Dr. Gaylon McCollough named 2017 Distinguished Sportsman

The Alabama Sports Hall of Fame (ASHOF) Board of Directors has announced that Dr. Gaylon McCollough and Pete Derzis will be recognized as the 2017 Distinguished Sportsmen at the ASHOF 49th Induction Banquet on Saturday, 13 May 2017.

McCollough, who lives in Gulf Shores, Ala., is a member of the United States Sports Academy’s Board of Visitors and was the Academy’s 2015 Theodore Roosevelt Meritorious Achievement Award winner.

A renowned facial plastic surgeon, McCollough is being recognized as the 2017 Distinguished Alabama Sportsman. Previously a member of the ASHOF Board of Directors, he has been involved since the beginning with the Bryant-Jordan Student-Athlete Scholarship Program, which annually awards more than 100 scholarships to high school seniors based on athletic and scholastic achievement.

While at the University of Alabama, he was an Academic All-American center for Coach Bear Bryant and was a member of Alabama’s national championship team in 1964, graduating with honors in 1965. After graduation, he attended medical school at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).

Derzis, Senior Vice President for ESPN, is being recognized as the 2017 Distinguished American Sportsman. A resident of Charlotte, N.C., Derzis has been instrumental in the creation of numerous sporting events in the State of Alabama, most notably two ESPN owned and operated post-season bowl games (the Birmingham Bowl and the Raycom Camellia Bowl in Montgomery).

He was the associate athletic director at UAB from 1977-1990. While at UAB, he managed various areas of the athletic department, including all sports administration, broadcasting and fundraising, as well as game day management.  In addition to his current role of leading the ESPN Events team and its 30 owned and operated events in ESPN’s Charlotte offices, he is involved in college sports programming, including oversight of college football, men’s and women’s college basketball, NCAA Championships, Olympic sports and rights acquisitions.

The honorees join an impressive list of others who have been honored as ASHOF Distinguished Sportsmen.  They are include Hall Thompson, Bob Hope, Jack Warner, Ray Scott, Hugh Culverhouse, Dr. James Andrews, Former President George H. Bush, Charles O. Finley, Dr. David Bronner, Dr. Wilford Bailey, Tom York, Dr. Larry Lemak, Larry D. Striplin, Jr., Bill Ireland, Bill Legg, John Croyle, Roy Kramer, George Mann, Jim Wilson Jr., Michael E. Stephens, David Housel, Mal Moore, Joseph Gibbs, Ronald Bruno, Nick Bollettieri, Mickey Newsome, Rick Woodward, Don Logan, Dr. Ken Blankenship, Charles Kelley, Ron Froehlich, Mike Slive and Edgar Welden.

The 49th Annual Induction Ceremony will be held at the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel.  For information, call the ASHOF at (205) 323-6665 or visit www.ashof.org .

The Theodore Roosevelt Meritorious Achievement Award is part of the Academy’s Awards of Sport program, which each year serve as “A Tribute to the Artist and the Athlete.” The Academy presents the awards to pay tribute to those who have made significant contributions to sport, in categories as diverse as the artist and the athlete in several different arenas of sport. The awards honor exemplary achievement in coaching, all-around athletic performance, courage, humanitarian activity, fitness, and media, among others.

The Academy’s American Sport Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA) annually recognizes these men and women through its Sport Artist of the Year, Honorary Doctorates, Medallion Series, Distinguished Service Awards, Outstanding Athletes, and Alumni of the Year awards.

Founded in 1984, ASAMA is dedicated to the preservation of sports art, history, and literature. The ASAMA collection is composed of more than 1,700 works of sport art across a variety of media, including paintings, sculptures, assemblages, prints and photographs. The museum is open free to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. For more information, go to www.asama.org.