NORFOLK -- The Hampton Roads Sports Hall of Fame announces the seven people who comprise the 2010 induction class: boxing champion Pernell Whitaker, longtime NFL star Kenny Easley, stock car racer Ricky Rudd, football coaches Mike Smith and Jimmye Laycock, and local broadcasters Jack Ankerson and Tony Mercurio.
These inductees, who comprise the third class in the Hall of Fame's history, were selected by a committee along with input from fans in online surveys. This year's Hall of Fame class will be inducted on Oct. 26 at a banquet at Norfolk Scope.
Reservations for the banquet are available now. The cost is $70 per person or $500 for a table of eight. For information or to make reservations, call 622-2222 (extension 101).
Here is a brief synopsis of the accomplishments of the inductees, in alphabetical order:
Jack Ankerson has spent more than 30 years on the sports scene in Hampton Roads. He has served as an administrator and broadcaster with the ABA's Virginia Squires, the Norfolk Tides baseball team and Old Dominion University. He has also served on the Hampton Roads Sports Commission. His voice is well known to sports fans throughout the region as a public-address announcer.
Kenny Easley, a gradaute of Oscar Smith High School in Chesapeake, was a three-time All-American at UCLA and an All-Pro defensive back for the Seattle Seahawks in the NFL. He was chosen the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year for 1983-84. He is currently a successful businessman in Norfolk.
Jimmye Laycock has been the head football coach at the College of William and Mary since 1980, leading the Tribe 200 victories, 20 winning seasons and 10 postseason appearances.
Tony Mercurio is a longtime broadcater and radio personality with a popular drive-time sports talk show for 24 years. He has long associations with Old Dominion University and the Norfolk Tides. He established the Hampton Roads Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.
Ricky Rudd, who was born and raised in Chesapeake, won 23 races in his NASCAR career. He holds the NASCAR records for consecutive starts (788) and consecutive seasons with at least one victory (16).
Mike Smith, longtime football coach at Hampton High School, is the winningest coach in state history. He has more than 400 career victories and 11 state championships.
Pernell "Sweetpea" Whitaker, born and raised in Norfolk, won an Olympic gold medal in 1984 and held professional titles in four weight classes. At his peak, he was considered to be the best "pound-for-pound" fighter in the world. After his retirement from the ring, he remained in Norfol to work with young boxers.
The Hampton Roads Sports Hall of Fame is currently housed in the lobby of Harbor Park in Norfolk. It was established in 2008 as a way to honor the athletes, coaches and administrators who have made significant contributions to sports in our area.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun