Three With Wake Forest Ties Named to N.C. Hall of Fame

Jan. 18, 2011

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - The North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame announced its 2011 induction class on Monday, Jan. 17, and of the seven inductees, three have ties to Wake Forest.

The trio includes former Demon Deacon and NFL wide receiver Ricky Proehl, longtime announcer Gene Overby, and 1958 graduate Al Proctor who is a former Wake Forest University student trainer.

The current induction class raises the membership total in the Hall of Fame to 285. There are 32 members with connections to Wake Forest.

Proehl, who lettered at WFU from 1986-89, owns Demon Deacon career records for receiving yards (2,949), receiving touchdowns (25) and single-season receiving yards (1,053 in 1989). He led the Deacons in receptions three consecutive seasons and earned All-ACC honors in 1989.

After his senior season, Proehl participated in the Blue-Gray All Star Classic and went on to become a third-round NFL Draft selection by the Arizona Cardinals.

Proehl enjoyed a 17-year NFL career in which he won two Super Bowl rings. He played with the Cardinals until 1994 before going on to play with the Seattle Seahawks and Chicago Bears. In 1998, he caught on with the St. Louis Rams and was a key player in their "Greatest Show on Turf" offense, which helped the team win Super Bowl XXXIV in January 2000. Proehl finished his career after the 2006 season with the Indianapolis Colts, who won the Super Bowl that season. He had 669 receptions for 8,878 yards and 54 touchdown receptions in his 17 year career.

Gene Overby was recognized throughout the Atlantic Coast Conference as the "Voice of the Deacons" for his work with the school's radio network, as well as serving as host to various Wake Forest-oriented television shows over the years.

Overby was twice named the North Carolina Sportscaster of the Year and began his play-by-play work for the Demon Deacons in 1972. He started with Wake Forest in 1968 as the public address announcer for home football and basketball events. He joined the school's radio network four years later, and, with exception of one season doing play-by-play for the Carolina Cougars of the ABA, he was a vital part of Wake Forest athletics.

A native of Reidsville, N.C., Overby's initial involvement with the ACC came as a radio announcer in Durham covering the Duke Blue Devils. He and his family moved to Winston-Salem in 1966 when he began broadcasting minor league baseball and Winston-Salem State University football.

Wake Forest recognized Overby with its "Honorary Alumnus" Award in 1984.

Overby passed away March 30, 1989 at the age of 51 after a long battle with cancer. He was inducted into the Wake Forest University Sports Hall of Fame in the fall of 1988.

Proctor, a 1958 graduate of Wake Forest University, served as a student trainer from 1955-58 before returning to his high school alma mater as an athletic trainer. Proctor was the state's first nationally certified athletics trainer while working at Greensboro Senior High School (now Grimsley). He helped to establish the nation's first student trainer clinic and also was responsible for directing the state's first sports medicine curriculum. Proctor also founded the N.C. Sports Medicine Foundation.

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