Former Gators James Jones, Fred Ridley was inducted into the Florida Sports Hall of Fame in 2022

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Former Florida soccer player and gator great James Jones was inducted along with former UF golfer Fred Ridley into the 2022 Florida Sports Hall of Fame last Wednesday, November 2 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla recorded. The two were part of a class of two that spanned careers from 1979 to the present and seven different sports — baseball, bowling, fishing, soccer, golf and speed skating, as well as sports broadcasting. Celebrating its 61st year, the Florida Sports Hall of Fame was created by the Florida Sports Writers and Sportscasters Association to recognize and honor Florida’s greatest sports figures and events and to use that collective celebrity to advance fitness awareness, education and to encourage sporting activities among the youth of the state adults.

Jones played full-back for Florida from 1979 to 1982. During his sophomore season in 1980, Jones was a member of the Gators team that recorded the biggest one-year turnaround in NCAA Division I football history, from 0-10-1 to 8-4 and an appearance at the Tangerine Bowl. Jones was a team captain and First Team All-SEC in his junior and senior years while leading the team in 19080–82 in Rushing. He was inducted into the University of Florida Hall of Fame in 1998 and finished his gator career with 2,026 rushing yards, 593 receiving yards, and 48 passing yards.

A notable name in the golf community, Ridley was a member of the Florida men’s golf team and an alternate during the Gators 1973 National Championship. In 1975, Ridley won the US Amateur, the preeminent amateur golf tournament in the United States. By the end of the year, he was ranked the second-biggest amateur in the country by Golf Digest. Ridley won the Monroe Invitational and competed in the 1976 British Open and is the last US amateur champion who never turned pro. In 2004, Ridley was elected President of the United States Golf Association (USGA) and has served as President of Augusta National since 2017.

“This class represents some of the most impressive achievements one can achieve: a Super Bowl MVP, a Stanley Cup winner, an Olympic gold medal coach, a World Series winner who is also a five-time All-Star, and a Guinness World Record holder said Florida Sports Hall of Fame Chairman and President Rick Hatcher.

Class of 2022 Florida Sports Hall of Fame

Rick Ankiel-Baseball
Leiza Fitsgeral – Angler
Luis Gonzalez-Baseball
Renee Hildebrand – speed skating coach
Dexter Jackson- Soccer
James Jones – Soccer

Vincent “Vinny” Lecavalier – ice hockey
Chris Nikic – Special Olympics Athlete
Pam Oliver – sports announcer
Fred Ridley-Golf

Barry Smith – Soccer
Lisa Wagner – bowling

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