Nine Razorback Greats named to 2024 UA Sports Hall of Honor Class

on 2024-06-18 10:10 AM

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Eight former University of Arkansas student-athletes and a legendary coach have been selected as members of the 2024 class of the University of Arkansas Sports Hall of Honor. 

Ravin Caldwell (football), Alex Collins (football), Matt Hemingway (men’s track and field), Matt Jones (football), Kareem Reid (men’s basketball), Coach Dave Van Horn (baseball), Devon Wallace (softball), David Walling (baseball) and Wendi Willits (women’s basketball) will be formally inducted in a ceremony to be held on Friday, September 13, 2024, at the Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville. Collins will be inducted posthumously. The ceremony will be the night prior to the Arkansas-UAB football game, set for 3:15 p.m. at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. 

Inductees are elected to the UA Sports Hall of Honor based on a vote by former Razorback letter winners in conjunction with the A Club.

“The University of Arkansas Sports Hall of Honor represents the best of the best in the history of our program,” Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Hunter Yurachek said. “This year’s talented class features a Hall of Fame coach and some of the most dynamic athletes in Razorback history, including national champions, Olympic medalists and standouts from six of our programs who helped lay the foundation for our success. We look forward to celebrating these men and women and their many accomplishments during our Hall of Honor weekend.”

Additional information, including how to secure tickets for this free event, will be released in the coming weeks. Sponsorships for the banquet are available by contacting the Razorback Foundation at (479) 443-9000. 

2024 UA Sports Hall of Honor Inductees

Ravin Caldwell, Football

Caldwell lettered at Arkansas from 1982-85, helping the Razorbacks win 32 games and earn two top-12 final rankings. The 1982 team was ranked No. 9 in the final poll of the year after a 9-2-1 season concluded with a win over Florida in the Bluebonnet Bowl. He finished his Razorback career with 153 tackles, including 20.0 for loss accounting for 110 yards lost, five fumble recoveries, six forced fumbles, 16 pass breakups and one interception. As a junior he led the team with 5.5 sacks, 10.0 tackles for loss and four fumble recoveries while adding 65 tackles and three forced fumbles. He was drafted in the fifth round of the 1986 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins and helped the Redskins win Super Bowls XXII and XXVI. He played in the NFL from 1987-92, appearing in 79 games and recording 8.5 sacks.

Alex Collins, Football

One of the best running backs to ever wear the Razorbacks uniform, Alex Collins made his mark on the football field at an early age. Born in Miami, Collins was honored in both cities where he played youth football as well as at South Plantation High School where his jersey is retired. As a true freshman, he made SEC history by becoming the first to rush for 300 yards in his first three games. The SEC Freshman of the Year, Collins went on to rush for more than 1,000 yards in each of his three seasons with the Hogs. In his junior season, he set a program record with 20 rushing touchdowns. Collins ranks second on the Razorbacks’ career rushing list and is one of only three players in SEC history, alongside Darren McFadden and Herschel Walker, to start their careers with three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. In his 38-game collegiate career, he amassed 3,703 yards and 36 touchdowns on 665 carries, finishing as the SEC’s active leader in career rushing yards. He is second all-time in Razorback history for career rushing yards (3,703) and 100-yard games (17), and fourth in rushing touchdowns (36). Selected by the Seattle Seahawks in the fifth round of the 2016 NFL Draft, Alex played for both the Seahawks and the Baltimore Ravens. In his five-season NFL career, he rushed for 1,997 yards and 18 touchdowns, and accumulated 467 receiving yards with one touchdown. In 2023, Alex signed with the Memphis Showboats of the United States Football League (USFL).

Matt Hemingway, Men’s Track and Field

An Olympic medalist and SEC champion, Hemingway was a standout high jumper for Arkansas’ legendary men’s track and field program from 1992-96. A four-time All-American, he contributed to three consecutive NCAA Outdoor team titles and one NCAA Indoor championship during his Razorback career. In 1995, he captured the SEC Indoor High Jump title with a jump of 7-4.5, a mark that still ranks No. 6 on UA all-time list. Hemingway earned a silver and bronze medal in the high jump at the SEC Outdoor Championships, a silver medal at the 1996 NCAA Outdoor and tied for a bronze at the 1995 NCAA Outdoor. Hemingway also earned bronze at the 1995 NCAA Indoor. At the 1996 Olympic Trials, during his senior year as a Razorback, Hemingway finished fourth as he matched the winning height of 7-6.5 (2.30). The height earned him a school record which he still shares with three others Razorback high jumpers. He went on to a successful professional career, including setting a career best of 7-9.75 (2.38) to win the 2000 USATF Indoor title after not competing the two previous years. The highlight of his illustrious career came in 2004 at the age of 31. After placing second at the U.S. Olympic Trials, Hemingway earned a spot on Team USA for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. On the biggest stage in sports, Hemingway shined, winning a silver medal in the high jump finishing as the top American in the field. 

Matt Jones, Football

Arkansas’ all-time rushing quarterback leader, Matt Jones was one of the most dynamic players to ever take the field for the Razorbacks. A four-year letterman, he led the Hogs to wins in two of the NCAA’s longest games on record – 7 OT’s. His career Razorback stats included 417 completions on 755 pass attempts; 5,857 passing yards; 53 passing TD’s; 2,535 rushing yards; and 24 rushing TD’s. He rushed for more yards than any quarterback in SEC history. His 7.38 yards-per-play average in individual total offense ranks second in SEC history only to Florida’s Danny Wuerffel (7.75). Jones finished his career as the Razorbacks’ career leader in total offense (8,392 yards) and touchdown responsibility (77). He ranks fourth in the UA record book with 53 passing touchdowns. He was voted All-SEC second team by the coaches in 2004.  The Fort Smith, Ark. native served as team captain in 2004 and during his four years helped the Razorbacks compile a team record of 30-20 (.600), while appearing in three bowl games. Following his career at Arkansas, Jones was drafted in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars as a wide receiver. In his four-year NFL career, he earned 2,153 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns. He was inducted into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame in 2023.

