The Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame will induct eight new members in ceremonies Saturday night at the Jackson Convention Center. The MSHOF Class of 2023 is a diverse one, which, as usual, includes high achieving athletes and coaches.

Below, the eight inductees are profiled, in alphabetical order.

Lightly recruited Jeff Herrod became part of Ole Miss Team of the Century. Credit: MSHOF

Jeff Herrod, football

Full name: Jeff Sylvester Herrod

Age: 57

Birthplace: Birmingham

College: Ole Miss (1984-87), All-SEC linebacker 1986-87, Ole Miss Team of the Century. Leading tackler in Ole Miss history.

Professional: 11 years in NFL, 10 with Indianapolis Colts. Led Colts in tackles for seven seasons.

Did you know: Herrod was lightly recruited out of high school and Ole Miss was his only Division I offer. He planned to enlist in the U.S. Marines until receiving a late scholarship offer from Ole Miss coach Billy Brewer. He was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 2017.

Crowning achievement: Herrod, with 528 tackles in his Ole Miss career, is the second leading tackler in Southeastern Conference history behind Tennessee’s Andy Spiva.

Paul Maholm was one of the most accomplished pitchers in Mississippi State baseball history. Credit: MSHOF

Paul Maholm, baseball

Full name: Paul Gurner Maholm

Age: 43

Birthplace: Greenwood (grew up in Holly Springs)

Lives: Hattiesburg

College: Mississippi State (2001-03). A left-handed pitcher, Maholm is one of the most accomplished pitchers in Diamond Dog history with a 27-10 record and 273 strikeouts in 312 innings. Made 46 appearances, 44 starts. Was a freshman All American and All SEC as a sophomore and junior.

Professional: Maholm was the eighth overall pick of the 2003 MLB Draft. Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates, Maholm remains the third highest draft pick in MSU baseball history. Played for four Major League teams (Pirates, Cubs, Braves and Dodgers) over 10 seasons at baseball’s highest level, earning $27 million over that period.

Did you know? Maholm declined a signing bonus from the Minnesota Twins to attend Mississippi State, then signed a $2.2 million bonus after three years as a Bulldog. An avid golfer, Maholm is formerly the part owner of the Hattiesburg Country Club and competes at the amateur level.

Crowning achievement: The ace of State’s staff for all three of his Bulldog seasons, Maholm was inducted into the Ron Polk Ring of Honor in 2021.

Magee native John. Mangum was a hard-hitting defensive back at Alabama and for the Chicago Bears. Credit: MHSOF

John Mangum, football

Full name: John Wayne Mangum Jr.

Age: 56

Birthplace: Jackson (grew up in Magee)

Lives: Flowood

College: Alabama (1986-89). Hard-hitting defensive back recruited to Alabama after being named Mississippi’s high school player of the year at Magee. Recruited by Mississippi Sports Hall of Famer Ray Perkins. Mangum holds the Crimson Tide career record for passes broken up. His 16 career pass interceptions rank second in Alabama history.

Professional: Drafted in the sixth round by the Chicago Bears, Mangum played nine seasons in the Windy City, totaling 306 career tackles, 4.5 sacks and five interceptions.

Did you know: Mangum is part of one of Mississippi’s most athletic families. His father, John Wayne Mangum Sr., was a standout defensive tackle for some of the bet defenses in Southern Miss history and then played for the Boston Patriots in the American Football League. His younger brother Kris was an outstanding tight end at Ole Miss and in the NFL. His son, Jake, is one of the all-time baseball heroes at Mississippi State and currently plays for at the Class AAA level in the Miami Marlins organization.

Crowning achievement: Listed at a smallish 5 feet, 10 inches and 190 pounds, Mangum nevertheless was one of the most productive defensive backs in Alabama’s proud football history and a highly productive NFL cornerback and safety for nine seasons.

Jim Page, right, is the winningest coach in Millsaps history. Credit: MSHOF

Jim Page, baseball (player and coach)

Full name: James Jeffrey Page

Age: 60

Birthplace: Woodbridge, Va.

Lives: Flowood

College: Millsaps

Player: Pitched and played third base for the Millsaps Majors (1981-85). In his senior season, Page batted a school record .487. He was his team’s MVP both as a sophomore and as a senior.

Coach: In 34 seasons at Millsaps, Page has achieved a record of 837-577-3 and has been named conference coach of the year eight times. His teams have won multiple conference championships, were ranked No. 1 in the nation in 2009, and reached the NCAA D-III World Series in 2013. During Page’s tenure, he has also coached 30 All-South Region players, 11 Conference Players of the Year, 10 American Baseball Coaches’ All-Americans, seven All-Americans and five Conference Pitchers of the Year. In total, eight of his players have gone on to play professionally.

Did you know: Nationally renowned as a hitting instructor, Page has contributed greatly to youth baseball in the mid-Mississippi area with his annual baseball camps that have provided training for literally thousands of Jackson-area youngsters.

Crowning achievement: Page would tell you it comes with his induction into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame. Said Page: “I am beyond humbled to join the greats like Will Clark, Harper Davis, Claude Passeau, Walter Payton, Jerry Rice and so many others. It’s beyond special, I can’t even begin to describe what it means to me.”

Tony Rosetti, Olympic marksman

Tony Rosetti, world champion marksman

Full name: Tony J. Rosetti, Jr.

Age: 77

Birthplace: Biloxi

Lives: West Point

College: Ole Miss, competed and won national intercollegiate championships for the Ole Miss ROTC rifle team.

Military: When he wasn’t serving in Vietnam, Rosetti won several international shooting championships while in the U.S. Army (1964-71).

