FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – 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 (TSHOF), 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,” Arkansas Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Hunter Yurachek said. “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 UA 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 (Associated Press and Sporting News second team, Football News third team).
Atwater was a three-time All-Southwest Conference performer (1986, 1988 first team, 1987 second team). 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.
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. 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.
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.
Atwater started all 155 games while he was with Denver, with 14 post-season starts including in 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.
In addition to Atwater, the 2018 class included All-SWC Baylor basketball player, Tommy Bowman, All American basketball player from the University of Houston, Larry Micheaux, former women’s track & field coach from Rice, Victor Lopez, SMU basketball standout, Denny Holman, University of Texas All-American baseball player, Brooks Kieschnick, Texas A&M football and track legend, Curtis Dickey, former TCU star basketball player, Kurt Thomas and All-SWC quarterback from Texas Tech, Joe Barnes.
The Southwest Conference Hall of Fame is one of four separate halls of fame housed within the Texas Sports Hall of Fame’s physical structure. They include the Texas High School Football Hall of Fame, the Texas Tennis Hall of Fame, the Texas Sports Hall of Fame and now, the Southwest Conference Hall of Fame.
For more information about the Southwest Conference Hall of Fame or the Texas Sports Hall of Fame please visit www.tshof.org.