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Roaf Among Elite Group Headed to Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame

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    <span>Former New Orleans Saints offensive tackle <span style="">William Roaf</span>, along with fellow football All-Pros Marshall Faulk and Michael Brooks will be joined by golf great Hal Sutton and women's basketball coaching trailblazer Sonja Hogg will be among eight 2009 inductees in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.  

In addition to the aforementioned group of world-class performers, world champion motorcycle racer Freddie Spencer, innovative LSU athletic trainer Marty Broussard and Carrice Russell Baker, the state's winningest all-time girls high school basketball coach, will complete the Hall's 2009 induction class.

They will be enshrined Saturday, June 27 in Natchitoches to culminate the June 25-27 2009 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Induction Celebration. Broussard will be honored posthumously.

A 30-member Louisiana Sports Writers Association committee selected the 2009 inductees. The panel considered a record 132 nominees from 21 different sport categories.

This summer's inductions will be the Hall of Fame's golden anniversary induction class. The initial three inductees – baseball's Mel Ott, world champion boxer Tony Canzoneri and LSU football great Gaynell Tinsley – were enshrined in 1959 after their election a year earlier.

The eight new inductees will raise the total of Hall of Fame members to 269 men and women enshrined since then.

Their achievements will be soon be celebrated in the 27,500-square foot, $18.3 million Louisiana State Museum-Natchitoches/Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame complex in the early stages of construction in historic downtown Natchitoches.

The 2009 Induction Celebration will kick off Thursday evening, June 25 with a press conference and reception. It includes three receptions, a Friday afternoon celebrity pro-am golf scramble at Oak Wing Golf Course in Alexandria, and a Saturday morning youth sports clinic hosted on the Northwestern State University campus. Tickets for the induction ceremonies and dinner, and golf entries, will go on sale in April, said Hall of Fame chairman Doug Ireland.

Also to be honored at the event will be the winner of the 2009 Dave Dixon Louisiana Sports Leadership Award and the recipient of the 2009 Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism presented by the LSWA. Those award recipients will be announced this spring.

Sutton emerged as one of the finest golfers of his generation. The Shreveport native and Centenary College product won the 1980 U.S. Amateur, the 1983 PGA, the 1998 Tour Championship and in 2000, The Players Championship when he outdueled Tiger Woods. Sutton played on four Ryder Cup teams and was the non-playing captain of the USA's 2004 Ryder Cup team.

Brooks, Faulk and Roaf combined for 18 Pro Bowl appearances, 11 by Roaf, including a club-record seven while the Louisiana Tech product played for the New Orleans Saints.

Roaf was a finalist for the 1992 Outland Trophy, given to college football's top lineman, before he was the Saints' first-round draft pick. He played nine of his 13 NFL seasons in New Orleans, and the last four with Kansas City, earning All-Pro first- or second-team honors nine times. He was recently inducted into the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame. Roaf is considered by many experts to be one of the greatest players in Saints history.

Faulk, a New Orleans native, made seven Pro Bowls and set an NFL single-season record in 1999 with 2,429 yards from scrimmage as he helped the St. Louis Rams win Super Bowl XXXIV at the Georgia Dome. His 12,279 career rushing yards is ninth in NFL history and his 19,154 total yards from scrimmage ranks fourth all-time.

The No. 2 pick in the 1994 NFL Draft by Indianapolis out of San Diego State, Faulk was voted the 2000 NFL Most Valuable Player with an NFL-record 26 touchdowns.

Brooks, from Ruston, was an All-America defensive end in 1985 for LSU and a 1992 Pro Bowl pick for the Denver Broncos, highlighting a 10-season NFL career (1987-92 in Denver, 1993-95 with the New York Giants, 1996 in Detroit). Playing for Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame coach Chick Childress, Brooks led Ruston High to the 1982 state Class 4A (largest classification) championship.

Hogg pioneered the Louisiana Tech women's basketball program that quickly developed under her leadership into one of the best in the nation, starting a run that established the Lady Techsters among the sport's premiere programs through the last four decades. In 11 seasons as head coach, she was 307-55 at Tech with six consecutive Final Four appearances from 1978-84 and two national championships (1981 AIAW, 34-0; 1982, first-ever sanctioned NCAA title, 35-1).

She coached two Olympic gold medalists, Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame members Kim Mulkey and Janice Lawrence, and convinced Ruston High coach Leon Barmore to join her staff. He went on to a Basketball Hall of Fame coaching career as her co-head coach and successor at Tech, and joins Hogg in the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.

Spencer won the first of his three world championships in motorcycle racing in 1983, the same year that fellow Shreveport native Sutton captured the PGA crown. Known to fans around the globe as "Fast Freddie," Spencer in 1985 became the only racer ever to win the 250cc and 500cc Grand Prix World Championships in the same season. He was the youngest rider (21) to win the 500cc Grand Prix World Championship and is the only rider to win three major races during Bike Week at Daytona International Speedway (1985).

Baker won over 1,000 games in 39 years as a girls high school basketball coach, including eight state championship games, and reached the state finals four more times. Four state titles came at Winnsboro in the era of six-player (three at each end of the court) competition, and four more came in the 1970s at Jena in today's five-player, full-court game. She has a documented 972-191 (.836) record with records for three of her seasons in the late 1940s unavailable – but there was a 22-5 year sandwiched between them. Six years after she took over at Winnsboro as a 19-year-old Louisiana Tech graduate, her 1952-53 team made history by ending the national record 218-game win streak by nearby Baskin, coached by Hall of Famer Edna Tarbutton.

Broussard was a beloved figure at LSU, revered by iconic Tiger stars and Louisiana Sports Hall of Famers like Billy Cannon, Pete Maravich and Dale Brown before his passing in 2003. He was an innovative figure in his profession while a fixture at LSU for five decades. Broussard was a trainer for the USA in the 1960 Rome Olympic Games and the 1955 Pan American Games.

An Abbeville native and 1944 LSU graduate, he lettered in track and baseball for the Tigers and was the high scorer at the 1944 Southeastern Conference Track and Field Championships. Broussard, who developed the Quickkick energy drink, was enshrined in the National Athletic Trainers Hall of Fame after also serving as trainer at Florida and Texas A&M before returning to his beloved alma mater.

Broussard and Spencer will become the first figures from their sports fields to be enshrined in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.

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