Former University of Tennessee quarterback and U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler will be the featured speaker at the 42nd Annual Citizen Tribune Morristown Parks and Recreation Department Hall of Fame Banquet on Nov. 14.
Shuler started for two seasons with the Volunteers, after joining the team in 1991 as a highly-touted prospect coming out of Swain County High School in Bryson City, N.C.. There, he led his team to two state championships and garnered a North Carolina High School Player of the Year award.
His first year as a starter at Tennessee, Shuler compiled a 9-3 mark and culminated the season with a 38-23 victory over Boston College in the Hall of Fame Bowl in 1992. He led the Vols to a 10-2 record in 1993, capped with a 31-13 loss to Penn State in the Citrus Bowl.
Shuler completed 61.6 percent of his passes in his college career for 4,089 yards and 36 touchdowns with 12 interceptions. He rushed for 383 yards and 14 touchdowns, 11 of them coming in 1992. He finished second to Florida State’s Charlie Ward for the Heisman Trophy in 1993 and was the Southeastern Conference Player of the Year.
Coming into the 1994 NFL Draft, Shuler was the top-rated quarterback on nearly every board and was selected at No. 3 overall by the Washington Redskins. Coaching, ownership issues and injuries would cut Shuler’s NFL career short and he retired in 1998 to begin a career in public service and as a real estate professional.
The former UT quarterback was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2006, to serve the people of North Carolina’s 11th congressional district where he held his seat from 2007-2013. Shuler served as the whip to the Blue Dog Coalition and sponsored bills including the Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act, the Medical Dept Responsibility Act, the SAVE Act, the Gas Tax Holiday and the International Child Protection Act of 2011.
He twice served as the chair of the House Small Business Subcommittee on Rural and Urban Entrepreneurship.
Since retiring from the House of Representatives, Shuler directs lobbying and government affairs for Duke Energy. He’s a volunteer assistant football coach at Christ School in Asheville, N.C. and is active in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
The Hall of Fame Class of 2019 will be revealed during the banquet, with three new selections joining the 43 already enshrined in the Hall by the Morristown Parks and Recreation Department and the Citizen Tribune for tireless work and contributions to helping youth in the community achieve success in sports and life.
The HOF banquet will culminate with the announcement of the 2019 Citizen Tribune All-Lakeway Area Football Team’s Most Valuable Player, offensive player of the year, defensive player of the year and coach of the year. The full All-Lakeway Football Team will make its debut in the Sunday, Nov. 17 edition of the Citizen Tribune.
Invitations to the banquet will be mailed on Thursday. All current Hall of Fame members and a guest will receive free admission with their RSVP by Nov. 7. The three honorees and their families will receive complimentary admission.
Admission is open to the public at $10 per person with a meal included. Seating is limited to 250 attendees. You can purchase a ticket through The Citizen Tribune by calling 423-581-5630 by Nov. 6.