This article on the late W.C. “Buddy” Coleman Jr. appears in the new issue of Talk Business magazine. Coleman was inducted into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame in 1994. He will be inducted posthumously Feb. 15 in to the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame.
Charlie Coleman remembers what would happen as a boy whenever his family would eat in a Little Rock restaurant.
“First, we weren’t going to stop if that restaurant didn’t serve products from Coleman Dairy,” says Coleman, a lawyer with the Little Rock firm Wright Lindsey & Jennings. “They would just have to do without that table of six. Second, as soon as we ordered, my dad would be up working the room like a politician. He wasn’t running for anything. That’s just who he was. He seemed to know everybody, and he loved people.”
“Dad” was W.C. “Buddy” Coleman Jr., the former chairman and chief executive officer of Coleman Dairy, who died in October 2011 at age 83. Coleman will be inducted posthumously Feb. 15 into the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame, the third major Hall of Fame in the state in which he has been enshrined.
Coleman was inducted into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame in 1994 in recognition of his distinguished career as a football official.
He was inducted into the Arkansas Agriculture Hall of Fame in 1996.
When asked what attribute set “Buddy” Coleman apart, Charlie Coleman says: “It was his personality. He never met anyone he didn’t already know or want to know.”
Whenever he was enjoying the thoroughbred races at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs – which was often — it was much the same as in a restaurant.
“He worked the aisles around his box,” Charlie says. “He enjoyed seeing people at the track and talking to them. But he didn’t share many racing tips, not even with his own sons.”
The other three sons of “Buddy” Coleman are Walt, Bob and Cherb.
Walt Coleman, who is well-known nationally as an NFL referee, shares Charlie’s assessment of their father.
“His greatest asset was the way he cared about people,” Walt says. “Everybody was a friend. We would go places, and he literally would visit with everyone in the room. If you’re selling products for a living, that’s obviously a good personality trait to have. He had a genuine interest in what other people were thinking.”
The Coleman story in Arkansas began during the Civil War in 1862 when Eleithet B. Coleman founded Coleman Dairy. The family owned a 200-acre dairy farm along Coleman Creek in Little Rock, near the intersection of what’s now University and Asher avenues.
“At the time he started the business, dairymen hauled their raw milk in crocks and poured it into whatever containers were brought out to the delivery wagon by their customers,” Ginger Penn writes for the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture. “Fred B. Coleman, Eleithet’s son, assumed charge of the business when Eleithet was killed at Seventh and Scott streets in Little Rock from a kick in the head by one of his delivery horses. Fred Coleman later passed on the business to his son, Walter Carpenter Coleman.”
Fred Coleman had joined the business in 1877 with W.C. Coleman Sr. taking over 40 years later. W.C. Coleman Sr. convinced his oldest son, Herbert Smith “Boots” Coleman, to join the family business in 1938 rather than becoming a football coach. They installed pasteurizing equipment in 1939 so they also could operate a processing facility. A new dairy plant was constructed on the family farm at 5801 Asher Ave. in 1946. By 1948, most of the family’s milk cows had been sold, with Coleman Dairy buying milk for processing from farmers across Arkansas. A major expansion occurred with the 1948 purchase of the C.S. Douglas Dairy.
The family did continue to keep a few cows on the property, largely for show.
“I tell people I was raised on a farm,” Bob Coleman recently told a television interviewer. “And they all laugh at me and say, ‘No you weren’t. You were raised on Asher and University.’ But we had chickens, pigs, horses and cows. So what do you call that? It’s a farm.”
“Boots” was 13 years older than his brother “Buddy.” After graduating from what was then Little Rock High School, “Buddy” Coleman decided to attend college at LSU and play baseball.
“My dad was not a big fellow, and he didn’t want to play football in college,” Walt says. “The University of Arkansas was going to require him to play both football and baseball in order to get a scholarship there. LSU said he only had to play baseball, which was all he wanted to do.”
Following his graduation from LSU with a business degree and two years of service in the U.S. Air Force, “Buddy” Coleman returned to Little Rock in 1953 to join his brother in the dairy business. “Buddy” was named the company’s president in 1964 with “Boots” serving as chairman. “Boots” died unexpectedly of a heart attack in 1971, leaving “Buddy” as chairman and CEO.
“Because of his personality, my dad had focused on the sales end of things before his brother died,” Walt says. “He did things like getting more schools to buy Coleman milk and ice cream for their lunch programs. Beginning in 1971, he had to focus on every aspect of the operation. It all fell on his shoulders when ‘Boots’ died.”
At a time when there were dozens of independent dairies scattered across Arkansas, Coleman Dairy was known as an innovator. Television was new in the 1950s, but “Boots” and “Buddy” Coleman became major sponsors of the “Annie Oakley Show,” which starred Arkansas native Gail Davis. Due to the two brothers’ interest in sports, the dairy also sponsored numerous baseball teams and other youth sports activities.
“Dad loved coaching baseball and had American Legion teams that won state championships in 1957 and 1959,” Walt says. “He also was involved in AAU sports such as boxing and was a timer at track meets.”
“Buddy” Coleman enjoyed his involvement in sports, but it also was a stroke of marketing genius. Coleman Dairy became associated with wholesome activities such as youth baseball. Arkansans also became accustomed to seeing members of the Coleman family in television ads each Christmas season. Louise Lueken became the television face and voice of the dairy in 1957. That relationship lasted 37 years. Coleman Dairy even became a sponsor of the Miss Arkansas Pageant.
“Dad loved going to the Miss Arkansas Pageant in Hot Springs each summer,” Charlie says. “He always sat on the front row. He wasn’t just donating money. He was there for all the breakfasts, luncheons and other events held in association with the pageant.”
Charlie says his father’s constant presence at events across the state was part of his business plan.
“Think of it this way,” he says. “People would go to the dairy case in the grocery store and look at the products. They would see products from companies they weren’t really familiar with. Then they would see things from Coleman Dairy and feel like they knew the family. They would say, ‘If something is wrong, I’ll probably see Mr. Coleman at something next week and be able to tell him in person.’”
Coleman Dairy continued to grow during the late 1960s and 1970s with the purchase of Dixon Dairy of Little Rock, Midwest Dairy of Little Rock, OK Dairy & Ice Cream of Pine Bluff and Ouachita Valley Dairy of Camden. In 1960, Coleman Dairy became a member of the Quality Chekd Dairy Products Association, which represented independent dairies across the United States and in Canada. Considered among the nation’s top dairy innovators, “Buddy” Coleman served on the Quality Chekd board for many years and was the association’s president for four years from 1984-87. He was one of only eight men to serve as association president during the organization’s first 50 years.
Quality Chekd had begun in 1944 as World War II still raged. Rationing of milk, cream and butterfat was the norm. A Chicago advertising agency was commissioned that year to create a common trademark to be used by respected independent dairies along with a package design and merchandising program. These smaller dairies wanted to be ready to compete when the war ended with what at the time were the nation’s three biggest dairies – Borden, Sealtest and Meadowgold.
“The fact that my dad was president of that organization for four years tells you how respected he was in the industry,” Charlie says. “He understood how to bring people together and come up with solutions to problems.”
“Buddy” Coleman also was president of the Southern Association of Dairy Food Manufacturers and the Arkansas Dairy Products Association. He was a board member of the National Dairy Council. In addition to his work on behalf of Coleman Dairy, “Buddy” Coleman would work high school football games as an official on Friday nights in the fall and often drive through the night to Texas in order to work a Southwest Conference game the next day. He was active in the Boy Scouts of America, the Little Rock Boys Club, the Salvation Army, the Little Rock Executives Association and the Little Rock Downtown Kiwanis Club. In fact, he had a 42-year perfect attendance record at the Kiwanis Club.
“I don’t know how he did all of that,” Charlie says. “I think I’m busy, but I’m nowhere near as busy as he was.”
Walt explains it this way: “He didn’t do too well when it came to sitting still. He wanted to be at some kind of event every night of the week.”
“Buddy” Coleman also was the chairman of Kiwanis Activities Inc., which runs the Joseph Pfeifer Kiwanis Camp for children. He served as president of the St. Vincent Infirmary Development Foundation and was named the Honorary Big Brother of the Year in 1975 for Pulaski County.
Back at the dairy, it was “Buddy” Coleman who coined the advertising phrase “it’s not just a job to us, it’s our heritage.” The massive consolidation in the dairy industry, however, would affect Coleman Dairy. The business was sold by the Coleman family to Associated Milk Producers Inc., a dairy farm cooperative, on Jan. 1, 1995. Three years later, Coleman Dairy became a division of Turner Holdings of Tennessee. And in June 2003, the plant moved from its longtime location on Asher Avenue to a spot facing Interstate 30 in southwest Little Rock.
Turner Holdings became part of Prairie Farms Dairy of Illinois, and Prairie Farms made Coleman a division of Hiland Dairy in 2007. It recently was announced that the iconic Coleman name will be replaced with the Hiland name for 2013, marking the end of a long Arkansas tradition. The company said the name change will save on product labeling costs and create a unified regional brand.
The four sons of “Buddy” Coleman have kept the family tradition of philanthropy and involvement in sports alive. Walt, Bob, Charlie, Cherb and their families donated $120,000 a decade ago for construction of a baseball field at Little Rock Central High School. Two years ago, the four sons gave the University of Arkansas at Little Rock 10 acres of what had been the family dairy farm for a recreation and sports complex.
Though the product name is changing to Hiland, the four sons will ensure their father’s legacy lives on in Arkansas.
“When we were raised, when we had breakfast in the morning, you had cottage cheese on the table,” Bob Coleman told KTHV-TV in early 2012 when the station did a story on the dairy’s 150th anniversary. “I don’t eat breakfast without cottage cheese. Cottage cheese and eggs and bacon is just unbelievable.”
Walt Coleman has buttermilk with chocolate chip cookies.
“How many times have you had buttermilk?” Bob asked the television interviewer. “Never. Young people will not drink buttermilk. … There are a lot of dairy products that have gone by the wayside because young people weren’t raised on them.”
For a certain generation of Arkansans, though, dairy products always will be associated with the Coleman name. A key reason for that was the salesmanship ability and personality of W.C. “Buddy” Coleman Jr.
- Rex Nelson
The 14th annual Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame Celebrity Golf Classic will be held Monday, July 30, at Chenal Country Club in Little Rock. This year’s celebrity event will be hosted by new Arkansas State University head football coach Gus Malzahn and members of his coaching staff. Lunch will be served at noon, tee time will be 1 p.m., awards will be presented at 5:30 p.m. and a reception and dinner will conclude the day’s activities at 6 p.m. For more information on playing in the tournament or attending the “Talking Football with Guz Malzahn” dinner, call Jennifer Smith at (501) 663-4328 or Catherine Johnson at (501) 821-1021.
A version of the following feature story on Malzahn ran in the April issue of Arkansas Life magazine.
Football fans across the country were stunned when the news leaked out in December: Gus Malzahn, one of the most highly paid and innovative offensive coordinators at the college level, had accepted an offer to be the next head coach at Arkansas State University.
Was this the same coach who reportedly had turned down an offer just a year earlier to be the head coach at Vanderbilt University and was strongly considered for the head job at the University of Maryland?
Was this the same man who was being considered at the end of the 2011 season for head coaching jobs at the University of Kansas and the University of North Carolina?
Arkansas State? Really?
ASU is a member of the Sun Belt Conference, several rungs down the ladder from the Bowl Championship Series conferences in the college football pecking order. In 2011, ASU’s coach was among the lowest paid head coaches in the top tier of college football, NCAA Division I’s Football Bowl Subdivision.
When Malzahn, the Auburn University offensive coordinator, made his decision, you could almost hear tens of thousands of college football fans across the country cry out in unison: “Has he lost his mind?”
To understand Malzahn’s surprise choice, you must drive 70 miles south of Jonesboro through the soybean, rice and cotton fields of Craighead, Poinsett, Cross and St. Francis counties. You’ll end your trip in Hughes, a poor farming community. The population in the 2010 census was 1,441, down from a high of 1,919 in the 1980 census.
The Hughes entry in the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture admits that the second largest town in St. Francis County is “typical of the towns in this part of the state, although it is not known for any major historical events or as the home of any significantly famous people.” That translates to “not much happens here.”
Yet if you really want to comprehend what makes Gus Malzahn tick, don’t go to Jonesboro or Fayetteville in Arkansas, Tulsa in Oklahoma or Auburn in Alabama. Go to Hughes. It was at Hughes, you see, where Malzahn’s coaching career began. It was at Hughes where he first became a “hot coaching commodity,” albeit at the high school level. It was at Hughes where Malzahn started to refine his coaching philosophies, further growing to love the sport and its challenges.
George Schroeder, a former Arkansas Democrat-Gazette sportswriter, was in Arizona in January 2011 as Auburn prepared to play the University of Oregon for the national championship (a game Auburn would win). In a piece for the Sports Illustrated website, Schroeder remembered the time in 1994 when Malzahn brought his Hughes football team to War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock for the Class 4A title game.
“They’d arrived a few minutes late, and as they were about to take their seats high in the stands, the coach turned around, pointed to the state championship game unfolding below and addressed the stunning reality. The next day, his bunch would play for a title, too. ‘This,’ Gus Malzahn told the Hughes Blue Devils, ‘is the big time, guys.’ For those wide-eyed kids from a tiny farming community in the Mississippi River Delta, there was nothing bigger. For their 29-year-old, third-year head coach, too.”
Hughes lost to Lonoke the next day, 17-13.
“I thought I’d never be back,” Malzahn told Schroeder. “I thought I’d never get a chance again.”
The reason folks outside Arkansas can’t figure Malzahn out is because they don’t know about his roots. He’s a man who often describes himself as “a high school coach who just happens to be coaching college.”
When asked to name the coaches he looked up to when getting started in the business, he doesn’t list college head coaches. He lists Don Campbell of Wynne High School, Frank McClellan of Barton High School and Barry Lunney Sr. of Fort Smith Southside High School. Campbell and McClellan are retired. Lunney is now at Bentonville High School.
Malzahn was born in Irving, Texas, in October 1965. His parents divorced when he was 6. After a year in Little Rock and a year in Tulsa, his mother wound up in Fort Smith, where Malzahn lived from the fourth grade until his graduation from Fort Smith Christian High School in 1984. He loved sports and had decided by junior high that he wanted to coach for a living. He was a wide receiver and safety in football while also playing basketball and baseball.
“That’s just what I did,” Malzahn says. “I played everything.”
Malzahn also enjoyed coaching younger kids at the Evans Boys Club in Fort Smith. He coached soccer, baseball and football – basically anything that gave him the chance to be in a gym or on a playing field. He was offered a football scholarship to Henderson State University in Arkadelphia after high school but decided instead to walk on as a football player for Coach Ken Hatfield at the University of Arkansas.
“It took me about two practices to figure out I wasn’t good enough to play at that level,” he says. “But I stuck with it for a year and a half.”
Malzahn transferred first to Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, where his best friend from Fort Smith Christian, David Little, was on the baseball team. After a semester, he moved to the other side of U.S. Highway 67 in Arkadelphia to play football at Henderson. Malzahn played during the 1988 and 1989 seasons for Coach Ralph “Sporty” Carpenter. Those were the final two seasons of a long coaching career for Carpenter, who died in 1990.
“Coach Carpenter was kind of a legend when I got to Henderson,” Malzahn says. “Everyone knew him or knew about him. It was one of those special deals to be a part of that group.”
Malzahn had married his girlfriend from Fort Smith, Kristi Otwell. Carpenter, known for taking care of his players both during and after college, eased the transition.
“I had just gotten married to Kristi, and he was really concerned about helping her, helping us, and seeing that we had what we needed to succeed at Henderson,” Malzahn says.
In 1991, Malzahn applied for a position as an assistant coach at West Memphis High School. That job went instead to a coach named Bobby Crockett, who now works at Woodland Junior High School in Fayetteville. Crockett left his job as an assistant at Hughes, and Malzahn was hired to take his place.
“I didn’t even know there was a Hughes,” Malzahn says. “It turned out to be a great place for a young coach. I could make mistakes and then learn from those mistakes.”
Having grown up in Fort Smith and attended college in Fayetteville and Arkadelphia, Hughes represented a culture shock for Gus Malzahn and his young wife. They lived in a mobile home with Gus teaching everything from geography to health. After one season as an assistant coach, Malzahn was promoted to head coach of the Blue Devils.
Perhaps the most popular book in the country among high school coaches is one Malzahn wrote. It’s titled “The Hurry-Up No-Huddle: An Offensive Philosophy” and came out in 2003. Eleven years earlier, as the new head coach at Hughes, Malzahn bought a book titled “The Delaware Wing-T: An Order of Football.” In those early years, his offenses depended primarily on the run.
Schroeder describes that 1994 state championship loss to Lonoke: “In the final moments, the Blue Devils drove inside the 10. But a halfback pass misfired. A sure touchdown pass was dropped. Their last chance was intercepted. And the head coach still second-guesses himself. He knows he should have run the ball because there was still time and that was the Blue Devils’ strength. He remembers the awful empty feeling, that this was his one shot at the big time.”
“I thought I would never get a chance again,” Malzahn told Schroeder.
After one more season at Hughes, Malzahn was hired at Shiloh Christian, a private school in Springdale begun in 1976 as an outgrowth of the First Baptist Church. In 1986, Texas native Ronnie Floyd came to the church as its senior pastor. In addition to growth at the church, the dynamic, driven new minister oversaw growth at the school. A winning football program was important to Floyd, especially since his son Josh was the quarterback.
The athletic director at Shiloh was Jimmy Dykes, now an ESPN commentator. When Malzahn saw a note asking him to call Dykes, he knew what it was about.
Gus and Kristi Malzahn would be heading from the Delta to the Ozarks.
It was at Shiloh that Malzahn moved from a run-oriented offense to the wide-open passing attack for which he’s known. He was the Saints’ head coach from 1996-2000. His 1998 team set what at the time was a national record with 66 passing touchdowns, and Josh Floyd almost set a national record with 5,878 yards of offense (5,221 passing yards and 657 rushing yards).
Malzahn, the man who had feared he would never get back to War Memorial Stadium for a state championship game, led the Saints to four consecutive title appearances. They lost 54-30 to Frank McClellan’s Barton Bears in 1997, defeated Hector 49-14 in 1998, defeated Carlisle 47-35 in 1999 and lost 30-29 in overtime to Rison in 2000.
Following the 2000 season, Malzahn was the Springdale School Board’s choice to replace veteran head coach Jarrell Williams.
“What people don’t remember is there were still a lot of questions about whether I could coach in the state’s largest classification,” Malzahn says. “I guess I was the only one crazy enough to try to fill Coach Williams’ shoes. He was Springdale football.”
Malzahn said the memory of Williams cast a long shadow during the 2001 season.
“The job I did wasn’t good enough for the people of Springdale, and I knew it,” he says.
Across town, Shiloh was winning another state championship without him, defeating Augusta 34-20 in the 2001 title game. By 2002, though, Malzahn had the Bulldogs in the state championship game, where they lost to Barry Lunney Sr.’s Fort Smith Southside Rebels, 17-10. Gus Malzahn was well on his way to being an Arkansas high school coaching legend at age 37.
February is coming to an end, the start of spring practice is nearing and things are hopping around the football complex at Arkansas State. A sense of urgency fills the building, given the high expectations created by Malzahn’s arrival on campus.
Just a year earlier, the school was breaking in another head coach as Hugh Freeze moved up after one season as ASU’s offensive coordinator to replace Steve Roberts, now the athletic director at Cabot High School. Prior to the 2011 football season, Freeze was best known as the man who had coached Michael Oher at Briarcrest Christian School in Memphis. Oher was the subject of Michael Lewis’ 2006 book “The Blind Side” and the 2009 movie of the same name in which Freeze was portrayed by Little Rock actor Ray McKinnon.
There was excitement surrounding Freeze’s hiring, but even the most optimistic Red Wolf fan could not have predicted the success that would follow. ASU went 10-2 during the regular season, won the Sun Belt championship and earned a spot in a bowl game at Mobile, Ala. Freeze parlayed his instant success at ASU into the head coaching job at Ole Miss, were he replaced Houston Nutt.
Despair on the part of ASU followers turned to elation when Malzahn made the decision to return home.
In late 2010, ASU athletic director Dean Lee had called Malzahn at Auburn to ask him about Freeze.
At the end of the conversation, Lee joked: “You wouldn’t want to come back to Arkansas, would you?”
When Freeze left for Ole Miss, Lee again talked to Malzahn to pick his brain about possible successors. Once more he joked: “You wouldn’t want to come back to Arkansas, would you?”
This time, there was a long pause.
“I would consider that,” Malzahn finally said.
On Dec. 8, Malzahn called Lee in his office. That Thursday night, they had another long conversation once Lee had gotten home. Malzahn had decided he was ready to be a head coach at the college level. He hadn’t been offered the job at either North Carolina or Kansas, and the thought of returning home to Arkansas was appealing. The pay would be much less than he was making at Auburn, but Malzahn has never been driven by money.
On Friday, Dec. 9, Lee and Malzahn talked three more times by phone. By 10:30 a.m. that Saturday, Lee was on the way to Auburn in his personal vehicle. Paranoid that Malzahn’s home was being watched by the media, Lee had taken the ASU license plate off the front of the vehicle and also removed the Red Wolf bumper stickers. For three hours that evening, Lee visited with Malzahn and his wife in their home.
He pulled out late that evening. Too nervous to sleep, Lee drove straight back to Jonesboro, arriving at 6:45 a.m. Sunday. By then, ASU President Charles Welch and Gov. Mike Beebe, an ASU graduate, were in the loop. By Wednesday, Malzahn was being introduced as the next ASU head coach before a large, enthusiastic crowd in the Convocation Center on the ASU campus. Things had moved quickly.
Malzahn’s legend had grown at Springdale when his 2005 squad went 14-0, outscored its opponents 664-118 and routed West Memphis 54-20 in the state championship game at War Memorial Stadium in front of the largest crowd to ever watch a high school event in Arkansas. He had come a long way from Hughes. Sportswriter Kurt Voigt even wrote a book about that 2005 Springdale team.
Hundreds of thousands of words have been written in Arkansas about what happened next. Malzahn joined Nutt’s staff at the University of Arkansas in December 2005. Many believed that Frank Broyles, the school’s athletic director at the time, had forced Nutt’s hand. Nutt mispronounced Malzahn’s name at the news conference that was held to introduce the coach, and Malzahn was never fully accepted by his fellow Razorback coaches (some of whom derisively referred to him as “high school”) even though Arkansas won the Southeastern Conference Western Division championship in 2006.
With the tension evident, it surprised few people inside the state when Malzahn accepted an offer from the new head coach at the University of Tulsa, Todd Graham. The two men had become friends when Graham, now the head coach at Arizona State University, was coaching a high school powerhouse in Allen, Texas. Graham had bought a video Malzahn hosted on the hurry-up, no-huddle offense and discovered they had the same ideas about how to run an offense.
With Malzahn as offensive coordinator, Tulsa ranked first nationally in total yards per game and third in passing in 2007. The Golden Hurricane became the first college team to have a 5,000-yard passer, a 1,000-yard rusher and three 1,000-yard receivers in the same season. In 2008, Tulsa led the nation again in total yards, averaging 570 yards per game while ranking second in scoring.
It didn’t take Auburn’s new head coach, a defensive specialist named Gene Chizik, long to move Malzahn back to the SEC in December 2008. The Tigers finished the 2009 season ranked 16th in total offense and 17th in scoring after having been tied for 110th in the country in scoring the previous season. In 2010, Auburn won the national championship, quarterback Cam Newton won the Heisman Trophy and Malzahn won the Broyles Award as the top assistant football coach in the country.
No assistant coach in America had a higher profile. Some reports had Vanderbilt offering him as much as $3 million a year to be its next head coach. Malzahn says he has no regrets. He believes that a decision to accept the Vanderbilt job in December 2010 would have taken his focus off preparing for Auburn’s appearance in the national championship game. Auburn increased his annual salary from $500,000 to $1.3 million, making him perhaps the nation’s highest paid assistant football coach.
Malzahn took a huge pay cut to return to Arkansas, where he tells people he wants to build the “Boise State of the South,” a team from a non-BCS conference that consistently ranks in the Top 25. In this spring of 2012, he’s just 70 miles from Hughes, where it all started more than two decades ago.
“I’m an Arkansas guy,” Malzahn says. “I’m still a high school coach at heart, and I’m a firm believer in being able to win at the major college level with high school talent from Arkansas. Kristi and I loved Auburn, but we were 10 hours from our family and friends. This is my chance to come back and build something big, to put it on the national map.”
“What on earth was Gus Malzahn thinking?” college football fans asked last December.
He was thinking it was time to come home.
– Rex Nelson
There may never have been a more quotable college football coach in Arkansas than the late Ralph “Sporty” Carpenter of Henderson State University at Arkadelphia.
Carpenter, who was Henderson’s head coach from 1971-89, compiled a 119-76-5 record at the school and was inducted posthumously into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame in 2002. Thirteen of his teams finished in the NAIA Top 20.
George Baker of Arkadelphia, a longtime assistant for Carpenter at Henderson, has captured Carpenter’s personality and recorded his many contributions in a book titled “When Lightning Struck the Outhouse: A Tribute to a Great Coach.”
“This book has been a labor of love that, in retrospect, came easy to me,” Baker says. “I drew from 16 years of daily contact with Coach Carpenter. I also garnered the thoughts of his friends, players and opponents.
“We laughed long and hard almost every day. We passed along inside jokes that only he and I understood, most of which I cannot repeat in the interest of decorum. We traveled the world. We won and lost and suffered the outrageous slings and arrows of disgruntled fans. We tasted the sweet wine of victory, and we left an indelible mark in the annals of small college football that is remarkable.”
The preface to the book was written by longtime Arkansas sportswriter Jim Bailey, a 2003 inductee into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame.
Bailey writes: “In a recent conversation, I asked George if he’d always planned to write about his favorite coach. He said no.
“’Coach Carpenter died in 1990,’ he said. ‘Over the next few months, even the next few years, people would ask about the funny things he said and did, like jumping on the Southern Arkansas University mule mascot after Henderson beat SAU. I guess that’s what started me to thinking seriously about a book. And the deeper I got into it, the more fascinating it became.
“’And the more I learned about him, I realized how kind and considerate he was, how many people he helped without ever saying anything about it. For example, I knew he helped a lot of former players find jobs, either in coaching or something else. And especially how intelligent he was. He enjoyed being mistaken for a clown.’”
Bailey writes that he met Carpenter in 1967 “after he had joined the coaching staff of Henderson, his alma mater, as an assistant to Clyde Berry. Sporty walked over to me, stuck out his hand and said: ‘Hey, Scoop, Ralph Carpenter.’ Five or 10 minutes later, he had everyone in the room laughing. He always used his formal name in introductions, although I don’t recall anyone addressing him as Ralph.
“He grew up in Hamburg (‘the Burg,’ he usually called it), served in the Navy and played center and guard for Henderson before starting a succession of high school coaching jobs. Duke Wells, athletic director and former Henderson coach, spotted potential in Carpenter. When a coaching vacancy occurred in 1970, Sporty was appointed head coach, obviously with Wells’ approval.
“’Sporty always liked for people to underestimate him,’ Wells said a few years later when the Reddies were pretty much dismantling the Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference. ‘But he never fooled me.’”
Wells was a 1970 inductee into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame.
Carpenter’s high school coaching career before coming to Henderson included stops at Wynne and Magnolia. Henderson was in a rebuilding mode in Carpenter’s first two seasons as the Reddies posted records of 4-4-1 in 1971 and 4-6 in 1972.
