March 19, 2016
The 2016 Greater Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame induction class ranges from locally produced pro athletes to a martial arts grandmaster.
The 10-member class will be inducted July 26 at the Knoxville Convention Center. Heath Shuler is the featured speaker.
NFL player Joe Fishback and professional tennis player Halle Cioffi reached the highest competitive levels of their sport.
The honorees also include an assortment of coaches, officials and administrators who helped athletics like Fishback and Cioffi reach their potential.
Special awards will be announced later.
The gala event benefits the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley. Tickets may be purchased online at www.gkshof.org.
Here is the class of 2016:
Fishback: The Ausin-East High School product became a star at Carson-Newman, where he helped the Eagles win three NAIA national titles.
He played defensive back and special teams in the NFL from 1990-94 with the Atlanta Falcons, New York Jets and Dallas Cowboys.
Cioffi: The Knoxvillian played tennis in college at Florida, where she was named Tennis Magazine’s national player of the year in 1989.
She played professional tennis in the 1990s, but her biggest tour win was a Virginia Slims tournament while still an amateur in 1987.
Samantha Hatcher Chafin: The Central High School product starred in softball at Carson-Newman and was the program’s player of the year in 1993.
She has coached on the college, high school and club-team level.
John Newton: Newton was a 13-time All-American swimmer at Tennessee and competed for the 1978 NCAA champion team.
He later swam for the U.S. in the Pan-American Games and coached high school and club teams in and around Knoxville.
Lynn Sexton: The Blount County native won 544 games coaching Farragut High School boys basketball from 1961-91.
Sexton, who won seven varsity letters in three sports at Maryville College, took the Admirals to the state tournament in 1978, 1980 and 1983.
Steve Chancey: A Knoxvillian, Chancey starred at South High School, then played running back at Tennessee, lettering from 1971-73.
Charlie Durham: Durham was a co-founder of the Knoxville Track Club in 1962 and coached the club’s competitive teams. He also worked closely with the University Tennessee track program and officiated meets.
Durham helped launch the KTC’s popular youth program and helped direct the Volunteer Classic meet for 27 years.
Pete Mills: Mills has been a prominent competitor, teacher and promoter of various martial arts.
Mills has been inducted into halls of fame for a number of martial arts disciplines, including Isshin-Ryu and karate.
Tommy Schumpert: A long-time coach at Central High School, Schumpert has also served as an official and administrator.
He served a term as Knox County Executive. A park is named in his honor in north Knox County.
Dr. William C. Battle: Battle officiated Knox County football games for four decades. He also worked college games in the South Atlantic Conference.