The Indoor Football League (IFL) is proud to announce the Hall of Fame Class of 2016. After an extensive voting process, which included input from IFL teams, coaches, fans, and current Hall of Fame members, the Indoor Football League honors and recognizes the achievements of Mark Blackburn, Lionell Singleton, and Tom Wigley.
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.
"I am speechless," stated Blackburn. "Thank you to all the teams, coaches, and fans for this great honor. I am humbled to represent the Sioux Falls Storm as one of the newest members of the Hall of Fame."
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).
"Thank you very much for this great honor," said Singleton. "It would not have been possible without the support of my great teammates and coaches over the years. And a special thank you to Mrs. Teri [Carr] and the entire Fever organization for giving me the opportunity."
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.
"I am honored to be recognized for induction into the Hall of Fame," stated Wigley. "The Crush and the league have been such a great part of my life and I am grateful to the entire IFL family for this award."
The three-member IFL Hall of Fame Class of 2016 will be present during festivities at the United Bowl weekend (July 22nd-24th). They will be honored at the League's Awards Banquet as well as during ceremonies of the United Bowl.
IFL Commissioner Mike Allshouse added, "This is a very special year for the IFL Hall of Fame. These gentlemen's contributions to the IFL reach much deeper than spectacular on field performances. Their efforts as productive citizens have forever left their mark on the league and the communities of Sioux Falls, Kennewick, and Northern Colorado. Congratulations to the Class of 2016 and to all of the other finalists."
The IFL is entering the final weeks of the 2016 regular season. All remaining games, and the IFL postseason can be viewed exclusively at www.IFLlive.tv!
About the IFL:
The Indoor Football League was created in 2008 from a merger between the Intense Football League and the United Indoor Football Association. Its teams are located from Kennewick, Washington to Green Bay, Wisconsin. For more information about all things IFL, please log on to www.goifl.com or call the league office at (804) 643-7277.
About the IFL Hall of Fame:
The Indoor Football League Hall of Fame was created in 2014. The Hall of Fame honors former players and coaches, team and league front office staffs, and media contributors for their outstanding efforts. An annual event, each Hall of Fame class in presented for induction during events at United Bowl Weekend, the league's championship game. Current members include; Terrance Bryant, Tommy Benizio, Rich Roste, La'Ron Council, Chris Dixon, and B.J. Hill.