Dixie State honors new Hall of Famers in ceremony at Cox Auditorium

ST. GEORGE – Dixie State University inducted three individuals and one team into the Dixie State Athletics Hall of Fame on Wednesday night. Ralph Brinton (Football), Barry Sims (Football), Brandon Lyon (Baseball) and the 2000 women’s soccer team were formally inducted in a light-hearted ceremony at the Cox Auditorium.

The ceremony was attended by several hundred people, including many current student-athletes. The inductees were introduced by DSU media relations director John Potter.

dsulogoRalph Brinton was introduced first. Brinton played football at Dixie College in 1956-1957 and was the second NJCAA All-American named from the school. Brinton reminisced about Dixie Junior College when he attended.

“When I came here there were only 300 students,” he said. “This campus did not exist. We met in the old building on Main Street. We played our games in the Sun Bowl.”

Brinton talked about his recruiting experience. “I was a Jordan Beetdigger,” he said. “I was 5-foot-6 and weighed 145 pounds. Coach Sark Arslanian (who was in attendance) visited me on my front porch and told me that I would grow into my big hands and feet, which I did. He offered me a scholarship. At that time it was $25.”

He talked also about Coach Arslanian’s motivation methods. “Every Monday he put me on the fourth team. By Friday I would be starting again, but it definitely motivated me.”

Barry Sims
Barry Sims

Barry Sims, who also played football for Dixie Junior College, was introduced next. Sims played for Coach Greg Croshaw and later played in the National Football League for the Oakland Raiders and San Francisco 49ers. Sims spoke to the student-athletes in attendance and relayed wisdom he had been taught in college.

“No matter how good you are, you have not arrived,” said Sims. “When you think you can’t get any better, that is when you will lose your spot to someone else.”

Sims expressed gratitude for the great foundation he had as a student-athlete in St. George in 1995-1996.

The next person inducted was Brandon Lyon. Lyon pitched for the baseball team in 1999-2000 before being drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays. Lyon spent 12 years playing Major League Baseball. While at Dixie College, he posted a 24-3 record with a 1.59 career earned run average.

Brandon Lyon gives his Dixie State Hall of Fame acceptance speech. St. George, Utah, Feb. 11, 2015 | Photo courtesy Devin Dixon
Brandon Lyon gives his Dixie State Hall of Fame acceptance speech. St. George, Utah, Feb. 11, 2015 | Photo courtesy Devin Dixon

Lyon expressed the same gratitude as Sims. Lyon remarked that he has returned every off-season to the school to help with the baseball team. He said that in his years playing Major League Baseball that he was proud to claim Dixie as his alma mater when many of the other players were from more well-known baseball schools. He also had some wisdom to impart to the student athletes.

“There are times when you are going to be nervous on the court or the field,” said Lyon. “Good preparation will calm those nerves quickly.”

The last to be inducted was the 2000 Dixie College women’s soccer team. Many of the girls on that squad finished third in the nation in 1999. While others were on the 2001 squad that lost in the national championship game. Seventeen of the 21 girls from the squad were able to be present and take the stage. Coach Rob Dahl spoke for the team and remarked that not only were the girls athletically talented, but great students and tremendous people. Twelve of the girls from the team continued playing at the major college level. But Dahl related, “Every single girl could have furthered their careers, but some had other priorities, like marriage.”

Relating a quote from legendary New York Ranger coach Fred Shero, Dahl said, “On the chalkboard before game seven of the Stanley Cup he wrote ‘Win this game and we will walk together forever.’ I am happy and proud to walk together forever with these women.”

The inductees will also be honored at halftime of the men’s basketball game vs. Chaminade on Thursday night.

Since its inception seven years ago, Dixie State has now inducted 28 individuals, including coaches, players, administrators, staff and volunteers, along with three championship teams, for their contributions to the athletic program.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

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