Fourteen added to Biloxi Sports Hall of Fame

The Biloxi Sports Hall of Fame this evening added 14 new members, including a legendary sports promoter, a highly respected basketball coach, a well-traveled professional boxer and two brothers who starred on the football teams at Biloxi High School and the University of Southern Mississippi.

A crowd of nearly 500 was on hand for the induction ceremony at the Biloxi Civic Center. To see photos, from the city’s Facebook page, click here.

“This may well be the strongest class of inductees since I’ve been in office,” six-term Biloxi Mayor A.J. Holloway told the audience. “The new members come from a wide variety of sports and include several posthumous honorees whose inclusion was long overdue in my estimation.”

The late Frank “Yankie” Barhanovich, for whom the old Biloxi Stadium was named, was recognized throughout his life as a tireless promoter of all things Biloxi ~ especially sports. He helped create the Shrimp Bowl to benefit the Doll & Toy Fund for needy Biloxi children. He worked his entire life promoting sports in his hometown, and was the man behind efforts in the late 1970s to expand Biloxi Stadium in order to host college games and preseason games of the New Orleans Saints.

Former Biloxi High basketball coach Jackie Laird joins Barhanovich and 12 others in this year’s class of inductees. Also named are brothers Troy and Mike Craft, boxer Rusty “Biloxi Bomber” Derouen, former coach Joe Allen, USM football standout and Los Angeles Rams draftee Richard Johnston, baseball stars Brian Kozlowski and Andy Welter, Notre Dame High School and Tulane football standout Anthony “Bo” Lamey, golfer Greg Nordstrom, NFL punter Mike Patrick, Mississippi State football great Gerald Richards and 1939 NCAA Boxing Champion Rene’ Trochesset, Sr.

With 14 new members, the Biloxi Sports Hall of Fame now totals 152. Plans are being developed to incorporate a permanent Sports Hall of Fame display inside the new stadium under construction in downtown Biloxi.

“The new inductees were all very deserving,” said Sherry Bell, Biloxi’s Director of Parks & Recreation, and the person charged by Mayor Holloway with resurrecting the city’s Sports Hall of Fame. “It seems like each year the quality and quantity of nominees increases, making the selection process more challenging,” Bell added.




Joseph M. “Joe” Allen, deceased

An outstanding all-round athlete, Joe was a member of the Biloxi High 1962 State Championship football team, Allen was best remembered for his outstanding coaching career. He was the Mississippi Track Coach of the Year in 1976 and 1978. He was recognized as an exceptional leader, whose organizational and communication skills ensured his success as a coach. His track teams at Biloxi High won two state titles.

Frank “Yankie” Barhanovich, deceased

Yankie dropped out of school in 1931 after 8th grade to start earning a living in Biloxi. He participated in sandlot games and recreational sports before playing with a Minor League baseball team in Lake Charles, Louisiana. He built a successful insurance business, but stayed involved in youth sports across the city. He helped start the Shrimp Bowl, was the Mississippi State Softball Commissioner for 10 years, President of the Biloxi Doll & Toy Fund, and served as a city councilman prior to his death in 1988. Even though Hurricane Katrina virtually destroyed the stadium named after him, it was later re-purposed and re-designed by the Salvation Army as part of the Ray & Joan Kroc Center, and was rededicated in his name two years ago. He was an energetic promoter of all things Biloxi, including bringing Elvis Presley to perform here.

Mike Craft

A three-year letterman at defensive tackle for BHS in the mid-1960s, Craft was named All Big-8 Conference in 1966 and played in the Mississippi High School All Star game in 1967. He was heavily recruited by the top universities in the Southeastern Conference, but accepted an offer from his older brother Troy (who was then a graduate assistant for legendary head coach Thad “Pie” Vann) to play at USM. Mike Craft enjoyed an outstanding career in Hattiesburg, and was inducted into the USM M-Club Sports Hall of Fame last year.

Troy Craft

A two-year letterman at defensive end for Biloxi High in the early 1960s, Troy was standout on the 1962 Big-8 Championship team. He was a three-year starter at USM (at a time when freshmen weren’t allowed to play varsity ball in college) as a two-way end, and was selected to play in the 1966 Blue-Gray game. He was inducted into the USM M-Club Sports Hall of Fame in 1987.

