FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Seven former University of Arkansas student-athletes, a legendary coach and a trailblazing administrator have been selected as members of the 2022 class of the University of Arkansas Sports Hall of Honor.
Joe Adams (football), Bill Bakewell (baseball), Coach Gary Blair (women’s basketball), Ruth Cohoon (women’s athletics), Ray Doakes (men’s track and field), Katherine Grable (gymnastics), Ron Huery (men’s basketball), Andy Skeels (baseball) and Dale White (football) will be formally inducted in a ceremony to be held on Friday, September 16, 2022, at the Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville. The ceremony will be held the night prior to the Arkansas-Missouri State football game at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
Inductees are elected to the UA Sports Hall of Honor based on a vote by former Razorback letter winners in conjunction with the A Club.
“We look forward to celebrating the tremendous accomplishments of these outstanding Razorbacks as part of the UA Sports Hall of Honor,” Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Hunter Yurachek said. “This year’s class includes NCAA and conference champions, a hall of fame coach and an administrator who helped form the foundation for varsity women’s sports at the University of Arkansas. These men and women reflect the very best our program has to offer.”
Additional information, including how to secure tickets for this free event, will be released in the coming weeks. Sponsorships for the banquet are available by contacting the Razorback Foundation at (479) 443-9000.
2022 UA Sports Hall of Honor Inductees
Joe Adams, Football
The only punt returner in program history to earn All-America honors, Adams dazzled Razorback fans with his big play ability from 2008-11. Adams All-American senior season in 2011 kicked off with a pair of punt returns for touchdowns against Missouri State, which equaled an SEC record, while his 174 return yards set a new program record. That season-opening performance set the tone for a senior campaign in which he finished with an SEC record four punt returns for touchdowns while his 16.9 punt return average led to conference and ranked second nationally. Adams was named the inaugural winner of the Johnny “The Jet” Rodgers Award, which recognizes the best return specialist in college football, while also being named a consensus first team All-American with honors coming from the FWAA, Sporting News and Pro Football Weekly. He also earned second team All-America accolades from the Associated Press, Sports Illustrated, Water Camp and Phil Steele and was named the SEC Special Teams Player of the Year. A native of Little Rock, Arkansas, his punt return greatness was coupled with 164 career receptions for 2,410 yards, 17 touchdowns and seven 100-yard receiving games, all of which rank in the top six in program history. After helping Arkansas to back-to-back 10 win seasons as a junior and senior, Adams was selected in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers.
Bill Bakewell, Baseball
A right-handed pitcher for the Razorbacks from 1977-79, Bakewell was instrumental in helping Coach Norm DeBriyn and his squad reach new heights, including as part of Arkansas’ first team to ever make the College World Series in 1979. Used primarily as a closer, Bakewell racked up 15 saves over his collegiate career, a then-school record that now ranks tied for third all-time in the Arkansas record books. He twice put together the team’s best ERA with a clip of 1.16 in 1977 and a 1.37 in 1978. He was the first of four Razorback pitchers to record the lowest ERA in back-to-back years since 1967. Bakewell still holds the record for fewest amount of hits given up per 30.0 innings of work, allowing just 12 hits in 1977 over 31 innings pitched. In 1978, Bakewell was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 28th round, but decided to return to school. In doing so, he helped Arkansas to a second-place finish in the Southwest Conference in 1979 and a runner-up showing at the College World Series with an overall record of 49-15.
Gary Blair, Women’s Basketball
The head women’s basketball coach at Arkansas for 10 seasons (1993-2003), Gary Blair led the Razorbacks to five NCAA Tournaments, including a run to the 1998 NCAA Women’s Final Four. The finish is the best in program history and Arkansas remains the lowest seed (No. 9) to ever make a Women’s Final Four. In addition, Blair led the Hogs to three WNIT appearances, including the 1999 WNIT Championship. Overall, Blair coached Arkansas to a record of 198-120 (.623). Four Razorbacks who played or coached during Blair’s era at Arkansas are members of the UA Sports Hall of Honor (Shameka Christon, Sytia Messer, Amber Shirey and Christy Smith). Following the 2021-22 season, Blair retired after 42 years of coaching. In 37 years as a collegiate head coach, including at Stephen F. Austin, Arkansas and Texas A&M, Blair had 35 winning seasons, 30 20-win seasons, 41 postseason victories, 26 NCAA Tournaments, 18 conference titles, 13 Sweet Sixteens, four Elite Eights, two Final Fours, and one National Championship (Texas A&M). His career record as a collegiate head coach was 852-348.
Ruth Cohoon, Women’s Athletics
The first Director of Women’s Athletics, Ruth Cohoon was instrumental in laying the foundation for the growth and success of female student-athletes at the University of Arkansas. Cohoon joined the University of Arkansas as a swimming instructor in 1965. In 1971, Cohoon volunteered to do extra administrative work and the next year was appointed to be the Director of the Women’s Intercollegiate Sports program. Elevated to Women’s AD after Title IX passed in June 1972, Cohoon guided the creation of the women’s athletics department, integrating intramural and club teams. Cohoon consistently fought for better funding, better equipment and better scholarships, resulting in better opportunities for women athletes. She repeatedly requested better salaries for women teachers and coaches to build a quality program. The vision of Cohoon helped shape the future of the university leading to competitive success and creating opportunities for thousands of future Razorbacks.
