FAYETTEVILLE -- Former Razorback football All-American and Denver Broncos' All-Pro safety Steve Atwater was among nine honorees inducted into the Southwest Conference Hall of Fame on Monday during a luncheon at the Brown-Lupton University Union on the TCU campus in Fort Worth, Texas.
Hosted by the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, the event honored Atwater as well as other legends from schools previously affiliated with the Southwest Conference. Each inductee received a gold medal as well as a Hall of Fame ring.
"Long before he was delivering bone-jarring tackles for the Denver Broncos, Steve Atwater was an outstanding safety for the Arkansas Razorbacks," said Arkansas Athletic Director Hunter Yurachek. "He has never forgotten his time at Arkansas and treasures the great moments he and his Razorback teammates enjoyed during his collegiate tenure.
"Steve remains a great ambassador for our University and the Razorback program. It was an honor to join Steve, his wife Letha and other members of his family for this special day as he was enshrined as one of the best to ever compete in the Southwest Conference."
Among those on hand to help celebrate Atwater's induction on Monday were Yurachek, Atwater's coach at Arkansas Ken Hatfield, longtime athletic trainer Dean Weber, former Razorback quarterback Bill Montgomery and longtime Arkansas staff member and SWC Hall of Fame Committee member Kevin Trainor. Hatfield and Montgomery are also members of the SWC Hall of Fame.
Atwater is a member of the University of Arkansas Sports Hall of Honor as well as the school's All-Century and All-Decade teams. He was named to three All-America teams as a senior in 1988. He was a three-time All-Southwest Conference performer and the St. Louis native still holds the school record of 14 career interceptions. He also recorded 229 career tackles and 28 pass deflections in his Razorback career.
The Hogs were a combined 38-11 in his four years with appearances in the Cotton, Liberty, Orange and Holiday bowls, and finished ranked 12th, 15th and 12th following his freshman, sophomore and senior seasons, respectively. He had 70 tackles, nine passes broken up and four interceptions in 1988, helping Arkansas to a 10-2 record, a Cotton Bowl appearance and the Southwest Conference championship.
Atwater was the 20th pick in the first round of the NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos in 1989. He played 11 years in the NFL, finishing with 818 tackles and 24 interceptions, and helping the Broncos win Super Bowl titles in 1997 and 1998. He was selected to the Pro Bowl eight times, second most in franchise history and started all 155 games he was with Denver with 14 postseason starts, including Super Bowl XXXII where he posted one of the best performances ever by a safety in a Super Bowl. He ended his career with the New York Jets.
The 2018 class also included Tommy Bowman, All-SWC Baylor basketball player; Larry Micheaux, All-American basketball player for Houston; Victor Lopez, former women's track and field coach at Rice; Denny Holman, SMU basketball standout; Brooks Kieschnick, All-American baseball player at Texas; Curtis Dickey, football and track legend at Texas A&M; Kurt Thomas, TCU basketball star; and Joe Barnes, All-SWC quarterback at Texas Tech.Sports on 09/12/2018
Print Headline: Atwater inducted into SWC Hall of Fame