close
close
Meet the star-studded class of 2024 of the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame
Meet the star-studded class of 2024 of the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame

Detroit – The Michigan Sports Hall of Fame’s class of 2024 has a distinctly Michigan flair.

Like the University of Michigan.

Former star quarterback and head coach Jim Harbaugh, who led the Wolverines to the 2023 national championship before leaving the team to return to coaching in the NFL, is one of the headliners of the class announced Friday night. He will be joined by legendary Michigan receiver Braylon Edwards, linebacker Larry Foote and offensive tackle Jake Long, who are among the 11 future inductees.

Former Tigers stars Cecil Fielder and Pudge Rodriguez are also part of the Class of 2024, which was voted on by current and former members of the sports media, sports industry executives and personalities, and thousands of Michigan and Detroit sports fans.

This class is the 70th in the history of the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame.

“We have a fitting class for the Hall of Fame’s 70th anniversary,” said Scott Lesher, chairman of the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame. “It is filled with stars and leaders who have created memories that will last for generations.”

Jordan Field, president of the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame, said, “We appreciate the role of the public and volunteers who have agreed to help make this anniversary course a memorable one.”

The induction ceremony will be held on Thursday, October 17, 2024, in the Sound Board Theater at the MotorCity Casino Hotel. Tickets start at $25 and can be purchased at mshof.org.

In addition to the 11 inductees, the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame will honor the late basketball star Earl “The Twirl” Cureton with the Michigan Treasure award. Cureton was a star at Detroit Finney High School and later at the then-University of Detroit before embarking on a long career in the NBA, including three seasons with the Pistons. He was a longtime fixture in Detroit, serving as an ambassador for the Pistons and the city of Detroit, as well as the voice of the Detroit Mercy Titans basketball team. Cureton died in February at the age of 66.

Graduating class of 2024

EXPERT

Tony Esposito, ice hockey: A standout goaltender at Michigan Tech, he was a three-time first-team All-American and won a national championship. He then played 17 seasons in the NHL and won three Vezina Trophies. He died in 2021 at the age of 78.

Cecil Fielder, Baseball: A hard-hitting first baseman who made the All-Star team three times in seven seasons with the Tigers in the 1990s, he captivated the baseball universe in 1990 when he hit 51 home runs, back when 51 home runs were still a big deal. In 1990 and 1991, the 60-year-old fielder led the MLB in home runs and RBIs.

Larry Foote, football: A star linebacker at Detroit Pershing and later at the University of Michigan, where he was selected to the first-team All-American, he played 13 seasons in the NFL, including with the Lions in 2009. Foote, 44, won two Super Bowls with the Pittsburgh Steelers, including Super Bowl XL in Detroit.

Pudge Rodriguez, baseball: The Baseball Hall of Fame catcher changed the fortunes of the Tigers franchise when he signed before the 2004 season and helped lead them to the 2006 World Series. Rodriguez, 52, was a four-time All-Star with Detroit and won the Gold Gloves three times.

AMATEUR

Braylon Edwards, soccer: After his time at Bishop Gallagher High, he was a star at Michigan, where he was named the best receiver in college football in 2004 and a unanimous All-American. He is the only Big Ten player ever to record 1,000 yards as a receiver in three consecutive seasons. Edwards, 41, played eight seasons in the NFL.

Jake Long, football: A legend at Lapeer East High, where he was a standout in football and basketball, and at Michigan, the offensive tackle was twice named first-team All-American and Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year. Long, 39, was selected No. 1 overall by the Miami Dolphins in the 2008 NFL Draft.

Deanna Nolan, basketball: A Flint native, she led Flint Northern High to two consecutive state titles and was named Miss Basketball in 1995. Nolan, 44, was selected in the first round of the WNBA by the Detroit Shock in 2001 and won three WNBA championships.

Shawn Respert, Basketball: He played at Redford Bishop Borgess High before transferring to Michigan State, where he was a star point guard and remains the Spartans’ all-time leading scorer. In his senior year, the 52-year-old Respert was unanimously selected as an All-American and Big Ten Player of the Year. He played four seasons in the NBA.

TRAINER

Jim Harbaugh, football: As Michigan’s starting quarterback in the early 1980s, he had a long NFL career as a player before turning to coaching. Harbaugh, 60, left the NFL in 2015 to coach Michigan, compiling an 86-25 record, including three consecutive Big Ten titles (2021-23) and the 2023 national title, before returning to the NFL.

MEDIA

Don Shane: Shane served as sports director at WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) for 23 years and won 23 Emmys for coverage of all Detroit sporting events before retiring in 2012. Earlier in his career, he worked at WDIV-TV (Channel 4). Shane died in February 2023 at the age of 70.

CONTRIBUTORS

Ken Holland, ice hockey: He was an executive with the Red Wings for 36 years, the last 22 of which were as general manager. He won the Stanley Cup four times with Detroit: in 1997, 1998, 2002 and 2008. Today, 68-year-old Holland is president and general manager of the Edmonton Oilers.

Editor’s note: Tony Paul is co-chair of the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame Election Task Force.

[email protected]

@tonypaul1984

By Isla