Four former LSU athletes were among the 12-person Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame 2022 induction class announced Wednesday.
Ex-LSU and Buffalo Bills defensive lineman Kyle Williams, late Tigers’ offensive lineman Erik Andolsek, three-time national champion gymnast Susan Jackson and two-time first-team All-America softball pitcher Britni Sneed-Newman will be enshrined next June 25 at the Hall of Fame’s home in Natchitoches to culminate the 63rd LHSHOF induction celebration.
The other inductees are former New Orleans Saints’ offensive guard Jahri Evans, late UL-Louisiana baseball coach Tony Robichaux, Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame three-time world champion steer wrestler Steve Duhon, Baton Rouge-Episcopal High School track and field/cross country coach Claney Duplechin and former Olympic boxing gold medalist the late Dr. Eddie Flynn.
Also to be spotlighted next summer will be three other Hall of Fame inductees, the winner of the 2022 Dave Dixon Louisiana Sports Leadership Award, and two recipients of the 2022 Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism presented by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association, the parent organization of the Hall of Fame. Those inductees from contributor ballots will be announced later this year.
A 40-member Louisiana Sports Writers Association committee selected the 2022 inductees. The panel considered 139 nominees from 26 different sport categories on a 33-page ballot. The complete 12-person Class of 2022 will swell the overall membership in the Hall of Fame to 468 men and women honored since its founding in 1958.
Williams, a Ruston native, played in 46 games and started 33 for LSU, earning second-team All-America honors in his senior season of 2005 before 13 NFL seasons, all in Buffalo. When he retired, regarded as one of the franchise’s greatest leaders and the “heart and soul” of the Bills, Williams ranked fifth in team history in tackles (610) including a club-record 48.5 sacks by a defensive tackle. He played in 183 games, starting all but five after being a fifth-round pick in the 2006 NFL Draft. At Ruston High, where he is now the Bearcats’ defensive coordinator, he was the state’s Class 5A Defensive MVP as a senior.
A Thibodaux native, Andolsek was 25 and emerging as one of the NFL’s best offensive linemen when he died in an offseason accident in 1992. In his final NFL season, Andolsek helped the Detroit Lions win the NFC Central title and advanced to the 1991 NFC championship game before he was named an All-Pro by USA Today. With Detroit, he played in 61 games and was a starter in 48 over his final three seasons. At LSU, Andolsek was a three-year starter and was named All-SEC, third-team All-American in 1986 and was later chosen as a member of LSU’s Modern Day Team of the Century. A two-year team captain for the TIgers, he was a prep All-American in 1983 at Thibodaux.
Jackson became the second LSU female athlete to win the Roy F. Kramer Southeastern Conference Female Athlete of the Year award (preceded only by basketball’s Seimone Augustus, 2006). She won 12 career All-America honors, including 11 first-team awards, and in 2010 was LSU’s first AAI Award winner as the nation’s top senior gymnast and became the first Tigers gymnast to win the Honda Award as the nation’s best gymnast. She won the school’s first NCAA all-around championship in 2010 after claiming individual titles in the vault (2008) and beam (2010), and was inducted in the LSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2019.
Sneed Newman was a four-time All-SEC picture from 1999-2002, and was the SEC Player of the Year in 2001 and SEC Pitcher of the Year as a senior, winning SEC Tournament MVP honors in her final two seasons. Her career record was 120-25 with an 0.89 ERA (all SEC records) while LSU went 230-45. She set SEC strikeout marks as a junior (410) and senior (478) and finished with 1,370 while firing a conference-record 55 shutouts, including 10 individual no-hitters, three more in tandem featuring a perfect game, and holding batters to a .147 average. She led LSU to its first Women’s College World Series and a third-place finish in 2001, and became the first softball player in the LSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2009.