Henderson then went on a remarkable run that saw the Reddies go 10-1 in 1973, 11-2 in 1974 (losing to Texas A&I in the NAIA national championship game), 11-1 in 1975 (defeating East Central Oklahoma in the Bicentennial Bowl at War Memorial Stadium), 8-2 in 1976, 9-2 in 1977 and 7-2-1 in 1978.
Bailey writes that by the 1989 season, Carpenter was “desperately ill, even to a layman’s eye. He coached the team that fall, though.”
The Reddies went 7-4 in Carpenter’s final season as head coach.
Baker calls it “the most courageous thing you could ever imagine. You know, Coach Carpenter always worked hard, daylight to dark, meetings, practices, but when the football staff was out eating dinner or something, Coach Carpenter would not allow anyone to mention football. Outside the office and the field, we weren’t supposed to talk shop. Coach Carpenter thought 23 hours of football a day was enough.”
Carpenter was famous for his postgame quotes.
Once, after a Reddie tailback had fumbled late in a crucial game at home, Carpenter described him as a “triple threat – a threat to the opposition, a threat to us and a threat to himself.”
The title of Baker’s book comes from Carpenter’s quote after a highly ranked Reddie team was upset by the University of Arkansas at Monticello in 1977. It was one of only two losses for the Reddies that year.
“Lightning struck the outhouse, and we were in it,” Carpenter said after the game.
Charlie Boyd, a Lake Village native who’s now a Little Rock attorney, was on that team.
“We had just gotten beat by UAM at their place, and the dressing room for the opposing team was around an indoor pool,” Boyd says. “I recall being next to Coach Carpenter when the reporter asked him what happened and can attest, under oath, that his answer was just what the title of the book says it was.”
Four years later, Henderson was 7-0 and ranked No. 1 nationally in the NAIA when the Reddies went to Monticello. UAM stunned Henderson that night by a score of 27-16.
Carpenter said after the loss, “It was a total waste of time. We would have been better off to have stayed home, parched peanuts and watched Barbara Mandrell on the TV.”
Mike Dugan, now a Hot Springs businessman, spent a decade as Henderson’s sports information director.
He tells this story, which says a lot about the kind of man Carpenter was: “One of the wonderful moments I enjoyed with Sporty was a basketball trip to Monticello. A notice had just been sent out by the university that at no time should a state-owned vehicle be seen at a location other than what was listed as an authorized destination. As soon as I picked him up that afternoon, he told me to drive to Walmart.
“I protested, but he insisted. So I began a nervous wait while he went inside. When he came out, he threw his package into the back of the car and away we went.
“As we neared Monticello, he began to give me alternate directions and sent me down an isolated highway and through the gates of a cemetery. We left the car, and Sporty got down on one knee to clean the weeds from his parents’ graves. The package contained flowers.
“This was a warm side to a man I already knew had a big heart.”
Baker says, “My journey with R.L. ‘Sporty’ Carpenter began in July 1974 and ended with his death in February 1990. What a trip.”
Carpenter’s funeral was held in a packed Arkansas Hall on the Henderson campus. As they rolled his casket down the aisle and the organist played the slow version of “Old Reddie Spirit,” there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
In April 1990, the Henderson board of trustees voted to rename Haygood Stadium as Carpenter-Haygood Stadium.
Baker’s book can be ordered online at www.georgebakerauthor.com
– Rex Nelson
On the day it was announced that he will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Pine Bluff native Willie Roaf was thinking of his mother.
“My dad and I talked about it recently – that she is smiling down from heaven, knowing that I’m being recognized for being one of the best. … She would have preferred that I was a better student, but she wanted the best for me in whatever I chose to do.”
Roaf was born April 18, 1970, in Pine Bluff to dentist Clifton Roaf and attorney Andree Layton Roaf. His mother, who died in July 2009, had made a name for herself by the time her son began playing in the NFL.
Nashville, Tenn., native Andree Layton met Clifton Roaf when both were students at Michigan State University. They married in July 1963, and from 1963-65, Andree Roaf worked as a bacteriologist for the Michigan Department of Health in Lansing. She worked in Washington, D.C., from 1965-69 for the U.S. Food & Drug Administration before moving to Pine Bluff to become a staff assistant for Pine Bluff’s urban renewal agency from 1971-75.
Andree Roaf took a job as a biologist for the National Center for Toxicological Research in 1975 while also attending law school at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She graduated second in a class of 83 in 1978, taught at the law school for a year after graduation and then went into private practice with the firm of Walker Roaf Campbell Ivory & Dunklin.
In January 1995, she became the first black woman and only the second woman to serve on the Arkansas Supreme Court when she was appointed by Gov. Jim Guy Tucker to replace Justice Steele Hays, who was retiring.
She was not eligible to run for her Supreme Court position when the term ended but was appointed by Gov. Mike Huckabee to serve on the Arkansas Court of Appeals. She later was elected as an appeals court judge and was a 1996 inductee into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame.
Willie Roaf is quick to note that his mother would have preferred her son to have been an attorney or doctor. He drew so little interest from college recruiters at Pine Bluff High School that he considered switching from football to basketball. Finally, he decided to play football at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, where his career took off.
For the first time, two past inductees of the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as part of the same class.
Roaf was inducted into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame in 2007.
Cortez Kennedy, who played high school football at Rivercrest High School at Wilson and was inducted into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame in 2005, also will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this August at Canton, Ohio.
Roaf was 6-4, 220 pounds when he went to Louisiana Tech, small for a college offensive lineman.
Former Tech coach Joe Raymond Peace said assistant coach Jerry Baldwin brought film of Roaf playing high school football for Pine Bluff.
“Jerry said he was probably a better basketball player than football player,” Peace told Jimmy Watson of The Times at Shreveport. “I looked at about eight plays, and I could tell he had great feet and hips. At the time of my visit, I believe I was the only head coach to go into the home, although Larry Lacewell would go in later.”
By his sophomore season, Roaf was 6-5, 300 pounds. Louisiana Tech played Alabama, Baylor, South Carolina, Ole Miss, West Virginia and Southern Mississippi during his senior season, allowing professional scouts plenty of opportunities to watch him work.
“I told him that schedule would allow him to become an All-American, and it would make him a lot of money,” Peace said. “The good lord blessed Willie with the talent to be the best in the game, but he really never had a clue about the talent he had. He was always humble. There’s no doubt he’s the best lineman I ever coached, and he deserves all the honors he has received. He’s just a good person.”
Roaf was picked in the first round of the 1993 NFL draft by the New Orleans Saints. He was the eighth selection overall and the first offensive lineman to be drafted.
Roaf will be only the second player who spent the bulk of his career in New Orleans to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Former Saints linebacker Rickey Jackson was part of the Class of 2010. Roaf spent the first nine years of a 13-year NFL career with the Saints.
To acquire Roaf, the Saints had to send former NFL Defensive Player of the Year Pat Swilling to the Detroit Lions for the eighth overall pick. The decision proved to be a wise one. Roaf started 131 games for the Saints and helped the franchise to its first playoff win, a 2000 victory over the defending Super Bowl champion St. Louis Rams. A torn ligament in his right knee forced Roaf to miss the second half of the 2001 season. He was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs, where he made the Pro Bowl in each of his four seasons.
Roaf was voted to the Pro Bowl 11 times in his 13 seasons, tied with Hall of Famer Anthony Munoz for the most Pro Bowl appearances by an offensive tackle. He earned a spot on the NFL All-Decade Teams for both the 1990s and the 2000s.
“The Kansas City years were more important (for the Hall of Fame) than the New Orleans years, even though I went to seven Pro Bowls in New Orleans,” Roaf told The Kansas City Star. “I went to Kansas City and played with that great offensive line. … I needed Kansas City more than Kansas City needed me.”
Roaf said his father, a college teammate of former Chiefs star Ed Budde at Michigan State, will introduce him at the induction ceremony in Canton.
“There weren’t many takers for Roaf (coming off the injury at New Orleans), but Chiefs personnel director Bill Kuharich, who was with the Saints when they drafted him, convinced general manager Carl Peterson and coach Dick Vermeil to bring him to Kansas City,” Randy Covitz wrote in The Kansas City Star.
“Knowing what kind of individual he was, knowing what kind of pride and character he had and his passion for the game, certainly a change of scenery wouldn’t hurt,” Kuharich told Covitz. “I didn’t have any doubts he would return to form.”
Roaf had spent his rookie year for the Saints at right tackle before moving to the left side of the line.
Roaf, who was an All-Pro selection four times as a Saint and four times as a Chief, said he will go into the Hall of Fame as a representative of the Saints even though players’ busts in Canton don’t specify teams.
“I played four years with the Chiefs, and those were great, but I’m from Arkansas,” he said. “I went to Louisiana Tech. My history goes more with the Saints than the Chiefs. But believe me, my Chiefs days were very, very special to me, and I will cherish those.”
Roaf helped the Chiefs lead the NFL in scoring with 484 points in 2003 and 467 points in 2004. Quarterback Trent Green joined with running backs Priest Holmes and Larry Johnson to put up franchise-record numbers behind Roaf and the other Kansas City offensive linemen.
Owners of both the Saints and the Chiefs praised Roaf.
“It’s such a deserving honor,” Clark Hunt of the Chiefs said. “To me, Willie is the epitome of what a Hall of Famer is – not only somebody who is individually dominant, but somebody who made everybody who played around him better.”
Saints owner Tom Benson said Roaf “meant a great deal to our team during his career with us. He was the best player on our team during his entire tenure with us, one of the top players in the history of our franchise and one of the NFL’s greatest at his position.”
Roaf was in two playoff games with the Saints, winning one and losing one. The Chiefs lost their only postseason game with Roaf in 2003 to Indianapolis, 38-31, in a game in which neither team had a punt.
“Nothing against our defense, but our offense was putting up numbers against the top defenses in the league when I was in Kansas City,” Roaf told Covitz. “We just needed to slow people down some more.”
Roaf also was inducted into the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame in 2008 and the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 2009. In 2009, he took a job coaching the offensive line at Santa Monica Junior College in Santa Monica, Calif.
Roaf was widely respected by both teammates and opposing players. He once owned a home in Colorado, for instance, with Jerome Bettis.
“They met so many years ago in a hotel suite in Indianapolis and never did two men seem less likely to become best friends,” Les Carpenter wrote for Yahoo! Sports. “Jerome Bettis came from Detroit, talking fast and loud, while Willie Roaf from Arkansas barely said much at all. But there they were, guests of the Washington Redskins at the 1993 NFL scouting combine, two soon-to-be top 10 draft picks, and they were taking a test that made little sense: a personality exam asking how they would react in certain kinds of situations.
“Other than having the same agent, they appeared to have little in common besides that ridiculous Redskins’ test. But somehow that was enough to build a friendship for a lifetime.”
Bettis and Roaf were represented by Lamont Smith, one of the few black agents at the time. Smith lived in Denver and believed his clients should train in Colorado’s thin mountain air. Bettis and Roaf spent $140,000 for a three-bedroom home in the Denver suburb of Aurora. The home only covered 1,600 square feet, but Roaf said it “had a nice yard. It was just nice to have a good place.”
Bettis was named the NFL Rookie of the Year after his first season with the Rams.
“As the years went on, Roaf developed a reputation as one of the NFL’s best offensive linemen,” Carpenter wrote. “Soon Bettis’ Rookie of the Year award was eclipsed by Roaf’s routine trips to the Pro Bowl.”
“We were 22, 23-year-old guys, and we thought we were going to go out and be studs in the NFL,” Bettis told Carpenter. “We talked about it all the time. We were both highly competitive guys, and I was messing with him all the time, telling him how good I was going to be.”
They sold the house after several years, but the friendship lasted. Bettis was at the hospital for the birth of Roaf’s first daughter
Roaf also kept Smith as his agent throughout his career.
Carpenter wrote that Smith urged Roaf “to appear tougher when he was a senior at Louisiana Tech. As the son of a dentist and judge, NFL teams felt Roaf might not be hungry enough or mean enough to play professionally. Before a big game against Alabama, Smith stressed to Roaf’s mother that the lineman needed to act mean. Roaf obliged by flattening an Alabama pass rusher at one point, ripping off the player’s helmet and tossing it away.”
“After that, there were no more questions about his toughness or his meanness,” Smith said.
Off the field, though, Road remained humble and quiet.
When he’s inducted at Canton, he will no doubt be thinking of his mother, also a Hall of Famer due to her induction into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame.
“Mom would be very happy to know I achieved the level of being one of the best to do what I did,” Willie Roaf said. “I know she’s looking down proud right now.”
– Rex Nelson
Alonzo “Lonnie” Clayton reached sports stardom at an early age. In 1892, at the age of just 15, he became the youngest jockey to win the Kentucky Derby.
It’s safe to say, however, that most Arkansans have never heard of Clayton.
The Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame will remedy that situation Feb. 3 when Clayton is inducted as part of the Hall of Fame’s Class of 2012. Tickets for the annual banquet are $100 each and may be obtained by calling Jennifer Smith at (501) 663-4328 or Catherine Johnson at (501) 821-1021.
Clayton was born in Kansas City, Kansas, in 1876 and moved with his parents to North Little Rock when he was 10. There were nine children in the family, and finances were tight even though his father had steady work as a carpenter. Clayton worked as a hotel errand boy and as a shoeshine boy to earn extra income for his family. In an 1896 story in the Thoroughbred Record, it was written that Clayton also had attended school as a boy and was considered “exceptionally bright.”
Clayton was only 12 years old when he left home to join his brother Albertus, a jockey who was riding at the time for the legendary E.J. “Lucky” Baldwin. Alonzo Clayton soon found work as an exercise rider for Baldwin’s stables. His first race as a jockey came in 1890 at Clifton, N.J. He had his first victory later that year.
Thoroughbred racing had become one of the top sports in America by that time, and it didn’t take long for those on the East Coast to recognize Clayton as a rising star. He won the Jerome Stakes aboard Picknicker and the Champagne Stakes aboard Azra at Morris Park in Westchester County, N.Y., in 1891. On May 11, 1892, Clayton was aboard Azra in the Kentucky Derby. Azra came from behind in the stretch to win the derby by a nose, and Clayton became one of only two 15-year-old jockeys to win America’s most famous race.
He would be in the money in the Kentucky Derby three more times in his career, finishing second in 1893, third in 1895 and second in 1897. Clayton’s best year was 1895 when he had 144 wins and finished in the money in almost 60 percent of his races. He won the Arkansas Derby that year at the Little Rock Jockey Club’s Clinton Park. In 1896, he became one of the few black jockeys ever to compete in the Preakness Stakes at Baltimore, and he finished third.
Other significant races won by Clayton were the Clark Stakes at Churchill Downs in 1892, the Travers Stakes at Saratoga in 1892, the Brooklyn Handicap and Futurity at Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn in 1894, the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs in 1894 and 1895, the Cotton Stakes in Memphis in 1895, the Saratoga Stakes at Saratoga in 1895, the Latonia Derby in Cincinnati in 1897, the St. Louis Derby in 1897, the California Derby in San Francisco in 1898 and the Suburban Handicap in Brooklyn in 1898.
In an interview with the Chicago Daily Tribune, Clayton would call the Suburban Handicap “the greatest race I ever rode.”
Racing historian Ed Hotaling said Clayton “became one of the great riders of the New York circuit all through the 1890s, but he rode all over the country.”
“While spending most of his time on the road, Clayton, who never married, came back to North Little Rock regularly to visit family,” Cary Bradburn wrote in the online “Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture.” “He bought his parents a farm in 1894 in what is now Sherwood and had the Queen Anne-style house built in 1895. His celebrity status spawned a legend that erroneously linked him to another Queen Anne house, known today as the Baker House, a bed and breakfast at 109 West Fifth St. in North Little Rock. According to legend, Clayton, misidentified as Artemis E. Colburn, raced horses in England and came back to his hometown of Argenta (now North Little Rock) to build a grand house; however, he soon left the area.
“The reason for Clayton’s departure is not clear, but in a larger context racism did contribute. In the early 1900s, bigotry drove black jockeys out of the sport they had dominated in America since the mid-1600s. Most stable owners stopped hiring them when sanctions, and even physical threats against black jockeys, increased. Some went overseas, as Clayton may have done.”
Indeed, black jockeys once ruled the sport.
“These were the first great American athletes, white or black, and they were written out of the history books,” Hotaling told the Baltimore Sun. “The saddest part is that they weren’t and haven’t been brought back into the sport.”
Black jockeys won at least 15 of the first 28 runnings of the Kentucky Derby.
“Once economics – big money – came into racing, the black jockey was pushed out,” said Inez Chapel of the group African-Americans in Horse Racing. “And racism is still alive. There are black jockeys out there, but they do what they have to do. They claim to be Jamaican or something else. If you speak in an unknown tongue, then the color of your skin doesn’t bother people.”
As racing began to gain prominence following the Civil War, many horse owners used their former slaves as jockeys. Former slaves tended to gravitate toward the sport because they were comfortable working with horses. Jim Crow laws changed that. The majority of black jockeys were gone by 1910, though some continued to race in more dangerous steeplechase events.
The last black jockey to compete in the Kentucky Derby was Henry King aboard Planet in 1921.
“That was a rarity,” Hotaling said. “If people see that and think black jockeys competed into the 1920s alongside white riders, that’s just not true. By 1910, they were all but gone.”
The last black jockey to ride in the Preakness Stakes was Willie Simms in 1898. The last black jockey to ride in the Belmont Stakes was Jimmy Lee in 1908.
Clayton and his family lived in what later would be known as the Engelberger House in North Little Rock from 1895-99. His earnings had enabled him to build a home that the Arkansas Gazette described in 1895 as the “finest house on the North Side.” The home at 2105 Maple St. was purchased by Swiss immigrant Joseph Engelberger in 1912. It was listed in 1990 on the National Register of Historic Places.
Bradburn wrote: “Written in pencil in the attic are the names of Clayton and eight brothers and sisters, as well as ‘Mama and Papa Clayton’ and ‘1899’ and ‘Goodbye.’ On a baseboard to the right is a drawing of what appears to be a jockey, under which is written ‘Ragtime Jimmie,’ the meaning of which is unknown.”
In April 1901, Alonzo Clayton was arrested at Aqueduct in New York for allegedly fixing a race. The charge later was dismissed, but his career was over for all practical purposes. He made short comeback attempts in Montana in 1902 and Memphis in 1904.
Clayton died in March 1917 in California of tuberculosis. He was only 41. He is buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Los Angeles.
– Rex Nelson.
His players often referred to him simply as The Man.
Buddy Benson, 77, of Arkadelphia died Friday at Baptist Health Medical Center in Little Rock.
Benson was an Arkansas sports legend – a 1993 inductee into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, an inductee into the NAIA Hall of Fame, the head football coach at Ouachita Baptist University for 31 seasons and the man who in 1954 threw a 66-yard touchdown pass to Preston Carpenter at Little Rock’s War Memorial Stadium to lead the University of Arkansas Razorbacks to a 6-0 victory over the nationally ranked Ole Miss Rebels.
The late Orville Henry, the longtime sports editor of the Arkansas Gazette, later would describe what was known as the “Powder River Play” as the school’s most famous play to that point because it put the Arkansas program on the map and gave the Razorbacks a statewide following.
During his lengthy coaching career, Benson was known for turning boys into men. His hundreds of former players had a strong loyalty to the man who had been such a tough taskmaster when they were in college. Benson was an intense coach, a man who accepted nothing less than a player’s best. He consistently led Ouachita teams to winning records in the Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference, an amazing accomplishment considering the ever-present lack of quality facilities and funds at Ouachita.
Benson produced 16 all-America and 208 all-conference players during his 31 years as Ouachita’s head coach.
Benson compiled a 162-140-8 record at Ouachita and won four AIC championships, but he often said his greatest accomplishment was the fact that almost all of his players graduated. Former Tigers moved on to success in business, medicine, law, education and other professions. His recruiting strategy was based on quality rather than quantity, not only physical quality but also mental and moral excellence. Once those recruits reached the Ouachita campus, Benson saw to it that football and social life did not outweigh academic concerns.
Though he had chances to move to larger schools, Benson decided to spend his career at Ouachita.
He once explained: “There’s just something special about this school. You can see it in the students and feel it when you walk around the campus. We have a high class of individuals who go to school here, and I think that if a kid can stick it out with us for four years, he’ll end up being a pretty high-class person himself.”
Benson’s most famous player was Cliff Harris, a 1985 Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame inductee who played in five Super Bowls for the Dallas Cowboys and was inducted into the Cowboys Ring of Honor.
Harris said his college coach “taught us to achieve at levels we didn’t believe were possible. At critical moments in my life, I’ve thought of Coach Benson and the things he taught me. It was his influence that allowed me to step it up a notch at those important times.”
Benson was born Nov. 9, 1933, and was one of the nation’s most highly recruited players coming out of high school at De Queen. He signed with legendary University of Oklahoma Coach Bud Wilkinson, whose Sooners had won the national championship in 1950.
Benson delighted in telling this story about Wilkinson taking him to dinner at a fancy restaurant in Oklahoma City: “The waiter came over and asked us if we wanted to start with something. Coach Wilkinson said: ‘Buddy, I think I’ll have a shrimp cocktail. Do you want one?’ I had rarely been out of Sevier County. I thought he was testing me. So I looked him right in the eyes and said, ‘No sir. I don’t drink.”’
Between 1953 and 1957, Wilkinson’s Oklahoma squads won 47 consecutive games. But Benson, missing his home state, transferred to the University of Arkansas.
In 1954, the man known in college as “Buddy Bob” helped lead Coach Bowden Wyatt’s team to an 8-3 record, a share of the 1954 Southwest Conference championship and a berth in the Cotton Bowl against Georgia Tech. Following college graduation in 1956, Benson was offered a professional contract to play for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the NFL. He turned down the offer to try his hand at coaching high school football.
It didn’t take him long to achieve success as a coach. His first team at Lewisville went 10-1, and his second team had a 7-1-2 record. In the spring of 1958, however, he decided he could make more money selling automobiles.
He told Texarkana Gazette sports editor Wick Temple: “I’m getting a better deal going into the automobile business. It’s just one of those things. I had the opportunity to go, and I couldn’t pass it up. As much as I like it here, I have to make a living for my family.”
Temple wrote in a column: “His was the model small school coaching situation. He produced fine athletes and a fine athletic program. He had a good record and no difficulties with anyone, much less the school board. But he quit. He left what had taken him 10 years of playing and coaching to achieve.”
Three years later, Benson realized he belonged in the world of sports molding young men’s lives rather than making money in the world of business.
He showed up at the annual Arkansas coaching clinic in Little Rock in August 1961 looking for a job. He was told that Ouachita head coach Rab Rodgers was searching for an assistant. Rodgers decided to give the automobile salesman a chance.
When Rodgers chose to devote all of his time to serving as Ouachita’s athletic director in 1965, Benson was promoted to head coach. It was, at best, a risky proposition for him. Few people believed Ouachita could win consistently in football. Some of Benson’s friends believed he was dooming his career by taking on an impossible task.
After all, he was taking over a program that had experienced just two winning seasons the previous 16 years. That’s what, in retrospect, makes the following statistic so remarkable: Ouachita would not have a losing season in Benson’s first 12 years.
The turnaround he engineered was a far cry from the late 1950s when Ouachita President Ralph Phelps had declared in a speech to the student body: “We should not expect overnight miracles of our teams or coaching staffs. Ouachita, after having been at the pinnacle of athletic glory, has sunk about as low as a school can go without dropping competition altogether.”
Benson worked his magic quickly. By his second year as head coach, the Tigers had captured a share of the AIC championship. His players were a reflection of their head coach – they wore suits on road trips; they maintained a clean-cut appearance; they played the game cleanly.
After Ouachita won a share of the AIC championship in 1975, Arkansas Democrat sports editor Fred Morrow wrote of Benson: “His athletes are going to go to class. They’re not going to abuse (or even get caught using) tobacco or alcohol, and they’re going to keep their hair nice and neat, and they’re going to say yes sir and no sir. Oh, they’re also going to receive diplomas.”
Benson often would say: “I’m not running a popularity contest.” Yet few figures in Arkansas sports history were more popular.
After retiring from coaching following the 1995 season, Benson served as Ouachita’s athletic director until 1998. In retirement, he was a constant presence on the golf course at DeGray Lake Resort State Park, where he was known for rounds of speed golf that regularly tired those golfing with him. Benson also enjoyed spending time with his family and many friends in the Arkadelphia area.
“I always wanted my kids to grow up in one town, go to one school,” Benson once said of his decision to spend decades at the same institution. “I felt like after the kids were grown, there would always be time to move on. I didn’t really count on coming to love this place so much, though. We were very happy at Ouachita. Arkadelphia is a good town to live in.”
- Rex Nelson
Class of 1959
Bill Dickey- Catcher for the New York Yankees, 1928-46. Born June 6, 1907, Bastrop, LA and later moved to Kensett, Arkansas, signed by the Yankees in 1925 from Little Rock City League and played with Muskogee, Little Rock, Jackson and Buffalo before going to the big leagues. Dickey had a lifetime batting average of .313 and played in eight World Series and eleven All-Star Games. He was the manager of the Yankees in 1946 and in Little Rock in 1947 and was the Yankees coach in 1949. Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 1954.
Jim Lee Howell- Howell played pro football with the New York Giants. Howell was a Lonoke native who lettered in football and basketball from 1933-36 at the University of Arkansas. He was All-SWC in basketball in 1936. Howell played 12 years of pro football with the Giants and then became head coach of the Giants in 1954. He also served the New York organization as a scout and manager. Two of his assistants while head coach of the Giants were Vince Lombardi and Tom Landry.
Ivan Grove – All-around athlete and former Hendrix coach, Grove was born in Denver, CO in 1894. He participated in all of the major sports at Tulsa’s Henry Kendall College, earning all-conference honors in football, basketball, track and baseball. He was an All-American football selection in 1916. Grove coached at Oklahoma Baptist prior to joining the Hendrix staff in 1924.
Hazel Walker- Walker was an 11- time All-American basketball player. She was born in Ashdown in 1914. She became a national AAU standout with Tulsa Business College in 1934, an All-American performer with the El Dorado Oliers in 1935-36 and played with the Little Rock Lewis and Norwood Flyers until 1945. Walker managed and played with her own professional team “The Arkansas Travelers”. She is a member of Helms National Hall of Fame. Inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2001.
Wear Schoonover – Arkansas’s first football All-American. Schoonover was a native of Pocahontas. He won 10 varsity letters at Arkansas in football, basketball, track and baseball. He was a two-time All-SWC basketball selection and was selected to Collier’s All-America team in 1929 as an end. Schoonover was also a top scholar with a 3.85 grade point average.
Class of 1960
Jim Benton- Benton was an All-America end at Arkansas in 1937. He was born in Carthage in 1916 and reared at Fordyce. During his Razorback career from 1934-37; Benton caught 83 passes for 1,303 yards. He later became an All-Pro end with the Cleveland Rams in 1945-1946. Was only the second player in NFL history to surpass the 1,000 mark in receiving in a season. He coached at Fordyce High School in 1941 and returned to the Rams in 1942. Benton was with the champion Chicago Bears in 1943, but returned to the Rams in 1944 through 1947. He coached Arkansas A&M (UA-Monticello) to the AIC title in 1953.
Travis Jackson- Jackson, who was born at Waldo in 1903, was the shortstop for the New York Giants from 1922 through 1936. He became the Giants regular shortstop at 20 years of age in 1923. He hit .300 or better for six seasons and had a lifetime average of .291. Jackson hit 21 home runs in 1929 and played in four World Series. He also served as a minor league manager. Was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 1982.
