Lots of good things come out of Arkansas, and athletes are no exception. We’ve had all kinds of excellent competitors who call or called this great state their home. The Sports Illustrated website, in fact, has a list that’s part of their 20th Century Top 50, and it’s the top 50 20th-century athletes from Arkansas. Here are some of them.
Bear Bryant, Fordyce, Arkansas. He got the Alabama Crimson Tide six national college football titles. He coached for 38 years and had 323 total wins. He coached in four states, none of them Arkansas.
Sonny Liston, St. Francis, Arkansas. Sonny was a great heavyweight boxer who won 50 out of 54 fights.
Scottie Pippen, Hamburg, Arkansas. One of the most talented players ever in the NBA. He played for the Chicago Bulls and was overshadowed by an even greater player, who isn’t from Arkansas.
Bettye Fiscus, Wynne, Arkansas. Bettye was the first women’s basketball star for the Arkansas Razorbacks and set a then record with 2,073 points between 1981 and 1985. That was more than any male player at that time, as well.
Brooks Robinson, Little Rock, Arkansas. As a baseball player for the Baltimore Orioles, Brooks won 16 Gold Gloves, and he was the league’s MVP in 1964, and he was the 1970 World Series MVP.
Barry Switzer, Crosset, Arkansas. Most people remember Barry as the coach of the Dallas Cowboys. There his record was 45-26 with one Super Bowl win. But he also won three national titles at Oklahoma.
Jerry Jones, North Little Rock, Arkansas. Here’s the man who owns the Dallas Cowboys. Before that, in 1964, he was a guard and co-captain for Arkansas’ National Championship team. He has won three Super Bowls with the Cowboys.
Willie Davis, Texarkana, Arkansas. Willie played defensive line for the Green Bay Packers and never missed a game in 12 years. He was an All-Pro five times.
Mark Martin, Batesville, Arkansas. Most people around here know Mark. He had 31 races in 17 NASCAR seasons and won $21.5 million. He finished second in points in 1998.
Amber Nicholas, Newark, Arkansas. Amber was a point guard at Arkansas from 1987 to 1992. She set school records for 87 consecutive starts and 538 assists.
So there are some of the greatest athletes ever from Arkansas. I’d say, when you get down to it, no other state can say they’ve produced more and greater.
Go Arkansas! Let’s support our current state athletes and keep adding to this list!