June 4, 2014
HOUSTON - Two former University of Houston greats have been nominated to the Texas Sports Hall of Fame primary ballot for the Class of 2015. Former Houston Volleyball standout Flo Hyman and Houston Football star Wilson Whitley are two of 20 members selected to the primary ballot.
The Texas Sports Hall of Fame Selection Committee, comprised of media members around the state and chaired by Denne Freeman, set the final ballot of nominees to be voted on for the Class of 2015.
Hyman, considered one of the most influential volleyball players in University of Houston history, was a three-year letterwinner from 1974-76 for the Cougars. She was a 1998 University of Houston Hall of Honor inductee after being named a three-time AIAW All-America honoree.
She was also named AIAW National Player of the Year in 1976 and went on to win an Olympic Silver medal as a member of the USA National Team at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles with UH teammates Rita Crockett and Rose Magers.
Hyman was inducted into the Volleyball Hall of Fame in 1988. She passed away in January 1986 when she collapsed during a match in the Japanese League due to Marfan Syndrome, a sickness that she never knew she had.
All-American defensive tackle and 1976 Lombardi Award winner, Whitley was a member of the UH football program from 1972-1976 and led the Cougars to a Southwest Conference Championship during that time.
Whitley was drafted eighth overall in the 1977 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals, where he was a starting defensive lineman for six seasons. He was named to the SWC All-Decade Team for the 70s and was a 1998 University of Houston Hall of Honor inductee alongside Hyman. Whitley was also a member of the 2008 College Football Hall of Fame class.
After a seven-year professional football career, which also included one season with the Houston Oilers, Whitley served as the National Director of Sports Marketing with Holiday Inn, Inc., until he suffered a fatal heart attack in 1992.
Generally, six nominees from the primary ballot and two from the veteran ballot will comprise the Class of 2015.
Members of the Texas Sports Hall of Fame (open to the public) will be able to help the selection committee determine the newest class. The deadline to become a member and be able to vote for the upcoming class is July 15th.
The official announcement of the Class of 2015 will be made in September. The banquet to enshrine the Class of 2015, presented by Texas Farm Bureau Insurance, will take place in early 2015 in Waco, Texas.