Nestled in the Heart of Central Texas, the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, in the ever-growing city of Waco, stands as the revered home of over 400 sports legends from The Lone Star State. With a dedicated mission to uphold the legacy of its esteemed inductees and the rich history of Texas sports, the Hall pays homage to athletes, coaches, and administrators whose enduring contributions have left an indelible mark within the realm of sports excellence.
Established in 1951 by the Texas Sports Writers Association, it marks the first state Sports Hall of Fame in the United States. That same year, the sports writers unanimously voted one of baseball’s greats, Tris Speaker, its inaugural inductee.
In the early 1980s, with substantial support, Dallas native and Kansas City Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt established the original museum in Grand Prairie, TX, before its move to Waco in April of 1993. Today, the museum offers a range of educational tours and proudly houses three additional halls of fame: the Texas Tennis Hall of Fame, the Texas High School Football Hall of Fame, and the Southwest Conference Hall of Fame.
The museum underwent a significant upgrade in 2010, doubling its size to 35,000 square feet, and introducing new educational and venue spaces, including The Red and Charline McCombs Great Hall, the Dave Campbell Research Library, the Health, Fitness & Education Center, and the Southwest Conference Gallery, which encompasses the nine schools of the former Southwest Conference.
Engaging exhibits and interactive programs drive the narrative of high school, college, and professional sports history within the Hall. Step into the Tom Landry Theater to relive the glory days of the Dallas Cowboys teams from the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s, showcasing their 20 winning seasons and two Super Bowl Championships, a must-see for ardent Cowboys fans. Delve into the rich tapestry of the Southwest Conference Gallery, highlighting 86 years of riveting history among the nine SWC schools and commemorating the profound impact of one of the greatest college conferences.
The Tribute Rooms stand as a monument to Texas sports greatness which honors legends such as George Furman, Grant Teaff, Doak Walker, and Nolan Ryan, whose legacies have shaped the essence of Texas sports.
Distinguished by its eclectic array of Texas-centered memorabilia, the Hall fervently promotes a diverse range of sports beyond the realms of football, basketball, and baseball. From the dynamic energy of volleyball to the finesse of golf, the adrenaline of track and field, the excitement of rodeo, and the thrill of auto racing, the Hall caters to a wide spectrum of fans, former athletes, collectors, and enthusiasts alike, fostering an inclusive space that transcends boundaries.
Promoting a holistic approach to well-being, the Stephen & Mary Birch Health, Fitness, and Education Center offers a state-of-the-art virtual sports simulator, enabling guests to test their skills, from clocking their fastball to shooting a goal or throwing a pass, fostering an environment that champions a healthy and active lifestyle for all visitors.
The exhibits at the Texas Sports Hall of Fame are a must-see for sports fans. They’re made for everyone and are conveniently located in the Heart of Texas.