Team USA: Competing for Team USA in skeet shooting in the 1971 Pan American Games, Rosetti won a gold medal in team competition and a silver medal in the individual competition. In 1972, Rosetti competed in the Munich Olympics.

Did you know: Rosetti, who began shooting at age 11, is the first marksman selected for induction into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame. Also an expert golfer, Rosetti inherited his hand-eye coordination from his parents. His father played baseball at Ole Miss and his mother won championships as an amateur golfer.

Crowning achievement: Hard to say, Rosetti has achieved so much in shooting sports, winning international skeet shooting championships and setting national records. Perhaps this: In making the U.S. Olympic team in 1972, Rosetti set a national record, hitting 294 out of a possible 300 targets during the pressure-packed, three-day competition.

Carol Ross, shown here at Ole Miss, also coached at Florida where she is the winningest coach in school history and with the WNBA Los Angeles Sparks. Credit: MSHOF

Carol Ross, basketball (player and coach)

Full name: Carol Ross

Age: 64

Birthplace: Oakland, MS

Lives: Oxford

College player: When she finished her four-year Ole Miss career (1977-81), she was one of only two players to have achieved more than 1,000 points, 500 assists and 250 steals. When the Southeastern Conference held its first-ever SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament, Ross made the first-ever SEC All-Tournament team. Helped Ole Miss to 97 victories over her four seasons, the last three of which she played for Mississippi Sports Hall of Famer Van Chancellor.

College coach: Ross remains the winningest coach in school history at Florida with a 247-121 (.671) record. During her four-year run at Ole Miss, Ross compiled a 77-50 (.606) record and guided the Lady Rebels to three NCAA Tournaments and a WNIT appearance. At Florida and Ole Miss combined, Ross coached a total of 27 All-SEC first team players.

Professional coach: Ross spent three seasons from 2012-14 as head coach of the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA. Her teams won 58 games and won 32. In 2012, she was voted WNBA Coach of the Year.

Did you know: Ross has served on the Board of Directors of the American Cancer Society and Coaches Against Cancer.

Crowning achievement: In 2012 Ross took over a Los Angeles Sparks team that had finished 15-19 the year before. Under Ross, the Sparks improved to 24-10, made the playoffs and she was named WNBA Coach of the Year in her first season as a WNBA head coach.

Patrick Surtain with the Miami Dolphins. Credit: MSHOF

Patrick Surtain, football

Full name: Patrick Frank Surtain Sr.

Age: 47

Birthplace: New Orleans

Lives: Tallahassee, Fla.

College: A high school quarterback at Edna Karr High School in New Orleans, Surtain became one of the greatest defensive backs in Southern Miss history, a true shut-down cornerback (1994-97). Surtain led Conference USA in interceptions with six in both his junior and senior seasons when he was first-team all-conference. As a senior, he was named CUSA Defensive Player of the Year, helping the Golden Eagles to a 9-3 record (6-0 in the league) and a 41-7 victory over Pittsburgh in the Liberty Bowl.

Professional: Drafted in the second round (44th overall pick) by the Miami Dolphins, Surtain became a three-time Pro Bowler and a first team All-Pro in 2002. After seven seasons with the Dolphins, he played four more for the Kansas City Chiefs before retiring in 2008. He finished his NFL career with 37 pass interceptions.

Did you know: In 2016, Surtain became the coach at American Heritage High School in Plantation, Fla., where he coached his son, Patrick Surtain II, one of the nation’s most highly recruited high school players, who went on to become an All American at Alabama and the ninth overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos. Patrick Surtain Sr. now coaches defensive backs at Florida State.

Crowning achievement: As a college player, he will remembered as one of the greatest defensive players in Southern Miss history. As a pro, in 2002, Surtain made first team All Pro, meaning that he was judged one of the best two cornerbacks in all of professional football.

Lewis Tillman runs for yardage for the NY Giants. Credit: MSHOF

Lewis Tillman, football

Full name: Lewis Darnell Tillman

Age: 57

Birthplace: Oklahoma City (grew up in Hazlehurst)

Lives: Dallas

College: At Jackson State (1985-88), Tillman was the offensive star on four consecutive SWAC championship teams and a two-time All-American who broke several of Walter Payton’s college rushing records. Tillman was a three-time All-SWAC running back and the 1987 SWAC Player of the Year. He played in 43 career games, running for 3,989 yards and 30 touchdowns.

Professional: Drafted in the fourth round by the New York Giants, Tillman played five years for the Giants and two more for the Chicago Bears. He won a Super Bowl ring in 1991 with the Giants and was later teammates with fellow Class of 2023 MSHOF inductee John Mangum with the Bears. For his NFL career, Tillman ran for 2,383 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Did you know: In the famous Jackson State-Southern Miss game of 1987, Tillman’s Tigers lost 17-7 but Tillman out-gained the entire Golden Eagle team. He rushed for 177 yards, more than USM gained with a freshman named Brett Favre at quarterback.

Crowning achievement: Tillman broke both the single season and career rushing records of Walter Payton at Jackson State. What more can you say?

The Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame will host events Friday and Saturday at various sites in the Jackson area. All information, including how to obtain tickets, can be found by clicking here.

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Rick Cleveland, a native of Hattiesburg and resident of Jackson, has been Mississippi Today’s sports columnist since 2016. A graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi with a bachelor’s in journalism, Rick has worked for the Monroe (La.) News Star World, Jackson Daily News and Clarion Ledger. He was sports editor of Hattiesburg American, executive director of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame. His work as a syndicated columnist and celebrated sports writer has appeared in numerous magazines, periodicals and newspapers.
Rick has been recognized 13 times as Mississippi Sports Writer of the Year, and is recipient of multiple awards and honors for his reporting and writing.