During the 2014 Indoor Football League season, the League created the IFL Hall of Fame. In what has become a yearly event, the IFL will add new members to the Hall of Fame during the United Bowl weekend festivities.
CLASS OF 2016
Mark Blackburn (LB, Sioux Falls Storm)
A Los Angeles native, Mark Blackburn was first introduced to Sioux Falls when he was an All-Conference performer at the University of South Dakota. Upon graduation, Blackburn joined the Sioux Falls Storm, completing one of the most illustrious careers in the history of indoor football. A team captain and four-time All-League selection, Blackburn was a key figure in the team winning 40-straight games and four-straight United Bowl Championships (2005-2008). He was named United Bowl MVP in 2008. Blackburn is the franchise's all-time leader in tackles (664) and forced fumbles (10), ranks fifth in sacks (28.5), and third in interceptions (17). His #14 jersey is retired by the Storm.
Blackburn still calls Sioux Falls home. He currently serves as the Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Augustana University.
Lionell Singleton (DB, Tri-Cities Fever)
An All-Conference performer at Florida International University, Singleton is one of the most decorated defensive backs in IFL history. During his five-year IFL career, Singleton was named to three All-IFL teams (First Team in 2012, 2013 and Second Team in 2014). He was an instrumental player on the Fever's back-to-back Intense Conference Championship teams in 2011 and 2012. Singleton finished his IFL career with 395 tackles, 52 pass breakups, and 6 defensive touchdowns. He set IFL records with 31 career interceptions (T-1st) and career interception return yards with 454 (1st).
Singleton continues to do great work in and around the Kennewick community. He founded the Afterschool Matters Program at Eastgate and Jefferson Elementary. He was named the Kennewick School District Outstanding Partner of the Year in 2012. In 2013, he received the IFL's Adam Pringle Award (equivalent to the NFL's Walter Payton Man of the Year).
Tom Wigley (Owner, Colorado Crush/Ice)
Tom Wigley purchased the Colorado Ice during the 2010 IFL season. Under his guidance, the team quickly transformed from a struggling franchise to one of the more stable and competitive teams in the IFL. The Ice qualified for the postseason in four consecutive seasons from 2011-2014, earning the #1 seed in the Intense Conference playoffs during the 2011 and 2014 seasons. Two players earned IFL awards during his tenure (David Knighton, Most Improved 2011, Willie Copeland, MVP 2014), and 14 players have been named All-League. During the 2015 offseason, Wigley led the rebranding process for the team, changing the team name from the Ice to the Crush; a highly recognizable name in the Northern Colorado sports community.
CLASS OF 2015
Chris Dixon (QB, Billings Outlaws/Sioux Falls Storm)
A standout at Humboldt State University, Dixon began his indoor career in 2005. Widely considered the greatest player in Indoor Football League history, Dixon is a five-time United Bowl Champion. During the IFL's inaugural 2009 season, Dixon guided the Billings Outlaws to the first ever IFL United Bowl Championship. With Dixon again at the helm, the team repeated as champions during the 2010 season.
Prior to the beginning of the 2011 season, Dixon signed with the Sioux Falls Storm. Dixon spent three seasons with the Storm (2011-2012, 2014), compiling a 40-2 regular season record and three additional United Bowl Championships.
Dixon currently holds 33 different regular season and postseason IFL records, including; career completion percentage (68.6%), career passing yards (12,963), and career passing TDs (323). In addition to five IFL championships, Dixon is a three-time League MVP, four-time United Bowl MVP, four-time Offensive Player of the Year, and five-time All-IFL team selection. After retirement following the 2014 IFL season, Dixon was named the Head Coach of the Billings Wolves. The future is bright for the Wolves and football fans in the Billings community with Dixon leading the charge.
LaRon Council (RB, La Crosse Spartans/Green Bay Blizzard/Cedar Rapids Titans)
An All-American at Northwest Missouri State University, Council's Indoor Football League career began in 2011 with the La Crosse Spartans. In his rookie campaign, Council set team records with 177 attempts for 640 yards and 13 TDs. The following season, as a member of the Green Bay Blizzard, proved to be Council's most successful as a pro. Council set multiple single season IFL rushing records, including; attempts (256), yards (1,040), and touchdowns (32). He led the Blizzard to an 11-3 regular season record and appearance in the 2012 United Conference Championship Game.
