In fact, it was such a success there will be changes made for the Second Annual Induction Ceremony.
“This year we did dinner first, and then the announcement,” said Scott Layne, Assistant Superintendent for Support Services. “I think next time we’ll have a dinner banquet that includes the ceremony and probably we’ll sell tickets.”
The idea for a Hall of Fame originally was the brainstorm of Irving ISD Superintendent Dr. Dana Bedden, who toured the Stadium and Field House during his initial survey of IISD facilities – and spotted an opportunity in a long hallway. Could pictures and plaques honoring Irving’s athletic notables fill that space?
It fell to Joe Barnett, Athletic Director, and to Layne to actually bring the idea to reality.
“We established a process,” said Layne. “Each [IISD] Board Member selected a person to serve on the Hall of Fame Committee. The committee would review the applicants and make the selection.
“I believe it was a little slow this first year. We had 16 nominations, and we selected eight of them. We keep those nominations on file for the next year if the person hasn’t been inducted already.”
Layne explained that nominations are solicited year-round, and March 30 was the deadline for submitting a nominee to be considered with the first year’s group. The committee then made their selections during April and May, with the candidates receiving confirmation June 1.
“What’s really unique,” he added,” is the good mix of selections – all three high schools, including athletes, administrators and community members. I think the community really liked that.
“We had terrific response from the nominees. Even someone like Alan Lowry, a graduate of Irving High, who is now working for the Tennessee Titans. We though, gosh, he won’t come back, but he did, and he brought his whole family.”
Future ceremonies will see the addition of perhaps three or four new honorees each year.
The Hall of Fame Committee itself will be undergoing some changes, since their terms were set up on a staggered basis with a few members cycling off after the first year.
“Also, we may try to make our selections a little earlier next time,” said Layne. “This year our honorees only had about two weeks to confirm and arrange travel if necessary.”
In all, the event is receiving almost universal praise.
“It’s a nod to tradition,” Layne said. “To letting people know we recognize and remember their contributions.”
He also hinted that Jeremy Earnhart of the IISD Fine Arts Department has already begun looking into starting a Hall of Fame for the Fine Arts.