Seven Former Standout High School Athletes Headline 2021 Class of National High School Hall of Fame
Seven former high school athletes highlight the 2021 class of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) National High School Hall of Fame, including three who went on to earn gold medals in the Olympics and four others who excelled in professional football, basketball and baseball.
Joining the seven former athletes in this year’s class are three successful high school coaches, one former state association administrator and one speech and debate coach in the performing arts area.
These 12 individuals were selected in March, 2020 and were scheduled to be inducted last year; however, the 2020 in-person NFHS Summer Meeting was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, these 12 honorees will be inducted July 1 at the 38th induction ceremony of the National High School Hall of Fame, which will be held at the NFHS Summer Meeting in Orlando, FL.
The four high school athletes who went on to professional stardom are Matt Holliday of Oklahoma, Alex English of South Carolina, Dave Logan of Colorado and Tim Couch of Kentucky,. Other athletes in the class are three female stars who landed Olympic gold in the Olympics: Karyn Bye of Wisconsin, Maicel Malone of Indiana and Michele Smith of New Jersey.
- Holliday was a three-sport player – and two-sport star – at Stillwater (Oklahoma) High School in the late 1990s. As a quarterback in football for three years, Holliday passed for 68 touchdowns. He was a four-year starter in baseball and hit .443 as a senior with 12 home runs. He played with four teams during his 20-year professional baseball career, which ended in 2018 with the Colorado Rockies. Holliday was second in the MVP voting with the Rockies in 2007 and won a World Series in 2011 with the St. Louis Cardinals.
- English is perhaps the greatest basketball player in South Carolina history. He was a three-time all-state selection and Player of the Year at Dreher High School in Columbia, and he was the leading scorer in University of South Carolina history. English played 16 years in the National Basketball Association, including 10 years with the Denver Nuggets when he scored 2000 points in eight consecutive seasons.
- Logan was a three-sport standout (football, basketball and baseball) at Wheat Ridge (Colorado) High School in the early 1970s and was drafted by teams in all three professional sports. He was a two-sport star at the University of Colorado and then was a wide receiver with the Cleveland Browns (eight years) and Denver Broncos (one year). In his second career also worthy of Hall of Fame notice, Logan has coached four different Denver-area schools to nine state high school football championships during the past 27 years.
- Couch had a record-setting football career as a quarterback at Leslie County High School in Hyden, Kentucky, in the mid-1990s. Couch set three national career passing records – 872 completions, 12,104 yards and 133 touchdowns. He was named National Player of the Year as a senior. Couch also excelled in basketball, leading the state in scoring as a senior with 37 points per game. He had a stellar career at the University of Kentucky and played five years with the Cleveland Browns.
- Bye was a three-sport star at River Falls (Wisconsin) High School in the late 1980s and was a trailblazer for girls in the sport of ice hockey in the state. She was team captain and three-time all-conference while playing on the River Falls boys hockey team. She also played tennis and softball. She later excelled in ice hockey at the University of New Hampshire and played on the 1998 Olympic women’s ice hockey team that won a gold medal.
- Malone was a track and field star at North Central High School in Indianapolis, Indiana, from 1984 to 1987. She won 11 of a possible 12 state titles in the three sprints (100, 200, 400) during her four years at North Central. She set state records in all three events and helped North Central to two state championships. She later won a gold medal in the 1996 Olympics as a part of the 400-meter relay team.
- Smith was a three-sport athlete at Voorhees High School in Glen Gardner, NJ. She participated in field hockey, basketball and softball, which became her top sport. Smith had a 51-6 record with 11 no-hitters as a pitcher and helped her team to the state title as a junior. She had an outstanding career at Oklahoma State University with an 82-20 record and was the starting pitcher for the U.S. Olympic teams that won gold medals in 1996 and 2000.
- Three outstanding high school coaches are a part of this year’s class, including Rickey Baker, who led Hopi High School in Keams Canyon, AZ, to a national-record 27 consecutive state cross country championships from 1990 to 2017. Another coach in this year’s class is Charles Berry, who retired in 2018 after a 57-year career as a girls and boys basketball coach in Arkansas. With most of his years at Huntsville High School, Berry won 1377 games as a boys and girls basketball coach. The final coach in the class is Terry Michler, the winningest boys soccer coach in history from Christian Brothers College High School in St. Louis, MO. Michler has won 1,004 games and nine state championships during his 48-year career.
- Completing the 2021 class are Bill Farney, who served on the administrative staff of the Texas University Interscholastic League for 32 years, including 14 years as executive director, and Robert Littlefield, one of the top speech and debate educators in North Dakota and nationally for 45 years.