Jimmy Haygood- Haygood, a native of Hustburg, TN, he was the Henderson State coach for 18 years. He was quarterback at Vanderbilt from 1902 through 1905. He became Henderson coach in 1906 and led the college to six state championships. He later coached at Southern University in 1925 and as an Alabama freshman coach. He also served as coach at Southwestern in Memphis.
John Barnhill- Barnhill was coach and athletic director at Arkansas. Prior to his coaching career, Barnhill won nine letters as an all-around athlete at Tennessee from 1925 through 1928. He coached for three years at Bristol, TN and was the Tennessee head coach from 1941- 45. He compiled a 32-5-2 record at Tennessee and led the school to two bowl games. Barnhill arrived at Arkansas in 1946. As coach, he tied for the SWC title in 1946 and led Arkansas to the 1947 Cotton Bowl. He had a 22-17-3 record at Arkansas in four years. He became athletic director in 1950 and was the driving force behind turning Arkansas into a winning program.
Don Hutson, A Pine Bluff native, he became an All-Pro selection nine times with the Green Bay Packers. He was a standout student performer at Pine Bluff High School in 1929-30 and an All-American selection at Alabama in 1934. Hutson set numerous records with Green Bay from 1935 through 1945, catching 488 passes for 7,991 yards and 99 touchdowns. Don was the first player in NFL history to surpass the 1,000 yard mark in receiving in a season. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and was chosen an “All-Time All-America” by the Associated Press.
Steve Creekmore Sr.: Creekmore, a native of Van Buren, was an Arkansas quarterback and the state golf champion. He starred in football and baseball at Arkansas from 1907 through 1910. He won the state golf championship four times from 1930 through 1933, and was state runner-up in 1937 and 1941. He later played on the United States Senior golf teams in England, Scotland, Sweden and France.
Class of 1961
Morley Jennings- Jennings, who was born in Michigan in 1890, was the former Ouachita Baptist football and baseball coach. He was a three-sport star at Albion College from 1908-12. He played professional baseball at Knoxville from 1912-15. Jennings started his collegiate coaching career at Ouachita in 1912 and he produced a 67-13-12 record through the 1925 season. He was the Baylor Head Coach in 1926-40 and later a professor of physical education at Texas Tech.
Earl Quigley- Quigley was nationally known as the legendary football and track coach at Little Rock High School. He coached the Tigers from 1914 through 1946. In 22 years, his football teams won 149 games, lost 56 and tied 11. His track teams won 97 consecutive meets and 18 state championships from 1926-46. Quigley also coached baseball and basketball from 1916-30. He later served as business manager of the Arkansas Travelers. He was inducted into the Arkansas High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1995.
Lon Warneke- Warneke was born in Mount Ida in 1909 and became an outstanding pitcher for the Cubs and Cardinals from 1930-45. He compiled a pitching record of 192-121. Warneke led the National League in 1932 with a 22-6 record and an earned-run average of 2.37. He struck out 1,140 batters in his career, pitched in two World Series and five All-Star Games. He later became a major league umpire, who was called the “Arkansas Hummingbird”.
Paul Runyan- Runyan, who was born in Hot Springs in 1908, became a professional golf champion. He turned golf pro in 1922 and won more than 40 tournaments. In 1934 and 1938, Runyan won the PGA Championship. He became a member of golf’s Hall of Fame in 1959 and he was a five-time member of the prestigious Ryder Cup team. He taught professionally after his active retirement.
Hugo Bezdek- Bezdek was the Arkansas football coach from 1908 through 1912. He was born in Prague, Bohemia, in 1884. He received baseball and football letters at the University of Chicago from 1902-06 and was an All-America selection. Bezdek produced a five-year record of 29-13-1 while at Arkansas and pushed for Southwest Conference membership for the Razorbacks. He coached at Oregon from 1913-17, at Penn State from 1918-29 and for the Cleveland Rams from 1937–38. Bezdek also managed Pittsburgh in baseball’s National League from 1917-19.
Class of 1962
John Tucker- Tucker was born in Russellville in 1901 and was a former Arkansas Tech athlete and coach from 1919-47. He was a member of the original Wonder Boys, which had a 31-3-4 record from 1919-24. He was all-state for three years, scoring 461 points. Tucker quarterbacked Alabama to the Rose Bowl in 1930. He was the Head Coach at Tech from 1933-47, compiling a 77-18-8 record, which included three undefeated teams. Tucker is also a member of the NAIA Hall of Fame.
Carey Selph- Selph is a Donaldson native, born in 1902, who went on to quarterback the Ouachita Baptist team and played pro baseball. Selph was the captain of his Arkadelphia high school team and played at Ouachita Baptist from 1922-25. He signed a pro baseball contract in 1926. He played pro baseball with Fort Smith, Syracuse and Houston. As a second baseman, Selph hit over .300 for five seasons at Houston. He served as player-manager in 1933-34, leading Houston to the Texas League pennant.
John Henry (Rube) Roberson – Born in Floyd in 1889. His baseball career as a pitcher covered 22 years. He signed his first professional contract in 1908 and reached the major leagues with Pittsburgh in 1911. He won 40 games for the Pirates and Cardinals in 1912-15. He joined the New York Yankees for one year and later pitched for Little Rock in 1916-17 and 1919-27, winning 26 games in 1920 and 1922. He spent part of 1923 on loan to New Orleans and was with the Arkansas Travelers part of 1928. He retired after the 1929 season with Atlanta. He had a career record of 304-222.
Lynwood (Schoolboy) Rowe- Rowe was born in Waco, Texas, in 1910, but was an all-sports standout at El Dorado High School. Rowe was All-State in football, basketball and track in 1931. He was a major league pitcher for 15 years. Rowe had a 105-62 record with Detroit from 1933-42. He also pitched for Brooklyn and Philadelphia. Rowe had a career record of 158-101 and pitched in the 1935 and 1940 World Series. At one point in his career, Rowe had a 16 game win streak.
Ray Winder- Winder was born in Indian Springs, IN. He was best known for his role as the Arkansas Traveler’s general manager. Winder started his career in Chickasha, OK.in 1921 and operated clubs in Joplin, Missouri, Muskogee, Oklahoma, Knoxville, Tennessee, Montgomery, Alabama, and Little Rock. He was associated with the Travelers from 1915-1965. His ball clubs won four pennants and fought to keep organized baseball in the state despite many losing seasons. Little Rock’s Ray Winder Field, longtime home of the Arkansas Travelers was named after him.
Class of 1963
Dutch Harrison- Harrison, whose real name was Ernie Joe, was born in Conway in 1910. He was a PGA golfer and a Ryder Cup team member. Harrison turned professional in 1930 and won PGA tournaments from coast to coast, including the All-America in 1956. He also won the Texas Open twice, the Miami Open, Hawaiian Open and the Canadian Open. He was the Vardon Trophy winner in 1954 and was a three-time member of the Ryder Cup teams from 1947-51. He was a senior champion and a club pro.
George Cole- Cole served in three roles at the University of Arkansas (player, coach and athletic director). He was born in Bauxite in 1906. He was a sprinter in track and a quarterback in football at Arkansas. Cole scored 185 points from 1925-27 and was named All-SWC in 1927. He also lettered in baseball. He coached at Warren High School and College of the Ozarks and returned to Arkansas in 1934 to remain until his retirement. He became the Arkansas Head Coach in 1942, after serving as an assistant under four coaches.
Clyde “Smackover” Scott- Scott was born in Dixie, LA, but grew up in Smackover. He was a high school all-state performer in 1940-42. He was All-Southern for two years. Scott was the state track champion in 1943 in the high and low hurdles, 100-yard dash, broad jump and javelin. Scott was a three-time All-Southwest Conference football performer at Arkansas and an All-American in 1948. He was the Neil Martin Trophy winner in 1947. He was considered the fastest man in college football during his playing days. He played professional football with the Philadelphia Eagles from 1949-52. Scott finished second in the high hurdles at the 1948 Olympics held in London.
Russell May- May was a Little Rock and Arkansas standout in football and track. He was the pole vault champion at Little Rock High from 1907-10. He participated in the shot putt and broad jump. May was the fullback on Little Rock High’s 1909 championship football team. While at Arkansas, May was selected All-Southern, All-Western and an “All-Time All-Star” by the New York Sun in 1935. He lettered in track and football from 1910-13.
Class of 1964
Julius Petty- Petty, a native of England was the National Trap Shooting Champion. He was named by Field and Stream Magazine to its All-America team for eight years. He had 543 consecutive targets without a miss. Petty twice won the World Open title (1945 and 1948), was Grand National Champion, won the North American clay target title and was National Singles Champion. In 1954, he led all shooters on 2000 targets with a .9890 average.
Bill Carr- Carr, born in Pine Bluff in 1909, was an Olympic Gold Medal winner in 1932. Carr was a standout sprinter and jumper at Pine Bluff High School. He was track captain at Mercersburg Academy in 1927-28. While at the University of Pennsylvania he set records in the National AAU and NCAA in the 400- meter and 440-yard dashes. In the 1932 Olympics at Los Angeles, he won the 400-meter dash in a time of 46.2. Carr also ran anchor on the winning 1600-meter relay team.
George Kell- Kell was born in Swifton and was a major league third baseman for 15 years. Kell signed a pro baseball contract in 1940 and reached the American League with Philadelphia in 1943. He played for Detroit (1946-1952), Boston, Chicago and Baltimore. Kell won the AL batting crown in 1949 with a .343 average. He hit over .300 nine-times with a lifetime average of .307. Kell played in ten All-Star Games before retiring after the 1957 season. George served as the television voice of the Detroit Tigers for 37 years. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 1983.
Dan Estes- Estes was born in Carrollton in 1888. He played on Arkansas’ undefeated football team in 1909. He also participated in basketball, baseball and threw the shot in track. Estes coached at Warren High School in 1912, Arkansas State Teachers College in 1915 and after serving in World War I returned to Teachers to coach all sports. Estes Stadium at the University of Central Arkansas bears his name.
Glen Rose- Rose was a native of North Little Rock and a former player and coach at Arkansas. He was a three-time All-SWC basketball selection from 1926-1928. He made All-SWC in football in 1927. Rose served as an assistant coach at Arkansas from 1929-1932.He was the head basketball coach from 1933-42 and won five SWC titles. Rose also served as the Arkansas business manager (1946-48). He coached at Stephen F. Austin College from 1948-51 and then returned to Arkansas as coach in 1952, staying 14 years. Rose had an overall record of 328-203.
Class of 1965
J.L. (Nick) Carter- Carter was born at Bluff City in 1892. He starred in football, basketball and track at Fordyce High School. At Arkansas in 1913, he lettered in football and baseball, and then transferred to Ouachita Baptist in 1914. Carter quarterbacked OBU for three years and during that span, his teams lost only once to an Arkansas team. That team was the Arkansas Razorbacks. He was All-State at Ouachita for three years and lettered in track and baseball. Carter also won three senior golf tournaments.
Gordon Carpenter- Carpenter was born in Ash Flat in 1919. He was a two-time All-State performer in high school and lettered three years while at Arkansas. He was also an All-SWC basketball selection in 1943. He played six seasons with the Phillips team and was named AAU All-America form 1943-47, scoring 2,366 points. He joined the Denver AAU team in 1948 and was again named All-America in 1950. Carpenter was a Big Eight basketball official and was named to the Helms Hall of Fame in 1960.
Tom Murphy- Murphy was born near Jonesboro in 1909. He was an All-American basketball performer out of Batesville High School and played in the national tournament in Chicago in 1927. While at Arkansas, Murphy was also an All-SWC fullback in 1933 and lettered three years. He also lettered three years in basketball and was twice named All-SWC. He was also a track standout at Arkansas in 1932. Murphy coached at Little Rock Catholic from 1935-39 and at Henderson College from 1939-41.
Paul (Bear) Bryant- Bryant was born in Kingsland, Arkansas, in 1913 and went on to become the winningest coach in NCAA history with 323 wins. He was a standout performer with Fordyce High School teams from 1928-30. He played end for Alabama teams that had a 32-3-2 record from 1933-35 and played in the Rose Bowl. Bryant was an assistant coach at Alabama in 1936 and Vanderbilt in 1949. He landed his first coaching job at Maryland in 1945. He later coached at Kentucky (1946-53), Texas A&M (1954-57) and Alabama in 1958. He won SWC and Southeastern Conference titles and his teams played in 11 bowl games. His Crimson Tide teams won six national championships (‘61-64-65-73-78-79); he was the National Coach of the Year three-times as well as Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year eight-times.
Class of 1966
Johnny Sain- Sain was born in Havana in 1917 and signed a pro baseball contract in 1936 and later became an All-Star pitcher in the major leagues. He pitched for Osceola, Newport, and Nashville before going to the Boston Braves in 1942. He won 24 games in 1948. In 1951, he joined the New York Yankees and stayed with the ball club until 1955. In 11 major league seasons, Sain had a record of 139-116. He had a 2-2 record in four World Series appearances in 1948, 1951, 1952 and 1953.He played on the All-Star teams of 1947, 1948 and 1953. He was also the Yankees pitching coach.
Quinnie Hamm Toler- Toler was born near Sparkman in 1909 and was an All-America basketball player. She was the captain of the Sparkman High School team for four years (1927-30) and scored 114 points in one game and 1,245 for the season. Toler played for Crescent Junior College, Tulsa Business College and the Shreveport Draughon team. She set national AAU tournament records in 1929-30 and was twice named All-America while with the high school Sparklers. She was called “greatest women basketball player in the world” at the 1930 national tournament.
Francis A. Schmidt- Schmidt was a football coach at Tulsa, Arkansas, TCU and Ohio State. He was born in Downs, Kansas, in 1885. He lettered in football and baseball at Nebraska in 1903-07. He later coached Arkansas City High School from 1907-13. He coached at Tulsa from 1919-21 and produced a record of 24-3-2. Schmidt coached at Arkansas for seven years and compiled a record of 42-20 from 1922-28. His basketball coaching record included four championships, 1926-29. His TCU teams twice won SWC titles in football and basketball. He was at Ohio State (1934-40) and Idaho (1941-44).
Ken Kavanaugh- Kavanaugh was born in Little Rock in 1916. He later became an All-American end at LSU and a pro standout. He was at LSU from 1937-1939. Kavanaugh was an All-State performer in football and basketball. He later played eight years with the Chicago Bears and was All-Pro in 1946-47. He also served as end coach for Boston College and the New York Giants. Kavanaugh was selected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1963.
Class of 1967
Elwin (Preacher) Roe- A native of Ash Flat in 1915 he signed a contract with the baseball Cardinals in 1938 and had 17 years in pro baseball, boasting a career record of 127-84. Roe was with Pittsburgh four years, 1944-47, striking out 148 batters in 1945.He was with Brooklyn in 1948-54, producing a 22-3 record in 1951. Roe pitched in three World Series (1949, 1952, 1953) and was a five time All-Star. He played baseball and basketball at Harding College and also coached at Hardy and Melbourne.
Frank Broyles- Longtime head football coach and athletic director at Arkansas. Born in Decatur, Georgia, in 1924. Earned 10 letters at Georgia Tech and was a Baylor assistant coach from 1947 until 1949. He was assistant coach at Florida (1950) and Georgia Tech (1951-56) and became the Missouri Head Coach in 1957.Broyles joined Arkansas in 1957 and took the Razorbacks to six bowl games in the next nine years. His Hogs won seven SWC titles (1959, 1960, 1961, 1964, 1965, 1968 and 1975). The 1964 team went 11-0 and won a National Championship. His 1964-65 squads won 22 games straight. Broyles’ overall record at Arkansas was 144-58-5 and he is the winningest coach in the school’s history.
Thomas Freeman- World Welterweight boxing champion. Freeman was born in Hot Springs in 1904. He won 144 bouts, lost 16 and had 17 draws in 185 professional fights from 1920-38. He had a string of 47 undefeated fights. Freeman beat Jack Thompson in 1930 for the World Welterweight title. He successfully defended his title five times in three months before losing to Thompson in 1931. Freeman later fought as a middleweight in the U.S. Navy during World War II.
Class of 1968
Elmer Smith- Smith was a Hendrix all-sports star and AIC football coach. He was born in Casa in 1907. He played basketball and football at Danville and was a four-sport letterman at Hendrix from 1927-31. Smith was the Hamburg High School coach from 1931-33. He was an assistant coach at Hendrix in 1933-36 and at Centenary from 1936-42. He was head coach at Southern State from 1946-54, with an eight-year record of 57-27-2. His teams won AIC titles in 1951 and 1952. Smith was an assistant coach at Texas A&M from 1954-68.
Howard “Red” Hickey- Hickey was a pro football coach and All-SWC selection at Arkansas. He was born in Hickeytown in 1917. He was an All-State end at Clarksville High School in 1936. He was All-SWC in football in 1940 and All-SWC in basketball in 1940 and 1941. He played pro football with the Cleveland Rams in 1945 and the Los Angeles Rams in 1946-48. Hickey was an assistant coach for the Rams (1949-53). He was the San Francisco 49ers head coach from 1959-63 and an assistant coach with the Dallas Cowboys from 1964-65.
Gene (Sodie) Davidson- Davidson was a quarterback at Arkansas from 1915-19. He was born in Hon in 1896. He was a Fort Smith High School football star from 1912-14 and also a standout in basketball and baseball. He was a four-year letterman at Arkansas and an All-SWC quarterback selection in 1919. Davidson played pro baseball in the Western Association with the Fort Smith club.
John Howell (Bo) Rowland- Rowland was a football coach at Henderson and Ouachita Baptist. He was born in Arkadelphia in 1903. Rowland lettered in three sports at Arkadelphia from 1916-19, also at Henderson-Brown in 1919-21 and at Vanderbilt in 1921-25. He coached at Henderson from 1925-31 and had a 53-9-3 record. He also coached Ouachita to a 9-1 record in 1931. Rowland coached at The Citadel, Oklahoma City and George Washington University after assistant jobs at Oklahoma, Syracuse and Cornell. He had a career record of 100-44-5 in 16 years.
Class of 1969
Wally Moon- Major league outfielder and coach. Moon was born in Bay in 1930. He lettered in basketball and baseball at Texas A&M in 1947-51. He signed a pro contract in 1950 and joined the St. Louis Cardinals in 1954. In 12 years in the big leagues, Moon hit .295 or better seven years. He played with the Los Angeles Dodgers from 1959-65 and in the 1959 and 1965 World Series. He appeared in the All-Star Games of 1957 and 1959. Moon had a lifetime average of .289 for 1,457 games. He later coached at San Diego and was coach and athletic director at John Brown University.
Glen Rice- Four-sport star at College of the Ozarks. Rice was born in Kuttawa, Kentucky, in 1908. He attended Dumas High School and was a four-year letterman in football, basketball and track from 1922-25. He set javelin and broad jump records at College of the Ozarks from 1926-28. He also lettered in three other sports. Rice set the NCAA javelin record at the national meet in Chicago in 1928 and qualified for the Olympic tryouts at Harvard. He coached at Helena High School from 1929-31 and Dumas from 1931-35.
Allen Dunaway- Dunaway was the coach at Pine Bluff High School from 1924-39. He was a native of Conway. Dunaway played fullback at Arkansas A&M. He coached at Magnolia High School in 1923 and joined the Pine Bluff staff as an assistant in 1924. As head coach of the Zebras for 14 years, he compiled a record of 120-23-9. His Zebras defeated Baton Rouge in the Little Sugar Bowl (26-0), for the National Championship. Dunaway also coached basketball and track.
Class of 1970
Fred Thomsen- Arkansas football coach from 1929-41. Thomsen was a Nebraska native who was born in 1897 at Minden. He was a high school All-State selection. He was a Nebraska letterman for three years in baseball, two in football and one in track. Thomsen was the high school coach at Gothenburg, NE, in 1926, winning the state championship. He became an assistant at Arkansas in 1927 and was head coach from 1929-41. His Razorback teams set national passing records. Thomsen had an overall record at Arkansas of 56-61-10 in 13 seasons.
George Harper- Harper was a major league outfielder from 1916-29. He was born in Arlington, Kentucky, in 1892. He played basketball and baseball at Fordyce High School. He was a player/manager for 23 years in pro ball. Harper signed with Paris, Texas, in 1913 and joined the Detroit Tigers in 1916 for three years. After the war, he played with Cincinnati for three years, Philadelphia for three years, and New York Giants for two years and the Boston Braves for one year. Harper had a lifetime average of .303, including a.349 in 1925. He either managed or played at El Dorado, Jackson and Augusta and when he was 60 years old with the Camden Naval Station.
Melvin McGaha- McGaha was a major league baseball manager. He was born in Bastrop, LA., in 1926. He lettered in basketball and baseball at Mabelvale High School. McGaha lettered in football at Arkansas from 1944-48. He played pro basketball with the New York Knicks in 1948-49. He signed a baseball contract in 1948 and pitched for Houston, Columbus, Shreveport and Mobile. He managed the Cleveland Indians in 1961-62 and later on he was the skipper for Kansas City.
John (Duke) Wells- Wells was an all-around athlete at Henderson, coach and athletic director. He was born in Casco in 1914. He was a Gurdon High School football star with an undefeated 1931 team. He also played on three championship Henderson football teams from 1932-35. He was a two-time All-AIC selection in basketball. Wells played pro baseball from 1933-38. He was an assistant coach at Hot Springs and Camden, before becoming coach in 1941. In 20 years, his football team compiled a record of 73-61-11. He won AIC titles in football and baseball. Wells became Henderson’s Athletic Director in 1962.
Class of 1971
Eddie Hamm- Hamm was an Olympic record holder in 1928. He was a native of Lonoke. He was a track winner in four events in 1923-24. During state meet competion he competed in the Olympic tryouts in Chicago. He broad jumped 25-6 at Georgia Tech. He won the 100 and 200-meter dashes in record times in the SEC in 1928-30. He jumped 26 feet in the 1928 Olympics, but the jump was not allowed. He then jumped 25-4-3/4 to set the Olympic record.
Wilson Matthews- Matthews was an Arkansas Tech football player and an outstanding coach in the Little Rock system. He was born in Atkins in 1921. Wilson lettered four years at Atkins and was twice all-state. He was All-AIC at Arkansas Tech from 1940-42. He played at Arkansas in 1942, Monticello A&M and with the Marine football team. As the Little Rock High School football coach, Matthews compiled a record a 111-15-3, winning 10 state championships and producing a 33 game win streak. He was an Arkansas assistant coach from 1958-71. He was inducted into the AHSCA Hall of Fame in 1996. His likeness is part of the covet “Broyles Award” which goes to the top assistant coach in college football.
Franklin (Swede) McCormack- McCormack was a standout Hendrix performer from 1926-28. He was born in Malvern in 1904 and became an all sports performer for the school in 1920-22. McCormack was an All-State end at Hendrix in 1926-27 and All-Southern in 1927. He held records in the 220-yard dash, 440-yard dash and the broad-jump for Arkansas colleges. He later served for seven years as a member of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission from 1949-56.
Pat Summerall- A native of Lake City, Florida, Summerall was a Razorback standout in the early 1950’s who later became a well known place kicker in the NFL. He played for Detroit (1952), the Chicago Cardinals (1953-57) and the New York Giants (1958-61). His best year was 1959 when he scored 90 points on 30 of 30 extra points and 20 of 29 field goals. Following his playing days Pat went into broadcasting serving as a play-by-play announcer for CBS and Fox (40 years). Pat teamed up with John Madden for 22 years to form the most recognizable broadcast team in history. Worked 26 Super Bowls. While with CBS he worked the Masters and United States Open.
Foy Hammons- Hammons was an all-sports standout and a coach. He was born in 1894. Hammons attended Little Rock High School and participated in football, basketball and track. He attended Jonesboro A&M in 1913-15 and was All-State in football and basketball. He attended Indiana in 1916. Hammons was head coach at Jonesboro A&M 1919-20; Pine Bluff High School 1921-25; Ouachita Baptist 1926-28; Monticello A&M 1931 and Hope High School 1934-45. At Pine Bluff his teams won five state titles. He won titles at Ouachita in 1926 and 27. His record at Hope was 92-43-4.
Class of 1972
Dave Hanner- Hanner was a player and coach with the Green Bay Packers. He was born near Parkin in 1930. He was an All-State football player at Parkin High School in 1947.He was a two-time All-SWC guard for Arkansas in 1950-51. He joined the Green Bay Packers in 1952 and played 13 seasons. He was a member of the World Championship teams of 1961 and 1962. Hanner was an All-Pro tackle five times. In 1965 he became an assistant coach with the Packers.
Boyd Cypert- Cypert was an Arkansas quarterback and a pro baseball player. He was born in Little Rock in 1889. He played third base for the Arkansas Razorbacks in 1910-12. He signed a pro contract in 1913. He played briefly in the major leagues in 1914. He was also a football standout from 1910-12 and a business manager of athletics from 1933-40. Cypert helped form the first Arkansas football official’s organization.
Maurice (Footsie) Britt – Britt was an Arkansas football and basketball star. He was born in Carlisle in 1919. He lettered in track, basketball and football at Lonoke High School for four years (1933-37). He was a football letterman at Arkansas in 1938-40 and lettered in basketball in 1939. Britt was an honorable mention All-American and played one year with the Detroit Lions. He received the Congressional Medal of Honor in World War II and was elected Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas in 1966.
Charles McClendon- McClendon was the Louisiana State University football coach. He was born in Lewisville in 1924. He attended Magnolia A&M and played football in 1946-47. He played at Kentucky in 1948-50 and went to two bowl games. McClendon worked as an assistant coach at Kentucky, Vanderbilt and LSU. He became the LSU head coach in 1962 and in 10 seasons went to eight bowl games, winning six. Among his accomplishments was a National Coach of the Year award.
Class of 1973
Ray Hamilton- Hamilton was a standout football player at Arkansas. He was born in Sheridan in 1916. He received three basketball letters at Sheridan from 1931-34 and one letter in football. He also participated in the broad-jump and shot in track. At Arkansas, he received three letters in basketball and football. He played on the Arkansas basketball championship teams of 1936 and 1938. He was an end for the Cleveland Rams, Detroit Lions and the Los Angeles Rams. He also officiated for four years.
Sam Coleman- Coleman was a Camden coach and an Arkansas standout football player. He is a native of Strong. Coleman captained the Arkansas football team of 1923. He lettered four years at Arkansas from 1921-24 when the teams had a combined record of 23-22-3. He became the Camden coach for 35 years, retiring in 1957. He produced championship teams in football and track. He also coached basketball.
Sherman Lollar- Lollar was a major league catcher for 18 seasons. He was born in Durham in 1924. He played with Cleveland in 1946, New York Yankees in 1947-48, St. Louis Browns in 1949-51 and the Chicago White Sox in 1952-63. Lollar won the Gold Glove for fielding in 1957, 1958 and 1959. He played in the World Series in 1947 and 1959. He later coached at Baltimore and Oakland and managed at Tucson.
W.I. (Bill) Walton- Walton was the Ouachita coach for nine years. A native of Benton, he played on their State Championship team of 1918. He spent one year at Hendrix and later played halfback at Ouachita from 1921-24. He coached at Bauxite, and then produced a four-year record of 46-8-2 at Fordyce and a six-year record of 51-9-4 at El Dorado. Walton turned out championship teams at Ouachita through 1942.
