Eight athletes, coaches inducted into Florida Sports Hall of Fame

Former Jaguars head coach Tom Coughlin, Jacksonville native Leroy Butler among inductees

2023 Florida Sports Hall of Fame induction at Florida Theatre (WJXT)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Some of the best athletes and coaches in Florida sports history were inducted into the Florida Sports Hall of Fame Wednesday at the Florida Theatre.

“When you think about it, it all goes back to those first few years with the Jaguars,” former Jaguars head coach Tom Coughlin said.

The Class of 2023 includes:

  • Leroy Butler, football
  • Vince Carter, basketball
  • Greg Coleman, football
  • Tom Coughlin, football coach
  • Ashlyn Harris, soccer
  • Jeff Johnson, baseball coach
  • Elaine Larsen, jet car driver
  • Shannon Miller, gymnastics

“It’s unreal,” former NBA player Vince Carter said. “To talk about it being from Florida. You have all these other aspirations, being the best player you can possibly be. Then an opportunity like this comes around and it’s just an amazing feeling.”

The eight new hall of fame members have left their marks as some of the best in their respective sports. Now their careers will be remembered forever. The hall of fame induction is one of many honors each of the eight inductees have been awarded with in their careers. Being recognized in their home state for their athletic achievements is a full circle moment.

“When I heard it was in Jacksonville, Duval County, and I got a chance to see my brother Tony Boselli, I mean it was a perfect evening,” said Butler, a former star at Lee High, then Florida State before going on to shine in Green Bay.

Butler, along with Boselli, were enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame together last year. Another local product, Raines High graduate Greg Coleman, was also an inductee on Wednesday night.

Board chairman and president Rick Hatcher says the Florida Sports Hall of Fame started compiling the class of 2023 two years ago. The requirements are that athletes or coaches have to have a tie to the state.

“You take a look and everybody knows what sports means to the state of Florida,” Hatcher said.

The Florida Sports Hall of Fame rotates to different cities around the state each year. Next year, the Class of 2024 will be celebrated and enshrined in Orlando.

About the Author:

Alessandra Pontbriand joined WJXT4 as a sports anchor and reporter in May 2023. She is excited to join the extremely talented sports team and have the opportunity to tell stories across Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia from local high schools, universities, and pro teams!