A standout field athlete at the University of Arkansas, Doakes was a part of Razorback teams that dominated collegiate track and field. During his time in Fayetteville, Arkansas won all 16 SEC and NCAA Championship meets in indoor and outdoor track and field, including four SEC Triple Crowns and three NCAA Triple Crowns from 1991-95. As a Razorback high jumper, he cleared 7-7 ¼ (2.32 meters) indoors in 1994. Doakes’ mark remains the school record and ranks tied for 11th on the all-time collegiate list. He also established the Arkansas outdoor school record at 7-6 ½ (2.29 meters) in 1995 that has been equaled by only three other Razorbacks. He was a six-time first-team NCAA All-American who scored in all four NCAA Outdoor team titles for Arkansas. Doakes won the 1995 NCAA Outdoor high jump after placing second once and fourth twice. Indoors, he was a silver medalist two times in the NCAA high jump on Razorback national championship teams in 1994 and 1995. Doakes became the first person to claim four consecutive SEC Outdoor high jump titles with winning heights of 7-1 (1992), 7-4 ½ (1993), 7-5 ¾ (1994), and 7-4 ½ (1995). He also won three consecutive SEC Indoor high jump titles with marks of 7-2 ¼ (1993), 7-7 ¼ (1994), and 7-4 ½ (1995). His winning jump of 7-7 ¼ in 1994 remains the SEC Indoor Championship record. Doakes finished fifth twice at the USATF Championships.
Katherine Grable, Gymnastics
In 2014, Grable completed a storybook ending for her career as a Razorback by claiming the first two national championships in program history and collecting a share of the program record on four of the five events. The Oshkosh, Wisconsin, native won the vault national title after posting a career-best 9.975 in the second-position (The 9.975 is the highest winning vault score in NCAA history. Grable claimed three scores of a perfect 10.0 from half of the judges on the event.) Grable completed her routine to the tune of a 9.9625 and claimed her second national title of the day. She did so by scoring two perfect 10.0’s from the judges to count one of them and earn the edge she needed to claim the outright title. She was a two-time SEC Gymnast of the Week (2012), All-SEC Gymnast in 2011, 2013, 2014 and was the SEC Gymnast of the Year in 2014. Grable was a six-time regional champion, and helped Arkansas advance to NCAA regionals all four years of her career and helped the Razorbacks to a regional title at the 2011 Denver Regional. She was also a part of an Arkansas squad that reached the NCAA Super Six Finals in 2012, where she claimed the Individual Balance Beam title. She was a nine-time WCGA All-American and three-time regular season All-American.
Ron Huery, Men’s Basketball
One of the early standouts for Hall of Fame Coach Nolan Richardson at Arkansas, Huery played on the Razorbacks’ 1990 Final Four team and Elite Eight team the following season. He played four seasons with the Razorbacks (1986-88 and 1989-91), playing in 134 games and scoring 1,550 points, 13th on the school’ all-time list. Huery averaged 11.6 points and 3.4 rebounds per game in his Razorback career. He earned All-Southwest Conference honors in 1998 averaging 13.4 points per game and he led the Razorbacks in assists (89) and steals (59) in 1987. His 351 career assists rank sixth on the school’s all-time list while his 207 career steals rank ninth. Huery was a regular at the free throw line in his career, ranking ninth on the record list with free throws attempted (494) and seventh in free throws made (388). Huery averaged 10 points and three rebounds for the 1990 Razorbacks, the first Arkansas team to advance to the Final Four in the Richardson era. Overall, he helped Arkansas win two SWC Championships (1990, 1991) and earn four postseason berths, including three NCAA appearances (1989, 1990, 1991). In 2005, Huery graduated with a bachelor’s degree in education.
Andy Skeels, Baseball
An All-American and All-SWC catcher, Skeels led the 1987 Hogs (57-16-1) to the College World Series, with a .763 slugging percentage, 70 runs scored, 76 RBI, 25 doubles, seven triples and 18 HRs, which broke the single-season HR record. His 50 extra base hits remain a school record. His .681 career slugging percentage, his .358 career batting average, rank second and fourth-best in school history, respectively. A seventh-round draft pick of the San Diego Padres, Skeels played professionally from 1987-2001, including stints with the Padres, Yankees, and Dodgers organizations. Skeels spent 34 years in professional baseball—as a player, coach, manager and scout. In 14 seasons with the San Francisco Giants, he compiled a minor league managerial record of 497-342 (.592) (best in professional baseball over that period). He also served two years as the Giants’ organizational Hitting Coordinator, spent part of 2017 as a Major League hitting coach, and spent two years as a Major League scout. During his tenure, Skeels was part of three World Series Championships with the Giants (2010, 2012 and 2014). He was the first-ever New Zealand-born player to appear in uniform, as a player or coach, in a Major League game. Skeels also managed the New Zealand National Team in the 2013 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers.
Dale White, Football
White was a four-year letterwinner for the Razorbacks from 1975-78. White played nose guard for the Hogs alongside Hall of Famer Dan Hampton. White produced 230 tackles, including 156 solo stops, during his career. He saved his best for last during the 1978 season, collecting 82 tackles with 57 of those registered as solo stops. He recovered a remarkable 10 fumbles and made 27 tackles for loss in his career. Arkansas went 35-10-2 during White’s tenure on The Hill, appearing in three bowl games. The Razorbacks beat Georgia 31-10 in the 1976 Cotton Bowl. White was also a part of one of the Hogs’ greatest wins on the gridiron, when No. 6 Arkansas defeated No. 2 Oklahoma in the 1978 Orange Bowl. Arkansas tied UCLA in the 1978 Fiesta Bowl in White’s final game.