Class of 1974
John R. Thompson- Thompson was a Hendrix College standout and coach. He was born in Amity in 1898. He lettered on a college team while in Hendrix Academy from 1917-20. He was a football, basketball and track star, who received 13 letters. He was a three time All-State selection in basketball. At one time Thompson held six state college track records from 1920-24. He reached the Olympic trial finals in the decathlon in 1924. He also coached at McGhee, Warren, El Dorado and Ft. Smith. In 37 years, he compiled an overall coaching record of 156-62-20.
Reece (Goose) Tatum- Tatum was a Globetrotter basketball great. He was born near El Dorado in 1921. He gained worldwide fame as the Clown Prince of the court with the Harlem Globetrotters from 1942-54 and with is own Harlem Road Kings from 1955-56. He played basketball at Madison High and Lincoln High in Forrest City and Washington High in Memphis. He started his career with the Cincinnati Clowns.
Raymond (Rabbit) Burnett- Burnett was a standout football star at two colleges and a coach. He was born in New Hope in 1914. He lettered for four years in basketball and football at Atkins High School from 1927-31. He was All-AIC in football at Arkansas Tech in 1935 and for State Teachers in 1936. Burnett signed a pro contract with the Cardinals for one year. He coached at Atkins in 1939-40. He was the head coach at Little Rock High School from 1944-47, Arkansas Tech from 1948-53 and North Little Rock from 1954-56.
Jack Robbins- Robbins was an Arkansas football and basketball player. He was born in Little Rock in 1916. He was an All-State performer at Little Rock High in 1933. Robbins was an All-SWC quarterback at Arkansas in 1936. He produced 3,253 total offensive yards from 1935-37. He was All-SWC in basketball in 1938, leading the Razorbacks to a Southwest Conference title. Robbins played in the Olympic basketball finals in 1936. He played two years of pro football with the Chicago Cardinals in 1938 and 1939.
Class of 1975
Charles (Foot) Clement- Clement was an All-America tackle at Alabama. He was born in Rover in 1908. He lettered in four sports at Arkansas Tech and was a three-year varsity letterman at Alabama from 1927-31. Clement was All-Southern and captain of the Alabama Rose Bowl football team of 1920. He was named on several All-America teams. He later became a Southern Conference official.
Allan Berry- Berry was a Henderson and Vanderbilt athlete who also served as the War Memorial Stadium Manager. He was born in Dalark in 1907. He played high school football at Gurdon. He played at Henderson-Brown for three years, 1925-28 and the guard position at Vanderbilt from 1929-31. He coached at El Dorado and Smackover. Berry served as the Memphis stadium manager from 1946-48 and the War Memorial Stadium manager from 1948-69. He was secretary of the Razorback Club and active in other organizations.
Bobby Winkles- Winkles was the baseball coach at Arizona State. He was a native of Swifton, born in 1930. He was a pro shortstop for Colorado Springs, Indianapolis and Tulsa from 1951-58. Served as head coach at Arizona State for 13 years, winning three NCAA titles. He was Coach of the Year in 1965, 1967 and 1969. Winkles produced an overall record of 534-173. He was a coach with the California Angels in 1972 and manger in 1973-74 and later served as manager of the Oakland A’s (1977-78).
Lamar McHan- McHan was a quarterback at Arkansas and in the pros. He is a native of Lake Village and was born in 1931. He was a four-year standout at Lake Village High School from 1946-49. He later played at Arkansas and was All-SWC in 1951, 1952 and 1953. McHan spent 10 years in the National Football League with the Chicago Cardinals, Green Bay Packers, Baltimore and San Francisco. He also coached Northern Arizona, Arlington and the New Orleans Saints.
Miller Barber- Barber was a PGA touring golf professional. He was born in Shreveport in 1931. He was a member of the Arkansas golf team from 1950-52. He turned pro in 1958. Barber won nine tournaments on the PGA schedule. He won $117,359 in 1971 and more than $900,000 on the tour during his career. He was a member of the Ryder Cup teams in 1969 and 1971.
Class of 1976
John Hoffman- Hoffman was a Chicago Bear pro football standout in 1949-56. He played every minute of his first five years in the National Football League as a linebacker, end and back. He made the Pro Bowls in 1954 and 1956. Hoffman was a Little Rock High all-state player in 1943-44 and All-State in basketball in 1944-45. He won four track events in the state meet in 1945. He joined the Bears in 1949, rushing for 1,366 yards and catching 135 passes in eight years. Hoffman retired at age 30 and became the England High School coach.
Walter (Junie) Dowell, Jr. – Dowell was an amateur golfer. He won more than 70 tournaments, including the American Seniors Match and Medal in 1966, Arkansas Seniors in 1967 and was runner-up World Seniors in 1966. He received the Sports Illustrated Award of Merit in 1966 and played with the U.S. team in International matches. He was the director of the Southern Golf Association. Dowell was born in Walnut Ridge in 1909. He attended Arkansas in 1927-29 and Texas in 1929-30.
J.W. (Billy) Mitchell- Mitchell was the Little Rock Boys Club director for more than 50 years, starting in 1919. He was a long-time Arkansas AAU commissioner. He was a basketball, track and football official, working 10 consecutive state basketball tournaments. He retired as an official in 1936. Mitchell lettered in basketball at Little Rock High School and participated in football. He later played basketball at Texas A&M. The Billy Mitchell Boys Club is named for him.
Billy Ray Smith, Sr.- Smith played pro football for 14 years from 1957-71. He was an All-SWC tackle at Arkansas in 1956. He was drafted third by the Los Angeles Rams in 1957. He played at Pittsburgh in 1958-60 and with the Baltimore Colts from 1961-71. He was a member of the Super Bowl Champion Colts in 1971. Smith was an Augusta High School standout from 1950-52. He made the All-American Prep Team in 1952. He was a Golden Gloves fighter, regional champion in 1953-54 and twice Mid-South heavyweight champion, 1955-56.
George J. Terry- Terry was a three-sport standout at College of the Ozarks in 1930-32. He was born in Newport in 1909. His 1927 Batesville High School basketball team was the runner-up in the National Tournament at Chicago. He received letters in football, basketball and baseball at George Washington in 1927-30. Terry later coached at Sloan Hendrix Academy in 1933, Pine Bluff in 1934-38, Greenville, Mississippi, in 1939-42 and as the Pine Bluff head coach from 1946-54. His Pine Bluff teams were 49-12. He was also an assistant at LSU, Army, Ottawa in the CFL and South Carolina.
Class of 1977
J.M. (Johnie) Burnett- Burnett was Executive Director of the Arkansas Activities Association from 1946-74 and was instrumental in building a sound state high school program. He was an all-around athlete at Jonesboro High School from 1924-27. He attended Arkansas State University and Southwestern of Memphis from 1929-32. Burnett was a coach and administrator at Shawnee High School in Joiner for 12 years until becoming the AAA director. He was inducted into the AHSCA Hall of Fame in 1995.
Leon (Muscles) Campbell- Campbell was a fullback and linebacker at Arkansas from 1946-49. He averaged 4.5 yards per carry and held a one-game rushing record of 236 yards until 1973. Campbell led Bauxite High School to two state track championships; scoring 36 points in one state meet with first place wins in five events. He was a member of the Razorback Cotton Bowl team in 1946. Campbell played six years with the Baltimore Colts, Chicago Bears and Pittsburgh Steelers from 1950-55. His career was shortened by knee injuries and he retired at the age of 28.
Willis Hudlin- Hudlin was a major league pitcher with Cleveland, Washington, the New York Giants and the St. Louis Browns. He won 158 major league games from 1926 until 1940. He was the manager of the Little Rock Travelers in the 1942 championship year. He was also manager and owner of minor league clubs at Jackson and Greenville, MS. Hudlin was also the pitching coach for the Detroit Tigers and a scout for the New York Yankees.
Tom Pickell- Pickell was an All-America basketball player at Arkansas in 1929. He led the Razorbacks to records of 10-2, 20-0, 16-1 and three straight SWC titles. Pickell was a three-time All-Southwest Conference basketball selection. He also lettered in track. He was a member of a strong Phillips 66ers team and was AAU All-America in 1932, 1934 and 1935. He is a native of Fayetteville.
Bobby Mitchell- Mitchell, a pro wide receiver was among the top 10 in the NFL for 10 straight years, scoring 91 touchdowns and being selected to four Pro Bowl teams. He was a Cleveland halfback from 1959-61, playing in 48 consecutive games. He joined the Washington Redskins in 1962 and the led the NFL with 72 catches for 1,384 yards and 11 touchdowns. He’s a native of Hot Springs and once scored 26 touchdowns for Langston High School in one season. Mitchell was an All-Big Ten halfback at Illinois and the world record holder in the indoor 70-yard low hurdles. In 1958, he played in the College All-Star Game and tied for the Most Valuable Player award. Mitchell was the head scout for the Redskins after his retirement in 1962.
Class of 1978
Joan Crawford- Crawford was a 13-time AAU American basketball star. She was inducted into the AAU Hall of Fame in 1961 and the Helms Hall of Fame in 1967. Crawford was a member of 10 National AAU champions at Nashville Business College in 12 years from 1958 through 1969. She spent two years at Clarendon, TX, Junior College. She was twice named AAU Most Valuable Player. In 1957, Crawford played for the United States team that beat Russia in the World Tournament at Rio de Janeiro. She was also a three-time All-State selection at Van Buren High School from 1953-55.
Alvin Bell- Bell was an all-around athlete at Little Rock High School and Vanderbilt, who later was a referee for 30 years. He officiated in four Sugar Bowl games and eight Blue-Gray Games. He also worked the 1936 U.S. Olympic basketball trials. Bell won 12 letters at Little Rock High from 1916-19, and was an all-sports star at Vanderbilt from 1920-24. He was an All-Southern forward in basketball. Bell was active in the Little Rock Boys Club and civic clubs.
Eddie Meador- Meador was an All-Pro defensive back with the Los Angeles Rams. He played 12 years in the NFL, from 1959-70, starting in 159 games in a row. Meador, a Russellville native, was an Arkansas Tech halfback for four years, 1955-58, scoring 272 points and rushing for 3,358 yards. He was named to the Little All-America team by the Associated Press in 1958. He was voted the “outstanding back” in the All-Star College Game at Tucson, AZ in 1959.
Brooks Robinson- Robinson was the Baltimore Orioles third baseman for 23 seasons, from 1955-77. He won 16 Gold Glove awards from 1960-75. Robinson was the outstanding player in the 1970 World Series and the American League’s most valuable player in 1964 when he batted .317 with 28 home runs and 118 RBI’s. He hit 268 home runs during his pro career. Robinson is a Little Rock native who starred in basketball at Little Rock Central and in baseball with the Little Rock American Legion team. He retired in 1977 at 39 years of age. Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 1983.
Fred Williams- Williams was a defensive tackle with the Chicago Bears and Washington Redskins for 15 years, 1952-66. He played on the NFL Championship team in 1963 and played in four Pro Bowls. Williams lettered for four years at Arkansas. He was an All-State selection twice and All-Southern once at Little Rock High School. Williams was the center on his high school basketball championship team. He also was heavyweight boxing champion in high school. He played in the 1952 College All-Star Game.
Class of 1979
Lance Alworth- Alworth was an outstanding pro football wide receiver with the San Diego Chargers and Dallas Cowboys. He caught 542 passes for 10,266 yards and 85 touchdowns in 11 years. He led the AFL in receiving in 1966, 1968 and 1969.He caught a t-d pass in the Dallas Cowboy’s Super Bowl win in 1972. Alworth was an All-America halfback at Arkansas in 1961, playing with three Razorback championship teams in 1959 through 1961. He had a career record of 1,330 yards gained on 421 carries, catching 40 passes for 686 yards, returning 52 punts for 739 yards and punting for a 34.5-yard average. Alworth, a native of Brookhaven, Mississippi, was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977.
Johnny Adams- Adams was an SWC basketball standout at Arkansas in 1939, 1940 and 1941. He set a one game scoring record of 36 points against TCU in 1941 and that mark stood for 25 years. Adams scored 206 points in the 1941 season, as the Razorbacks became the undefeated SWC champions. He was considered a jump-shot artist, joining the famed Phillip’s 66er’s semi-pro team that ranked as one of the greatest in the nation from 1940’s into the 1960’s. Adams was an All-State selection at Beebe High School.
James B. Abraham- Abraham was a coach and Lonoke superintendent of schools from 1921 through 1964. He was one of the leaders in establishing the Arkansas Athletic (Activities) Association. Abraham was an outstanding athlete at Arkadelphia High School and Ouachita Baptist University, gaining state honors from 1915-20. He coached four sports and three Hall of Famers (Jim Lee Howell, Eddie Hamm and Maurice Britt). He also served as president of the high school AAA in the 1940’s.
J.A. (Ike) Tomlinson- Tomlinson was a long-time coach at Arkansas State University from 1943 through 1976, coaching six sports. He was the athletic director for 23 years, head football coach in 1945 and head basketball coach from 1944-49. Tomlinson was named NCAA Coach of the Year in 1964, compiling an overall baseball record of 543-439. He was elected to the College Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in 1970. Tomlinson is a native of Macon, GA.
Warren Woodson- Woodson was coach of four AIC football champions and five basketball champions at Arkansas State Teachers College from 1935 through 1941. His overall coaching record for nearly 50 years was 272-126-20. He coached at Texarkana Jr. College (1927-34), State Teachers (1935-40, Hardin-Simmons (1941-51), Arizona (1952-56), New Mexico State (1958-67) and Trinity (1970-73). His coaching career started in 1927 and he coached all sports before retiring at the age of 71. Woodson was born in Ft. Worth, Texas in 1903. He was a basketball standout at Baylor University from 1920-24.
Class of 1980
Byron (Buster) Brannon- Brannon was the TCU basketball coach from 1948-67. He won four SWC titles during that span. Brannon was the head coach from 1938-42 and his Horned Frogs shared one SWC crown. He was a two-time All-SWC selection at TCU and was the quarterback in football. Brannon, a native of Pine Bluff, was an all-around athlete at Athens Texas High School where his team won state and national titles in 1929.
Ellis Kinder- Kinder was a major league pitcher from 1946-57 with a record of 102-71 with St. Louis, Boston and Chicago in the American League. He had a 23-6 record for Boston in 1949. He was a relief pitcher in 69 games in 1953 and 63 games in 1951. Kinder pitched in the Kitty League with Jackson from 1938-40 and Memphis in 1942 and 1944. He was sold to the St. Louis Browns in 1946 for his first major league season. Kinder, who was born in Atkins, retired from baseball at the age of 43.
Curtis King- King was the Augusta High School coach for 30 years and one of the leaders in forming the Arkansas High School Coaches Association All-Star Games. He coached the Augusta football teams to a 203-83 record from 1944-73. He also coached boys and girls basketball and track. King was a native of Mountain View and attended Arkansas College and Jonesboro Baptist. He coached at East Ridgewood Academy in 1928, Mountain View in 1930 and Beebe from 1937-40. He was inducted into the AHSCA Hall of Fame in 1995.
Marilyn (Sonny) McRae Houston- Houston was a professional tennis instructor. She was also the Little Rock City Chapter winner from 1932-40. She won titles in Mississippi, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Tri-State and Missouri Valley sectional. Houston played in Forest Hills National and Eastern events. She turned pro in 1950 and co-captained the Junior Wightman Cup team in 1957-58.
Elijah Pitts- Pitts was a running-back with the Green Bay Packers playing on five NFL Championship teams and two Super Bowl championship teams. He scored 35 touchdowns during his 11 years as a pro player. He also played for the Chicago Bears, Los Angeles and New Orleans. Pitts became a Baltimore assistant coach in 1971 and was a longtime assistant with the Buffalo Bills. He was drafted from Philander Smith College in 1961. He is a native of Mayflower and attended Pine Street High School in Conway.
Barry Switzer- Switzer, who was born in Crossett in 1937, was the head football coach at Oklahoma. Had an overall record of 157-29-4 and his teams won National Championships in 1974 and 1975. Switzer was a center and linebacker for Arkansas’ SWC champions in 1959. He was an Arkansas assistant coach from 1960-65. He was an Oklahoma assistant coach from 1966-72. He later coached the Dallas Cowboys and led them to a win in Super Bowl XXX.
Floyd “Arky” Vaughan- Vaughan was a major league infielder with Pittsburgh and Brooklyn from 1932-48. He had a lifetime average of .318, winning the National League batting title with a .385 average in 1935. He hit .364 in seven All-Star games and .500 in one World Series. Vaughan collected 2,103 major league hits, including 96 home runs. He was born in Clifty in 1912.
Class of 1981
Wayne Harris- Harris was an All-Canadian Football League selection eight of 12 years. He was an All-America linebacker at Arkansas in 1960 and received All-SWC honors in 1959-60. Harris was the outstanding player in the SWC in 1960. He was an Academic All-America in 1959 and played in the All-America game in 1961. Harris joined Calgary in the CFL in 1961. He was named All-Western Conference 11 years and selected to the Canadian Football League Hall of Fame. Harris was an All-State selection at El Dorado High School for three years. He was All-Southern and All-America prep guard. He was born in Hampton in 1938.
Jim Mooty- Mooty was an All-American halfback at Arkansas. He played on the 1959 SWC championship team and with the 1960 Dallas Cowboys before injuries ended his career. He was a member of the College All-Stars in 1960. Mooty was an All-SWC selection in 1958 and 1959 and played in the 1959 Senior Bowl. He averaged 5.4 yards as a Razorback, gaining 1,152 yards in 211 carries. He was the Most Valuable Player in the 1960 Gator Bowl. Mooty was an All-State selection at El Dorado High School for three years, a prep All-America and a four-sport standout.
Sam F. Hindsman- Hindsman was the basketball coach at Arkansas Tech for 19 years from 1947-66. He won or shared 11 AIC titles including seven in a row. His teams played in the NAIA tournament nine times, reaching the semi-finals in 1954 and 1955. He was the Arkansas State Teachers College basketball coach in 1947. Hindsman also coached Tech football in 1954-58, winning two league titles. He had a record of 30-13-2. His Tech basketball teams won 69 games in a row against state teams from 1952-55. Hindsman also coached at Dermott and North Little Rock High Schools. He was a standout athlete at Sunflower, MS Junior College and Memphis State. He is a native of Columbus, Mississippi, born in 1919.
Don Kessinger- Kessinger was the shortstop for the Chicago Cubs for 12 years and the Chicago White Sox manager in 1979. He was a six-time All-Star National League shortstop, setting a record of 54 errorless games in 1969 while hitting a .273. He topped the league in double plays for five seasons and compiled 500 or more assists for six seasons. Kessinger played for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1976, White Sox in 1977-79 and Ft. Worth in 1964-65. He was an Ole Miss standout in baseball and basketball, earning All-Conference honors. He was also a four-sport star at Forrest City High School.
Clifford Shaw- Shaw was a nationally known football and basketball official. He was an official for 35 years in the Southwest Conference, the Big Eight, and the Big Ten. He worked a number of bowl games including the Cotton Bowl and Sugar Bowl. He officiated the finals of the NCAA tournament in 1953. Shaw was a commissioner of the AIC for 12 years, starting in 1956, while receiving no salary. He was a four-sport letterman at Little Rock High School earning 10 letters. Shaw signed a pro baseball contract with Little Rock in 1927 as a shortstop. He attended Arkansas and started officiating in 1930.He was born in Liberty in 1908. He was inducted into the AOA Hall of Fame in 1996.
Class of 1982
Milan Creighton- Creighton was an Arkansas multi-sport standout from 1927-31. He played pro football and was a coach with the Chicago Cardinals from 1931-38. Creighton earned three letters each in football, basketball and track. He was All-SWC in football in 1928, 1929 and 1930. He was All-SWC in basketball in 1929 and 1930. He played end for the Cardinals in 1931-34. At the age of 27, he was named coach and served from 1935-38. Creighton introduced the spread formation to the NFL in 1935. He also coached at Hot Springs High School in 1940-45 with a 44-16-4 record. He is a native of Gothenburg, NE.
Deward Dopson- Dopson was an Arkansas Tech basketball standout and coach. He scored 1,863 points in four seasons, 1948-52. He once scored 56 points in a single game in 1952. Dopson coached at Arkansas Tech from 1965-72 with a 106-89 record. He also coached at Manila and Harrison High Schools from 1954-60, compiling a 208-95 record. Dopson played with Caterpillars in Peoria, Ill in 1953 and pro basketball with the Minneapolis Lakers in 1954. He is a native of Strong.
Audrey (Cob) Fowler- Fowler was a triple threat tailback at Arkansas in 1946-47. He was a member of the SWC co-championship team which played in the 1947 Cotton Bowl. He led the Hogs to a win in the 1948 Dixie Bowl. Fowler averaged 35.1 yards on 11 punts, returned 45 punts for 624 yards in 1946 and 1947. He was an Arkansas Tech standout in 1939, 1940 and 1945. He led the nation in scoring for the 1945 undefeated AIC champions. Fowler averaged 34 yards on 27 punts in the mud against State Teachers in the 1939 championship game. He was a track sprinter with 20.9 speed in the 220 and 9.4 speed in the 100. He was a standout athlete at Dumas High School.
Jim Pace- Pace was an All-America running back at Michigan in 1957 and a track standout. He was third in the NFL pro draft in 1957 and played four years with San Francisco, although handicapped by knee injuries. He also played pro football with Oakland, New York Giants and Hamilton of the Canadian League from 1958-63. He played in the East-West Shrine Game in 1957. Pace was a Dunbar High School football and track star from 1950-54, running a 9.6 in the 100. He was an AFL administrative assistant from 1964-66, an Oakland football scout, an actor in TV commercials and a school administrator in Los Angeles.
Hugh (Bones) Taylor- Taylor played end for the Washington Redskins for eight years, 1947-55. He caught 298 passes for 5,880 yards and 58 touchdowns. He was a Florida State assistant coach in 1956-57; Arkansas State coach in 1958-59; New York Titans assistant in 1960-62, San Diego coach in 1963, Houston Oilers head coach in 1964 and a Pittsburgh assistant for four years. Taylor attended Northeast Louisiana Junior College, Tulane and Oklahoma City University. He was a Wynne High School four-sport star from 1938-41.
Ambrose (Bro) Erwin- Erwin was a basketball coach, teacher and superintendent at Beebe High School for 38 years before retiring in 1969. He won the state title in 1941 and fielded strong contenders from 1933 through 1948. He won 40 games in 1937 and reached the semifinals of the state twice and the finals in 1944. Erwin won seven district football titles and 17 district track championships in 23 years. He was a Hendrix College track, football, basketball and swimming star. He was a native of Des Arc.
Class of 1983
Willie Davis- Davis was a defensive end for the Green Bay Packers during their peak years under Vince Lombardi. He grew up in Texarkana and was an NAIA All-America at Grambling University in 1955. Davis was drafted in the 17th round by Cleveland and was traded to Green Bay in 1960. Davis was All- Pro five times during the next decade. He was a 1981 inductee of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Jerome (Dizzy) Dean- Dizzy Dean, a member of baseball’s Hall of Fame, won 30 games for the World Champion St. Louis Cardinals in 1934. His career was shortened by an injury suffered in the 1937 All-Star game. In 1931, Dean overmatched the Texas League for Houston with a 28-10 record while striking out 303 batters in 304 innings. He went 18-15 and 20-18 for St. Louis in 1932-33. When he retired he earned an equal measure of fame as one of baseball’s most colorful broadcasters and commentators. Dean was born in Lucas, near Booneville on January 16, 1910. Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 1953.
Paul (Daffy) Dean- Paul Dean won 19 games for the 1934 St.Louis Cardinals. He and his brother Dizzy won two games each as St. Louis shaded Detroit in the World Series, four games to three. Paul’s career was cut short by arm injuries. In his rookie season of 1934, Dean went 19-11 and pitched a no-hitter against Brooklyn. That season he struck out 150 and walked only 52 in 233 innings. In 1935, Paul had a 19-12 record with 143 strikeouts and 55 walks in 270 innings. Paul Dean was born in Lucas in 1913 and broke into pro baseball in 1931.
Lou Holtz- Holtz is a native of East Liverpool Ohio, and a graduate of Kent State. He was hired from the New York Jets to replace Frank Broyles as Arkansas’ head football coach in 1977. Holtz carried the Razorbacks to six bowl games. His first Arkansas team was an 18-point underdog to Oklahoma in the 1978 Orange Bowl and pulled off a 31-6 upset victory. In seven years, Holtz compiled a 60-21-2 record. He later coached at Minnesota, Notre Dame and South Carolina (winning a National Championship with the Fighting Irish).
Lee Rogers- Rogers, a former University of Alabama all-around athlete, came to Arkansas in 1935 as a left-handed pitching prospect with the Little Rock Travelers. He was one of the Trav’s solid pitchers on Doc Prothro’s Southern Association pennant winner of 1937. After trials with the Boston Red Sox and Brooklyn Dodgers, Rogers retired from baseball and settled in Little Rock as a sporting goods dealer and game official. Rogers was born in 1913 and grew up in Tuscaloosa, AL, where he played football, baseball, and basketball and ran track for Holt High School.
Eddie Sutton- Sutton is a native of Bucklin, KS, and a graduate of Oklahoma A&M. He was hired as head basketball coach at Arkansas in 1974. He took over a program that had produced only one Southwest Conference title in the previous 24 years and turned it into one of the most amazing success stories in college basketball. In 11 years at Arkansas, Sutton compiled a record of 260-75 (.776 percent). Sutton won or shared five league titles and his Hogs made nine straight trips to the NCAA tournament, which included a 1978 trip to the Final Four and a third-place finish. Eddie left Arkansas for Kentucky, closing out his career at Oklahoma State University, just 4 wins shy of 800.
Class of 1984
Fred Akers- Akers is a Blytheville native who played football for Arkansas and was later head coach at Texas. Akers coached the Longhorns for 10 years and produced a 86-31-2 record. He was a star high school halfback at Blytheville. Akers was a senior on Frank Broyles’ first championship team at Arkansas. It was an Akers field goal that provided a 3-0 victory over defending champion TCU that allowed Arkansas, TCU and Texas to finish in a first-place tie in 1959. Akers was hired as the Wyoming coach in 1975. He then replaced Darrell Royal at Texas in 1977 compiling a record of 86-31- and 2. His Texas teams played in 9 bowl games in 10 years. He was inducted into the Texas High School Hall of Fame in 1998.
Kay Eakin- Eakin, of Marianna, led the SWC in punting his three varsity seasons with the Arkansas Razorbacks 1937-39. As a senior he led the nation in passing (962 yards) and was third in total offense (1,344). His 41.2 punting average in 1938 was fifth best in the country. Eakin was a consensus All-SWC back in 1939. He compiled 1,520 yards passing and 2,164 yards of total offense in his college career. Eakin played for the New York Giants in 1940-41. He closed out his career with the Miami Seahawks of the old All-America Conference.
C.R. (Sonny) Gordon- Gordon coached 40 years in his hometown of Holly Grove before retiring in 1980 with a dozen or so district championships in both football and basketball. His 1976 boy’s basketball team won the Class AA state championship and went undefeated to the finals of the overall championship. Over a two-year stretch in the early 1960’s, Holly Grove won 21 straight football games. Gordon was an all-sport athlete for Holly Grove and Arkansas A&M. He started his coaching career at Sloan-Hendrix and Walnut Ridge. In 1940, Gordon returned to Holly Grove. He was inducted into the AHSCA Hall of Fame in 1996.