Rusty “Biloxi Bomber” Derouen

With an amateur record of 149-36, Derouen was one of Biloxi’s most successful youth boxers, best known for his devastating punches.  During his professional career, he compiled a record of 34-9, with 26 KOs. His most memorable bout was a 1994 matchup with World Champion Hector “Macho” Comacho. The Bomber fought all over the world from South Africa to London to Vegas. He was perhaps best remembered locally for his numerous bouts inside the “Biloxi Dome” venue at the Biloxi Belle in 1993-94.

Richard Johnston

Lettering in football, baseball, basketball and track at BHS, Johnston was an All Big-8 Conference selection and named All-State in 1954. He lettered at USM from 1957-58 (being a U.S. Marines Reserve during that time) and was a center-linebacker on the undefeated 1958 National Championship Small College team. Johnston was such an outstanding player at USM that the Los Angeles Rams drafted him after his junior year. After graduation, Johnston turned down pro football and established a business career even more successful than his sports career.

Brian J. Kozlowski

A two-time Golden Gloves State Boxing Champion, Kozlowski was even more impressive as a baseball player at Biloxi High, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and the University of Southern Mississippi. He was the baseball MVP at BHS in 1980, hitting .439 in the regular season and pitching a no-hitter. He had a .378 career batting average at Perkinston, where he helped the Bulldogs to a 1981 State Championship.  At USM, Brian was the starting catcher for 111 of 115 games, and was the leading hitter in 1984, breaking the school record for most singles in a season.

Jackie Laird

A native of Bassfield, Laird was one of Biloxi High’s most successful basketball coaches, compiling a career record of 436-273 with an up-tempo game that typically wore down teams that held an advantage in height. Laird won Class 5-A State Championships in 1989 and 1990. He recorded ten seasons with at least 20 wins. A former player at USM, Laird was inducted into the M-Club Sports Hall of Fame in 2000.

Anthony “Bo” Lamey

Although he started his athletic career in youth baseball in Biloxi, Lamey became one of the most outstanding high school football players in city history. He lettered three years at Notre Dame High School for Charles Hegwood.  He was a dominating blocker as a guard, and a devastating tackler at linebacker. He received the Amos Alonzo Stagg Award and the Most Valuable Lineman Award while also being named the Gulf Coast Conference’s Most Valuable Lineman. Bo was heavily recruited and signed to play at Tulane, where he once again was a standout until his career was shortened by knee injuries.

Gregory J. “Greg” Nordstrom

From 8th grade through 12th, Nordstrom was one of the most successful high school golfers in history. Playing for Mercy Cross, Nordstrom won an unprecedented five consecutive individual state championships from1987-1992. It is a feat never accomplished before or since in the United States. According to the National High School Sports Record Book, no other golfer has ever won more than four consecutive state titles, in any classification.

Charles Michael “Mike” Patrick, deceased

A three-year, four-sport letterman in junior high, Patrick confined his talents to football and baseball at Biloxi High. While there, he emerged as one of the best punters in the state, earning a scholarship to Mississippi State University in 1971. He set a then-school record 84-yard punt and was selected to the Playboy Magazine All-American Team in 1974. He signed a free agent contract with the New England Patriots in 1975 and played four seasons in the NFL. He kicked a team record 62-yard punt his rookie year and finished his career as the No. 5 ranked punter in team history.

Gerald Joseph Richards

A starting center and linebacker at Biloxi High from 1956-1958, Richards was a prominent player in the infamous 1958 Biloxi-Gulfport game that ended with a bench clearing brawl that forced a disruption of the series.  He was named All Big-8 after his senior season and played in the Mississippi High School All-Star game. He signed a scholarship to play at Mississippi State, but his career was interrupted by two years active duty in the Navy. He returned to State in 1963 and helped the Bulldogs to a Liberty Bowl Championship that year.

Rene’ Joseph Trochesset, Sr., deceased

A 1934 graduate of Biloxi High, Trochesset was another of Biloxi’s best amateur boxers. He played football at BHS and then-Perkinston Junior College, but distinguished himself as a collegiate boxer. He went undefeated and won State Boxing Championships at Perkinston in 1936-1937, and won the NCAA Heavyweight Boxing Championship at LSU in 1939.

Andy Welter

A longtime volunteer coach of Biloxi youth sports since age 16; Welter was a standout baseball pitcher at Biloxi High, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and Southeastern Louisiana. A two-year varsity letterman at Biloxi, Welter led the Indians with a 6-1 record and was named team Most Valuable Pitcher his senior season in 1981. He pitched two years at Perkinston with an 8-3 record. At Southeastern Louisiana, he led the team in wins, strikeouts, ERA and innings pitched each of his two years. His career record was 15-8 and he was named First Team All Gulf Star Conference after his senior season.