Swift, stalwart, durable, dedicated and highly accomplished. The six members of the 2014 class of the Broward County Sports Hall of Fame named Friday span all of those attributes, and their list of achievements is staggering.
They will be inducted in an Oct. 28 ceremony at the Broward County Convention Center.
The Broward County Sports Hall of Fame recognizes coaches, athletes and pioneers who are, or have been, Broward County residents. Past members include Dara Torres, Chris Evert, Whitey Ford, H. Wayne Huizenga and Dan Marino.
Richards-Ross, a former Pembroke Pines resident and graduate of St. Thomas Aquinas, is the fastest American woman in the 400-meter dash and one of the most decorated women in track and field history. After winning Olympic gold medals in relays in three Olympics, she attained her first individual title in the 400 at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The five-time world champion plans to attempt to qualify for her fourth Olympics in 2016.
Davis, a Broward County resident, was inspired to pursue boxing from watching a movie about Muhammad Ali. He followed Ali’s path to Olympic gold in 1976, winning the lightweight division, and was named outstanding boxer of the Montreal Games over an elite group including Sugar Ray Leonard, Michael Spinks, and Leon Spinks. A trainer of amateur and professional boxers and MMA fighters, Davis runs Fight Time Promotions and was inducted into the Florida Boxing Hall of Fame in June 2013.
Stephenson, 56, and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame (1998), is still regarded as one of the best offensive linemen ever for the Dolphins, nearly three decades after his career was cut short by injury. He was named the AFC Offensive Lineman of the Year for four consecutive years, and was named All-Pro and All-AFC from 1983-87. Stephenson, a Fort Lauderdale business owner, played in two Super Bowls and was a key reason why the Dolphins led the NFL with fewest quarterback sacks for six consecutive seasons.
Fitzgerald, long-time coach at Pine Crest, has coached 16 Olympic swimmers over four decades. A Vietnam Veteran, he has led swimmers at the highest level in the sport, including the U.S. National Team, the Paraguay team at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, 2010 Youth Olympic coach for Tunisia, and as the USA State Department coach for the 2012 Junior Team to Russia. Directing the Pine Crest program since 1995, he has produced 227 high school All-Americans and 38 individual state champions.
Reeves, a Fort Lauderdale resident and teacher in the Dade County School System, has spent the past 50 years officiating high jump events locally and throughout the world. That includes almost every University of Miami and University of Florida meet for 40 years, as well as the 1984 and 1996 Olympic Games, five Olympic Trials and numerous major collegiate and international events. Reeves’ numerous honors include the Horace Crowe Award for outstanding field event official and the Florida Track & Field Hall of Fame.