Information Revolution
Info TT Sportheroes 16 Caulkins swims in Olympics Info TT Sportheroes 11 Candace Parker Info TT Sportheroes 12 Reggie White Info TT Sportheroes 14 Kimley Webb Info TT Sportheroes 15 Al Wilson Info TT Sportheroes 09 Peyton Manning Info TT Sportheroes 08 Charles Lea Info TT Sportheroes 07 John Henderson Info TT Sportheroes 06 Anfernee Hardaway Info TT Sportheroes 02 Tamika Catchings Info TT Sportheroes 04 Chandra Cheeseboruogh Info TT Sportheroes 01 Betty Booker Parks

Read more about Tennessee sports heroes during this time.

Betty Booker-Parks was a star player at her high school in Hampshire, Tennessee. In 1976 she went to Memphis State University (now University of Memphis) where she set school records in points scored and number of steals made. She played professional basketball after college, including a short stint as a player/coach for the Memphis Blues.


Keith Butler was a linebacker at Memphis State University where he led the school in tackles his junior and senior years. He was named a 1977 All American and was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks. After Butler retired from professional football, he was the defensive coach at the University of Memphis for seven years. He now is a defensive coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers, who won the Super Bowl in 2009.
 
Tamika Catchings played basketball at the University of Tennessee from 1997 to 2001. She is the only U.T. women’s player besides Chamique Holdsclaw to score more than 2,000 points and to have more than 1,000 rebounds. She also holds the Lady Vols record for the most points scored as a freshman. Catchings was a four-time All American and was named player of the year in 2000. Catchings was a member of the 2004 U.S. women’s basketball team in the Summer Olympics that won a gold medal. She also plays in the WNBA, where she was a five-time All-Star.
 
Tracy Caulkins was a three-time gold medal winning swimmer. She trained for the Nashville Aquatic Club. In 1978 she won five gold medals and a silver in the world championships held in Berlin, Germany. She was expected to do well in the 1980 Olympics to be held in the Soviet Union, but President Jimmy Carter decided to boycott the games because of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Caukins did compete in the 1984 Olympics, winning three gold medals.
 
Chandra Cheeseborough first came to Tennessee as a member of the summer Tennessee State Track Club. She returned to attend college at TSU and was a member of the track team. She was a member of the U.S. 1976 Olympic team, and qualified for the 1980 Olympics which the U.S. later boycotted. She returned to participate in the 1984 Olympics, where she won two gold medals and a silver one. She is the current coach of the TSU Tigerbelles track team.
 
Richard Dent played football as a defensive end for four years at Tennessee State University from 1979 to 1982. He was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the 1983 NFL draft. In 1985 during the playoffs, Dent had impressive performances. In the wild-card game against the New York Giants, Dent had one of the most impressive defensive performances in playoff history, recording seven tackles, 3.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles. Then in Super Bowl XX, which Chicago won, Dent was named the Most Valuable Player for his two sacks, two forced fumbles, and one blocked pass. Dent continued in the NFL until 1997. His 137.5 lifetime sacks place him third on a list of players with the most sacks.
 
Anfernee Hardaway was a star basketball player for Memphis State University (later the University of Memphis and the National Basketball Association (NBA). A student at Treadwell High School in Memphis, Hardaway, nicknamed Penny, was named to a high school All-American team. After playing for two years at Memphis State, Hardaway turned professional. Hardaway also played for the U.S. men’s Olympic basketball team, which won a gold medal in 1996. In August 2008, Hardaway, who had gone back to Memphis to finish his college degree, donated $1 million to the University of Memphis.
 
Dennis Harrison played at Vanderbilt University and help take the team to the Peach Bowl.  In 1978 he was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles where he was selected for the Pro Bowl in 1981. The team went to Super Bowl XV, but lost.  After ten years in the NFL, Harrison came back to Tennessee where he had coached middle and high school sports teams.

