The Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame executive committee have announced the Class of 2015. This impressive class includes Kurt Busch, Glenn Carano, Ric Griffith, Joe Kelly and Mike Tyson (Photo: © Scott Harrison).
Including this induction class, the Hall of Fame now consists of 89 members.
“The class of 2015 represents a diverse group of individuals who have accomplished great things in our community,” said Hall of Fame Executive Director Dan Dolby. “Through their accomplishments in their sport of choice, they all have made major contributions and left an indelible mark on the Las Vegas area. We are thrilled to bestow upon them the state’s highest sports honor in welcoming them to the Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame.”
Busch’s racing career began in his hometown of Las Vegas. The second-generation driver got his start the way most youngsters do – tagging along with his father, Tom, to race tracks dotted among the Mountain and Pacific time zones. At just 22, Busch entered the 2001 Sprint Cup season as a rookie competing with the best drivers in the world. In 2004, NASCAR introduced the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, where after the season’s first 26 races, the top-10 drivers in points competed in a 10-race dash to the championship. He would go on to claim the championship, edging Jimmie Johnson by eight points. Throughout his illustrious career, Busch is a 24-time race victor in NASCAR’s elite division and ranks 28th on the series’ all-time win list.
After a distinguished career at UNLV, Carano was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys and served as back-up quarterback to both Roger Staubach and Danny White. Following his playing career in 1985, he turned his attention to the family business at the Eldorado Hotel/Casino. He currently serves as the general manager of the Silver Legacy Resort Casino in Reno, Nev. He also is an active leader in the gaming and tourism industry, serving as a board member of the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority. He has also served as a board member with the Airport Authority in Reno and as Commissioner of the Nevada Athletic Commission.
A native of London, Ontario in Canada, Ric Griffith came to Las Vegas in 1962. He later became a U.S. citizen because of his love for this nation. After graduating from Western High School in Las Vegas, Griffith enjoyed success in the sport of rodeo at a young age and continued competing for many years. He started out in the Little Britches Rodeo Association, Western Junior Rodeo association and Las Vegas High School Rodeo Association. Griffith has also made his mark in Las Vegas and in the rodeo world as the coach of the UNLV Rodeo Team. Since 1993, his teams and individuals rodeo athletes have won 15 national titles. His teams have also won 26 Regional Team Titles, the most recent being the 2013 West Coast Women’s Champions and Men’s Reserves.
Kelly has dedicated his professional career to producing an exceptional golf experience for local players and tourists. As a philanthropist, he has been instrumental in the promotion of junior golf and providing opportunities for youth in Southern Nevada. Kelly arrived in Las Vegas in 1977, serving as the assistant golf professional at the Desert Inn Hotel and Country Club. He served as host golf professional for the inaugural Panasonic Las Vegas Invitational in 1983 and went on to serve as host professional for six PGA TOUR events and two LPGA TOUR stops in Las Vegas. In addition to his experience as a professional and host, Kelly has been involved in the construction and opening of six local courses, including Desert Pines, Royal Links, Bali Hai and three courses at Sunrise Country Club.
With nicknames such as “Iron” Mike, Kid Dynamite, and The Baddest Man on the Planet, it’s no surprise that Tyson’s legacy is the stuff of a legend. Tyson was one of the most feared boxers in the ring, and one look at his resume proves he is one of boxing’s greats. Aside from having been the undisputed heavyweight champion, Tyson holds the record as the youngest boxer to win the WBC, WBA and IBF world heavyweight titles. He was the first heavyweight boxer to hold the WBA, WBC and IBF titles simultaneously. He has also appeared in blockbuster movies and documentaries. Beyond film and television, the world of theater has also welcomed Tyson with open arms and monumental success: Over the past two years, he has been touring nationally and internationally with his critically acclaimed Broadway one-man show “Mike Tyson: UNDISPUTED TRUTH,” which also aired as an HBO special.
The five inductees will be honored Friday, June 19 at the Orleans Arena. For ticket information and additional details about the induction ceremony, please call 702-522-7380. Updates are also available on Facebook (Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame) and Twitter (@SNSHF).
The Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization committed to recognizing the outstanding achievements by Southern Nevada athletes, both in the world of sports and the local community.
Proceeds from the event will be donated to organizations committed to the support and enhancement of Southern Nevada youth through active participation in programs designed to promote leadership, values and character through sports.