Howard Cross, Doug Ross, 12 Others Made New HOF Members

From WAFF 48 Sports

Big night for the Huntsville-Madison County Athletic Hall-of-Fame. Fourteen new members were inducted Monday night at a special ceremony.

Among the fourteen was former UAH Hockey Head Coach Doug Ross, current Grissom wrestling coach Joe Dasaro, and NFL star Howard Cross.

Vaughn Stewart, a noted local caricature artist, originated the idea for the HOF in 1989.

Cross, who made his name with the New York Giants and prepped at New Hope High School, was honored to come back and be a part of a very special night.

Born in Huntsville, Cross played his college ball at Alabama under Ray Perkins and Bill Curry.

Doug Ross, a native of Dearborn, Michigan, guided the UAH Chargers' hockey team from its club level stages to a surprise NCAA Tournament thriller against Notre Dame in his final game in 2007. Under Ross, the Chargers won two NCAA Division II championships in 1996 and 1998.

Also inducted Monday night:

  • Tony Baker, who excelled in basketball for the New Hope Indians, averaging 21 rebounds per game as a senior, and football, as well.
  • Keith Henderson, a football star at Butler in 1985, and later part of the Jacksonville State football team that went 13-0-1 and played in the Division II Championship.
  • Kenny McKinney, an All-State quarterback at Hazel Green from 1970-72, who also excelled at baseball and was a 1st round draft pick by the Chicago Cubs in 1973.
  • Jane Reynolds, winner of four straight Women's Alabama State Amateur State Championships and current LPGA member
  • Jerry Taylor, football, basketball, and baseball coach at Monrovia from 1973-1980, who twice led his teams to county championships in basketball
  • Gregg Lowery, who excelled as a punter for Grissom's All-City football teams in 1977 and 1978. He later led the nation as a punter for Jacksonville State with a 43.8-yard average.
  • Chris O'Neil, who made his mark in swimming, winning the gold medal in the Junior National Championships in the 100m butterfly, and later winning world-wide recognition at Texas A&M where he was part of the national swim team that won five gold medals
  • Michael Wilbourn, a two-sport star at Lee High School, later lettering at Vanderbilt, where he played in the 1984 Peach Bowl
  • Joseph Dasaro, Grissom's wrestling coach for 27 years, where he won 7 state titles and was runner-up five times
  • Robert Malone, an All-Tennessee Valley Conference football player with Athens High School and later coach at Davis Hills Middle School, where he led his teams to nine middle school football championships and four straight middle school basketball championships, where he amassed a record of 77-4 from 1998-2001.
  • Paul Putman, the first Butler High grad to sign with the University of Alabama, where he was a starting end. He also averaged 20 ppg as a basketball player at Butler
  • Jeff Smith, Huntsville High football quarterback, where he was city MVP in 1968 and 1969. He also played safety and punter. He signed with Georgia Tech and played in the Liberty Bowl in 1972 vs. USC.