Albert Haynesworth
was one of the most dominating defensive tackles in the NFL in 2007 and 2008. Haynesworth went to the University of Tennessee where he at first struggled, and considered dropping out of school. He stayed and became a powerful player for the Vols. He was drafted by the Tennessee Titans and was named to the Pro Bowl twice.
 
John Henderson played football at Pearl-Cohn High School in Nashville where his team won back-to-back state football championships.  He was a three-year starter as a defensive tackle at the University of Tennessee and was named an All American his junior and senior years. His junior year Henderson won the Outland Trophy as the best defensive college player in the nation. As a NFL player, he has been named to the Pro Bowl twice.
 
Chamique Holdsclaw is considered one of the best women's basketball players to ever play college basketball. A native of New York, Holdsclaw decided to play at the University of Tennessee. She helped lead the team to the women’s NCAA’s first ever three consecutive basketball championships in 1996, 1997, and 1998. She was named to the All-American team each of her four years at U.T., and is the all-time leading scorer and rebounder at UT in either women's or men’s basketball. Her last year she was named the top amateur athlete in the U.S. In 2000, she was named Naismith’s Player of the Century for the 1990s. Holdsclaw was a member of the 2000 U.S. women’s basketball team that won a gold medal in the Olympic Games. She played professional basketball for teams in the WNBA.
 
Charles Lea played baseball at Kingsbury High School in Memphis. Although drafted by professional baseball teams, Lea attended Memphis State University. In 1978, he joined the Memphis Chicks minor league team. In 1980 he was called to the majors and played for the Montreal Expos for seven years, including 1984 when he was the starting and winning pitcher for the All-Star game. After retiring from baseball, he return to Memphis State and finished his degree.
 
Peyton Manning is one of the best-known football players to have played at the University of Tennessee. He is Tennessee’s all-time leading passer, and compiled a 39-6 record as a starting quarterback. He finished his degree in three years, but passed up a large salary in the NFL to come back and play at U.T., thus making him a fan favorite. He is only the third U.T. player to have his jersey retired, and the university named one of the streets near Neyland Stadium Peyton Manning Pass. He was the number one pick of the 1998 draft. Since then he has played for the Indianapolis Colts, leading them to victory in Super Bowl XLI in 2007. He has been named the Most Valuable Player for the NFL several times.
 
Terrell Owens played basketball, football, and ran track for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, but he excelled at football, where he set the single season reception record at the school. He went on to play football for several teams in the NFL, and was selected six times for the Pro Bowl.
 
Candace Parker came to the University of Tennessee as a highly acclaimed high school basketball player. In 2004, she became the first woman to win the slam dunk contest at the McDonald’s High School All American Game, beating out five male competitors. Standing 6’4”, Parker later became the first woman to dunk in a college tournament game. She led her team to NCAA National Championships in 2007 and 2008, and was the MVP for both years. Parker received the John Wooden Award in both 2007 and 2008 as the most outstanding female college basketball player in the country. Parker was the first pick in the WNBA draft and plays for the Los Angeles Sparks.
 
Roscoe Tanner, a native of Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, started winning national youth tennis titles when he was still in high school in Chattanooga. Tanner turned pro in 1972 and won his biggest tournament, the Australian Open, in 1977. Tanner won 14 titles and nearly 600 matches over his 12-year tennis career.
 
Kimley Webb, a native of LaVergne, Tennessee, led Smyrna High School to its first ever girls state basketball championship in 1982. Webb went on to play at Middle Tennessee State University. She led the Lady Blue Raiders to four consecutive OVC championships and three NCAA tournament appearances. She still holds the MTSU record as the all-time leader in scoring, steals, field goals made, and double figure scoring games. 
 
