Hugh Durham – Florida State ’56
Brother Hugh Durham is a Florida State University Phi who graduated in 1959 with a degree in Business Administration, later earning his MBA in 1961. He is recognized as one of the most prolific scorers in FSU basketball history. Fifty years from his playing career, his career average of points per game is still Florida State University’s ninth best.
Beyond his amazing skills on the court, Brother Durham is perhaps better known for his incredible coaching career. When one thinks of college basketball coaches, there is no doubt Hugh Durham is a name that is mentioned.
Durham was named FSU’s Assistant Basketball Coach the year after graduating, a title he held for seven years. During his tenure as Assistant Coach, he was widely credited with helping to recruit the University’s first African American player, Lenny Hall.
In 1966, at the young age of 29, Hugh was named the Head Coach of the FSU basketball team, becoming one of the youngest head coaches in NCAA history. In his 12 years as head coach, he led the Seminoles to three NCAA tournaments and the 1972 Championship game, solidifying him as the most successful basketball coach in Florida State history, a title he still holds.
The 1978 season marked Brother Durham’s first as the Head Coach of the University of Georgia basketball team. He immediately embarked on a remarkable transformation project that produced the most prolific era of basketball at UGA to date.
In 1997, Brother Durham came out of retirement to create another miraculous turnaround with the Jacksonville University basketball team, leading them to become one of the Atlantic Sun Conference’s best programs.
In 2005, Brother Durham retired for good as the most successful coach at Florida State, Georgia and Jacksonville University. Hugh Durham has been entered into the FSU Hall of Fame, the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, the Florida Sports Hall of Fame, the Kentucky High School Sports Hall of Fame and the National College Basketball Hall of Fame. The NCAA also awards the Hugh Durham Coach of the Year Award to the top NCAA Division-1 coach at the conclusion of each season.
In toal, Hugh Durham has 633 wins, eight NCAA tournament appearances, two Final Fours, seven NIT Bids, one NIT Final Four, two SEC Championships, one Metro Conference Championship, four SEC Coach of the Year awards and one Metro Conference Coach of the Year Award.
In all aspects of life, Brother Hugh Durham exemplifies what it means to be a member of Phi Delta Theta, and we are very happy to add to his accolades with this induction into the Phi Delta Theta Sports Hall of Fame.
Jim Steeg – Miami ’72
Brother Jim Steeg is a Miami University Phi who graduated in 1972 with a degree in Political Science & Accounting. In 1975, he obtained a Master’s degree in Business from Wake Forest University. That year, he applied to every U.S. pro sports team and was hired by the Miami Dolphins.
In 1979, Brother Steeg joined the National Football League Office in New York City. He spent the next 25 years becoming known as the individual solely responsible for growing the Super Bowl into the most popular one-day sporting event in the world.
As Senior Vice President, Special Events Jim oversaw the first jumbo-tron at a football game, first celebrity national anthem, first major halftime act, and created virtually every other facet of the modern Super Bowl celebration. Brother Steeg also oversaw and catapulted the success of the NFL Pro Bowl, NFL Draft, NFL Post Season, NFL Kickoff Weeks and all League television events.
In 2000, Brother Steeg organized all elements of ‘Pro Football’s Greatest Reunion’ at the NFL Hall of Fame. He managed the last two NFL expansion drafts in 1999 and 2002, resulting in two new teams. In 2004, Jim became the Executive Vice President and COO of the San Diego Chargers. During his tenure, every game sold out.
Today, Brother Steeg consults and manages organizations on stadium operations and structure, marketing/fan programs and fan enhancement. He managed the 2014 NHL Stadium Series games in Chicago & Los Angeles and assisted in the organization of the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Basketball Game in 2012.
Brother Steeg is an inducted member of the DeMolay Hall of Fame, an international premier youth leadership organization. He was also inducted into the inaugural class of the Special Events Hall of Fame.
Brother Steeg epitomizes the Cardinal Principles of Phi Delta Theta. He has changed how we experience nearly every aspect of a professional sporting event in some capacity, and he continues to do so today.
Bill Toomey – Colorado ’61
Brother Bill Toomey is a Colorado University Phi who graduated in 1961 with a degree in Advertising, later earning his Master’s Degree in Education from Stanford.
Bill Toomey has been one of the most recognizable names in track & field for over five decades. In 1960, he won the first of his four Amateur Athletic Union pentathlon titles at Colorado. In 1963, he set his sights a bit higher, becoming a decathlete, amassing five more AAU titles. While at Colorado, Toomey also became a two-time All-American for his accomplishments.
In 1965, Bill traveled to Budapest to compete in the Universiade Games, in which he placed first. Two years later, he again placed first in the Pan-American Games in Winnipeg, setting him up well for his next undertaking.
Bill Toomey’s crowning achievement came in 1968 when he won the gold medal in the decathlon at the Mexico City Olympic Games. Traditionally, the title of “World’s Greatest Athlete” has been given to the person who wins the Olympic Decathlon. Because of his victory in the Olympics, ABC’s Wide World of Sports named him Athlete of the Year in 1968.
The year 1969 proved to be another great year for Toomey as he was named Track & Field News’ Athlete of the Year. Bill was also presented the James E. Sullivan Award by the AAU for being the most outstanding amateur athlete in the United States. The year finished off well for Brother Toomey when he set the world record for the decathlon, a record he held until 1972.
In total, Bill Toomey would win an astounding 23 of the 38 decathlons in which he competed. He later went on to have a successful career as a television broadcaster and marketing consultant.
In the early 1970’s, Bill took over as Head Coach of the Track & Field team at the University of California- Irvine. In 1971, he was inducted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame.
For some time, Brother Bill Toomey was known as the world’s greatest athlete. His passion, drive, and accomplishments have gone down in history as some of the most impressive feats ever accomplished. In the words of Brother Toomey, “Whatever pursuit you undertake, the requirements should start with a love of what it is that you are pursuing.”