MACON, Ga. — Georgia Sports Hall of Fame Authority Co-Chairs Emily Parker Myers and Don Leebern III are pleased to announce the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2019, which will be inducted in ceremonies in Macon the weekend of February 22-23. Activities will begin with the Hall’s annual golf tournament at Idle Hour Country Club on Friday, February 22nd. Later that evening, the annual Jacket Ceremony will be held at the Hall. Saturday morning the 23rd there will be a ‘Fan Fest’ autograph session at the Hall, which is free and open to the public; and the induction ceremony will take place at the Macon City Auditorium that evening. The Induction Ceremony will be a ticketed event.
The 2019 class includes:
Brenda Cliette (Thomas) - Star performer in track and field and basketball in high school at Northeast High School (Macon) and at Florida State University. Led Northeast to two state titles in basketball and two in track and field. At Florida State led the ‘Noles to a national championship in outdoor track and field. She was a seven time All-American in sprints at FSU and alternate in 200 meters for the United States in the 1984 Olympic Games. In basketball, as a freshman at FSU, she led team to first ever NCAA post-season appearance.
Calvin Johnson - Considered the best receiver in Georgia Tech football history. He was a three-time All ACC selection and also won an ACC Player of the Year award. Was a two-time First team All-American for the Yellow Jackets. As an NFL performer, he spent 9 years with the Detroit Lions after being drafted in the first round as the number two overall pick. Was a three-time first team All-Pro selection and played in six Pro Bowls.
Ernie Johnson, Jr. - Joins his father in the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame. He has won numerous Emmy awards for his work with TBS Sports. He is the lead announcer for TBS coverage of Major League baseball games and also for TNT’s NBA pre-game, halftime and post-game broadcasts. He has worked the NCAA basketball tournament in conjunction with CBS. Ernie’s resume also lists his work at Wimbledon, the winter and summer Olympics, The PGA, the FIFA World Cup and college football.
T. McFerrin - One of the most successful high school football coaches in Georgia history. He worked for eight different schools during his career and has state championships at Jefferson and Elbert County. He has 340 victories to his credit, which is the fourth most in Georgia high school football history. Took eight teams to the State semifinals.
Takeo Spikes - The Washington County native led his high school football team to a State football championship in 1994, while being named Georgia’s Mr. Football for that season. He played collegiately at Auburn University and was an NFL first round draft choice by the Cincinnati Bengals in 1998. He went on to play professional football with five different teams for 15 seasons, being named All-Pro and to two Pro Bowls. He recorded more than 1400 tackles during his professional career.
Gary Stokan - Gary is the President and CEO of the Atlanta Peach Bowl. Since his appointment to the position in 1998, the Peach Bowl has generated almost $800 million for the city of Atlanta and the State of Georgia. He is credited with creating the Chic-fil-A Kickoff Game, which is the leader in opening weekend games. His Chic-Fil-A Peach Bowl Challenge golf tournament annually produces more than $600,000 for scholarship and charity to its participating universities and coaching charities.
Mark Teixeira - Mark played collegiate baseball at Georgia Tech University and also spent two seasons with the Atlanta Braves. While at Tech he won the Dick Howser Award as the top college baseball player in the nation. He spent 14 seasons in Major League baseball with four different teams and was a member of the 2009 World Champion New York Yankees. During his major league career he had 409 home runs. He was a three-time All Star.
Ben Zambiasi - Ben led Mt. De Sales Academy (Macon) to three state high school football championships. He went on to play at the University of Georgia, where he was a 1976 All-American and a two-time All-Conference Selection. His 467 career tackles is still a UGA record, more than forty years after his last game in Athens. He is a member of Georgia’s all-century team and is also in the Ring of Honor. He played professional football in Canada and is a member of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.