Contact: ALVIN HOLLINS, JR., Hall of Fame Chair (850) 599-3736
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (May 7) – Florida A&M University’s Sports Hall of Fame will enshrine seven honorees during ceremonies Friday, August 31 at the Al Lawson Center in Tallahassee.
The honorees will also be recognized during pregame ceremonies on Saturday, September 1, when FAMU will open the 2018 football season against Fort Valley State. Kickoff will be 5:00 p.m.
The 2018 FAMU Sports Hall of Fame Class consists of seven (6) Athletes: footballers Richard “Big Rick” Anderson, Bryan “Sackman” Brewer, Dorsey Hutchinson and Stephen S. “Steve” Scruggs; men’s basketball ace Terry Giles; softball star Janell Staton, and women’s basketball star Linda Thomas-Minor.
Ticket prices for individuals will be $65.00 and table costs will be $500.00. Seats and tables can be reserved through the Sports Hall of Fame by calling (850) 599-3736.
Tickets can also be purchased at the FAMU Athletic Box Office in the Al Lawson Center.
2018 FAMU SPORTS HALL OF FAME CLASS
RICHARD “BIG RICK” ANDERSON (CONTRIBUTOR / Football, 1975-77) –
An outstanding football player, Big Brother of the year recipient, a philanthropist, character builder, humanitarian, and even better alumnus, Richard "Big Rick" Anderson has proven to be a genuinely kind-hearted person, a citizen and an even better FAMU Alumni supporter.
A lifetime member of the FAMU National Alumni Association since 1988, "Big Rick" Anderson has an interminable passion for FAMU athletics. He has been one of the most avid supporters of The National Rattler "F" Club, Inc., being the organization's largest benefactor.
A yearly platinum corporate sponsor, and the annual sponsor of the FAMU Sports Hall of Fame blazers, "Big Rick" has donated more than $100,000.00 to athletics to date. He personally established the sports endowment fund with his generous contributions totaling $75,000.00.
Richard Keith "Big Rick" Anderson, a graduate of West Hill High School in Stamford, Connecticut. An alumnus of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, he has been Federal Government Accountant for over 25 years.
On the gridiron, "Big Rick" inspired his teammates to greatness when he went full speed, hustling on every play to either block a punt, cause a fumble, recover a fumble, sack the quarterback or make a touchdown.
Anderson's former teammates hold him in high regard as a man with heart, passion for the game, and an unabridged advocate for FAMU's athletes. His gifted football prowess was astounding in its scope, solidifying his standing as a cherished member of his team.
"Big Rick," a true walk-on and fierce competitor, who consistently made his presence known on the gridiron. His physical resolve, strength and forceful plays made him respected and feared among A&M's competitors.
A two-year letterman and starter for the mighty FAMU Rattlers under the legendary Coach Rudy Hubbard in "Big Rick" hard hitting and sure tackling ability earned him the starting outside linebacker/defensive end spot on the team. "Big Rick" set the edge and anchored the left side of the football field with his valiance, skill, and tenacity as a player helping to lead the Rattlers to many victories.
"Big Rick" was a play maker; making "big plays" on the field, which earned him the nickname he retains to this day. On October 22,1977 during a game at Vanderbilt Stadium, Anderson famously broke through the line and blocked the punt by Greg Swinney of the Tennessee State Tigers, which led to a touchdown for the Rattlers.
Anderson’s recovery of a fumble in that game helped seal the 31-28 victory, which catapulted the Rattlers to an undefeated, Black National Championship season in 1977, FAMU’s last unbeaten football team.
BRYAN “SACKMAN” BREWER (Football, 1986-88) – A two-time All-America
firebrand as a defensive end and tackle in 1987 and 1988, Brian Brewer was
strapping 6-5 Orlando, Florida product, who proved to be a dominant presence
for the Rattler Defenses under Ken Riley and Walter Highsmith.
Brewer anchored a defense which led the Rattlers to a MEAC title in 1988… A a three-time All-MEAC selection as well (1986-88), Brewer was especially devastating as
a pass rusher, racking up 30 career quarterback sacks, making nine (9) sacks as a
freshman in 1986, 13.5 sacks as a sophomore in 1987, and 8.0 takedowns in 1988
DORSEY HUTCHINSON (Football, 1978-82) - This rangy Jacksonville, Florida native will always be remembered for his singular effort as a true freshman in the 1978 Orange Blossom Classic, where his then-school record four pass interceptions helped lead the Rattlers to a crushing 31-7 win over legendary coach Eddie Robinson and his fabled Grambling Tigers – a win which vaulted FAMU towards the first-ever NCAA Division I-AA national championship.
The 6-2, 180-pound cornerback, twice earned All-Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference honors in 1981 and 1982, thanks largely to his 11 pass interceptions over those two seasons.
Hutchinson finished his career in 1982 with 18 total interceptions, making five steals in that 1982 campaign, after pilfering a career-best six passes in 1981.
Overall, the hard-hitting defender, who clearly had great ball-hawking skills to boot, ended his career with 178 total tackles and five (5) recovered fumbles to complement his 18 interceptions.
He had a career-best 53 total tackles, with 38 solo stops, a fumble recovery and a pair of interceptions as a redshirt sophomore in 1980.
TERRY GILES (Basketball, 1986-90) – This scintillating point guard
helped lead the Rattler Basketball team to a three-year run of success in the
Division One era, which included back-to-back appearances in the MEAC
Tournament finals in 1988 and 1989.
The Conyers, Georgia backcourt ace finished his career number one all-time in
assists with 607, third in career steals with 278, and fifth in field goals made with
Giles led the Rattlers in assists for three consecutive seasons, dishing out 170
assists in both 1990 and 1988, and 155 in 1989.