Thomas Hill- Hill is a New Orleans native who was recruited by Arkansas State University as a sprinter and quickly developed into a world class hurdler. Hill won the bronze medal in the 1972 Olympic high hurdles in Munich. As a sophomore, Hill ran a 13.6 in the 120-highs to break a 20-year old state collegiate record of 13.7. In the state meet, Hill also tied the state record of 21.0 in the 220-yard dash. In 1971 at the U.S. Track and Field Federation Games, Hill was clocked at 13.3, a tenth of a second off the world record. In the semi-finals, he ran a 13.1 wind-aided time. He tied the world record of 13.2 in the finals.
Gayle Kaundart- Kaundart, an Alma native, coached in the state for four decades with stops at Green Forest (1950-53), Conway (1953-55), Fort Smith Northside (1956-1974) and Westark Community College. His Westark record going into the 1983-84 season was a 268-51 and was topped by a National Junior College Championship in 1981. None of his junior college teams won fewer than 26 games in a season. Kaundart won five state titles in 19 years at Northside and his 1974 squad, led by Ron Brewer, went undefeated. Kaundart attended College of the Ozarks and in 1949 played on the school’s first AIC championship basketball team. He was inducted into the AHSCA Hall of Fame in 1996.
Class of 1985
Joe Garagiola- Garagiola served as the Hall of Fame’s first Master of Ceremonies. He handled the first eight Hall of Fame banquets, plus another in 1974. Garagiola was formally installed as an honorary Hall of Fame inductee. He once worked as color analyst on the St. Louis Cardinals broadcasts and later became a nationally known sportscaster. He also served as the co-host of the Today Show on NBC.
Cliff Harris- Harris was born in Fayetteville in 1948 and grew up in Hot Springs and Des Arc. He later played at Ouachita Baptist University and later starred for the Dallas Cowboys at free safety. During his senior year in high school, Harris quarterbacked the Class A Des Arc Eagles to an 11-0 season. Harris who played on defense in college and the pros played 10 seasons with the Cowboys, 1970-79, a span worth five Super Bowls for the franchise. Six-times he was named to the Pro Bowl.
Ragon Kinney- Kinney is a Hartman native and a three-time national amateur boxing champion between 1939 and 1944. At 17, he reached the finals of the State AAU Tournament only to lose a controversial decision. Kinney started as a 112-pound novice in 1931 and had more than 200 amateur bouts. He won the Golden Gloves Intercity title as a light heavyweight in 1939, the AAU in 1941 and the Golden Gloves intercity in 1944.
Eugene Lambert- Lambert was a four-sport athlete at Arkansas in the 1920’s and a successful basketball coach at Arkansas, Memphis State and Alabama. In his seven years as Arkansas basketball coach, 1942-49, Lambert led the Razorbacks to a record of 113-61; two SWC Championships, two NCAA bids and no SWC finish lower that third. Lambert was born in Searcy and grew up in Augusta. He enrolled at Arkansas in 1925. As a junior and senior, Lambert was All-Conference on teams that went 19-1 and 16-1. He started his coaching career at Texarkana High in 1929. He moved on to other jobs in Texas and Ohio but returned to the University of Arkansas in 1937.
Floyd Sagely- Sagely excelled in both football and basketball at Van Buren High and the University of Arkansas. In high school (1947-50), he started every varsity outing in football, basketball, track and baseball in his 9th through 12th grade seasons. At Arkansas, he started every football and basketball game for four years, except for the Texas A&M football game of 1951 due to an injury. He was an All-SWC selection in 1953 leading the Hogs in interceptions. He was also voted by the student body as the U of A’s best athlete. Floyd played for the San Francisco 49ers and the St. Louis Cardinals in the NFL.
Eugene (Bo) Sherman- Sherman was an outstanding athlete and coach at Henderson State University in the 1920’s and early 30’s. Sherman’s high school days were spent in Searcy. He played for Henderson and upon graduation in 1930, was retained as an assistant coach. He became the Henderson head coach in 1931. In four years, he won three consecutive AIC titles from 1932-34. He later coached at what are now UA-Monticello, Nashville High School, The Citadel (1938-42) Oklahoma City University (1946-47) and George Washington University (1948-52).
Class of 1986
Bill Bergey- Bergey, a native of South Dayton, NY, was a linebacker for Arkansas State University. He played linebacker in the NFL for the Cincinnati Bengals and the Philadelphia Eagles. Bergey was the first defensive player in the history of the NFL to sign a $1 million contract. Bergey was the MVP in the 1968 Pecan Bowl despite a 23-14 loss to North Dakota State. He also was the MVP in the North-South Shrine Game and the College All-Star Game. Bergey was drafted by Cincinnati in the second round of the 1969 NFL draft. He was picked four times by The Sporting News to the All-NFL team and played in four Pro Bowls. Bergey had 27 career pass interceptions.
William Irving- Irving, a Morrilton native, was a versatile Arkansas College athlete, who also coached at Forrest City High School with considerable success through out the 1930’s and 1940’s. He also served as the school’s superintendent. In 1929-30 he lettered in six sports at Arkansas College. Irving compiled a 101-30-7 football coaching record at Forrest City. In his first year as the Mustang coach, Forrest City’s football team was 27-1 during the regular season. The track team won the district title, the baseball team went undefeated, and the golf team won the state title and the tennis team finished second in the state.
W. Howard Pearce- Pearce was a former player at Little Rock High School, Arkansas Tech and the University of Arkansas. He was a coach and former manager of War Memorial Stadium. Pearce grew up in Little Rock and started his football career at West Side Junior High. He also played baseball and did some amateur boxing in high school at Little Rock High from 1933-35. For 16 years, Pearce served as manager of War Memorial Stadium.
Loyd Phillips- Phillips was a two-time All-American defensive lineman at the University of Arkansas. He played on Razorback teams that compiled a 29-3 record from 1964-66. Phillips was a three-time All-Southwest Conference selection (1964-66). Won the coveted Outland Trophy his senior season as the best lineman in college football. Phillips played pro football for the Chicago Bears and the New Orleans Saints. He was the Bear’s first-round draft pick in 1967.
Bill Vining- Vining, who coached the men’s basketball team at Ouachita Baptist University, won more that 500 games in his 30 years plus coaching career. Vining produced his first 20-game winner in 1960 and from 1962 through 1978 his teams won six Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference championships, and made six trips to Kansas City for the NAIA National Tournament. Vining is a native of Eudora and played both football and basketball at Ouachita in 1947-51. He also served as athletic director at OBU.
Class of 1987
Alton Baldwin- Baldwin, a native of Hot Springs, became an All-SWC end in 1946 at Arkansas and was selected as the most valuable lineman in the Razorback’s icy 0-0 tie with LSU in the 1947 Cotton Bowl. He was drafted by the Buffalo Bills of the Old-World Conference. He was one of the league’s leading pass receivers and scorers. Baldwin later spent a year with the Green Bay Packers of the NFL and finished his career with the Ottawa Roughriders of the Canadian Football League.
Clair Bates- Bates, a native of Lincoln and a 1932 graduate of Fort Smith High School, coached Van Buren teams to seven state championships and 20 district titles in basketball. His football teams won 11 district championships. In 1950, Bates’ senior boys and senior girls both ruled as state basketball champs. Bates, who played on Ft. Smith Junior College’s last football team in 1934, also coached at Alma from 1937-41. He switched to Van Buren in 1942. His girl’s teams had a 60-game win streak in 1950-51 and an 86-game win streak in 1953-55. He was inducted into the AHSCA Hall of Fame in 1995.
Jim Lindsey- Lindsey, a native of Forrest City, was a big-play wingback for the University of Arkansas. He played for Razorback teams that put together a 22-game winning streak from 1963-65. He was also a member of the 11-0 1964 National Championship team. Lindsey was honored as an academic All-America selection in 1965. He played for the Minnesota Vikings from 1966-72 and served as captain of the special teams in the NFL.
John McDonnell- McDonnell, a native of County Mayo, Ireland and a former Southwestern Louisiana University distance runner turned a low scoring Arkansas track and field team into a national powerhouse by winning six national track and field or cross country championships by 1987. He was appointed U of A cross-country coach in 1972 and took over responsibility for the track and field program in 1978. By 1987, his teams were working on a streak of 13 SWC cross-country titles. In 1985, he became the second coach ever to win a collegiate triple crown in track by winning the NCAA indoor and outdoor events and the cross-country meet. As of the fall of 2006 his teams had won 42 National Championships.
Larry Snyder- Snyder, is a native of Toledo, Ohio, and became the sixth jockey in history to win 5,000 races when he rode Tennessee Rite to victory September 2, 1984 at Louisiana Downs. He started his professional riding career at 18 in 1960. He became a year-round Hot Springs resident in 1968 and a popular jockey at Oaklawn Park. Snyder was the leading Oaklawn rider seven times and by 1987 his mounts had earned more then $35,000,000 in 27 years.
Class of 1988
Gene Bearden- Bearden was a native of Lexa. As a left-handed knuckle baller, Bearden pitched seven years for the Cleveland Indians, Washington Senators, Detroit Tigers, St. Louis Browns and Chicago White Sox. As a rookie major league pitcher in 1948, Bearden had a 20-7 record and his earned run average of 2.43 was the best in the American League. He led Cleveland to the World Series, where he won one game and was credited with a save in another as Cleveland defeated the Boston Braves four games to two. Bearden finished his career with an overall record of 45-38.
Lewis Carpenter-Carpenter, a native of West Memphis, was a football player who did everything well during his career at Arkansas in the early 1950’s. He played running back, wide receiver and tight end. He also served as back-up quarterback. He played for Detroit and Cleveland and finished his playing career as a reserve running back for Vince Lombardi’s first wave of Green Bay championship teams. He coached pro football at Minnesota, Atlanta, Washington, Houston, Green Bay and Detroit.
George Kok- Kok, a near seven footer, was a three-time All-Southwest Conference center for the Arkansas Razorbacks (1945-48). He left as the school’s all-time leading scorer with 1,644 points in 94 games. He averaged 17.5 points overall and 17.9 points in conference games. He twice led the SWC in scoring. Kok played high school athletics at Grand Rapids, MI. Kok retired at Louisville, Kentucky after a 24-year career as athletic director at Pleasure Ridge Park High School.
Jimmy (Red) Parker- Parker was an outstanding athlete and coach and served as offensive coordinator at Ole Miss prior to being inducted into the Hall of Fame. He started his coaching career at Fordyce High School in 1953. His eight-year record of 105-15-4 was capped by a 37 game-winning streak. As a college head coach for the University of Arkansas at Monticello (his alma mater), The Citadel, Clemson, Southern Arkansas and Delta State, he had a composite record of 127-107-8. He also spent one season as a Vanderbilt assistant coach. Parker was considered one of the nation’s top-ranking veer experts. He was inducted into the AHSCA Hall of Fame in 1998.
Dwight Sloan- Sloan, a native of Rudy, did a lot of the throwing and some of the receiving when Fred Thomsen’s Arkansas Razorbacks ruled as the passingest team in the nation in the 1930’s. He was a member of the 1936 team that secured Arkansas’ first SWC football championship. As a senior in 1937, Sloan completed 78 of 164 passes for 1,074 yards. Sloan played one year at Alma High School then finished his high school career at Van Buren, scoring 151 points during his junior year and 160 in his senior year. He also excelled in basketball, track and baseball.
Class of 1989
Sam Cook- Sam Cook compiled a 35-year record of 250-83-22 as a high school football coach. He worked in Murfreesboro, Dierks, North Little Rock, Rison and De Witt. He also worked in Idabel OK. His De Witt teams won or shared nine conference championships in 20 years. Cook’s 1950 Rison team won a state championship. He retired from coaching after the 1973 DeWitt season.
Ken Hatfield- Hatfield, a Helena native, led the nation in punt returns in 1963 and 1964 his junior and senior seasons at Arkansas. He was an All-Southwest Conference defensive back and Academic All-America in 1964. As a coach, Hatfield revitalized the Air Force Academy football program before returning to his alma mater in 1984. His first four Razorback teams reached the final conference game with a shot at the Cotton Bowl. His teams won the SWC league title in 1988 and 1989. Has the best winning percentage in Razorback football history. While head coach at Air Force he was named National Coach of the Year. Was also the head coach at Clemson and Rice.
Harold Horton- Horton, a product of Sam Cook’s DeWitt program, coached the University of Central Arkansas Bears to a record seven straight Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference football championships, 1983-89 and to permanent status as an NAIA power. His UCA teams tied for the national championship in 1984 and 1985. Horton played defensive halfback for three SWC championship Arkansas teams, 1959-60-61. Served as a longtime assistant coach at Arkansas. He had a high school record of 43-15-3 for Bald Knob and Forrest City. He served as a U of A assistant coach 1968 through 1980.
Eddie Miles- Miles, a North Little Rock native, led Jones High School to three state basketball championships and Seattle University to three NCAA tournament bids. He was an All-America at Seattle where he averaged 23.1 points per game. Miles was the Detroit Piston’s No. 1 draft pick in 1963. He spent nine years in the NBA with stops in Baltimore and New York.
Brad Scott- Scott, a native of Prescott, was one of the Southwest Conference’s outstanding linemen of the 1920’s. He played offensive guard and defensive tackle for Arkansas in 1924-26. He was named to the 1926 All-SWC team. Scott coached successfully at Prescott before starting a 40-year career with federal agencies.
R.H. Sikes- Sikes, of Springdale, won national tournaments (Public Course Golfers) in 1960-61. He also had a NCAA Championship while playing for the University of Arkansas. While he was still an amateur, a national survey rated his putting touch the best in the game (amateur or pro). Sikes spent 10 years as a PGA tour player, winning two tournaments. He later became teaching pro in the Los Angeles, then back to the Springdale area.
Class of 1990
Hubert (Geese) Ausbie-Ausbie, a member of the Harlem Globetrotters for 25 years, combined ball handling, dribbling and scoring skills with a flair for comedy. He filled the Globetrotter role as the Clown Prince of Basketball. Ausbie played for Philander Smith College in the 1950’s.
Leota Barham- Barham was an outstanding women’s amateur basketball player in the 1930’s and 1940’s. She played for the Lewis-Norwood Flyers and Dr. Pepper of Little Rock and earned AAU All-America honors several times. With Dr. Pepper, she was a teammate of charter Hall of Fame inductee Hazel Walker.
Bennie Ellender- Ellender coached Arkansas State University to three straight Southland Conference football titles, 1968-69-70. The 11-0 Indians of 1970 were voted No.1 by the Associated Press and the United Press International in NCAA Division II. Ellender was the Indians head football coach for eight seasons (1963-70). He left ASU for the head-coaching job at Tulane University, his alma mater.
Lowell (Hoss) Manning- Manning had a highly successful high school coaching career at McGhee, Pine Bluff and Jonesboro. Later, as co-proprietor of a Little Rock sporting goods store, he became prominent for his efforts on behalf of youth organizations. He is considered one of the best athletes in the history of Arkansas College, where he starred in basketball and football.
Henry Moore- Moore was a consensus All-Southwest Conference fullback in 1954 and 1955 and led the Arkansas Razorbacks in rushing during their championship season of 1954. He played for the NFL champion New York Giants in 1956. He had been an all-state and all-southern running back for Little Rock High School in 1951.
Bobby Tiner- Tiner, of Morrilton, was one of the best athletes to ever play in the Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference. For the University of Central Arkansas Bears, he was a four-time All-AIC selection in football and baseball. He played in the Arkansas High School Coaches Association All-Star basketball game of 1962. Tiner was a passing-running quarterback who piled up 6,100 yards of total offense while leading
UCA to two football championships in four seasons. In 1969, playing minor league pro football for the Arkansas Diamonds, he led the Continental League in total offense. Tiner was later a successful high school coach at Pulaski Oak Grove.
Class of 1991
Norm Debriyn- Debriyn, a Wisconsin native, served as the Arkansas head baseball coach for three decades. By 1991, Debryin had compiled a 748-357 record and four appearances in the College World Series. Since 1978, Arkansas has ranked consistently among the Top 20 college teams in the country. DeBryin was born November 1, 1941 in Ashland Wisconsin. He lettered in football, baseball and basketball at Depadua High School in Ashland and in football and baseball at Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Was inducted into the Razorback Hall of Honor in 1991.
George Dunklin- Dunklin of Pine Bluff won the state men’s tennis singles championship nine times between 1939 and 1958. He represented the United States in several international amateur meets in 1953. At his peak, 1947-57, Dunkin was the top-ranking player in the Southern Tennis Association. His tournament championships included the Southwest Open, Tri-State, Mississippi Valley, Louisiana State Open and Tennessee Open. He was a semifinalist in the USTA National Seniors Championship in 1968.
Pat Foster- Foster was an All-Southwest Conference Arkansas Razorback basketball player from Emerson. He had a 212-96 record prior to induction for 10 head-coaching seasons at Lamar and Houston. His teams have earned nine postseason bids. Going into the 1991 season, Foster ranked 23rd in the winning percentage (.688) among active head coaches. He started his coaching career at Camden Fairview in 1962 and compiled a 10-year record of 215-95, including six straight district titles. From 1972-80 he served as an Arkansas assistant to Lanny Van Eman and Eddie Sutton.
Francis Garroutte- Garroutte was considered one of the state’s top female athletes of all-time. She led the Van Buren Pointers to four state high school championships, starting as a ninth-grader and then toured 16 years (1951-67) with Hazel Walker’s Arkansas Travelers. Garroutte was a 5 foot 11 center. After the basketball tour disbanded, she spent a year on the women’s PGA golf tour.
Gerald Nesbitt- Nesbitt of Big Sandy, TX, was an All-SWC fullback for Arkansas in 1956-57. Nesbitt was the second leading ground gainer and the leading punter in Arkansas history. He was the outstanding player in the 1957 East-West Shrine Game. He went on to an outstanding four-year career with Ottawa of the Canadian Football League.
Class of 1992
Lorietta Blann- Blann, a native of Scott, was one of the top women’s basketball players in the state in the 1940’s. She was an Amateur Athletic Union All-America in 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943 and 1945. She was a member of national championship teams in 1940 and 1941. Blann is also a member of the AAU Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. Blann played for the Little Rock Flyers until 1942 then spent two years with Arkansas Motor Coaches and two years with Little Rock Dr. Pepper.
Preston Carpenter- Carpenter led the Cleveland Browns in rushing in 1956 and receiving in 1958. He played 12 seasons in the NFL. He was a Pro Bowl selection as a Pittsburgh Steeler tight end in 1962. He also played for Miami, Washington and Minnesota. At the University of Arkansas, Carpenter was an outstanding single-wing blocking back and linebacker for the Razorbacks during 1953 and 1954. He was an All-Southwest Conference halfback in 1955. He grew up as an all-sport athlete in West Memphis and Hayti, Missouri.
Don Dyer- Dyer of Clarnedon was the head coach at the University of Central Arkansas prior to his induction into the Hall of Fame. As he began his 28th season, Dyer had posted 558 career wins. He is the only coach in NAIA history to have taken two different schools to the national championship game. (Henderson State and UCA). He is the winningest basketball coach in the history of both UCA and Henderson State. He took three teams to the NAIA Final Four. He produced 12 AIC championships and six NAIA District 17 titles. He was also inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame in 1992.
Tom Gulley- Gulley played six seasons with the Little Rock Travelers in the Southern Association and still holds the record for the highest single-season average by a Traveler. (.378 in 1925). He later played in the major leagues with the Chicago White Sox and Cleveland Indians. As Pulaski County sheriff, Gulley organized Little Rock’s Junior Deputy baseball program, the first such youth league organization in Arkansas.
Dan Hampton- Hampton, of Cabot, retired in 1990 after 12 highly successful years as the anchor of the Chicago Bears defensive front. He was named to four Pro Bowl squads and was first team All-Pro in 1982 and 1984. Was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2002. While at the University of Arkansas, Hampton gained All-Southwest Conference and All-America recognition in 1978 helping lead the Hogs to an Orange Bowl victory over Oklahoma. He was a first-round draft choice of the Bears in 1979 and he played on the Super Bowl XX championship team. Hampton played high school football at Jacksonville.
Class of 1993
Earl Bell- Bell, a Jonesboro native, went on to become one of the world’s top pole vaulters and one of Arkansas’ best known athletes. He set the state high school pole vault record of 15-0 in 1973. Bell, who attended Arkansas State University, is the only pole-vaulter in the world to clear 18 feet in three different decades. He won the bronze medal at the 1984 Olympics, finished fourth in the 1988 Olympics and sixth in the 1976 Olympics. He won the gold medal in the 1975 Pan Am Games with 17-8-1/2. He was a five-time NCAA champion. Bell also held the world record in the pole vault in 1976 and the U.S. record twice in 1976 and 1984. He had a career indoor best of 19-2-3/4.
Buddy Benson- Benson was in his 28th season as the Ouachita Baptist University head coach prior to induction. His overall record at OBU is 152-122-7. His teams won or shared the AIC title four times (1966, 1970, 1975, 1982) and he was named AIC Coach of the Year four times. Benson played for the University of Arkansas and is best remembered as the quarterback for the 1954 team, which won an SWC championship. He lettered as a Razorback in 1954 and 1955.
Jerry Dalrymple- Dalrymple, who played college football for Tulane, was born in Rosston in 1907. He played high school football for Prescott. In 1924, he enrolled at Ouachita Baptist where he played three years. He later enrolled at Tulane and played freshman football before sitting out the next year with a broken leg. Dalrymple started for the Green Wave varsity in 1929. He was All-Southern Conference for three years and an offensive and defensive end. In 1929, he was named a third team All-America. In 1930, he made most All-America teams and in his final year, 1931 he was named to every All-America team. Tulane went 11-0 before losing to Southern Cal in the Rose Bowl. He was named to the College Football Hall of Fame on 1957.
Sidney Moncrief- Moncrief, a native of Little Rock who played high school basketball at Little Rock Hall. He was an All-America at Arkansas in 1979 and a first round draft choice of the Milwaukee Bucks in the 1979 NBA Draft. Moncrief spent his first 10 years in the NBA at Milwaukee, retired for one year then spent a final season with the Atlanta Hawks. His high school jersey (No. 32) and his college jersey (No. 32) and his Bucks jersey (No.4) have all been retired. The Hall High Gymnasium is now known as “Moncrief Gymnasium”. Moncrief is also one of two Arkansans in the National High School Sports Hall of Fame. He was also a charter member of the University Of Arkansas Hall Of Honor.
Leo Nonnenkamp- Nonnenkamp, a St. Louis native, played professional baseball for the Little Rock Travelers from 1934-37. The Cardinals signed him in 1929 at the age of 18. Five years later, he landed in Little Rock, then a Class A farm club for Boston. He was named the Southern Association’s Most Valuable Player as the Travelers won the 1937 pennant. He hit .332 with 29 steals and 75 RBI. He spent several seasons with the Red Sox as a reserve outfielder.
Class of 1994
Ron Brewer- Brewer, a Fort Smith native, was an All-State basketball performer at Northside High School, leading his team to an undefeated season in 1974. He went on to an outstanding career at Arkansas and was nationally known as one of the famed Triplets. He was considered one of the best overall college players during the late 1970’s. Brewer was an All-Southwest Conference performer in 1977 and 1978. He was a second team All-America in 1978 and a first round selection by Portland in the 1978 NBA draft. Brewer played eight seasons in the NBA.
Buddy Coleman- Coleman, a Little Rock businessman, had a distinguished officiating career for over 27 years. He participated in over 250 college games including 15 major bowl games. Among them were (two Cotton Bowls, five Sugar Bowls, two Gator Bowls, two Orange Bowls and the Fiesta Bowl). He was inducted into the Arkansas Officials Hall of Fame in 1995.
Joe Ferguson- Ferguson, a native of Shreveport, LA had a rifle like passing arm that shattered records in both Louisiana and Arkansas. At the University of Arkansas, Ferguson passed for 2,203 yards as a junior in 1971 and was named the Most Valuable Player of the 1971 Liberty Bowl Game. He was the first Razorback to pass for more than 2,000 yards in one season. Ferguson was an All-Southwest Conference quarterback in 1971. He was drafted by Buffalo of the NFL and played the majority of his 17 pro years with the Bills.
Ike Poole- Poole was an All-America basketball player for the University of Arkansas in 1936. He was an alternate for the 1936 Olympic Team. He started as a sophomore in
1934 and was selected All-Southwest Conference in 1935 and 1936. Poole also lettered for the Razorback football teams of 1933, 1934 and 1935.
Class of 1995
Lou Brock- Brock was born in El Dorado in 1939. He led the St. Louis Cardinals to three National League Pennants and led the NL in stolen bases eight seasons. His career spanned 19 seasons. Brock stole 938 bases, including a National League record 118 bases in 1974 and had over 3,000 hits. He appeared in five All-Star games and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame at Cooperstown, NY in 1985.
Clell Burnett- Burnett earned 14 letters in four sports at Arkansas State Teachers College (now the University of Central Arkansas) from 1929-33. He coached Smackover to a state high school championship in 1943. He also coached at Brinkley, El Dorado and in Oklahoma. He had state championship teams in football, basketball and track. He is the father of Razorback standouts Bobby, Tommy and Bill Burnett.
Bob Courtway- Courtway was a long-time Hendrix College Athletic Director. He was one of the pioneer figures of swimming in Arkansas and became the first swim-related figure to go into the Hall of Fame. He was a charter member of the Arkansas Swimming Hall of Fame and a standout coach and teacher for three decades. Courtway won nine Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference titles, including seven in a row. He also won an area championship as water polo coach. Courtway served as the NAIA’s representative on the United States Men’s Olympic Committee and officiated at several national meets. He is also a charter member of the Hendrix College Sports Hall of Honor.
Bill Dunaway- Dunaway was selected to the Helms Basketball Hall of Fame as a coach and is a charter member of the Hendrix College Sports Hall of Honor. He earned four letters each in basketball, tennis and baseball. He served as coach of the AAU National Championship women’s basketball teams (Lewis-Norwood Flyers) of 1937, 1940 and 1941. His overall record was 143-8. Dunaway would have coached the U.S. Women’s 1940 Olympic team except for World War II.
Chuck Dicus- Dicus was the University of Arkansas’s career leader in pass receptions with 118 in three seasons. He was an All-Southwest Conference selection in 1969 and 1970. He was named to several All-America teams in 1969 and 1970. Dicus was the Most Valuable Player in the 1969 Sugar Bowl when the Razorbacks upset Georgia 16-2. Dicus had 12 receptions for 169 yards and the game’s only touchdown, a 27- yard pass. Dicus made Arkansas’ 1960 and 1970 Decade Teams and was inducted into the Razorback Hall of Honor in 1993. Dicus played for the San Diego Chargers in 1971 and 1972 and with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1973. Inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1999.
Billy Ray Smith, Jr.- Smith, a native of Plano, Texas, was the first Arkansas player of the modern era to start as a freshman. He was an All-Southwest Conference “Defensive Player of the Year” at Arkansas in 1981 and 1982. He was the only two-time unanimous All-America selection in Razorback history. Smith started every game at Arkansas (48 straight) from 1979 through 1982. He was one of Arkansas’ most versatile defensive players, playing noseguard, end and linebacker. He was twice runner-up for the Outland Trophy. Smith was inducted into the Arkansas Hall of Honor in 1994 and is a member of the UA’s Centennial Team. He’s a member of the U of A’s 1980’s All-Decade team. He played 10 seasons at linebacker for the San Diego Chargers. Inducted into the
College Football Hall of Fame in 2000.
Class of 1996
Billy Bock- Bock was one of the pioneers of high school baseball in Arkansas. His teams captured nine state baseball titles during his career which includes a state record five championships in a row. Prior to the 1996 season at Pine Bluff High School, he had an overall record of 474-76, which included 17 district titles. He won state titles at Fort Smith St. Annes in 1967, Sylvan Hills in 1974, Texarkana in 1982 and Pine Bluff in 1983, 1984,1985,1986,1992 and 1995 title. He was named the National High School Coach of the Century and Coach of the Decade for the 1980’s.
