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State Hall of Fame taps county AD

Hillsborough County athletic director Vernon Korhn, who has made his mark as an athlete, coach and administrator, will be inducted this year into the Florida High School Athletic Hall of Fame, the Florida High School Athletic Association announced Thursday.

Korhn will join nine others, an impressive group that includes former NBA star Otis Birdsong, Olympic gold-medal swimmer Rowdy Gaines, television announcer Pat Summerall and pitcher Don Sutton, a baseball Hall of Famer.

"It's just unbelievable to even be grouped with some of the folks going in," Korhn said.

Korhn, 60, has been county AD since 2000. By then, his name already was known to many locals. As a standout quarterback at Plant, Korhn won the 1962 Guy Toph Award, Hillsborough County's equivalent to college football's Heisman. Later, he played for Florida State and the University of Tampa.

Korhn began working for the Hillsborough County school system in 1968. He started at Plant, where in addition to teaching, he was an assistant football and basketball coach and head swimming coach. He later was Leto's football coach for nine years, then became an administrator at the school. By 1988, Korhn was the county's assistant AD.

Korhn is a member of the Florida and National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Associations and was the 1994 FIAAA Administrator of the Year.

"I'm certainly very humbled," Korhn said. "But when you win an award like this, you have to feel as though you've gotten it because you've worked with a number of great coaches and athletic administrators. I've had an awful lot of support."

- KEITH NIEBUHR, Times staff writer