He was a first-team All-MEAC in 1990, averaging 17.6 points along with 170
assists, a year after earning second-team All-MEAC honors in 1989, when he had
155 assists and 89 steals, as FAMU stormed into the MEAC Tournament finals.
Giles shared the 1988 Rattler backcourt with Hall of Famer Aldwin Ware, who
led the nation in steals, while the pair led FAMU to a school-record 22 Division
One wins, and berth in the MEAC Tournament Finals.
He was recognized by the Extra Point Club in 1988-89 and 1989-90, and was named All American basketball team in 1989-90.
Giles was invited to the Miami Heat summer camp in 1990, then played professionally overseas in New Zealand for the Ottago Nuggets and Hawks Bay Hawks in New Zealand from 1990-91 to 1992-93.
He was voted the league’s Most Outstanding Guard, leading the league in assists, and was selected by the New Zealand basketball Federation League for their All Star Five in 1992-93.
STEVE SCRUGGS (Football, 1967-70) - Forever remembered as the quarterback who engineered arguably the biggest victory in FAMU Football history, St. Petersburg, Florida native Steve Scruggs held the reins of coach Jake Gaither’s powerful offensive attack which outgunned the University of Tampa, 34-28 in a milestone event for college football in November of 1969.
That historic game featured for the first time in history a Southern historically Black College against a Southern predominately White school in football, and the Rattler victory changed the way HBCU coaches, players and teams were viewed by the larger society and the mainstream media.
Unquestionably it was the poised left-handed Scruggs who played the pivotal role in the win, passing for 189 yards and one touchdown, on 22 completions, while finishing as the Rattlers’ second-leading rusher in the game with 111 yards, highlighted by an electrifying 47-yard scramble – the game’s longest run.
Scruggs would lead the Rattlers to an 8-1 finish as a junior, after topping the Grambling Tigers, led by coach Eddie Robinson, 23-19 in the 1969 Orange Blossom Classic, earning MVP honors. He was named 1969 Offensive Player of the Year.
He would earn the first of two All-American and All-Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference notices for his efforts in 1969, after he passed for 1,271 yards and eight touchdowns on 101 completions, while rushing 64 times for 312 yards and three more scores.
Scruggs would finish his career with an encore All-American campaign in 1970, passing for 1,576 yards and 11 touchdowns on on 128 completions, earning a second MVP award in the Orange Blossom Classic, while repeating as Offensive Player of the Year. He also had one of the longest scoring runs from scrimmage, a 97-yard gallop in against North Carolina A&T in 1969.
JANELL STATON (Softball 1993-97) - Staton was the first Lady Rattler Softball superstar, a versatile lass who played the field (shortstop) as capably as she pitched, adding the third dimension of prowess on offense.
One of the first standout players from the Lake Wales (Fla.) High pipeline, Staton helped lead FAMU to Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference titles in three of the the four seasons she played (she missed one season, 1994, due to injury), in 1993, 1995, and 1997, reaching the finals in 1996.
FAMU also advanced to two NCAA play-in series in 1995 and 1997, extending Cleveland State to a third and deciding game in 1997.
Staton’s slender build, tremendous range, and smooth fielding skills in the infield, quickly earned her the nickname “Smooth Criminal,” ala the Michael Jackson hit song.
She finished her four seasons at FAMU with a .382 career batting average, #2 all-time, while finishing #5 all-time in both runs scored (135), and Earned Run Average (2.78); #6 in career pitching wins (29-25); #7 in stolen bases (48 of 59); #8 in complete games (44); #9 in total hits (187), and pitching strikeouts (179); #10 in pitching appearances (64).
In her collegiate debut campaign (1993), Staton helped lead FAMU to the first of three straight MEAC titles, hitting .418, scoring 57 runs, driving in 37 runs and stealing 21 bases. As a pitcher, she had a nifty 1.74 ERA
In 1996, Staton hit .364, topping the team in hits (63), doubles (8) and RBIs (41), while in the pitching circle, she won 11 games with 3.22 ERA, with 85 strikeouts, three (3) shutouts and 24 complete games.
In 1997, she led the team in hits (60), home runs (4), and RBIs (35). Also had a 2.95 ERA in her senior season.
LINDA THOMAS MINOR (Women’s Basketball, 1978-81) - Known as the franchise by the Rattlerette basketball fans and she greatly earned the title. A versatile court performer who was part of laying the foundation for the burgeoning Rattlerette Basketball program of the late 1970s and early 1980s, forward Linda Thomas made a major impact both offensively and defensively during her career.
She finished her time at FAMU at No. 17 in the career scoring charts with 1,017 career points, becoming just the second Women’s player to reach the 1,000-point plateau, and she was the first Women’s player ever to eclipse 600 rebounds, pulling down 621 caroms, tied for 13th all-time with Natalie White.
A two-time Most Valuable Player (MVP) and recipient of collegiate All-State honors, Thomas led the team in scoring as a junior in 1978-79 (13.7 ppg) and 1979-80 (16.9 ppg). As a freshman in 1978-79, Thomas led the team in rebounding (8.2), and the following season, she led the club in field goal percentage, shooting 49.2 percent from the floor.
She finished #11 in career free throws made (239), hitting a team-best 118 charity tosses in 1980, while also leading the team in free throw percentage three seasons in a row (1979, 1980, 1981), hitting a nifty 79 percent of her foul shots in 1979-80.
Thomas also helped establish the steal as a hallmark of Rattlerette defensive excellence beginning under then coach Mickey Clayton.
Thomas finished her career, ranking #10 all-time in steals (204), twice leading the team in that category in 1980 (74) and 1981 (75).