Membership in one of our state’s more exclusive clubs will grow by seven on Sunday evening.
The New Mexico Sports Hall of Fame’s class of 2017, announced in December, will be officially inducted at the at the organization’s annual banquet at Albuquerque Convention Center.
Ticket sales are closed.
The new members are:
- Pam Allen, who has coached high school volleyball and track in six New Mexico communities.
- Rick Galles, a former Highland High School and New Mexico Military Institute athlete whose Galles Auto Racing team won an Indianapolis 500 and a Championship Auto Racing Teams championship.
- Roy Gerela, a New Mexico State placekicker who won three Super Bowl rings with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
- Dr. Ron Maestas, an age-group racquetball champion who coached the New Mexico Highlands University cross-country team to national prominence.
- Dr. Anthony Sandoval, a state cross-country and track champion at Los Alamos High School and Stanford University All-American who won the 1980 U.S. Olympic Marathon trials — only to be deprived of his trip to Moscow by President Jimmy Carter’s Olympic boycott.
- The late Johnny Tapia, a five-time world boxing champion and two-time Golden Gloves amateur champ who last year was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
- John Wooten, a Carlsbad football and basketball star who went on to an All-America football career at Colorado and a nine-year NFL career with the Cleveland Browns and Washington Redskins.
The organization began life as the Albuquerque Sports Hall of Fame in 1973. The first inductees were UNM coach and athletic director Roy Johnson, race-car driver Bobby Unser and APS coach and athletic director F.M. “Tony” Wilson.
In 2005, as the Albuquerque/New Mexico Sports Hall of Fame, it began recognizing candidates from all parts of the state. Since 2012, it has been the New Mexico Sports Hall of Fame
With the current induction class, the Hall of Fame comprises 145 individual members, one team (the 1934 UNM football Lobos) and one family (the Henrys, the first family of New Mexico track and field).