Reggie White is one of the most honored athletes to ever play defensive end in the National Football League. He was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006. White grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and went to the University of Tennessee in 1980, where he set a school record of 32 career sacks and 100 tackles. While going to college and playing football, White, a deeply religious person, would spend Sundays preaching in churches. This earned him the nickname “Minister of Defense” that followed him to the NFL. He was named to 13 straight Pro Bowls, and was two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year. White had his jersey retired not only by the University of Tennessee, but also by both the Green Bay Packers and the Philadelphia Eagles.
 
Al Wilson was an All-American high school football player at Central-Merry High School in Jackson, Tennessee. He attended the University of Tennessee in 1994 where he was an All-American. A linebacker, Wilson was team captain on the 1998 Tennessee team that won the National Championship. He played professional ball with the Denver Broncos during which time he was named to the Pro Bowl five times.

Jason Witten
graduated from Elizabethton High School and signed to play with the University of Tennessee as a defensive end. But due to a shortage of players at the position, Witten was moved to the tight end position, where he set several records. Drafted by the Dallas Cowboys, Witten has been selected for the Pro Bowl five times, and owns the Cowboys record for most receptions (15) in a game.  In 2009 the Johnson City Medical Center renamed its children's emergency department in honor of Witten who donated $200,000 to the hospital.



Picture Credits:
  • Photograph of Betty Booker-Parks. This photo was taken sometime between 1975 and 1978. It shows Booker-Parks about the shoot the ball during a basketball game. Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame
  • Photograph of Tameka Catchings. This photo was taken after 2001 and shows Catchings holding a basketball while dressed in her Indiana Fever uniform. TamekaCatchings.com
  • Pop-up photograph of Tracy Caulkins. This photo was taken in 1986 by photographer Dennis Wile. Tennessee State Museum Collection, 2007.40.23
  • Photograph of Chandra Cheeseborough. This photo was taken in Los Angeles, California during the 1984 Olympic Games. It shows Cheeseborough as the third runner to the left in a relay in race. She has just passed the baton to her teammate. Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame
  • Pop-up photograph of Richard Dent. This photo was probably taken sometime between 1979 and 1983 while playing at Tennessee State University. Tennessee State Museum Collection
  • Poster featuring a photo of Anfernee Hardaway. This photo shows Hardaway wearing his New York Knicks jersey as he shoots a layup in a game against the Philadelphia ‘76’s. Tennessee State Museum Collection
  • Photograph of John Henderson. This photo was taken in 2000. It shows Henderson holding his Outland Trophy for the best interior lineman while standing next to two award presenters. Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame
  • Photograph of Charles Lea. This photo was taken before 1978. It shows Lea about to pitch the ball while playing in college for Memphis University. Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame
  • Photograph of Peyton Manning. This photo was taken sometime between 1994 and 1998. It shows Manning running with the football during a University of Tennessee college game. University of Tennessee
  • Pop-up photograph of Terrell Owens. This photo was taken in 2000 and provided by photographer hiitscj.” Flickr.com
  • Photograph of Candace Parker. This photo was taken after 2008 and shows Parker holding her WNBA Rookie of the Year Award and her WNBA Most Valuable Player Award. CandaceParker.com
  • Photograph of Reggie White. This photo was taken sometime between 1980 and 1983. It shows White posing for a photograph while dressed in his University of Tennessee college football uniform. University of Tennessee
  • Pop-up photograph of Jason Witten. It shows Witten wearing a jersey and about to catch a football. Facebook.com/Jasonwitten
  • MTSU's Kimley Webb goes up for a layup during a game.  Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame
  • Al Wilson goes over the top of the offensive line during a game with Florida in 1998.  University of Tennessee Sports
  • Tracy Caulkins, a three-time 1984 Olympic gold medalist, swims for the finish line in the butterfly stroke competition at those Olympics.  Photograph courtesy of Martha and Tome Caulkins, Tennessee State Museum Collection
  • Pop-up Photograph of Keith Butler.  This photo shows Butler playing the linebacker position for the Seattle Seahawks.  Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame
  • Pop-up photograph of Dennis Harrison.  Courtesy of Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame


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