Arizona Cardinals owner Bill Bidwill, former Arizona Coyotes star Shane Doan, sports journalist Paola Boivin, Arizona State University wrestler Anthony Robles and Grand Canyon University basketball coach and former Phoenix Suns star Dan Majerle have been elected to the 2017 Arizona Sports Hall of Fame class, the Arizona Sports and Entertainment Commission (ASEC) has announced.
The Arizona Sports Hall of Fame honors athletes, coaches, administrators and others who have made significant contributions to Arizona sports. This year’s class will be honored during the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Wednesday, November 1 at the Scottsdale Plaza Resort.
“We congratulate each new Arizona Sports Hall of Fame member,” ASEC Executive Director Nikki Balich-Cammarata said. “This class reflects Arizona’s great diversity – and each of them has played a role in our state’s memorable sports history.”
To be eligible for the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame, an individual must meet one of three criteria:
A native of Arizona;
Immediately recognized as an Arizonan;
Have made at least two significant contributions to the athletics community in Arizona.
Bidwill’s lifelong association with the Cardinals began as a ball boy when the team resided on Chicago’s South Side. A graduate of Georgetown University and a U.S. Navy veteran, the Cardinals owner is now in his eighth different decade with the oldest continuously operated pro football franchise. Over the last 10 years, he has seen the organization reach unprecedented heights including three division titles as well as a conference championship and the team’s first Super Bowl appearance. Long noted for his philanthropy, Bidwill has quietly but consistently impacted Arizona by supporting numerous local charities since the team’s arrival in the desert in 1988.
Doan spent 21 years with the Arizona Coyotes, retiring after the 2016-17 season with 402 goals and 972 points, both franchise records. The native of Halkirk, Alberta, accompanied the Winnipeg Jets when the club moved to the desert in 1996 and was named captain in 2003. Doan is widely regarded as the face of Arizona hockey.
Boivin spent more than 20 years at The Arizona Republic, winning numerous awards for sports columns that gave voice to sports’ long shots and underdogs. Boivin, a University of Illinois graduate, now teaches in Arizona State’s Cronkite School and helps guide its growing sports journalism programs. She is the first woman journalist inducted into the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame.
Robles, who was born with one leg, is one of America’s most inspirational sports figures. An Arizona state champion wrestler at Mesa High School, Robles went on to become a star at Arizona State University, capturing the 2011 NCAA championship at 125 pounds. Robles compiled a 122-23 record at ASU, where he was a three-time Pac-10 wrestling champion and three-time All-American. Robles is a motivational speaker and the author of Unstoppable: From Underdog to Undefeated: How I Became a Champion.
A Valley fan favorite known as “Thunder Dan,” Majerle spent 14 years in the NBA, primarily with the Phoenix Suns. Majerle was a shooting guard and played an instrumental role in the Suns’ run to the 1993 NBA Finals, leading the league in 3-point baskets. The Suns retired Majerle’s No. 9 jersey and inducted him into their Ring of Honor in 2003. A native of Traverse City, Mich., Majerle starred at Central Michigan University and was selected by Phoenix in the first round of the 1988 NBA draft. In 2013, Majerle was named GCU’s head men’s basketball coach as the program began its first season in the NCAA’s Division I.
The Arizona Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony will kick off at 5 p.m. on November 1 with inductees meeting the media on the Pepsi Red Carpet Run. The Paramount Promotions Pre-Party, with registration, cocktails and a raffle, begins at 5:30 p.m.
“This ceremony will serve as a fitting tribute to these icons who have contributed so much to Arizona sports,” said Bradley Wright, who is co-chairing the event with Micah Kinsler. “We are grateful to the Arizona Diamondbacks, PepsiCo and Paramount Productions for their strong support of the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame.”
For more information on the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame, or to purchase tickets to the induction ceremony, please visit www.azsportshof.com.