Rush Harding To Be Honored by Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame


Rush Harding

Rush Harding

The Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame will hold its annual fall salute on Thursday, Oct. 24, when the organization honors one of the state’s top business and civic leaders, Rush Harding of Little Rock.

The event will begin at 6 p.m. in the Jack Stephens Center on the campus of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Those wishing to purchase tickets should call the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame at (501) 663-4328. Tickets are $125 each with tables of eight available for $1,000.

All proceeds will go to the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame. Harding is a longtime member of the organization’s board. Ray Tucker is the Hall of Fame’s executive director. The president is Arkansas Democrat-Gazette sports editor Wally Hall.

“Few people have done more for the Hall of Fame through the years than Rush Harding,” Tucker said. “We’re just one of the many Arkansas organizations he has supported with his time and talents. Rush has friends in all 75 counties of this state and is a worthy honoree.”

Harding is the chief executive officer of the Little Rock-based investment banking firm Crews & Associates Inc. Harding and six partners founded the company in 1979. He has more than three decades of experience in the industry and is recognized as a leading authority on municipal bonds. In addition to serving on the board of the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, Harding has served on the University of Central Arkansas Board of Trustees and on the board of the Arkansas Arts Center.

Harding is a Clarendon native. His father, Buddy Harding, was inducted into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame in 2002 in recognition of the almost four decades he worked as a successful high school coach. His football teams were 151-57 at Clarendon. The elder Harding also built Clarendon into a track powerhouse.

After graduating from Clarendon High School in the spring of 1972, Rush Harding received an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy. He later transferred to what’s now UCA, graduating from college in 1976 as a math and English major. Though his father had found him a job coaching and teaching school at Forrest City, Harding decided to try the investment banking business, joining T.J. Raney & Sons Inc. in Little Rock. He worked there until he left in  1979 to help form Crews & Associates with Adron Crews and the other partners. Since 2000, Crews & Associates has been a wholly owned subsidiary of First Security Bancorp.

This will be the fifth consecutive year for the Hall of Fame to hold a fall salute. Past honorees were Conway businessman Stephen L. Strange Sr., former University of Arkansas basketball star Joe Kleine, former University of Arkansas football star Jim Lindsey and former University of Arkansas track and field coach John McDonnell.

The Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame inducted its first class in 1959.

The Hall of Fame Museum on the west side of Verizon Arena in downtown North Little Rock is open each Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. It includes an 88-seat theater with a video highlighting the careers of Arkansas sports greats and a touch-screen kiosk with a database of all Hall of Fame inductees.

Members of the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame vote each year on inductees. Membership forms can be obtained by going to the organization’s website at