Some waited a long time, and some waited no time.
Jeremy Wariner was inducted into his third Hall of Fame, going into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame on Thursday. The 2004 Olympic 400-meter champion from Arlington Lamar and Baylor turned 31 in January.
“It means a lot,” Wariner said. “I can’t really explain in words what it feels like. I’m excited. I never would have thought I’d be inducted, though. When I came here my freshman year to look around, I never imagined my stuff would be in here. It’s great.”
Wariner was joined in the Class of 2015 by basketball coach Nolan Richardson, football stars Ty Detmer, Everson Walls and Cliff Harris, NFL personnel chief Gil Brandt, swimming coach Richard Quick and pro basketball star Zelmo Beaty. Quick and Beaty were inducted posthumously.
Harris, 66, played his last game for the Dallas Cowboys in 1979. Walls, 55, played his last NFL game in 1993. Brandt, 82, was the Cowboys’ player personnel director from 1960-1989.
“You’re speechless, because it’s just such a great thing,” said Brandt, who works for NFL.com. “It’s such a great thing because it’s taking place in Texas, where I’ve spent so much of my life. I’m so happy to be included in it. There’s so many people who came down. It blows your mind, really, is what it does.”
Harris, Walls and Brandt remain candidates for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Harris and Walls are on the seniors list, while Brandt is in the contributors’ category.
On Thursday, though, all three were satisfied with their place in Waco.
“Everyone talks about springboarding to something else or whatever,” said Walls, who spent nine of his 14 NFL seasons with the Cowboys. “If this is the last thing I get, I’m good with it. I’m a Texas guy. Born and raised in Dallas, Texas — Hamilton Park — and to be accepted, being a little kid growing up, riding my bike up to the practice field. To literally look over the fence and see guys like Cliff Harris practicing, and now here I am being inducted with him, no one could have written this. The fact that it’s really happening lets you know God is good.”
Wariner, who also already has entered halls of fames at Baylor and the Drake Relays, still has a career in track and field. He starts his 2015 season with the Michael Johnson Invitational at Baylor on April 18.
“I’ve cut back on the traveling from here to Dallas [for training],” Wariner said. “I’m only coming down like once a month now, and my body feels a lot better doing that. Training’s been going amazing. So I’m just hoping this season goes well.”
Wariner, who has three Olympic gold medals and one silver, insists he’s wiser now that he’s older. He pulled out of the Baylor Invitational last week with a minor tweak in his hamstring.
“Nothing serious. It’s already gone away,” he said. “I didn’t want to risk anything. Four years ago, I probably would have tried to have run, but I’m a little more wiser. I’m at the point now that the thing I have with my wife is if I get hurt, and it ends my season, it ends my career. I didn’t want to take that chance this early.”
Charean Williams, 817-390-7760