Kareem Reid, Men’s Basketball

A dynamic point guard for the Razorbacks from 1995-99, Reid is Arkansas’ all-time assists leader and ranks second in SEC history with 749 career helpers. He additionally scored 1,475 points over his four-year career to rank 14th on the school’s all-time list and had 251 career steals to rank third in school history. Reid was a three-time NABC All-District selection (1997, ’98 and ’99). He led the team in assists and steals in each of his four years, including an SEC-best 183 assists in 1997. Reid led the team in scoring in 1996 (426) and was named to the SEC All-Freshman team. Reid ranks 11th in SEC history for career assists per game (5.7) and ranks eighth in career steals. Arkansas finished among the top 25 three times and Reid was named to the SEC All-Tournament team. The Hogs played in the postseason all four of his years, including an NIT Final Four appearance in 1997 and an NCAA Sweet 16 berth in 1996.

Dave Van Horn, Baseball

Dave Van Horn, the three-time SEC Coach of the Year, has elevated Arkansas into one of the nation’s premier college baseball programs ever since returning to his alma mater to take over for legendary former head baseball coach Norm DeBriyn. Completing his 22nd season as head coach in 2024, Van Horn, the second-winningest coach in Arkansas baseball history, has led the Razorbacks to seven College World Series appearances, including a runner-up finish (2018) and four top-five finishes (2009, 2012, 2018, 2022), 20 NCAA Tournament berths, three SEC overall titles, eight SEC Western Division championships, one SEC Tournament title and 883 overall wins, including 353 SEC victories. Van Horn, whose 1,468 career wins are the most among all active Division I head coaches, is one of only five head coaches in college baseball history with 300 or more SEC wins in their career. Year in and year out, Van Horn has produced nationally competitive teams and developed elite-level student-athletes on and off the field, including two Golden Spikes Award and Dick Howser Trophy winners in outfielder Andrew Benintendi (2015) and pitcher Kevin Kopps (2021), as well as numerous All-Americans, All-SEC performers and future professional baseball players. Under Van Horn’s guidance, 35 Razorbacks have earned All-America honors, 52 have garnered All-SEC recognition and 136 have heard their names called in the Major League Baseball draft.

Devon Wallace, Softball

Wallace suited up for the softball Razorbacks from 2012-15 and is the school’s career leader in slugging percentage (.671), on-base percentage (.557), runs scored (184), home runs (47), walks (235) and total bases (378). The Double Oak, Texas product places second among program leaders in batting average (.357), third in RBIs (13) and eighth in hits (201). Wallace is a three-time All-SEC Selection, four-time NFCA All-Region honoree, 2012 SEC Freshman of the Year and the 2015 SEC Co-Scholar Athlete of the Year. Her 2013 season is the most decorated in program history as she led the nation and set the single-season SEC record by earning 79 walks. Wallace’s on-base percentage of .627 was tops in the country and is the second-highest single-season mark in SEC history. She ranks second in SEC career history in on-base percentage and walks; her 235 free passes are the sixth most in Division I history. Wallace was selected with the 20th overall selection in the 2015 NPF Draft (National Pro Fastpitch) by the Pennsylvania Rebellion.

David Walling, Baseball

Walling pitched for the Razorbacks for two years under head coach Norm DeBriyn from 1998-99. Walling was electric in both seasons for Arkansas, carrying a 29.0 consecutive scoreless innings streak as a junior in 1998, the longest ever by a Razorback pitcher. The next year was even better, racking up a then-school record of 155 strikeouts in 121.1 innings, breaking his own record of 128 set the year before in 1998. Before Walling, the single-season Arkansas strikeout record was 111 by Matt Carnes in 1995. Walling holds the program’s No. 2 single-season strikeout mark and sits fourth in career punchouts with 283, a mark that ranked second when it was set. He pitched in a milestone game, fanning 16 Eastern Illinois batters to help give Coach DeBriyn his 1,000th career victory. Walling was an All-American in both 1998 and 1999, earning first and second team All-SEC honors in the two years, respectively. Walling was drafted 27th overall in the first round of the 1999 MLB Draft by the Yankees, after previously getting selected in the 13th round (Mets) in 1996 and the 27th round (Angels) in 1997.

Wendi Willits, Women’s Basketball

A four-year starter at Arkansas, Willits still holds the record for the most threes ever made in a career as a Hog (316). Playing from 1998-2001, Willits started her career on arguably the most legendary Razorback squad ever, as the 1997-98 team made the unforgettable run to the Final Four, the only such run in program history. Willits knew how to fill it up, as she is currently seventh all-time on Arkansas’ all-time scoring list, as she amassed 1,574 total points while playing on the Hill. Willits’ single-season three-point record of 104 three-pointers stood for nearly 20 years and was finally broken by Amber Ramirez in 2020. In her sophomore season, Willits ranked among the top five in the nation in both three-point percentage and production and was chosen by the Basketball Hall of Fame as its Ed Steitz Award winner, an award given annually to the top three-polnt percentage shooter in the country. Her uniform, complete with her trademark headband, was displayed for the 1999-2000 season at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts. The sharpshooter was consistent over her final three years in Fayetteville, averaging over 13 points and north of .397 percentage shooting from deep in all three of those seasons. Following her career at Arkansas, Willits joined the Los Angeles Sparks for one season helping them to the 2001 WNBA Championship.

(Last updated: 2024-06-18 10:10 AM)