Bill Burnett- Burnett, a Bentonville native, was the Arkansas Razorback season and career record holder for touchdowns with 20 and 49 respectively. During his three-year varsity career at Arkansas, he rushed 526 times for 2,204 yards. His season best was 900 yards in 1969 behind 209 carries. He was Academic All-America and a consensus All-Southwest Conference halfback in 1969 and 1970. His father Clell and brother Bobby are also in the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame.
Larry Lacewell- Lacewell, a Fordyce native, was the defensive coordinator at Iowa and Oklahoma before returning to the state as head football coach of the Arkansas State University Indians. In 11 years at ASU, Lacewell led the Indians to two Southland Conference titles (1985 and 1986) and a 69-58-4 record. His first opportunity as a head coach was at Kilgore Junior College where he led the team to a national championship in 1964. Lacewell also worked as defensive coordinator at the University of Tennessee in 1990. Was the longtime Director of Scouting for the Dallas Cowboys.
Kevin McReynolds- McReynolds, a star high school baseball performer out of Sylvan Hills, lettered for three years at the University of Arkansas and was named the Southwest Conference Player of the Year in 1980. McReynolds was San Diego’s first round draft selection in June 1981 and the sixth pick overall. He spent 12 years in the major leagues with San Diego, the New York Mets and the Kansas City Royals. McReynolds hit at least 15 homeruns and drove in 70 or more runs in eight consecutive years. He had 211 career home runs and a .265 batting average.
Raymond Peters- Peters, who served as athletic director for the Little Rock Public Schools, was the first football coach at Little Rock Hall. Peters is a Morrilton native and also coached at North Little Rock and Little Rock Central. Peters compiled an overall record of 27-11-2 and led Hall to the 1959 state championshi0p. He played football at Arkansas Tech and the University of Arkansas.
Class of 1997
Mike Conley- Conley, a native of Chicago, participated in track and field for the University of Arkansas. He was the Olympic Gold Medalist in 1992 and a Silver Medalist in 1984 in the triple jump. He won nine NCAA horizontal jump titles (triple jump and long jump) while competing for the Razorbacks. Conley collected 17 All-American certificates during his collegiate career. His winning leap of 59-7.5 in the 1992 Olympics at Barcelona would have been a world record except for a wind that was .01 above the legal limit.
L.C. Greenwood-Greenwood, a Canton, MS native played college football at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. He later went on to stardom with the Pittsburgh Steelers as a defensive end. Greenwood is Pittsburgh’s all-time sacks leader and a six-time Pro Bowl selection. He was a member of four Super Bowl Champion teams. Greenwood spent 13 years with the Steelers and was named to the All-NFL Team of the Decade for the 1970’s.
Bill Montgomery- Montgomery, a native of Carrolton, TX was a three-year letterman at quarterback for the Arkansas Razorbacks. He completed 337 of 602 passes (.560) for 4,590 yards and 29 touchdowns during his career. He netted 5,052 yards total offense. In a three-year span, Montgomery led Arkansas to a 28-5 record. In 1997, Montgomery ranked No. 1 in yards gained per game with 360. He was second in career completions (337), second in career passing touchdowns (29) and third in career touchdowns (42).
Billy Moore- Moore, a Little Rock native, was a standout high school quarterback before becoming a standout performer at Arkansas. Moore’s three varsity Razorback teams went 25-8, won two Southwest Conference Championships and played in the Sugar Bowl twice and the Cotton Bowl once. As a senior in 1962, Moore led the SWC in rushing with 585 yards and was selected to the Look Magazine All-America team. He’s the only quarterback in U of A history to be named All-American.
Willis Watkins- Watkins, a native of Conway, was considered one of the state’s top amateur golfers. His career spanned more that 45 years and he won 93 tournaments. Watkins was the Arkansas stroke play champion in 1972 and the senior’s champion in 1982 and 1983. He twice represented Arkansas in the United States Golf Association Amateur Seniors Championship.
Class of 1998
J.W. (Chick) Austin- Austin, a Bauxite native, played football and basketball at Hendrix College then had a successful 38-year coaching career. After six years as an assistant in all sports at Hendrix, Austin coached at West Memphis, Magnolia, Hot Springs Lakeside and Searcy. He ended his career with an overall record of 126-66, winning nine football conference titles. He was the Region Coach of the Year eight times and was an All-Star assistant coach four times. He was the recipient of the Curtis King Award in 1982. Lakeside renamed its football field J.W. Austin Field in 1986. He was inducted into the Hendrix College Sports Hall of Honor in 1997 and into the AHSCA Hall of Fame in 1997.
Firmon Bynum- Bynum, a Russellville native, was an All-AIC tackle in 1938 and 1939 and in 1939 was the first Arkansas Tech player named to the Little All-American team. He played at Arkansas in 1940-41, earning All-Southwest Conference second team honors, while also being named honorable mention All- American by the Associated press in 1940. He later coached for two years at Blytheville and Arkansas Tech. Bynum is in the Russellville High School Athletic Hall of Fame and the Tech Hall of Distinction.
Monte Coleman- Coleman, a Pine Bluff native, played 16 seasons with the Washington Redskins. The former University of Central Arkansas standout was drafted by the Redskins in 1979. He played on three Super Bowl teams and set a Washington franchise record by playing in 216 games. Coleman is one of three former Redskins to play in three decades (1970’s 1980’s and 1990’s). During his career, Coleman had 56-1/2 sacks, 17 interceptions and 1,009 tackles.
Marvin Delph- Delph, a Conway native, became Eddie Sutton’s first instate signee at Arkansas after leading Conway to the Class AAA state title in 1974. He was a four-year letterman at Arkansas and led the Razorbacks to two NCAA Tournament appearances. Delph was an All-SWC performer in 1977 and 1978. Going into the 1997-98 season, Delph ranked sixth among all-time Razorback scorers with 1,742 points in 116 games. He ranked eighth (253) and ninth (245) in field goals made in a single season. He was seventh in field goal attempts (460) and ninth (452).
Jimmy Johnson- Johnson, a Port Arthur, Texas native, was the starting noseguard on the University of Arkansas’ 11-0 National Championship team of 1964. After 14 yeas as a college assistant, Johnson was hired as head coach by Oklahoma State in 1979. He later coached at Miami in 1984. His college coaching record is 81-34-3, including 52-6 and a National Championship at Miami. Johnson became the Dallas Cowboys second head coach ever in 1989 and in his fourth and fifth seasons led the Cowboys to Super Bowl victories. He became the first football coach to win a National Championships as a player, division 1 college coach and NFL coach. Johnson left Dallas in 1994 and two years later replaced Don Shula as Miami Dolphins head coach.
Mark Martin- Martin, a Batesville native, is the first individual from auto racing to gain entry into the State Hall of Fame. He was the only driver to finish in the top ten in the final Winston Cup point standings from 1989 to 2000. Prior to his induction in 1998, Mark had 22 Winston Cup victories and 31 NASCAR Busch Grand National victories. During that time he earned 32 Winston Cup pole positions. He was the 1989 National Motorsports Press Association Driver of the Year. In 1990, he was selected to the first team of the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association All-America Team.
Nolan Richardson- Richardson, an El Paso, Texas native, coached the Razorbacks for 17 seasons becoming the winningest basketball coach in school history (389-169). He led Arkansas to three NCAA Final Four appearances in the 1990’s, including winning the 1994 national title and finishing in second place in 1995. Richardson’s Razorbacks won three consecutive Southwest Conference titles, 1989, 1990, 1991 and Southeastern Conference titles in 1992, 1994 and 1995. Richardson won over 410 career games including five seasons at Tulsa. For Texas Western Junior College in 1980, Richardson won the national championship. For Tulsa in 1981, he won the NIT. He is the only coach to win this particular Triple Crown—NCAA, NIT and NJCAA titles.
Bill Stancil- Stancil, a Parkin native, attended Arkansas Tech and the University of Arkansas. He started his coaching career as an assistant football coach at Blytheville High School in 1950. He was later promoted to the head basketball position in 1954. Stancil served as head football coach and athletic director at Fort Smith Northside from 1957-69 and compiled an overall record of 111-27-4. He had three undefeated teams and led Northside to state championships in 1961, 1966, 1967 and 1968. He was the National High School Coach of the Year for District 5 in 1967. He was the AHSCA Coach of the Year in 1967-69. He was inducted into the AHSCA Hall of Fame in 1997. He served 10 years in the Arkansas House of Representatives.
Class of 1999
Ben Pearson- Pearson, a native of Paron, is considered a pioneer of modern archery and is credited with developing the molded fiberglass bow and designing or helping develop archery manufacturing machines. He was the founder of Ben Pearson Archery; Inc. Pearson was noted for his deadeye accuracy in competitive circles and for his hunts for wild game throughout the world. He is the lone representative from archery in the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame.
Mike Malham- A native of Brinkley, Malham spent some 40 years coaching on both the high school and college levels. He retired in 1989. During his career, he collected over 200 wins in both football and basketball. On the college level he served as an assistant football coach at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro for 19 years. In 1960, he was chosen as the state’s top high school coach. Mike is also a member of the Arkansas High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Keith Jackson- A two-sport star at Parkview in the early 1980’s, the Little Rock native went on to become a two-time All-American tight end at the University of Oklahoma and a six- time selection for the National Football League’s Pro Bowl. In his first seven years in the league, he caught more passes than any tight end (388) for 4,636 yards and 38 touchdowns. Jackson had a nine-year NFL career with the Philadelphia Eagles, Miami Dolphins and Green Bay Packers. As first-round draft pick of the Eagles in 1988, he retired following Green Bay’s win in Super Bowl XXXI. In 2001, he was elected into the College Football Hall of Fame. Keith now devotes most of his time to P.A.R.K (Positive Atmosphere Reaches Kids) project he founded in Little Rock in the early 1990’s.
Pat Day- A native of Brush, CO, Day is the all-time leading jockey at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs with more than 1,000 victories. Upon his retirement in 2005, he was the 4th winningest jockey of all-time with 8,803 victories. His total earnings surpassed the $297 million dollar mark. In the fall of 1984, Pat experienced his finest hour in racing. He won the Breeders Cup aboard Wild Again and that victory skyrocketed his career. A four-time winner of the coveted Eclipse Award, Day won the 1992 Kentucky Derby aboard Lil E. Tee, a 16-1 shot. Overall he rode in 21 straight Kentucky Derby’s.
Al Joyner- Joyner a native of East St. Louis, IL, was a three-time All-America in track for Arkansas State University. He holds the ASU triple jump record of 56-71/2, achieved in 1983, his senior season when he ranked No.10 among the world’s triple jumpers. Although he was considered an outside contender for the 1984 Olympic games, Joyner won the gold medal with a jump of 56 feet, 7 ½ inches. He had four of the five longest jumps in the Olympic finals. Joyner teamed with his sister, Jackie Joyner-Kersee to become the only brother-sister combination in American track and field history to win a medal each in the same Olympics. Jackie won the silver medal in the heptathlon. Al was a three-time NCAA All-America and a four-time Southland Conference Champion, 1980-83.
Ronnie Caveness- Ronnie Caveness, a native of Houston, Texas, was one of the first out-of-state blue chip athletes to sign with Frank Broyles’ Arkansas Razorbacks. Ronnie was a two-time All-American for the Hogs in 1963 and in 1964 when they went 11-0 and won the National Championship. A 6’2, 215-pound linebacker, Was named to the “All Cotton Bowl” team. His 29 tackles against Texas in 1963 remains a U of A record. Ronnie later played professional football in the AFL for the Kansas City Chiefs, Houston Oilers and Boston Patriots. A knee injury ended his pro career after five seasons.
Jerry Jones- Jerry Jones, who was born in Los Angeles but claims North Little Rock, as his home is owner, President and General Manager of the Dallas Cowboys. As a senior offensive guard, Jones was co-captain of the Arkansas National Championship team in 1964. After success in the oil and gas industry, Jones purchased the Cowboys following the 1988 season and promptly shook up Dallas and the National Football League by replacing Tom Landry with Jimmy Johnson, Jones’s former Arkansas teammate. From a 1-15 beginning in 1989, the Cowboys rebuilt their way to three Super Bowl Championships in a four-year period, 1993-96. Jones restructured the Dallas Cowboys and led them to glory days of old. He was named Entrepreneur of the Year and one of Barbara Walter’s 10 Most Interesting People. In 1995, Financial World Magazine recognized him as the owner of the “most valuable franchise”. Early in life, Jones starred as a running back at North Little Rock High School, earning a scholarship to play for the University of Arkansas.
Class of 2000
Ernest Rhone- He is one of the great success stories in Arkansas sports history. He went from being a walk-on at Henderson State to an NAIA All-American. A long shot at making it in the NFL, Rhone starred 10 years (1975-84) for Don Shula’s Miami Dolphins. In 1982, he was the team captain and led the team in tackles in Super Bowl XVII. He also played in Super Bowl XIX.
Charlie Jones- A native of Ft. Smith, Jones cut his teeth at a local radio station before becoming a pioneer in sports broadcasting. Charlie has the distinction of having broadcast Super Bowl I on NBC-TV. Over his career, he covered 28 different sports in 25 foreign countries, including three Olympics, 50 college football bowl games and 28 years of the NFL. An award winning journalist, Charlie’s first book, “What Makes A Winner” was on the New York Times Bestseller List. He broadcast the first ever A-F-L game on NBC. Is a recipient of the prestigious Pete Rozelle Radio and Television Award. Charlie was also an Emmy winning producer and writer.
Tommy Boyer- Ft. Smith native Tommy Boyer made his mark as one of the best pure shooters to come out of Arkansas. A pupil of another Hall of Famer, Coach Gayle Kaundart, Tommy starred for the Razorbacks in the early 1960’s. A record setting free-throw shooter, Boyer was twice named All-Southwest Conference for the Hogs, plus he set three NCAA scoring records and posted national free throw shooting numbers. Tommy was also deadly from the field, hitting 14 of 18 shots in a game against TCU. In both his junior and senior years in high school. Tommy was named the state’s most outstanding player. In his senior season, he was honorable mention All-American.
Jack Stephens- Prattsville native Jack Stephens has the distinction of being only the fourth chairman of the most prestigious golf tournament of them all, The Masters. Stephens, who didn’t take up golf until the age of 10, became a member of Augusta National Golf Club in 1962, a member of the Executive Committee in 1975 and Masters Chairman in 1991. Stephens was an avid supporter of junior golf in Arkansas for years. In November of 1999, he made a personal contribution of $5 million dollars to First Tee, a national foundation involving the leading U.S. golf organizations.
Clyde Horton- An Alabama native, Horton made a huge splash on the Arkansas sports scene, turning Little Rock Central into a program of national status. In 23 years, his Tigers won nine state track and field championships, as well as 15 states cross-country titles. Four times he was named “Coach of the Year” in Arkansas. Twice he was named District “National Coach of the Year”. Clyde is also a member of the Arkansas Track and Field Hall of Fame, the National Coaches Association Hall of Fame and the Arkansas Tech University Hall of Distinction.
Bobby Burnett- His induction into the Hall of Fame placed his family in a category all by themselves. Bobby is the third member of his family in the ASHOF. (His father Clell was a member of the Class of 1995, while younger brother Bill was inducted in 1996). A three-sport star at Smackover, Bobby set U of A touchdown and rushing records as a senior while becoming an All-SWC running back. Among his feats, he carried the ball 232 times as a Hog and never fumbled. Professionally, he played for Buffalo and Denver. With the Bills, he was chosen AFL Rookie of the Year.
C.W. Keopple- One of the state’s most successful high school football coaches at Little Rock Hall, his accomplishments include a Big 10 Championship in his first season, as well as conference titles in 1969, 1977 and 1982. He was a star on Jimmy Karam’s 1949 team that captured the “Little Rose Bowl”. He is a recipient of the Arkansas High School Coaches Association Curtis King Award.
Bill Meriwether- Paragould’s Meriwether was an exceptional all-around athlete. Mr. Everything at Hendrix College, Bill lettered in football, baseball, golf, swimming and track and field. He was best known for his exploits on the gridiron. He was captain of the team as well as an All-Arkansas selection. Old-timers swear not once but twice he punted the ball from behind his goal line to the other end zone. A veteran of World War II and the Korean War, he received the Bronze Star following the Battle of the Bulge.
Class of 2001
John Ed Anthony- A native of Camden, Anthony took the thoroughbred racing industry by storm in the late 1970’s. His Loblolly Stables produced horses that became household names in America. One of his best was Cox’s Ridge, who finished second in Eclipse Award voting to Seattle Slew. Among his other greats were Temperance Hill, Deamons Begone, Pine Bluff, Prarie Bayou and Vanlandingham. His stables accomplishments include victories at both the Preakness and Belmont. He’s a member of the prestigious New York Jockey Club.
John (Kayo) Dottley- After a stellar high school career at McGhee, John Dotley headed for Ole Miss where he became a record setting running back. In four years with the Rebels, he established nine school records including: career rushing, points in a season and most yards in a game. Kayo also had the distinction of having led the nation in rushing in 1949 with 1,312 yards. In 1951 he was named NFL Rookie of the Year after leading the Chicago Bears in rushing. Dottley has been inducted into both the University of Mississippi and Mississippi’s Sports Hall of Fame.
Roy Green- Magnolia’s Roy Green was a rarity in the NFL, playing both ways. A fourth round selection by the St. Louis Cardinals, Roy excelled as a receiver, defensive back and kick returner (his 106 yard return was a league record). Green had three 1,000 yard receiving seasons; twice he was chosen to play in the Pro Bowl. Green’s 14-year NFL career ended with the Philadelphia Eagles. In college Roy was a three-time All-Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference selection at Henderson State University.
Orville (O.H.) Henry- For more than 50 years this Little Rock native graced the pages of Arkansas’s top newspapers as one of America’s top college football writers. He went from “office boy cub reporter” at the Arkansas Gazette to serving as Sports Editor from 1943 until 1989. Orville built a close association with Razorback football coach Frank Broyles that was unmatched by any other journalist and coach in America. An avid golfer “O.H.” covered the prestigious Masters at Augusta National for many years. A past president of the Football Writer’s of America, he also was Arkansas’ correspondent for Sports Illustrated magazine for 40 years.
Jerry Lamb-A native of Houston, TX, Lamb was one of the first Texas “blue chip” athletes to buy into Frank Broyles building a national football power at the University of Arkansas. Before his career was over he was twice named All- Southwest Conference (1963-64) as a receiver. Although he was considered the consummate team player the awards kept coming: SWC Offensive Newcomer of the Year, the U of A’s All-Decade Team as well as the American Football Coaches All-American squad. Played on the Razorbacks 1964 National Championship team and had a brief professional stint with the Kansas City Chiefs of the old American Football League.
Houston Nutt, Sr. – A native of Fordyce, Houston excelled as both an athlete and coach. Has the distinction of having played for legendary coaches Adolph Rupp (Kentucky) and Hank Iba (Oklahoma State). Upon graduation he played for the American Association for the Deaf with his brother’s as they captured a Gold Medal in Milan, Italy in 1957. His coaching career spanned 31 years as he recorded 500 plus victories. Nutt was also a member of the American Association for the Deaf Hall of Fame and the Arkansas High School Hall of Fame.
Helen Parker- A native of Ashdown, Helen spent 35 years at her alma mater putting together some of the states top women’s basketball and volleyball teams. Her basketball teams won state championships in 1957, 68’, 69’ and ’70. Three times they made were state runner-up, six times they made it to the state semi-finals and four times they were presented the state “Sportsmanship Trophy.” In volleyball her squads won the state title and two districts championships in six years. In 1982 she was one of sixteen coaches in America to be awarded the “Distinguished Service Award” from the National High School Coaches Associations. Retired from coaching in 1993. Ashdown’s gymnasium bears her name.
Ken Turner- A native of Blackton in eastern Arkansas, Ken spent 44 years in athletics in his home state. After stops at Eudora and West Memphis High School he joined Frank Broyles’ staff at Arkansas. There he developed a national reputation as one of the top kicking coaches in America. Worked for three Razorback coaches (Frank Broyles, Lou Holtz and Ken Hatfield). Returned to his alma mater, Henderson State, in 1989 as head football coach, later becoming the Reddies athletic director.
Class of 2002
Steve Atwater- Atwater was one of the top defensive backs to ever play at the University of Arkansas. Three times he was named All-Southwest conference. As a senior he was chosen first team All-America. The NFL’s Denver Broncos thought enough of him to make him the 20th player taken in the 1989 draft. A solid first year earned him a spot on the NFL All- Rookie Team. As a Bronco eight times he was chosen to the Pro Bowl (three times as a starter). Played in 14 NFL post-season games. A native of St. Louis, MO.
Tommy Bolt- One of the more colorful players to ever step on a golf course and win. Those close to him say he did it with flair, style and a go for broke attitude. Racked up 15 PGA Tour wins from 1951-61. Won a dozen tournaments on the Senior Tour in as many years. Most notable victory was the 1958 United States Open at Southern Hills. Twice he was chosen to the prestigious Ryder Cup Team (1955 and 1957) Among his many wins on the Senior Tour were the PGA Senior, the World Seniors Championship and the coveted U.S. National (four times). Lived for awhile at Cherokee Village.
Brandon Burlsworth- One of the most decorated offensive lineman in Razorback history. Went from being a walk-on to a first team All-America selection his senior season. Not only was he All-SEC he made the All-SEC Academic Team four years running. Only University of Arkansas player to ever earn his master’s degree before playing his final game. Played on two Western Division championship teams for the Hogs. Was the 63rd player taken in the 1999 NFL Draft (Indianapolis Colts) He was killed in a tragic car accident just before reporting to training camp. His U of A jersey (# 77) is the only the second retired in school history. A native of Harrison.
Ralph (Sporty) Carpenter- One of the most successful football coaches in the AIC. Paced the sideline at Henderson State University for 19 seasons. Winningest coach in HSU history. Had an overall record of 119-76-5. In the early 1970’s Henderson won three consecutive AIC championships (1973, 1974 and 1975). In his 19 seasons in the league 13 of his teams finished in the top 20 in the NAIA poll. After his 5th AIC title in 1985 Sporty was named NAIA Coach of the Year. Served as President of the NAIA Coaches Association. Stadium at HSU bears his name “Carpenter – Haygood Stadium” Teams won 5 AIC championships. Had stops as a high school coach at Wynne and Magnolia. A native of Monticello.
Joe Foley- One of the winningest coaches in college basketball history. At the time of his induction into the ASHOF he had an unbelievable winning percentage of 85%. He guided the Golden Suns of Arkansas Tech University to two National Championships (1992 and 1993). Six-times his teams made it to the Women’s Division II Final Four. He also has to his credit two NCAA South Regional Championships. Twice he has been National Coach of the Year. Fourteen years running his teams won 20 or more games. In the 1990’s his teams went 285 and 53. He is currently the women’s basketball coach at UALR. He is a native of Alpena.
Rush (Buddy) Harding- A very successful high school coach in Arkansas for nearly 4 decades. Made the Clarendon Lions a football and track powerhouse. His football teams won 151 games while losing only 57. Averaged 8.3 wins a season. Had one football state championship and six district titles. In track and field his teams won five state championships and eight district titles. Three times his basketball team qualified for the state tournament. Twice Buddy coached in the High School All-Star game. The football field at Clarendon High School bears his name “Harding Field”. He’s a native of Holly Grove.
Joe Kleine- A two-time All–Southwest Conference performer for Eddie Sutton’s Razorbacks, Joe was named SWC Newcomer of the Year after transferring from Notre Dame, His final two seasons Joe was the Hogs leading scorer, graduating as the U of A’s fourth all-time leading scorer (1,753 points). His senior season was his best as he averaged 22.2 points and 8.4 rebounds a game. In 1984 he represented the United States as a member of the gold medal Olympic basketball team. Professionally he spent 15 years in the NBA winning a title with the Chicago Bulls in 1997-98. The Kings drafted him in the first round. During his tenure he played for the Kings, Celtics, Suns, Nets, Lakers and Bulls. A native of Slater, MO.
Willis (Convoy) Leslie- An outstanding player and coach at then Arkansas A&M (now the University of Arkansas Monticello). As head coach he guided the Weevils to three consecutive Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference championships (1955, 56 & 57). His overall record was 34-11-1. Convoy’s winning percentage of 75% is tops in UAM history. Overall he had 22 players make all-conference with three grabbing All-America status. As a player at Fordyce he was a bruising all-state fullback for the Redbugs and two year all-conference player (1946 & 1948). At UAM they named the football stadium in his memory. A native of Fordyce.
Junior Lewis- A longtime teaching professional at the Country Club of Little Rock. Affectionately known as “Pro”, Junior and his brother Paul spent endless hours teaching youngsters the game of golf. They were also very instrumental in the development and growth of Junior Golf in our state. As a youngster he was an excellent player capturing the 1936 Arkansas State High School Championship while at St. Anne’s. In 1997 both he and his brother Paul were inducted into the Arkansas Golf Hall of Fame. A native of Ft. Smith.
Frank McClellan- One of the most successful high school coaches in America. He is the winningest coach in Arkansas high school history. At one time his Barton Bears held the national record for the most consecutive regular season wins (111). His teams won eight state championships as well as 21 district titles. Frank’s Barton teams hold the state record for most consecutive wins with 63. Six times Frank served on the All-Star staff; twice he was been named Coach of the Year in Arkansas. The Democrat Gazette voted him Coach of the Decade for the 1990’s. His teams had 18 perfect seasons. He’s a member of the Delta State Hall of Fame, and the National High School Hall of Fame. He’s a native of Sallis, Mississippi.
Cliff Powell- A high school quarterback, he went on to become one of the most decorated linebackers in University of Arkansas history. Became the school’s all-time tackle leader (did it in three seasons) with 367 tackles. In the 1969 Shootout with number one Texas he was in on 24 tackles. His junior and senior seasons he racked up 288 tackles. The Houston Post named him “Southwest Conference Player of the Year. He’s a member of the U of A 1960’s All-Decade Team and the Hogs All-Century Team. The Eudora native was inducted into the U of A Hall of Honor in 2001.
Class of 2003
O’Neale Adams - A three-sport letterman (football, basketball and track) at the University of Arkansas in the late 1930’s and early 40’s. Had touchdown runs of 50 yards and 15 yards in a 14-13 win over TCU. Served as captain and co-captain in football and basketball. His NFL team the New York Giants named him their “Rookie of the Year”. Had a 72-yard interception return in NFL championship game versus the Redskins. His pro football career was cut short by the military draft. Played both pro football and baseball (Brooklyn Dodgers). A native of El Paso.
Jim Bailey- One of the most noted sportswriters to ever grace the sports pages of an Arkansas newspaper. Jim spent 35 years with the Arkansas Gazette. The late Orville Henry called Bailey the greatest ever to grace an Arkansas sports page and maybe anywhere. Sixteen times his peers voted him “Sportswriter of the Year” in Arkansas. Watched over the old Southwest Conference (football and basketball) for a decade. Covered the Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference and other state schools for 20 years. Was a fixture in the press box at Ray Winder Field for 30 seasons. For five seasons he was a beat writer covering the baseball Cardinals. Noted author “The Razorbacks and Frank Broyles autobiography”. Received 1990 SAU Distinguished Alumnus Award. A native of Emerson.
