.
“This is an honor I will always cherish,” Newsome said. “I have been so fortunate to have so many strong influences in my life, especially my coaches and teachers. My friends in high school have been friends for life.”
After four outstanding years at the University of Alabama, the collegiate All-American became one of the greatest tight ends in NFL history during his 13-year career with the Cleveland Browns. He has been in the Ravens front office since 1996 and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1999.
He was named the nation’s greatest high school tight end of all time in one national poll, selected the top tight end in collegiate history in another poll and is still the measurement most pro scouts use in judging future NFL tight ends.
Newsome was inducted into the National Football Foundation Collegiate Hall of Fame in 1994, the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 1992 and was also inducted into the Little League National Hall of Fame.
Newsome was inducted along with NBA star Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway from Memphis; baseball standouts Casey Blake (Indianola, Iowa) and Michael Devereaux (Casper, Wyo.) and former track and field great Suzy Powell of Modesto, Calif.
Also inducted were four high school coaches: Bob McDonald, basketball coach at Chisholm (Minn.) High School, who is retiring this year after a legendary 59-year coaching career; Morgan Gilbert, who retired last year from Tuckerman (Ark.) High School after winning more than 1,000 games as both a basketball coach and baseball coach during a 48-year career; Katie Horstman, who started the girls’ sports program at Minster (Ohio) High School in 1972 and led the girls’ track team to eight state championships; and Frank Pecora, who led Northfield (Vt.) High School to 15 state baseball championships; longtime football and baseball official George Demetriou (Colorado Springs, Colo.); North Dakota High School Activities Association assistant director Sheryl Solberg; and fine arts inductee Randy Pierce, a state and national debate leader from Maryland Heights, Mo.