Norfolk State Announces 2023 Hall of Fame Class

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NORFOLK, Va. – The Norfolk State Department of Intercollegiate Athletics announced its 2023 Hall of Fame induction class on Saturday. The first class since 2019 features seven outstanding individuals and – for the first time ever – three teams.

Terry Bradshaw (baseball), Ron Dillard (baseball), Ray Jarvis (football), Terrell Whitehead (football), Ann Theus (women’s basketball), and the late Ursel Bruton (softball) and James Grant (men’s basketball) make up the seven members of the 2023 class. The 1974-76 championship-winning football teams also received the recognition, the first time teams could be nominated for the prestigious honor.

Terry Bradshaw’s historic baseball career started at Norfolk State University, where he developed a penchant for dominating the basepaths. The talented outfielder holds the NSU record for runs scored in a season (62 in 1990), while also ranking fifth in career stolen bases and ninth in career walks. Bradshaw went on to play two years of professional baseball for the St. Louis Cardinals, later serving as the Kansas City Royals’ hitting coach.

Ron Dillard brought a combination of speed and power to the diamond at Norfolk State, finishing his career with a .624 slugging percentage (fifth in program history). He baffled opposing defenses with 13 triples across his career, leading the 1980 Spartans to a 25-11 overall record, going 8-0 in the CIAA.

Ray Jarvis established himself as one of the best deep threats in the country as an NSU wide receiver from 1967-70. While ranking fourth in program history with 2,211 career receiving yards, Jarvis holds the single-season record for yards per reception (30.8 in 1970). He was drafted in the fifth round of the 1971 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons, enjoying a nine-year career at the highest level.

Terrell Whitehead spent his years at Norfolk State shutting down opposing receivers, on the other hand. The disciplined free safety spent more time with the ball in his hands than most defenders, picking off 18 passes over the course of his career (fourth-most in NSU history) from 2006-09, amassing 336 interception return yards (second-most). Whitehead earned All-America honors from multiple publications while at Norfolk State, and more recently was named to the MEAC’s 50th anniversary all-time football team.

Ann Theus is one of just five players in Norfolk State women’s basketball history to have their jersey displayed in the rafters, a fitting honor for her decorated career. Representing NSU from 1982-86, Theus earned All-American honors twice, finishing fourth on the Spartans’ all-time scoring list. During her four years with the program, the Spartans amassed a 77-30 overall record with a 51-18 conference mark, winning two CIAA championships (1983, 1986).

Ursel Bruton made her mark on every NSU softball game she appeared in, leaving a lasting legacy on the program. The Spartans’ career leader in total bases (316), Bruton also holds the career record for batting average (.485), slugging percentage (1.029), and triples (21). An exceptional outfielder, she used that speed on the basepaths to steal 52 bases in 1987, the program’s single-season record. Bruton dominated from start to finish, earning All-CIAA recognitions every year from 1984-87.

James “Hook Shot” Grant could score the basketball from anywhere on the court, racking up 1’977 career points (fifth-most in NSU history) from 1964-68.  He was named CIAA Tournament MVP in 1965 after leading the Spartans to their first conference championship, earning All-CIAA honors in 1966 and 1967. In addition to his scoring prowess, Grant’s career totals rank among NSU’s all time-bests in field goals made (fifth – 852), rebounds (13th – 851), free throw percentage (13th – .778), and field goal percentage (20th — .526).

The 1974-76 Norfolk State football teams represented one of the most dominant eras of any NSU athletics program. The Spartans three-peated as CIAA champions during that stretch, earning a combined 24-10 record with a 22-2 mark in conference play. Coached by the legendary Dick Price, seven players from the teams earned All-CIAA recognitions, with Moses Trotter (1974) and James Flowers (1976) receiving All-America accolades.

The 2023 class’s induction will take place on Feb. 17

About Willie Alex Hines 5322 Articles
A lifelong sports fan and follower of HBCUs, Willie Alexander Hines is an expert on any sport with tremendous recall of history and newsmakers.