Calvin Harrell- One of the top running backs in Arkansas State football history. Two of his three seasons he rushed for more than 1,000 yards. His junior year was his best as he ran for 1,265 yards. Calvin was chosen to both the Kodak and the Associated Press All-American teams. Played in the North-South All-Star game and three Pecan Bowls. Had 18 (100 yard games). Chosen to the Southland Conference All-Decade team. Was a 5th round draft pick of the NFL’s Miami Dolphins, but opted to take his talents to the Canadian Football League. Rushed for more than 2,900 yards for the Edmonton Eskimos. A native of Augusta.
Clyde Hart- One of America’s most decorated track and field coaches. He guided Baylor University’s track program for more than 40 years. Has coached nine world record holders, 125 All-Americans and 21 NCAA champions. Coaches both the men and women at Baylor. Voted NCAA Indoor Coach of the Year in both 1989 and 1996. Was also the 1996 USOC Track Coach of the Year. His prize pupils have won 5 Olympic gold medals and one bronze. Clyde’s youngsters have also turned in 10 world record performances. Inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 2001. On the high school level he coached Little Rock Central to 10 state championships. Was an outstanding athlete in his own right running a 9.8 hundred-yard dash. A native of Hot Springs.
Sonny Ingram- One of the top amateur boxers to ever come out of Arkansas. Posted an unbelievable amateur record of 200-14. Three times he was voted the Mid-South Golden Gloves MVP. From 1949-52 Sonny was crowned the Arkansas AAU middleweight champion. He also earned that title in 1955. Was also named the MVP at the nationals in San Diego in 1954. Normally a middleweight, Sonny became the first Golden Gloves boxer to win two trophies in two different weight divisions in the Tournament of Champions. Was known as the “boy with the golden shoes.” Had a short professional career winning his first 10 bouts. A native of Vilonia.
Guy Kochel- One of only 13 individuals associated with track and field to be inducted into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame. Molded Arkansas State University’s track program into a powerhouse. His ASU teams won nine Southland Conference championships. Six times Kochel was named Conference Coach of the Year. Was highly regarded both nationally and internationally having coached two Olympic Festival teams along with five International teams. Tutored six Olympians (Earl Bell, Al Joyner, Andrew Valman, Meredith Rainey, Ed Preston and Jeff Hartwig). Joyner and Valman won Olympic gold medals. His specialty was the pole vault as he tutored two of the best in the world in Earl Bell and Jeff Hartwig. Inducted into the ASU Hall of Honor in 1984. Coached on the high school level at Pine Bluff and Stuttgart. A native of DeWitt.
Lou Schaufele- Over a 27 year period he became one of the most highly respected football officials in all of college football. Worked his way from the junior high level to Division I where he worked two national championship games (Sugar Bowl Georgia vs. Notre Dame and Orange Bowl Colorado vs. Notre Dame) as well as the Aloha, Citrus, Sun, Blue Bonnet and Holiday Bowls. Was an outstanding athlete at the U of A, starting three years in football. Was 2nd team All-Southwest Conference. Played on state championship football and baseball teams in high school. Was “Rookie of the Year” in the Cotton States League after leading the league in home runs. A native of Little Rock.
Bill Valentine- Has served as general manager of the Arkansas Traveler’s for more than a quarter of a century. Was voted Texas League General Manger of the Year in 1976, 77, 78, 88 and 99. In 1988, Sporting News named Valentine the Class AA Executive of the Year. One of the top promoters in the industry his teams have drawn more than six million fans through the turnstiles at Ray Winder Field. Coined the phrase “It never rains at Ray Winder Field”. Prior to getting into baseball management he worked as an American League Umpire. Was the youngest person (18 years old) to ever umpire a professional baseball game. Bill also officiated basketball for 33 years. Worked the Southwest Conference, Missouri Valley, and Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference. Was inducted into the Arkansas Officials Association’s Hall of Fame. A native of Little Rock.
Darrell Walker - One of the top guards to ever play basketball for the Razorbacks. An explosive player who could beat opponents off the dribble. He started three-years for Eddie Sutton’s Hogs. Twice he was named Southwest Conference Defensive Player of the Year. His senior season he made not only All-SWC, but All-American as well. His name is found throughout the U of A record book as he ranks 4th in steals, 9th in career free throws made, 8th in assist and 16th in scoring. The NBA’s New York Knicks made him their first pick (12th in the draft). Named to the NBA’s All-Rookie squad. Played 10 years in the NBA with the highlight coming as a member of the World Champion Chicago Bulls 1992-93. After his playing days Darrell went into coaching. Served as head coach of both the Toronto Raptors and Washington Wizards. A native of Chicago, Illinois.
W.T. Watson - Spent 39 years with Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia (player, coach, athletic director). Was the Muleriders head basketball coach for 17 seasons. Took the program from one of the worst to one of the best winning three Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference Championships (1966, 67, and 71). His Riders also won three District 17 titles. W.T.’s SAU teams were noted for their stellar defense. Posted an overall record of 300-151. Also played basketball and baseball at then Southern State. Ranks 5th in the school’s “300 Club” with 386 points. A native of Hampton.
John Widner - Winningest coach in Arkansas basketball history with a record of 875-197. His name was synonymous with Arkansas basketball as he was a pioneer in his home state. It all began in the mid-1950’s in Omaha with other stops in Green Forest, Flippin, Leachville and Morrilton. The latter of the four lasted 14 years. His Devil Dogs made an unbelievable six consecutive trips to the state championship game (winning it all in 1973-74) with a record of 32-3. Coached in the high school All-Star game seven-times. Averaged 22 wins a season 14 consecutive years. Moved to the college ranks taking over his alma mater Arkansas Tech guiding them to 22 wins. That earned him AIC Coach of the Year honors. Inducted into both the Arkansas High School Coaches Hall of Fame and the Arkansas Officials Association Hall of Fame in 1996. A native of Alpena.
Class of 2004
Jesse Branch – A 3-sport star at Watson Chapel, he went on to become an All-Southwest Conference running back at Arkansas. Played both ways for the Hogs. Spent 3 seasons in the Canadian Football League, setting a CFL record with a 105-yard kickoff return. Longtime assistant coach at the U of A coaching under Frank Broyles, Lou Holtz and Ken Hatfield. Winningest coach in Southwest Missouri State history posting a 55-44-1 record. Twice named Gateway Conference Coach of the Year. Inducted into both the U of A and Southwest Missouri State Hall of Honor. Coached 4 seasons at Henderson State University.
Claude “Bud” Campbell – Longtime voice of the Arkansas Razorbacks. Also served as the host of the popular “Frank Broyles Television Show”. Was sports director at both KATV and KARK television. One of few outside of ABC Sports chosen to broadcast games on the network level. Came to Little Rock from Chicago where he was a member of the Chicago Cubs broadcast crew. A native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Bud Canada – A native of Hot Springs he starred at the University of Arkansas as both a running back and end. Played for both Glen Rose and John Barnhill. Starred on the first U of A team to win a bowl game (Dixie Bowl). A key member of the 1947 SWC champs who took on LSU in the Cotton Bowl. Was a member of the U of A’s record setting 440-yard relay team. Inducted into the U of A Hall of Honor in 2003.
Steve Cox – Ranks as the best kicking specialist to ever come out of Arkansas. Chosen All-Southwest Conference twice, he went on to be named All-American by UPI, Sporting News, College and Pro Football Weekly and Football News. Taken early by the Cleveland Browns in the 1981 NFL draft. His 60 yard field goal is the second longest in NFL history. Holds two longest field goals in both Cleveland and Washington history
(Browns 58 and 60 yards / Washington 55 and 57 yards). Played for the Super Bowl Champion Washington Redskins. Holds U of A punting record with 45.2 yard average.
Bill Davidson – Longtime assistant coach and head football coach at Arkansas State University. Guided the Indians to the Southland Conference Championship in 1978. His 1975 unbeaten ASU team was nationally ranked (23rd) as they posted wins over the likes of Memphis State, Cincinnati and Louisiana Tech. Had an overall record of 51-32-1. Served as athletic director at ASU for 12 years. A member of the “Ring of Honor” at ASU. Also a member of the ASU Hall of Honor. A native of Manilia.
Cliff Garrison – A 40 year veteran of the coaching ranks in Arkansas. His overall record including high school is 578-415. Spent 31 seasons as the head coach at Hendrix College. Posted a record of 463-376 making him the third winningest college basketball coach in state history. His Hendrix teams won 5 Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference championships. Three times Cliff was named AIC Coach of the Year. Twice he was chosen NAIA District 17 Coach of the Year. One of only 10 men’s coaches in Arkansas to win more than 300 games. Also served as Athletic Director at Hendrix where he’s a member of the Hall of Fame as well as the Forest City Hall of Fame. A native of Forrest City.
Wayne Martin – A combination of speed and agility he was one of the top defensive linemen to ever come out of Arkansas. Named both All-Southwest Conference and All-American (AP, UPI, and Sporting News) his senior season at Arkansas. Racked up 25 ½ sacks for the Razorbacks. Taken number 19 in the opening round of the 1989 NFL draft by the New Orleans Saints he became the teams all-time “sacks leader” with 82 ½. Three times he was named N-F-C “Defensive Player of the Week”. Named to the Pro Bowl team in 1994. Played 11 seasons for the Saints. Is a member of the Saints Hall of Fame. Winner of the NFL’s “Extra Effort Award” and the “Ed Block Courage Award”. A native of Forrest City.
J.P. Moore – Coming out of Benton High School he was one of the most highly recruited players in the country. His senior season he scored 20 of Benton’s 23 touchdowns. Set the state record in the 100-yard dash with a time of 9.9 seconds. Broke the state high school discus record with a throw of 137 feet 10 inches. A star running back/punter he signed with Bear Bryant to play at Vanderbilt. One of the select few at Vandy who played on both sides of the ball, plus he returned punts and kickoffs. His punt return average of 32.2 yards was a school record. Also an unbelievable punter who booted one a record 80 yards.
Wendy Scholtens Wood – One of the top female basketball players ever to come out of Arkansas (Ft. Smith Southside). Played on 3 state championship teams for the Lady Rebels who posted a 95-5 record during that span. Three times she was named Most Valuable Player” in the state tournament. Named Parade All-American. Her teams set a record with 55 wins in a row. Voted Arkansas Athlete of the Decade (1980-90). At Vanderbilt she was one of the best in the talent rich Southeastern Conference. Three times she was All-SEC, 8-times she was named SEC “player of the week”. Wendy was also named to the All-SEC Academic team. Her first season she was SEC Freshman of the Year. Had a brief professional career in Japan. Inducted into the Tennessee Hall of Fame in 1999.
Class of 2005
William “Bud” Brooks- A member of the 1954 renowned “25 Little Pigs”. A two-way performer for the Razorbacks who was All-American and won the prestigious Outland Trophy as the best lineman in college football in 1955. Was the Hogs most valuable player in the 1955 Cotton Bowl. Played for the South team in the Senior Bowl. The Detroit Lions made him the 60th pick in the NFL draft. Was named to the U of A
All-Decade Team (1950’s) and the Razorback All-Century team. Inducted into the Razorback Hall of Honor in 1994. A native of Wynne.
Maurice Carthon- A two-time All-Southland Conference performer at Arkansas State University for Larry Lacewell’s Indians in the late 1970’s and early 80’s. Starred in both the NFL and United States Football League. Was the 2nd leading rusher for the New Jersey Generals (behind Hershel Walker). Later was a standout for the NFL’s New York Giants playing in the Super Bowl in 1986 and 90. Named to ASU’s 1980’s All-Decade Team. A native of Osceola.
Scott Hastings- Was a 3-time All-Southwest Conference performer and a 4-year letterman for Eddie Sutton’s Razorbacks. Left the U of A as the Hogs 2nd all-time leading scorer (1,779 points) behind Sidney Moncrief. First freshman named to the SWC All-Tournament team. Was the 29th player taken in the 1982 NBA Draft (New York Knicks). Played in 557 games in his 11 year NBA career. Was a member of the 1990 World Champion Detroit Pistons. A native of Independence, Kansas.
Terri Conder Johnson-One of the most decorated players in Arkansas women’s basketball history. Playing for the University of Central Arkansas 3-times she was chosen All-American and 4-times all-conference. As a senior she made the Kodak All-American squad and set an NAIA free throw record hitting 20 of 23 in a game against Arkansas Tech. In high school she was a 4-sport standout, winning the Pentathlon in 1981. Not bad for an athlete who’s high school didn’t even have track facilities. Inducted into the UCA Hall of Fame in 2001. Voted Arkansas’ Female Runner of the Year in 2000. A native of Rose Bud.
Cortez Kennedy- One of the best defensive linemen to ever play in the National Football League. The Seattle Seahawks made him the 3rd player chosen in the 1990 draft. Named to the Pro Bowl in just his second season he racked up 14 quarterback sacks. Overall he was named to the Pro Bowl 8-times. He had amazing quickness for his size (6’3 295) he was named to the NFL’s 1990’s All-Decade Team. Was an All-American defensive lineman at the University of Miami. The Canes won the National Championship his senior season. Played his high school football at Wilson Rivercrest. He’s a native of Osceola.
J.P. Lovelady- One of the all-time greats players in the Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference starring at Arkansas Tech from 1958-61. Was All-AIC (1958, 60, AND 61). In 1961 he was named to the Associated Press All-American team. His 42 points against Arkansas Monticello is the 11th highest in Tech history. Was capable of playing all three positions (guard, forward and center). As a freshman he guided the Wonder Boys to the NAIA National Tournament in Kansas City. Helped guide Tech to a 4 year record of 73 and 25. Drew attention from the NBA’s St. Louis Hawks. A native of Dover.
Mickey O’Quinn- One of Arkansas’ pioneers when it came to weight training and conditioning. Also made his mark as a successful high school coach with stops in Warren, Arkadelphia and Parkin. Not only did his Warren football teams win big (59 and 9) he coached the schools swim team to 18 state championships. On the college level he served as strength coach for the Razorbacks during the time they won the 1964 National Championship. Played for Little Rock Junior College when they won the 1949 National Junior College Championship at the Junior Rose Bowl. Then became an All-AIC football player and later longtime Athletic Director at Henderson State and was inducted into the Reddie Hall of Honor. A native of Malvern.
Scottie Pippen-Voted one of the “50 Greatest Players in NBA History”. Starred on six Chicago Bulls World Championship teams. Teamed up with Michael Jordan forming one of the best backcourts in NBA history. He was named to the “All Defensive” team in 1992-99. Twice he was a member of the Gold Medal U.S. Olympic basketball team. Also played for the Houston Rockets and Portland Trailblazers. A true Cinderella story, he started as team manager at the University of Central Arkansas before becoming an All-American. Was the 5th player taken in the 1987 draft. A native of Hamburg.
Carl Sawatski- A former major league player with the Cubs, White Sox, Red Sox, Phillies, Cardinals, Milwaukee Braves and New York Giants. Was a member of the 1957 World Champion Milwaukee Braves. Signed his first professional contract at the ripe age of 16. He’s best known as a catcher with the St. Louis Cardinals when Maury Wills stole his record setting 97th base (September 23, 1962). Upon his retirement he became General Manager of the Arkansas Travelers and later President of the Texas League. A native of Pennsylvania.
Hal Smith- An outstanding catcher with the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1950’s and 60’s. After 5 seasons in the minor leagues he was called up on May 2, 1956. His career high 13 home runs and 50 RBI’s earned him All-Star status in 1959. He was also a member of the 1957 National League All-Star team. Hal was a .258 career hitter with 23 home runs and 172 RBI’s. He was an excellent defensive player with a career fielding percentage of .989 (he made only 9 errors in 141 games in 1959) and just (7 errors in 124 games in 1969). Played with both the Cards and Pirates playing with greats such as Stan Musial, Bob Gibson and Roberto Clemente. A native of Barling.
Doyne Williams-Having racked up 14 World Championships and tying for another he’s one of the elite trapshooters in the world. Five times he was chosen to the prestigious ATA All-American team. Three times he had the distinction of being captain of the Veterans All-American squad. He’s won more than 75 trophies in competition at the Arkansas State Shoot. One can add to that 91 titles in State Shoot tournaments throughout the nation as well as 26 more in regional events. Twenty-four times he’s been chosen to the Arkansas State Trapshooting team, one of the few in our state to achieve that level. He’s shot more than a quarter of a million tournament targets. Inducted into the Arkansas Trapshooting Hall of Fame in 1995. A native of Little Rock.
Nancy Williams-One of the world’s top trapshooters. She’s won 8 World Championships while tying for three others. Has represented Arkansas at the World Championships some 21 times. Has been a member of the prestigious ATA Trapshooting All-America team (women’s category) a dozen times. During her 22 plus years of shooting Nancy has won the top Ladies Singles title 20 out of 22 years. In addition she has won one Overall State Singles title, one State Handicap title and one High All-Around title. Those wins are significant in that they are major events at a state shoot and she not only beat the women, but the men as well. Ranked as the #1 female shooters in Arkansas since 1980. Inducted into the Arkansas Trapshooting Hall of Fame in 1991. A native of Mena.
Class of 2006
Gary Anderson- A high school standout in Columbia, Missouri, he became an All-America running back at the University of Arkansas. Chosen All-Southwest Conference in 1982. His stellar play earned him MVP honors in the Gator, Hall of Fame, and Blue Bonnet Bowls. Was a record setting kick returner for the Hogs. Gary was a first round draft pick of both the San Diego Chargers (NFL) and Tampa of the (USFL). With the Chargers he rushed for 3,409 yards while racking up 2,999 yards receiving. He later coached the Arkansas Twisters of Arena Football 2.
Ray Brown – One of the most durable players to ever don a football uniform as he spent an unbelievable 20 years in the National Football League. By the time he retired the Marion native was older than two of the league’s coaches. Was an offensive line anchor for the Redskins, 49ers, Lions and Cardinals. Ray played his college football at Memphis State and Arkansas State, starring for the Indians as a blocking tight end in the wishbone offense where he became an All-Southland Conference performer.
Bernie Cox – One of Arkansas most successful high school football coaches. Upon his induction into the Hall of Fame he had captured 7 state championships while winning more than 255 games. Only two coaches, Wilson Matthews and Frank McClellan (both ASHOF inductees) have won more state titles. Bernie’s championships came in 1975, 78, 80, 81, 86, 03 and 04. He was named by the National Federation of High Schools as their Coach of the Year in 2004. He’s the winningest coach in Little Rock Central history. Central now plays on “Bernie Cox” field.
John Daly – Daly became one of the world’s most recognizable golfers when he came out of nowhere to capture the coveted PGA Championship at Crooked Stick in 1991. John won his second major across the pond wrapping up the 1995 British Open (becoming the youngest golfer in history to win two majors). The former Razorback turned professional in 1990 winning the Ben Hogan Utah Classic. He was PGA Tour Rookie of the Year in 91. In 2004 he made a career high 17 cuts in 22 starts. Known for his “grip it and rip it” approach John is one of golf’s most popular players.
Bettye Fiscus Dickey – A native of Wynne she is listed as the first “great” women’s basketball player for the modern day Lady Razorbacks. Having guided Wynne to the 1981 state championship (scoring 18 points in the final 2:30 minutes of the title game) she also became a legend at the University of Arkansas. The first Lady Razorback to score more than 1,000 points in her career Bettye took the U of A to the Sweet 16 as a freshman. She’s a member of the Southwest Conference’s All-Decade team and had her number 5 jersey retired. She continues to hold a number of U of A records.
Paul Eells – A native of West Branch, Iowa, the longtime Sports Director at Little Rock’s KATV Channel 7, was named “sportscaster of the year” in Arkansas 11-times. Numerous times he was voted “best play-by-play” by the Associated Press. Paul served as the radio voice for Razorback football for 27 years becoming one of the state’s most celebrated broadcasters of all-time. In his early years at KATV he did both football and basketball as well as work for the baseball Razorbacks. Noted for his screaming of these two catch phrases “Oh My” and “Touchdown Arkansas”. Paul was killed in a tragic auto accident just prior to the start of the 2006 football season. .
Jay Freeman – A native of England, AR, Jay was one of the state’s most successful tennis players of all-time. The first Arkansan ever invited to play at Wimbledon he won just about every tournament possible. He was the state champ in juniors, men’s open singles, men’s doubles and the father-son. In the Southern Section he won 8 doubles titles and was ranked in the top 10 in men’s singles five times. Jay also won 8 national championships in doubles and was part of the nation’s top-ranked doubles team 3-times. He’s a charter member of the state Tennis Hall of Fame.
Fred Grim – The pride of Green Forest, he starred both as a player and coach. Having made all-state he became a Razorback, guiding the Hogs (14.2 points per game) to a Southwest Conference championship and a trip to the NCAA Tournament his senior year. Afterwards he played in the East-West Shrine Game and was drafted by the Syracuse Nationals of the NBA. In his more than 25 years as coach at Green Forest he won more than 500 games. During his playing days he played for Hall of Fame coaches Gayle Kaundart, John Widner and Glen Rose.
Henry Hawk – A native of Conway, he was a good all-around athlete making all-state in both football and basketball. Overall he earned 17 letters. As an All-American running back at then Arkansas State Teachers College Henry, posted the highest rushing average for a game (13.6), a season (7.2 yards) and punt return yardage in a season (424 yards). He was an All-AIC selection 1955-59) and was chosen to play in the All-American Bowl in 1959. Henry later became a successful high school coach at North Little Rock and Conway as well as one of the state’s most noted distance runners.
E.C. O’Neal – During the early 1950’s he was one of the most gifted basketball players to come out of Arkansas. A stellar player at Branch and County Line he attended Arkansas Tech where he led the Wonder Boys to the NAIA National tournament in Kansas City, Missouri. His sophomore season E.C. averaged more than 27 points a game on a team that averaged nearly 100 points a game. His final 3 seasons he averaged 27, 22, and 20 points a game. In 1954 he received the Neil Martin Award as the state’s top player. He was All-AIC 3-times and made third team All-American as a senior.
Charles Ripley – Over a span of two decades “Coach Rip” became one of the state’s most successful basketball coaches of all-time. Prior to his arrival Little Rock Parkview won 4 games the previous season. They quickly became a national power wrapping up 5 state championships, 10 league titles and two King Cotton crowns. During the 1989 season they upset New York’s Tollentine High who was ranked #1 in the country. Rip’s 1991-92 squads finished 35 and 1 and were ranked as high as #4 in the nation. Parkview reached the state title game 10 of his 21 seasons. His overall record at Parkview was 487 and 151.
Class of 2007
Rod Smith: A 3-time Pro Bowl selection and a member of two Super Bowl Champions, he ranks as one of the greatest receivers in National Football League history. Rod continues to add to his record setting career. Going into this season his Denver Bronco records included most touchdowns in franchise history. Chosen as a free agent by Denver in 1994 after an All-American career at Missouri Southern University. Smith was the first undrafted player in NFL history to eclipse the 10,000 yard mark in receiving. He has more catches (797), receiving yards (10,877) and receiving touchdowns (65) than any undrafted player in league history. He ranks among the top 15 in the NFL in career receptions. Rod has served as Bronco’s team captain since 2001. Coach Mike Shanahan calls him the best player he has ever coached. Rod was a high school stand out at Texarkana making All-State and playing in the Arkansas High School All-Star Game. A native of Texarkana.
William Roaf: Undoubtly one of the most dominating offensive lineman to play professional football. Lightly recruited out of Pine Bluff High he went on to become a first round NFL draft pick (8th overall/1st offensive lineman). A combination of strength, size and speed. Started out in the NFL at tackle then moved to guard. Now is considered one of the best in the league. A perennial Pro-Bowler. Among his awards, NFL Lineman of the Year. Played college football at Louisiana Tech, where he was runner-up for the Outland Trophy. As a senior he yielded just one sack all season long. Played for both New Orleans and Kansas City. A native of Pine Bluff.
Bobby Crockett: One of the all-time great receivers in University of Arkansas history. He was first team All- Southwest Conference. Caught 46 passes for 746 yards and 4 touchdowns. In the 1966 Cotton Bowl (vs. LSU) he had 10 receptions for 129 yards and 1 touchdown. Chosen to U of A 1960’s (All Decade Team). Pro career played for AFL Buffalo Bills. A native of Dermott.
Tom Pagnozzi: A transfer from Central Arizona, Tom spent but one season with the Razorbacks before embarking on a 12-year career in the big leagues. He made his mark in a hurry being named All-Southwest Conference and All- America. Pag’s hit .362 driving in 50 runs while guiding the Hogs to the NCAA Midwest Regional in Tulsa. The Cardinals drafted Tom in the 8th round of the 1983 draft. He would spend 12 seasons with the Redbirds. Among his awards he was named to the 1992 All-Star Team, won Gold Gloves for his work behind the plate, tying the Major League record for fielding percentage of .999 (making just one error in 1992). A native of Tucson, Arizona, he resides in Northwest Arkansas.
Sam Goodwin: Was an NAIA All-American at HSU. He was named All-Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference on both offense and defense. Was chosen to the All-AIC Decade Team. Three times was the AIC discus champion. Professionally Sam became one of Arkansas’ most successful high school coaches at Little Rock Parkview winning state championships in both 1974 and 1976. He had two other teams who were runners-up. He enjoyed tremendous success at the college level guiding Northwestern State University to 4 Southland Conference Championships. Four-times he was named Southland Conference Coach of the Year. He’s been inducted into the Henderson State Hall of Fame, the NSU Hall of Fame, the Southland Conference Hall of Fame and the Arkansas High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame. A native of Pineville, Louisiana.
Jermain “Bad Intentions” Taylor : Took the professional boxing world by storm in 2005 taking the world middleweight title away from the unflappable Bernard Hopkins with a hard fought decision. Taylor later defended his title against the future hall of famer in a Las Vegas rematch. This time it was a unanimous decision with another world wide pay-per-view audience looking on. Next up was lefty Winky Wright. Taylor won the much publicized fight at the FedEx Forum in Memphis racking up win number 25 as he remained unbeaten. “The Champ” first made his mark at the 2000 Summer Olympics capturing a bronze medal. In 2003 he was recognized by Ring Magazine as the “most improved fighter” in the sport as his climb up the middleweight ladder hit full stride. His overall record currently stands at 25-0-1 (17 KO’s). He began fighting at the age of 13 in the gym of fellow Arkansan Ozell Nelson. A native of Little Rock.
Jim Elder: Longtime radio voice of the Arkansas Travelers baseball team as well as sports director at KARN radio in Little Rock. Also briefly did sports at KARK-TV. Eleven times he was named “Sportscaster of the Year” in Arkansas. Jim worked at the microphone for the Arkansas Travelers for more than 30 years. (1963-1990). He was at KARN from 1965 until he retired in 1998. A statistical fanatic, Jim worked as the statistician for the Razorbacks radio network and was one of the best in the business. In his early years Jim worked as a baseball umpire. He worked the Cotton Stakes League in 1947-1948, the Southwestern League in 1949-1950 and the Florida International League in the early 1950’s. He also served as General Manager of the Hot Springs Bathers professional baseball team. A native of Pennsylvania.
Tina Webb: Only athlete in Arkansas sports history to be named first team All-American four times, (NAIA All American, Kodak All-American and American Women’s Sports Federation All-American. A three-time finalist for NAIA National Player of the Year. Record setting career included MVP of the National Women’s Tournament, NAIA career rebounding record (13.9 per game) 3-time District 17 MVP, 4 times All-AIC and District 17. She holds more than 10 UAM career records. Tina is a member of the UAM Athletic Hall of Fame. Played professionally in Japan and Europe. A native of Bryant.
