Prior to the banquet I caught up with Former Golf Medal winner Dean Smith about going into the hall of fame.
"Well you know, I'm a west Texas boy," he said. "I went to school in Graham, a few miles from Stephens County. There was, a little bit of doubt of whether I should be in this, but I think they finally let me and Bob Lilly in, and I am really excited because I am a true west Texas boy. And I am Honored to be here, with so many of my other former teammates and athletes, that I have known in my lifetime."
Having spent some time in the NFL, and won a Gold Medal on the worlds biggest stage, Smith gave some advice to the athletes of the big country who are trying to make it big.
"If the Lord will give you a little ability, go for it, and work hard" he said. "It's a very important time in your life and you'll want to make good use of it, and that's just exactly what I did."
Smith said he is very honored to be in the company of the Big Country's best.
"It means an awful lot," he said. "You know, I'm 80 years old now, I'm not the 17 or 18 year old state champion like I once was. To meet all these men, who have gone through things like I have, it means a lot to us because, that's part of our life and it's our youth. And now that our Youth has kind of been spent, It's so nice to get a pat on the back and for them to brag on you a little bit."
Here are the rest of Monday night's inductees:
Former Cooper Baseball Coach Andy Malone,
Hawley's Bruce Land,
John Paul Cane,
Abilene Golfer Judy Casey,
Former Cooper Football Coach Ray Overton,
Breckenridge's Joe Crousen,
Kelly Kent is inducted posthumously,
And Ken and John Ford will be given the legacy award.