The final two years of Council amazing career were spent with the Cedar Rapids Titans. During the 2013 and 2014 IFL seasons Council rushed for 1,307 yards and 37 TDs. His efforts helped propel the team back-to-back playoff appearance (the first ever postseason berths for the Titans). During his four-year career, Council was a three-time First Team All-IFL selection. He is the All-Time IFL Leading Rusher with 2,987 yards and ranks third all-time with 81 rushing TDs.
B.J. Hill (DB/KR, Green Bay Blizzard)
An All-Conference performer at Ball State University, Hill is one of the most decorated players in IFL history. A versatile athlete, Hill contributed in all three phases of the game, however, he truly made his mark as a defensive back and in the return game.
With a flare for the incredible, Hill was able to change the momentum of a game like no other. His career is filled with highlight reel quality feats that will forever be immortalized in IFL history.
Hill spent his entire four-year IFL career with the Green Bay Blizzard. During that time, he was named to five All-IFL Teams. During the 2012 season he was the first player in IFL history to earn two spots on the All-League team in the same year (at the defensive back and kick returner positions). Hill finished his career holding three different IFL return records; career kick return yards (3,412), kick return TDs (13), and season kick return average (23.2 during the 2012 season). In total he registered 253 tackles and 20 INTs. And finally, Hill is a two-time IFL Special Teams Player of the Year (2011, 2013).
CLASS OF 2014
Terrance Bryant (QB, Sioux Falls Storm)
A standout at Oregon State University, Bryant's illustrious 7-year career with the Sioux Falls Storm began in 2005. During his career, Bryant led the Storm to five United Bowl Championships (2005-2008, 2013). He was named United Bowl MVP twice (2006, 2013). Bryant was also an All-League Selection in the UIF during the 2006, 2007, and 2008 seasons and was named League MVP in 2006. For his career, Bryant passed for 15,011 yards and 280 TDs.
“Thank you to the IFL and to all those that voted,” stated Bryant. “It is a great honor and I am truly humbled to be inducted into the IFL Hall of Fame,”
Rich Roste (Radio Voice of the Sioux Falls Storm)
Since the team’s inception, Rich Roste has been the voice of the Sioux Falls Storm. Nicknamed “The Silver Fox,” Roste is synonymous with the Storm franchise and shares in a tradition unlike anywhere else in Indoor Football. Impeccable on the microphone, Roste is known for his signature phrase, “Holy Help Me Hannah!” In 2005, Roste was named UIF Broadcaster of the Year. During his celebrated 15 seasons calling IFL games, Roste has announced 8 of the 9 United Bowl Championship Games and has only missed two Storm road games.
“I am and utterly speechless, which is very hard to do to a sportscaster,” said Roste. “I am gracious for this wonderful honor, thank you all very much.”
Tommy Benizio (Former IFL Commissioner)
Benizio’s career in the IFL began in 2003 when he co-founded the Intense Football League. As a founding member, he owned and operated the League as well as the Odessa Roughnecks. In 2006 he was named Intense Football League Executive of the year, and, in that same season, the Roughnecks were crowned 2006 Intense Bowl Champions. Benizio was instrumental in building the relationships that led to the merger of United Indoor Football and the Intense Football League to create the current version of the IFL. For his efforts, Benizio was elected as the IFL’s first Commissioner, serving from 2008-2012. Benizio’s leadership and guidance helped progress the league during its infancy stages.
“Being inducted into the inaugural IFL Hall of Fame class is one of the biggest honors of my career,” said Benizio. “There were so many worthy candidates on the ballot which helps to prove that the IFL has grown into the Premier Indoor League in the nation. This is all very exciting!”
After his tenure as IFL Commissioner, Benizio co-founded the IFL’s Texas Revolution in 2013.