The man credited with bringing the NBA to Central Florida, a woman who dominated professional golf for more than a decade, and a pioneer who first brought the UCF brand to national attention highlight the 2019 Florida Sports Hall of Fame (FSHOF) induction class announced today by Hall President Barry Smith. The Enshrinement will be held at Orlando’s Amway Center on Nov. 12.
Headlining the 11-member class is former Orlando Magic basketball executive PAT WILLIAMS, who was considered the driving force in landing an NBA expansion franchise for Orlando prior to the 1989 season. Williams has worked for more than half a century in professional athletics, spending time as General Manager of the Chicago Bulls, Atlanta Hawks and Philadelphia 76ers prior to joining the Central Florida pro basketball efforts in 1986. Williams has held multiple positions with the Magic for the last 30 years, including General Manager and Senior Vice President prior to announcing his retirement earlier this year.
A long-time Orlando resident, ANNIKA SORENSTAM dominated women’s professional golf prior to retiring in her prime in 2008 at age 38. Her list of on-course accomplishments is beyond impressive and includes 90 wins worldwide, 72 official LPGA Tour wins, and victories in 10 majors. The winner of a record eight Player of the Year awards, and six Vare Trophies given to the LPGA player with the lowest seasonal scoring average, she is the only female golfer to shoot a 59 in competition. She holds various all-time scoring records including the lowest season scoring average: 68.6969 in 2004.
An Ocala, Fla. native, DAUNTE CULPEPPER went on to star at UCF where he accounted for 108 touchdowns and set 30 passing record from 1995-98. In 1999, Culpepper became the first player in UCF history to be drafted in the first round (#11 overall to the Minnesota Vikings) and would go on to enjoy an 11-year career in the NFL where he would appear in three Pro Bowls and lead the league in touchdown passes in 2000 and in completions and passing yards in 2004.
Joining Williams, Sorenstam and Culpepper in the Florida Sports Hall of Fame induction class are:
NICK ANDERSON (Basketball)
The Magic’s first-ever NBA Draft selection out of the University of Illinois (11th overall, 1989 NBA Draft), NICK ANDERSON played ten seasons for Orlando from 1989-99. In 692 career regular season games with the Magic, he averaged 15.4 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. Anderson ranks as the franchise’s all-time leader in games played (692), field goals made (4,075), steals (1,004), field goals attempted (8,976) and three-point field goals attempted (2,480). He also stands second on the Magic’s all-time list with 10,650 points, 900 three-point field goals made and 22,440 minutes played.
JASON VARITEK (Baseball)
JASON VARITEK burst on to the national scene at an early age, leading his Altamonte Springs Little League team to a US National Championship. He would earn All-America honors and win both the Dick Howser Award and Golden Spikes Award as the nation’s top college player at Georgia Tech before embarking on a 14-year major league career with the Boston Red Sox, where he played in three all-star games and won two World Series Championships.
CHRIS WEINKE (Football)
CHRIS WEINKE became the second player from Florida State University and fifth player from a Florida school to win the coveted Heisman Trophy when he captured that award as a senior in 2000. During that season he passed for 4100 yards and 33 touchdowns. He also led the Seminoles to a national championship in 1999 and finished his career with 79 career touchdown passes in three seasons as a starter. Weinke would play seven seasons in the National Football League and is currently quarterbacks coach at the University of Tennessee.
CHUCK ROHE (Track/Administration)
A long-time track and field coach at the University of Tennessee (1963-71), CHUCK ROHE guided the teams to its most successful period in UT athletics, winning 21 consecutive SEC titles in cross country, indoor track and field and outdoor track in field. He began a 20-year stint as the Executive Director of Florida Citrus Sports, where he led that bowl to major status. Among his many accomplishments was creating a tie-in between the Big 10 and SEC, the expansion of Citrus Bowl to 70,000 seats, bringing the Florida Classic – one of the nation’s premiere black college football events – to Orlando and bringing a second college football bowl game to Florida Citrus Sports. Under his watch, Rohe also brought NFL exhibition games, regular season neutral field college football games, and Olympic Soccer to the Citrus Bowl Stadium (now Camping World Stadium).
PETE DUNN (Baseball)
A former player for the school, PETE DUNN was the head baseball coach at Stetson University for 36 years (1980-2016). In 2006, Dunn became the 34th Head Coach in NCAA history to reach 1,000 career wins. During his career, he guided the Hatters to 16 NCAA Tournament Appearances, and won more than 60% of his games. Dunn is a five-time Atlantic Sun Conference Coach of the Year and has produced 25 All-Americans. His 1312 career coaching wins ranks 24th on the NCAA All-Time List for coaching victories. More than 70 of Dunn’s former players signed professional contracts, including Major League All-Stars Corey Kluber and Jacob deGrom.
DAVID LITTLE (Football)
The brother of Miami Dolphins football legend Larry Little, DAVID LITTLE was a high school All-American at Miami Jackson. He was All-SEC and All-American at Florida in 1980 and is the all-time leader in tackles with 475. He played 12 years with the Pittsburgh Steelers, earning team MVP honors (1988) and a Pro Bowl selection in (1991). A member of the UF Team of the Century, Mr. Little passed away on March 17, 2005.
WINSTON DUBOSE (Soccer)
A Winter Park, Fla. native, WINSTON DUBOSE played collegiate soccer at Florida Technological University (now UCF) fro1973-76, where he earned All-America honors as a goaltender. DuBose would then embark on a professional career from 1978-91, where he played for both the Tampa Bay Rowdies and Tulsa Roughnecks. DuBose, a multiple time all-star in several professional soccer leagues, also made 14 appearances for the United States National Team.
LOIS WEBB (Volleyball Coach)
LOIS WEBB was head volleyball coach at Florida Southern College for 24 years (1977-2000), compiling a 747-272 (.733) record. When she retired from coaching, her career victory total ranked second in NCAA Division II. Her teams won eight Sunshine State Conference championships, and posted a winning record in all 24 years. Four times a Webb-coached team reached the NCAA Division II Championship Tournament, with her 1981, 1989 and 1991 teams finishing fourth and her 1990 team finishing fifth. She was Sunshine State Conference Coach of the Year five times and South Region Coach of the Year three times. Under her guidance, 18 Florida Southern College players earned All-America status.
In making the announcement, Smith noted that the 11-member, 2019 class was the largest and most diverse classes in the organization’s history. “This class truly represents what is great about sports in Florida,” Smith said. “These 11 new inductees have reached the pinnacle in seven different sports. Collectively, these honorees have either played in or won college or professional championships, captured golf majors, represented their country on national teams, or played significant roles in the history of sports in this state. It is an incredibly accomplished and deserving class.” The 58th Florida Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremonies will take place on Tuesday Nov. 12 at the Amway Center in downtown Orlando. Ticket and sponsorship information can be found at FlaSportsHoF.org/Orlando19.