A SHORT HISTORY OF THE UTAH SPORTS HALL OF FAME FOUNDATION
The Utah Sports Hall of Fame Foundation (USHOFF) was organized in 1967 as “The Old Time Athletes Association.” The goal then, as well as it is today, is to celebrate and preserve Utah’s storied sports heritage. In 1970, the Charter Class of 18 honorees was inducted into the Hall of Fame. Since then, a select number of administrators, coaches, players and prominent contributors to athletics in Utah have been inducted annually into the Hall of Fame. A beautifully-crafted plaque of recognition honoring each inductee is displayed in special Display Cases in the northeast corner of the Main Concourse of the Vivint Home Arena. In 1997, the organization officially changed its name to the current USHOFF.
In 1972, the USHOFF began honoring others who have made substantial contributions to the Utah sports community. The foundation started hosting annual and biannual recognition banquets for the following:
1. Distinguished Utah High School Head Coaches;
2. Utah “Coaches of Merit” (Head coaches who have coached many years in college and/or high school);
3. Outstanding Game Officials in all sports from high school and college;
4. Utahns who had compiled an impressive and substantial history of “Distinguished Service” to sports and their communities; and
5. Utah high school seniors with superior academic and athletic achievements that warranted College Scholarships courtesy of Paul and Ruby Ream and their private Foundation.
In 2006, the need for a more comprehensive funding program was established. Goals were set as follows:
1. To establish a private Foundation that qualified as a Tax-Exempt entity under Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code;
2. To plan and implement a fundraising effort to solicit donations from the general public, corporate and government sectors to support the ongoing operations of the USHOFF;
3. To increase Foundation membership, and to seek additional financial support from existing members; and
4. To utilize the media to promote a greater awareness and understanding of the goals and activities of the USHOFF.
To that end, opportunities exist that would enable an individual or business entity to partner with the Utah Sports Hall of Fame Foundation in a Sponsorship capacity in any of the following scenarios:
1. Naming rights, with participation privileges, for banquets honoring Hall of Fame inductees, Coaches, Officials and Distinguished Service recipients;
2. Sponsorship of the Annual Golf Tournament, which is the USHOFF’s only fundraising event of the year;
3. Annual Scholarship Endowment, with the right to determine selection criteria, scholarship amount and exclusive participation in the presentation process. Natural suggestions would be to partner that event with an already-scheduled USHOFF banquet, or to present the award at an Assembly at the winner’s high school.
As can be clearly seen, the Utah Sports Hall of Fame Foundation has a long and impressive history of recognizing and honoring athletic and academic achievement. As we approach our 50-Year Anniversary, the future has never looked brighter, and the strides have never been greater. The USHOFF—the PREMIER SPORTS ORGANIZATION in the State of Utah!
History & Timeline
Since inception in 1967, The Utah Sports Hall of Fame Foundation has been the Premier Sports Organization of Utah Dedicated to Preserving Utah Sports Heritage and History at the highest level.
Our MISSION is to :
- HONOR the Past (Hall of Famers, Distinguished HS coaches, Coaches of Meri [HS and/or College coaches] Distinguished Service and Game Officials)
- LEAD the Present (Leadership Symposium)
- AWARD the Future (HS Scholarships, to date 238 scholarships given/approx $420,000)
- 1967 “The Old Timer Athletic Association” was organized
- 1970 Charter Class of 18 Hall of Famers inducted (athletes & administrators)
- 1972 Expanded the award categories to include new contributors:
- Hall of Fame Inductees (Added “Contributors”) (September Banquet)
- Distinguished High School Head Coaches (April Banquet)
- Coaches of Merit (Head Coaches in College/HS) (April Banquet)
- Distinguished Service (April Banquet)
- Outstanding Game Officials (Jan. Biannual Banquet )
- 1990 Annual High School Scholarship Program Begins with Paul Reams.
- 1990 USHOFF hosts first Golf Fundraiser which continues as an annual event.
- 1997 Organization name changed to Utah Sports Hall of Fame Foundations.
- 2006 Established USHOFF as a 50C)(3) Foundation
- 2018 Added Leadership Symposium “Leaders For Life” (Jan. Biannual )
- 2019 USHOFF opened the USHOF Museum.
- The Utah Sports Hall of Fame Museum has brought the state’s sports history to life, while preserving and honoring the legacies of heroes and role models of Utah. These athletes and figures from across a broad spectrum of individual and team sports deserve to be showcased and celebrated, and their stories will provide inspiration to all who learn more about their accomplishments. Utah natives and those who have come making Utah their home have created a rich history of achievement and service as athletes, coaches, administrators and contributors. This display not only honors them, but it educates patrons about the spirit of a state that prides itself on work ethic and determination to succeed. High school students who have received USHOFF scholarships are also recognized. The museum being in a prime downtown location, and looking toward the future Olympic games in Utah, the museum will drive tourism for residents and visitors, advancing the role of Utah in the sports world.