LITTLE ROCK — Fortunately, as emcee Chuck Barrett noted, Weber came last alphabetically in the order of the nine inductees honored by the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame on Friday night at the Statehouse Convention Center.

“Nobody coming after him was going to top Dean,” Barrett said after longtime Arkansas trainer become Razorback Foundation representative Dean Weber left them laughing closing the banquet on a night when all the inductees or their representative spoke with eloquence.

Alphabetically, Friday’s inductees were Camden native and former Razorbacks All-American offensive tackle and former Philadelphia Eagles All-Pro offensive guard Shawn Andrews; Brinkley native, Arkansas high school football legend and former Arkansas All-Southwest Conference running back and former NFL running back Jerry Eckwood, DeWitt native and retired 22-year Little Rock Hall basketball coach Oliver Elders; John Hutchcraft, a St. Charles native and former University of Central Arkansas basketball great and just this postseason retired after 42-years as head basketball coach at Guy-Perkins, Brison Manor, the Bridgeton, N.J. native become Arkansas defensive tackle and Super Bowl defensive end for the Denver Broncos fabled Orange Crush defense and a still active longtime Arkansas fixture in investments and financial counseling; Jerry Muckensturm, the three-time Arkansas State All-Southland Conference linebacker and former NFL linebacker with the Chicago Bears; former Arkansas All-Southwest Conference quarterback become longtime Stephens Inc. executive Kevin Scanlon originally of Beaver Falls, Pa.; Bettye Wallace, the versatile, effective women’s volleyball coach and women’s tennis coach at Henderson State and legendary pioneer in pre-Title IX women’s athletic administration, and Weber, the Razorbacks’ head trainer from 1973 into 2008 still working for the UA at the Razorback Foundation.

Barrett asked all former Razorbacks attending on Weber’s behalf to stand. Nearly half the room stood.

The 14-man 1979 Razorbacks football senior class, of which Scanlon is a part, 10 years ago endowed a UA scholarship to “our dear friend, Dean Weber,” Scanlon said.

Weber recalled their proposed plan.

“Those seniors in 1979 got together and decided they wanted to do something for me,” Weber said. “After I told them I wanted them to pay off my mortgage, they said, ‘Uh, we’re going to do something else.’ They endowed this scholarship and we’ve had 10 scholarships. Those 14 guys honored me doing that and that’s the highest honor you can have.”

Weber served Razorbacks football players and staffs from Frank Broyles through Houston Nutt. He mentioned Broyles, the late icon whose daughter Betsy attended, and attending former coaches Ken Hatfield and Nutt.

“ I thought I was a pretty good person until Ken Hatfield came along,” Weber said. “He made me a better person, a better man.

From Houston I learned the power of positive. I never met a more positive person in my life. Everything was always going to be all right. Coach Broyles — boy, that guy. Betsy, I miss your pops. I think we all do. “

Scanlon spoke how Weber could be so compassionate informing a player that his injury was career ending but how cleverly caustically he could be with prodding a player to play through pain.

In his lone starting season, 1979 fifth-year senior becoming All-SWC championship team quarterback Scanlon missed the season’s third game with an injury and freshman Tom Jones played.

That next week, Scanlon got reassurance from Weber he would be ready for the SWC opener the next Saturday against TCU.

“Dean told me you’re going to have some pain, but you’re healed,” Weber said. “I wouldn’t let them put you out there if it was going to make you worse. Oh, by the way that freshman played pretty well. So if I were you, I would get back on the field.’ Always a little Dean Weber love in there.”

The same kind of love Weber extended to new athletic director Hunter Yurachek and new football coach Chad Morris.

“I’ve gotten past the point that I need to blow smoke up anybody’s butt,” Weber said. “ But the new leadership, I have confidence in Hunter and Chad.”

Concerning the Razorbacks involved Friday, Andrews did not attend, Barrett said, because of illness in his family.

His former Arkansas coach, Nutt, who attended in person, on a video discussed Andrews’ Razorbacks prowess and amazing agility at 6-5, 320 pounds.

Eckwood, so bright that he achieved both a bachelor’s and masters degree at the UA, could not attend, because he is suffering concussion induced dementia.

His daughter, Jerval spoke eloquently on compassion for the mentally ill, and former Arkansas running back Ike Forte, the star running back in 1974 when Eckwood was injured so willingly co-starring with Eckwood on Broyles’ 1975 SWC championship team, marveled at Eckwood.

“You’d block for Jerry then look downfield,’ Forte said. “Man, was he fast! And so unselfish and always ready throw a block for you. It’s an honor for me, to say ‘Jerry, good job.”

New Jersey native Manor, a 2-year starter for Broyles’ 1973-74 Razorback after transferring from Pratt (Kan.) Junior College, and Pennsylvania native Scanlon, lettering for Lou Holtz in 1978 and ’79 after transferring from North Carolina State, both spoke of feeling like Arkansas native sons adopted.

“When I came to Arkansas and crossed the state line, back then they called Arkansas the Land of Opportunity,” Manor said. “For me it still is. I have great people here and raised my family here.”

When Barrett called Scanlon Arkansas-adopted, Scanlon replied, “ I don’t know if Arkansas adopted me but I sure adopted Arkansas. A lot of us from out of state came to play here but then we became Arkansans. I don’t want to disparage any other school or team but to hear fans call the Hogs, the Razorback experience is very unique. Razorbacks fans are strong, they are passionate. They are enduring and they are forgiving and they make your life special. That’s why we stay and why we want to give back.”