The National High School Sports Hall of Fame was started in 1982 to honor high school athletes, coaches, officials, administrators and others for their extraordinary achievements in high school sports. Beginning with the 2003 class, a major change occurred with the inclusion of individuals in the performing arts, and the name was changed to the National High School Hall of Fame. Through 2016, 157 athletes have been inducted, along with 153 coaches, 64 contest officials, 49 administrators, 12 in performing arts, and 12 others who have contributed to high school athletics in other ways for a total of 447 members.
The first three induction ceremonies (1982, 1983, 1984) were held in conjunction with the National Athletic Directors Conference. In 1986, the ceremony was shifted to the NFHS annual Summer Meeting and has been held at that time ever since. Because of this shift, no ceremony was held in 1985. At the 31 ceremonies that have been held at the NFHS Summer Meeting (1986-2016), state association personnel have served as presiders. Mo Kelley of Iowa was the emcee for the first eight years (1986-93), and the following individuals have served two-year terms as presiders: Mildred Ball, Indiana (1994-95); Randy Allen, Wisconsin (1996-97); Rick Strunk, North Carolina (1998-99); Sheryl Solberg, North Dakota (2000-01); Nate Hampton, Michigan (2002-03); Mike Wallmark, Oregon (2004-05); Que Tucker, North Carolina (2006-07); Mike Plunkett, Oklahoma (2008-09); Robert Zayas, New Mexico (2010-11); Lisa Lissimore, Minnesota (2012-13); Butch Cope, Kentucky (2014); Debbie Moore, Ohio (2015); and Larry White, New Jersey (2016). A major change with the induction ceremony occurred in 1995 in Portland, Oregon, with the implementation of a full-scale video production, which has been employed since that time.
The National High School Hall of Fame is administered through the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), which is headquartered in Indianapolis. A listing of all members of the Hall of Fame is displayed in the foyer of the NFHS building, along with plaques of the current class. Plaques of previous Hall of Fame members are on display in the various state association offices around the country.
Members of the National High School Hall of Fame are approved annually through a two-level selection process, involving a screening committee composed of active high school administrators, coaches, officials and state association administrators, and a final selection committee composed of highly respected athletic, education and business leaders around the nation.
Membership in the National High School Hall of Fame is the highest honor an individual associated with high school sports can receive.
Bruce L. Howard
Hall of Fame Director