Trevor Brazile, who holds a record 23 world titles in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, is among the eight-man Class of 2016 who will be inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame on Tuesday night in Waco.
The rest of the class includes former Texas point guard T.J. Ford, former Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman Larry Allen, former Texas football coach Fred Akers, former New York Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte, former Chicago/St. Louis Cardinals All-Pro lineman Ken Gray, former Texas A&M standout defensive lineman Jacob Green and the late longtime Negro League pitcher “Smokey” Joe Williams.
The induction banquet is 6 p.m. at the Waco Convention Center.
Brazile, who is competing in the Fort Worth Stock Show Rodeo this week, is among four legendary pro rodeo competitors who have been elected to the state hall. The others are eight-time world champion bull rider Don Gay, seven-time world all-around champion Ty Murray, and seven-time tie-down roping world champion Toots Mansfield.
Brazile, 39, is a native of Amarillo who grew up near Krum and lives in Decatur. As a PRCA competitor, he earned world all-around titles in 2002-04, 2006-15, tie-down roping championships in 2007, 2009-10, steer roping gold buckles in 2006-07, 2011, 2013-15 and finished No. 1 in team roping heading in 2007.
Brazile, who turned pro in 1996, is the only cowboy who has earned a National Finals Rodeo berth in all four roping events — tie-down roping, steer roping, team roping heading and team roping heeling. He has a record 48 National Finals qualifications.
Today, Brazile competes on the rodeo circuit alongside his wife Shada, a barrel racer who qualified for the National Finals in 2013. They have three younger children, a son, Treston, and daughters Style and Swayzi.
Brazile is also a member of the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame in Fort Worth.
What are your thoughts about being elected to the Texas Sports Hall of Fame? It’s such a great honor, not only for the accomplishments within our sport of rodeo, it helps rodeo become more recognized by the mainstream. The more exposure we can get for our sport, the better.
How did your family react to the news? They were just excited about it. To me, it’s great to be inducted into a rodeo hall of fame, but this is much bigger. When you are talking about sports in general, such as baseball, football, it’s just a great honor to be part of that. Obviously, it’s a chance to rub shoulders with other athletes from mainstream sports.
Have you already written a speech? I’m not good at preparing a speech. I would say I’m more of an impromptu kind of guy.
What would you rate as your greatest accomplishment in competition? Looking back, it would probably be the Triple Crown years [in 2007 and 2010]. I not only won the all-around, but I won individual event titles, meaning I beat guys who specialize in one event. The years I won single event world titles in addition to the all-around stand out.
There are only four rodeo cowboys, including yourself, in the TSHOF. Who do you think might be next? I don’t think any other sport is represented by this state more so than rodeo. It wouldn’t be hard to find the next great inductee because there are so many great cowboys and cowgirls.
What’s your thoughts on being the face of rodeo? I kept thinking, the longer I did it, the easier it would be. I just see myself as one of the guys. I still look up to so many guys that I’ve always looked up to in the industry. That part doesn’t change.
Who are your favorite athletes? Growing up, it was the Michael Jordan era. And being from this area, it was Troy Aikman or Emmitt Smith. Nowadays, I admire local athletes like Dirk Nowitzki. I think he is going to be huge in latter decades. It’s cool to be able to watch those sports and to have guys like that competing.
Outside of yourself, who would you say is the best rodeo competitor, regardless of the event, you’ve ever seen? When you think of sheer dominance, it probably would be (18-time world steer roping champion) Guy Allen.
What is your favorite rodeo? You have the historic rodeos such as Cheyenne (Wyo.), Pendleton (Ore.), Salinas (Calif.), and the winter rodeos such as Fort Worth and Houston that just have a certain type of nostalgia about them. That has its own place. But there are rodeos such as The American (at AT&T Stadium in Arlington) that are so new and exciting and they are part of the sport’s evolution. I appreciate both worlds.