Thurl Bailey, Luther Elliss, Noelle Pikus-Pace top Utah HOF class
The Utah Sports Hall of Fame Foundation's Class of 2014 includes a Utah Jazz star, an NFL first-round draft choice, two Olympians and a Champions Senior Tour three-time winner.
Thurl Bailey, Luther Elliss, Noelle Pikus-Pace, Bruce Summerhays and Logan Tom will be inducted Oct. 7 during a dinner and ceremony at the Little America Hotel.
• Bailey played parts of nine seasons for the Jazz, helping the formerly downtrodden franchise become a perennial playoff team, beginning with his rookie season of 1983-84, for which he was named to the NBA All-Rookie Team. He became known for his durability, appearing in 80 or more games in every full season he spent with the Jazz. Bailey averaged 23.2 points during the 1988 playoffs, when the Jazz beat Portland in the first round and then took the Los Angeles Lakers to seven games in a memorable series.
• Elliss was instrumental in the growth of the University of Utah's football program as a defensive linemen for coach Ron McBride's teams from 1991-94. In the 1995 NFL draft, he was Utah's first player in 24 years to be selected in the first round. Elliss played in 129 games over eight seasons for the Detroit Lions, recording 27 sacks, and finished his career with the Denver Broncos in 2004. He was selected for two Pro Bowls.
• Pikus-Pace became one of the biggest stories of the 2014 Olympics, earning a silver medal in the women's skeleton competition in Russia. An injury had kept the former Utah Valley University track and field athlete from competing in the 2006 Games and she finished fourth in 2010. She came out of retirement to qualify for the 2014 Olympics, setting the stage for her emotional, medal-winning performance at Sochi in February.
• Summerhays overcame tremendous odds to make the Champions Senior Tour in 1995 as a former club professional and enjoyed a long, consistent career. He earned more than $9 million and won three tournament titles, while becoming one of the tour's oldest winners in 2004 when he took the Kroger Classic at age 60. A product of Highland High School and the University of Utah, Summerhays completed his collection of home-state victories in 2008, claiming the Utah Open.
• Tom, also from Highland High, is a four-time Olympic volleyball player as an outside hitter, with her first appearance coming in 2000 during her Stanford University career. Her U.S. Olympic teams earned silver medals in 2008 in Beijing and 2012 in London. At Highland, Tom was named the Gatorade National Player of the Year in 1999, becoming the first winner from Utah in any sport.
If you go
Tickets for the Utah Sports Hall of Fame banquet on Oct. 7 are $75. Send checks to the USHOFF, 3434 Bengal Blvd., No. 106, SLC, Utah, 84121. Contact Chuck Schell (801) 262-9095 or Joel Gardner (801) 225-9162 for more information.