Ted Lloyd: Longtime track coach at Harding University in Searcy (1948-1994) where his teams won 39 Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference Championships and 32 NAIA District Championships. He was named AIC/District 17 Coach of the year 40 times. For 15 years Ted served on the USA Track and Field Board of Directors. He was also the President of the NAIA Coaches Association. He coached in 9 international competitions including the World University Games and the Good Will Games. Produced 6 National Champions and 75 All-Americans. Ted coached Arkansas’ first sub-four minute miler (Jim Crawford) and the states first 60- foot collegiate shot putter (Jim Duncan). A native of Springhill, KS.
Ray Rodgers- In the sport of boxing he’s considered one of the best “cut men” in the business having worked numerous championship bouts. Received national acclaim in the first Jermain Taylor –Bernard Hopkins fight following a head butt that would have stopped most fighters. As a coach he has touched the lives of hundreds of youngsters at his Ray Rodgers gym in Little Rock. In 1998 the Arkansas Times named him “Arkansas Hero” for his work with underprivileged kids. The ultimate fight promoter in Arkansas, he’s brought the national Golden Gloves championships to Central Arkansas several times. He served as President of the national organization in 1982. Ray was inducted into the National Silver Gloves Hall of Fame 2001 and the Golden Gloves Hall of Fame in 2002. He is a native of Shawnee, OK.
George Walker- Was part of a razorback team known as the “25 Little Pigs” that upset # 4 ranked Ole Miss and Texas en route to an appearance in the Cotton Bowl. He played quarterback, defensive back and returned kicks. In 1954 he led the Southwest Conference in interceptions. During his 3 varsity years the Razorbacks posted a 29-4 record. A tri-captain for the Hogs he was awarded the Southwest conference Sportsmanship Award. George played in the Senior Bowl and the North-South Shrine game. One of only 2 players his senior season to be named Scholastic All American. Selected to the U of A Hall of Honor in 1999. Played professionally for the Cleveland Browns and Calgary Stampeeders.
Class of 2008
Michael Cage : A native of West Memphis where he guided his high school team to back to back 30 and 0 seasons he was the 14th pick taken in the 1984 NBA draft ( San Diego Clippers). Twice he led the NBA in rebounding (1986-87 and 87-88). Played in 736 consecutive games which was the 4th longest streak in league history. Cage played his college ball at San Diego State leading the Aztecs to a 68-44 record while averaging 24.5 points and 11.9 rebounds his senior season. He was also the only player in the nation to rank in the top 10 in both scoring and rebounding his senior campaign. A 6’9 forward, Michael retired in 2001.
Todd Day: A former McDonalds All-American at Memphis Hamilton he went on to star for Nolan Richardson’s Razorbacks (1989-92) becoming the Razorbacks all-time leading scorer with 2,395 points. He was a named All-American both his junior and senior seasons. Day had the distinction of being named both All-Southwest Conference and All-Southeastern Conference. His freshman year he was named SWC Newcomer of the Year and as a sophomore guided the Hogs to a Final Four appearance. In 1992 he was the 8th player taken in the NBA draft (Milwaukee Bucks). During his pro career he also played for Boston, Miami, Minnesota, and Phoenix. Todd wrapped up his career guiding the Arkansas Rim Rockers to the ABA Championship.
Torii Hunter: A 4-sport star at Pine Bluff High School Hunter was named the 1993 Gatorade High School Player of the Year s as he hit .380 and stole 17 of 19 bases. He would later play in both the U.S. Olympic Festival and Goodwill Games. The Minnesota Twins made him a first round pick in 1993. Torii made his first appearance in the big leagues in August of 1997. In 1999 he became a regular in the Minnesota outfield. In 2007 he was named to the American League All-Star team. A 6-time gold glove winner he’s also been honored as the “Best Defensive Outfielder” in baseball. Helped the Twins win 4 division titles in 5 years. In 2007 he was honored with the Marvin Miller Award as baseball’s “Man of the Year”. Signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Angels in 2008.
Bruce James: Recruited by some 20 schools coming out of Moss Point, Mississippi, in the mid-1960’s Bruce was all-state and an all-Star (fullback/linebacker). Then Arkansas head coach Frank Broyles wooed him away from the Auburn Tigers as James ended up in a Razorback uniform. His freshman season he was moved to defensive end where he became one of the best in the nation. A three-year starter (1968, 69 and 70) Bruce was named All-Southwest Conference and to the Look All-America team his senior season.
For two seasons he led the Hogs in tackles behind the line of scrimmage. With James creating havoc the Hogs went 28 and 5 in his three seasons, twice playing in the Sugar Bowl. As an all-star he was named Most Valuable Player in the All-American Bowl in Tampa, Florida. Bruce as drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in 1971.
Galen Pitts: Growing up in Mt. Home Galen Pitts got baseball fever and it got the best of him as it became a way of life for him. In 1969 he was the Arkansas Travelers regular shortstop playing in the Texas League All-Star game. Later on he would spend 8 seasons at the triple A level. A utility infielder he made his major league debut in May of 1974 as a member of the American League’s Oakland A’s. But it wasn’t so much his playing career that brought him to the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, but his managerial career. He started as a “coach” with Louisville (AAA) in 1983 then moved up to manage Class A Springfield three years later. From there he took over the reins of the Arkansas Travelers guiding them to the Texas League crown in 1989. That earned him Texas League “Manager of the Year” honors. Galen succeeded at the AAA level as well winning a championship for the Memphis Redbirds in 1998 becoming the third winningest manager in franchise history.
Tommy Tuberville: Tommy went from small-town Arkansas to big-time college coach on the national scene. A 3-sport star at Camden Harmony Grove he broke into college coaching as a graduate assistant with Larry Lacewell at Arkansas State University. From there he was off to Miami (1983) serving on a staff that won 3 national championships. His next stop was College Station where his Aggie defense helped A&M go 10-0-1. Then came his first head coaching job (Ole Miss 1995). Two seasons later he was named SEC Coach of the Year. A year later he was the man in charge at Auburn where he would earn “National Coach of the Year” honors in 2004 as his team went a perfect 13-0. Five out of six years his Tigers won the SEC West and they had a streak where they won 22 out of 25 games.
Tracy Webb Rice: Tracy was one of the best female basketball players to ever come out of the state of Arkansas. As a standout at Batesville High she was named “Player of the Year” by the Arkansas Democrat and the Associated Press. Playing on state championship teams twice she was named to the Gazette’s Super Team as she averaged 22.5 points, 8.6 rebounds and 6 assist her senior season. She also has to her credit a state tournament Most Valuable Player award. Career wise she scored 1,691 points. Tracy was also a member of the state championship doubles tennis duo her sophomore and senior years. As a Lady Razorback she stole the hearts of Hog fans as an All-Southwest Conference guard guiding Arkansas to 4 consecutive 20 win seasons. The school’s first true point guard she got the Ladybacks to the NCAA Tournament for the first time, plus guided them to an W-N-I-T title grabbing MVP honors. Upon leaving the U of A she held most of the steal and assist records.
Charles Cella: Charles Cella is best known as the President of Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs. His love of racing came from his family who opened the Hot Springs track in 1904. Charles took over following his father’s death in the late 1960’s buying out the remaining stockholders. Cella became the youngest president of the Thoroughbred Racing Association serving in 1975 and 76. In the 1980’s, Oaklawn entered an era of growth unmatched by any other racing center in America. With Charles leading the way Oaklawn combined a multi-million dollar improvement program with numerous innovations in the racing program, as Oaklawn became one of the largest centers in America. Cella made national headlines in 2004 when he announced a $5 million dollar bonus to celebrate Oaklawn’s 100th anniversary. As an owner he won the prestigious Eclipse Award in 1995. His colt, Northern Spur was a champion turf horse after winning the Breeder’s Cup Turf in one of the most courageous performances in American racing history.
Jerry McKinnis: Jerry McKinnis is well known as the outdoors pioneer for ESPN, producing programming for the network since 1979. A native of St. Louis his first love was baseball. He played professionally in the Kansas City Athletics organization. But he loved fishing and began his career in the business as a guide on the famous White River eventually moving to Little Rock. It was in the state capital that he began a television show (The Fishin’ Hole) that went from local, to regional, to a national audience as ESPN came on board. Jerry’s company JM Associates has been called the network’s best friend by ESPN’s Programming Director, Gary Morgenstern, as it became one of the most prolific production companies for ESPN. Here’s are just a few of the shows (CITGO BassMaster Tournament Trail, the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, the BassMasters Classic, and the Iditarod Sled Dog Race). No doubt Jerry McKinnis is one of the most influential figures in the outdoor industry.
John Prock: A native of Hollis, Oklahoma, John made his mark on Arkansas sports spending 24 years as the head football coach at Harding University in Searcy. During his reign with the Bison he racked up a school record 114 victories. His 1976 and 92 teams won the Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference championship. John’s 1972 team ended the season ranked 6th nationally in the NAIA playing in the Cowboy Bowl. In 76 they took part in the San Jacinto Shrine Bowl in Pasadena, Texas. Overall he produced 63 All-AIC players and 14 All-Americans. Four-times he was named District 17 “coach of the year”. John has been inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame, the Harding University Hall of Fame, the Hollis-Harmon County Hall of Fame and the Southwestern Oklahoma State Hall of Fame. A number of his former Harding players have gone on to be successful Arkansas high school coaches.
Cal Partee Sr.: Has the distinction of being the only thoroughbred owner in Arkansas racing history to have a horse win the prestigious Kentucky Derby. His 3-year old Lil E. Tee shocked the racing world winning the “run for the roses” in May of 1992. The legendary Pat Day rode the 17 to 1 long shot at Churchill Downs. Mr. Partee was involved in horse racing for some 45 years. Among his other wins were the Arkansas Derby, the Louisiana Derby, the American Derby, the Haskell Invitational and the West Virginia Derby. Some of his notable horses along with Lil E. Tee, were J.R.’s Pet, Big Pistol, J.T.’s Pet, Phantom On Tour, and Clever Alemont. There’s hardly a jockey who didn’t ride for Cal Partee Sr. Mr. Partee is a native of Stephens, Arkansas.
Jon Richardson: A very talented running back at Little Rock’s Horance Mann High School, Jon broke the color barrier at the University of Arkansas becoming the first black scholarship football player. Upon completion of his career, the highly touted Richardson ranked 8th on the school’s all-time rushing chart with 1,237 yards while scoring 19 touchdowns. He turned in a career high 154 yard rushing performance against Oklahoma State in 1971. Twice he led the Razorbacks in kickoff returns (sophomore and senior seasons) averaging 22.3 yards per return. Earned all-state honors in both baseball and football at Mann High. A native of Little Rock.
Class of 2009
Martine Bercher- A native of Ft. Smith Bercher was an All-Southwest Conference and All-American defensive back/punt returner for the Razorbacks in mid-1960’s having played for the 1964 U of A national championship team. In 1966 he was named to both the United Press International (UPI) and Coaches All-American teams. In 1966 he led the SWC in punt returns (24 for 375 yards) and three touchdowns, plus he had three interceptions. Bercher played in the NFL with Atlanta and Minnesota. At St. Anne’s Academy he starred in football, basketball and baseball. A member of the U of A All-Century and Razorback Hall of Honor he was inducted into the ASHOF in 2009.
Walt Coleman III- At the time of his induction in 2009 there were but 6 others from the world of “officiating” who had been inducted into the ASHOF (one of which was his father Buddy). A graduate of Little Rock Central Walt worked his way up the ranks starting out calling junior high sports. He later reached college football (division 1) as he and his father were the first father-son combo to call a division one game (Arkansas vs. Navy) in1984 at War Memorial Stadium. Five years later he made the big jump to the National Football League where he spent his first 6 seasons as a line judge before being promoted to referee in 1995. His resume includes NFL divisional playoff and wildcard games. May be best known for the infamous “tuck rule” in a 2002 playoff game between the Raiders and Patriots.
Lurlyne Greer- Was widely considered the preeminent female basketball player in the United States in the late 1940’s and early 50’s. Born in Des Arc in 1928 she drew a great deal of national attention playing for corporate sponsored teams. Having played for Hazel Walker’s Little Rock Dr. Pepper team she headed to Nashville, Tennessee starring for Cook’s Goldblumes in 1947. There she gained the first of her 8 All-American AAU honors. Cook’s Goldblumes won the national championship in 1948 and 49. In 1952 she moved to North Carolina to play for Hanes Hosiery and they too won the national title. A year later they would set a national record winning 60 games in a row. Seemingly the national championship followed Lurlyne. Nicknamed the “rock” she was most valuable player in the AAU nationals in 1952, 53 and 54. Her final success came in 1955 when she captained the gold medal winning United States Pan American team. Greer is a member of the AAU Basketball Hall of Fame, and the National Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. Inducted into the ASHOF in 2009.
Bobby Richardson- A native of Fordyce where he was a high school standout, Bobby made his mark as a track star at Arkansas State Teachers College (UCA) in the mid 1960’s. He won the Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference mile run three times breaking the league record by 6.8 seconds (4:20.6) He also won the 880 and cross country championships. Professionally he became one of the most outstanding track and field coaches in Arkansas High School history (1967-94) guiding the Crossett Eagles to 18 state championships plus they won the state cross country title four times. His track teams won state championships over four decades, 1960’s, 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s. Bobby retired fom his track coaching duties in 1994, but continued as an assistant football and track coach until 1998. 12-times he was voted Arkansas track “coach of the year” and was nominated for national coach of the year. An inductee of the Arkansas Track and Field Coaches Association Hall of Fame, and the UCA Hall of Fame he was inducted into the ASHOF in 2009.
Jerry Rook- Rated as the best or one of the best basketball players to ever wear an Arkansas State uniform Jerry became the Indians all-time leading scorer . A standout at nearby Nettleton High School he set ASU records for most field goals (816) most free throws (521 out of 657) and the school’s top scoring average scoring 22.9 points per game. Rook was a first team All-American and the most valuable player in the Southland Conference as led the Tribe to consecutive appearances in the smaller school version of the NCAA tournament in 1962 and 63. He was offered opportunities to play professionally in three sports (football, baseball and basketball) with hoops winning out. He played in the old ABA for New Orleans. As a high school coach he guided Pine Bluff to a pair of state championships and an overall title. A member of the ASU Ring of Honor he was voted into the ASHOF in 2009.
Kenny Saylors- A native of Pyatt he became the most prolific scorer in Arkansas Tech history. Playing for the Wonder Boys (1959-63) and legendary coach Sam Hindsman Kenny was a scoring machines. As of 2009 when he was inducted into the ASHOF he was Tech’s all-time scoring leader with 2,470 points. 4-times he was named All-Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference. During Saylors 4 year career at Tech, the Wonder Boys had a 79 and 25 overall record, a 55-17 AIC record as they won 3 AIC titles. In addition he helped Tech to the NAIA national tournament in 1963. Kenny scored 40 points or more in a game 6-times and 35 or more 15-times. His career high was 47 vs. Lyon College. In high school he once torched the nets for 76 big ones. Saylors was drafted by the NBA’s St. Louis Hawks (18th) overall selection. Many basketball fans know him through his 33 years of officiating. A member of the Arkansas Tech Hall of Distinction and the Arkansas Officials Hall of Fame he was chosen for induction into the ASHOF in 2009.
Charlie Spoonhour- Born in Mulberry, Kansas, Charlie Spoonhour was raised in Rogers, Arkansas. He’d be the first to tell you he was not a great player. But he did become a great coach. “Spoony” had great success at what was then Southwest Missouri State (Missouri State) in Springfield. After ripping apart the junior college ranks with a 205 and 63 record (.765) Spoonhour was an assistant at Nebraska before taking over the Bears, turning them into a powerhouse. 5-times he took them to the NCAA Tournament and twice to the N-I-T. His record at SWMS was 197-81. His teams won 4 Mid-Continent Conference championships, and one Missouri Valley title. He was named MCC coach of the year 3-times. Then “spoonball” hit St. Louis where he recorded an overall record of 122-90, taking the Bilikens to 3 NCAA’s and one N-I-T. While at St. Louis Charlie was named national “coach of the year” by the United States Basketball Writers Association. After retiring from coaching he gave it one more shot at U-N-L-V guiding the Runnin’ Rebels to consecutive 20-victory seasons and a post season appearance. His overall coaching record was 738 and 302 in 33 seasons. He’s an inductee of the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame and the University of Ozarks Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the ASHOF in 2009.
R.C. Thielemann- One of the top offensive linemen in University of Arkansas history. A native of Houston, Texas, R.C. was recruited by Joe Gibbs, a coach that would later help him win a coveted Super Bowl ring. Thielemann played for the Razorbacks in the mid-1970’s (1973-76) making All-Southwest Conference at two different positions (guard and center). Those exploits who later earn him on spot on the U of A’s All-Century and All-Decade teams. R.C. was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in 1977. He was the 36th pick oveall. R.C. spent eight of his twelve NFL seasons with Atlanta in relative obscurity, even as an outstanding lineman on a mediocre team. In 84 he was traded to the Redskins reuniting with Gibbs. The Skins advanced to the NFC title game twice in four years, winning Super Bowl XXII over Denver. R.C. was named to the Pro Bowl in 1981, 82, and 83. He played virtually the entire 1984 season in a cast with a compound fracture of his finger, but didn’t miss a game. That would be his final season. An inductee of the Razorback Hall of Honor he was inducted into the ASHOF in 2009.
Corliss Williamson (“Big Nasty”)- One of the most notable players in Razorback basketball history Corliss was named the most valuable player in the Final Four in 1994 guiding the Hogs to the NCAA Championship in Charlotte, North Carolina. He won just about ever honor a player could win. He was twice an All-American for the Razorbacks as he also got the Hogs into the NCAA title game in 1995 (vs. UCLA). Three times he was named All-SEC and twice he was Southeastern Conference “player of the year”. He finished his U of A career 8th on the all-time scoring list with 1,728 points. Corliss left after his junior year to go to the NBA and was drafted 13th overall by the Sacramento Kings in 1995. His career included stops with Toronto, Detroit and Philadelphia before winding up with the Kings. He was named 6th man of the year in 2002 while playing with Detroit. That same year the Pistons won the NBA championship. For his pro career Corliss averaged 11.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.2 assist and 22.8 minutes a game. He played in 822 NBA games shooting 49 percent. The Russellville native, who was the national Gatorade Player of the Year in high school retired in 2007. He was inducted into the ASHOF in 2009.
Jarrell Williams- Williams grew up in Alma, but played his high school ball in Ft. Smith where he was a three sport standout. At the University of Arkansas he played both football and baseball (1959 60 and 61). Some of his Razorback teammates included Barry Switzer, Lance Alworth, Jim Mooty and Jerry Jones. Jarrell was a running back-defensive back for Frank Broyles. He would later turn down offers to play professional football going into coaching, one of the most successful in Arkansas high school history. Jarrell spent 36 years as head coach/athletic director at Springdale High School. He won state championships in 1968, 69, 82, and 89. His overall record with the Bulldogs was 261-132-and 5 ranking him third in all-time victories. Jarrell was conference “coach of the year” 14-times and Arkansas “coach of the year” in both 1967 and 68. 3-times he was a head coach in the state All-Star game. Springdale’s stadium is named after him (Jarrell Williams Bulldog Stadium). An inductee of the Razorback Hall of Honor Jarrell is a member of the ASHOF class of 2009.
Class of 2010
1964 National Champions (University of Arkansas ) – Not much was expected of the 1964 Razorbacks after the team had struggled to a 5-5 record the previous year. But the Hogs went undefeated, ending the season with a win over Nebraska in the Cotton Bowl. A key game came early in the season against the University of Texas. The Razorbacks built a 7-0 lead as Ken Hatfield returned a punt for a touchdown. They then answered a Texas touchdown when Fred Marshall threw a touchdown pass to Bobby Crockett. Texas scored again and went for two, but a pass was incomplete and the Razorbacks were 5-0 on the season. Trailing 7-3 against Nebraska in the Cotton Bowl, the Razorbacks mounted a late drive that ended with a Bobby Burnett touchdown with 4:41 remaining in the game. Nebraska’s final scoring threat ended with a quarterback sack by Jim Williams. Texas defeated previously undefeated Alabama in the Orange Bowl that night, giving Arkansas the national championship trophies presented by the Football Writers Association of American, the Helms Athletic Foundation and other organizations.
Alene Crabtree – Crabtree coached girls’ basketball at Alma from 1947-84. Her teams won state championships in 1976 and 1979. Crabtree had an overall career record of 688-291. She also was one of the state’s top track coaches. She was inducted into the Arkansas High School Coaches Hall of Fame in 1995.
Bill Ferrell – Ferrell served as the head trainer and head baseball coach at the University of Arkansas. He was a veteran of four football coaching staffs as the trainer and is an inductee into the National Trainers Hall of Fame.
Leslie O’Neal – O’Neal was a six-time All-Pro selection during his 12 years in the NFL. He was picked in the first round by the San Diego Chargers in 1986 and had 136 sacks during his NFL career. He played for San Diego, St. Louis and Kansas City. In college, he was the fifth all-time leading tackler at Oklahoma State University and was the Big Eight Defensive Player of the Year in 1984. He was a two-time All American selection in college.
Rhonda Thigpen – Thigpen is one of the most successful volleyball coaches in the state’s history, having won consistently at the high school and college levels. In the decade of the ‘90s, her Henderson State University teams went 285-140. She earlier had compiled a record of 271-30 at Arkadelphia High School. Her teams there set a state record with 68 consecutive victories. She was a three-year starter in basketball at Ouachita Baptist University.
Leotis Harris – Harris was an All-American in 1977 as a guard for the University of Arkansas. He was named to the Razorbacks’ All-Century Team. He was an All-Southwest Conference player twice and later played for the Green Bay Packers in the NFL. Harris had an outstanding career in high school at Little Rock Hall as a defensive lineman, but he was moved to the offensive side of the ball in college.
Nelson Catalina – Catalina’s basketball teams at Turrell went 100-14 in his three years as a player there. As a college player, he helped lead Ouachita Baptist University to three Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference championships. He also played on baseball teams at Ouachita that won three AIC titles. As head basketball coach at Arkansas State University, his teams won 188 games in 11 seasons.
Charlie Flowers – Flowers played football for the legendary Johnny Vaught at the University of Mississippi. He averaged 7.4 yards per carry, the highest in school history. Flowers was inducted into the College Hall of Fame in 1997. He played on Rebel teams that had a combined record of 45-8-1. The Marianna native played professional football for New York and San Diego in the AFL. He was inducted into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame in 1985.
Jimmy Culp – Culp starred in football, basketball and track at what is now Southern Arkansas University. The Redfield native once scored 40 of his basketball team’s 45 points in a game. As a high school basketball coach, Culp led his team at North Little Rock to a 32-3 record in 1964-65. He also coached at Bald Knob and Searcy.
Scotty Thurman – Thurman hit the most memorable shot in University of Arkansas basketball history when his three-point shot propelled Arkansas to a victory over Duke in the 1994 national championship game. He led the Razorbacks in three-point shots for three consecutive seasons. He played for the U.S. team in the Goodwill Games and played professionally overseas. He made all-star teams in Greece and Cyprus.
Class of 2011
Cliff Lee – This former Benton High School pitcher is one of the best baseball players ever to come from Arkansas. Lee was drafted out of high school in the eighth round of the 1997 major league draft but chose to attend a community college in Mississippi and later the University of Arkansas. He was chosen in the fourth round of the 2000 amateur draft by the Montreal Expos. His big league debut came in September 2002 at Cleveland. He won at least 14 games in each of his first three full seasons. Following the 2008 season, he was a near unanimous choice for the American League Cy Young Award after going 22-3. Lee was the pitcher in two World Series wins for the Phillies in 2009. He played for the Mariners and the Rangers before returning to the Phillies for the 2011 season.
Calvin Borel – This world-class thoroughbred jockey first captured the riding title at Oaklawn in 1995. He has been a frequent rider at the Hot Springs track for almost two decades. Borel is one of the many talented jockeys who hail from the Cajun country of south Louisiana. He’s known for his ebullient personality, his emotionalism after big wins and his work ethic. His ability to go to the rail has led racing fans to nickname him “Calvin Bo-Rail.” He won the Kentucky Derby in 2007 aboard Street Sense and then finished a close second behind Curlin in the Preakness Stakes. Borel won the Kentucky Derby again in 2009, this time aboard a 50-1 long shot, Mine That Bird. He had won the Kentucky Oaks the previous day aboard Rachel Alexandra. Two weeks later, Borel won the Preakness Stakes aboard Rachel Alexandra, the first jockey to capture the first two legs of the Triple Crown while riding different horses.
Quinn Grovey – As one of the most productive quarterbacks in University of Arkansas history, Grovey led the Razorbacks to back-to-back Southwest Conference titles in 1988 and 1989. This Duncan, Okla., native lettered four years for the Hogs while passing for 4,496 yards and rushing for 1,746 yards. He earned All-SWC honors in 1988 when he led the conference in passing accuracy at .633. He passed for 966 yards and rushed for 515 yards that season. In 1989, Grovey accounted for five touchdowns in a memorable 45-39 victory over a University of Houston team led by Heisman Trophy winner Andre Ware.Grovey was named to the school’s All-Century team and was inducted into the University of Arkansas’ Sports Hall of Honor in 2001.
Dick Bumpas – This Fort Smith native lettered three years for the Razorbacks. He was the Southwest Conference Defensive Player of the Year in 1970, earning consensus All- America honors at tackle. Bumpas went on to play tight end and linebacker for the Memphis Southmen of the World Football League and the British Columbia Lions of the Canadian Football League. He began his collegiate coaching career as a graduate assistant at Arkansas in 1977. He’s now widely regarded as one of the top defensive coordinators in the country, having worked at Texas Christian University since 2004. TCU led the nation in defense in 2008 and 2009. Bumpas was inducted into the University of Arkansas’ Sports Hall of Honor in 2006.
Bill “Sleepy” Curtis – The Marianna native known as “Sleepy” was among the top college running backs in Arkansas during the 1960s. He was an All-Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference selection while playing at Arkansas Tech and was named to the Arkansas Democrat’s All-Decade team for the 1960s. He twice led the AIC in rushing and gained more than 1,000 yards his senior season. In high school, Curtis lettered in five sports.
Ben Cowins – Considered one of the best Razorback running backs of all time, Cowins was one of just 10 Arkansas players to earn All-Southwest Conference honors three times (1976-78). Cowins left Arkansas with what at the time was the school’s career rushing record of 3,570 yards. He had 16 100-yard rushing games. The St. Louis native led the Southwest Conference with a 6.3-yard rushing average in 1976. He led the team in rushing as a sophomore, junior and senior. Cowins had 30 career rushing touchdowns and scored 180 points. He was named to the UA’s All-Decade team for the 1970s, played in the 1979 Hula Bowl and later played for the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs along with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League.
Eternal Grand Master Haeng Ung Lee – The founder, president and first grand master of the American Taekwondo Association was a pioneer in the field of martial arts. Lee was born in China after his family had left Korea. The family returned to Korea following World War II. Lee taught taekwondo to members of the South Korean military and later opened a school near a U.S. Air Force base. An American serviceman became a friend and in 1962 sponsored Lee’s move to the United States. Lee co-founded the American Taekwondo Association in Omaha, Neb., in 1969 and moved the organization’s headquarters to Little Rock in 1977. The ATA championships remain the largest annual convention in Little Rock. Lee died of cancer in October 2000.
Cliff Horton – After lettering for three seasons in basketball at the University of Arkansas and helping lead the Razorbacks to the Southwest Conference championship in 1949, Horton began a long coaching career. He had successful stops as a basketball coach at the high school level at St. Joe, Waldo, Crossett and Pine Bluff. His teams at Pine Bluff were 221-68. Horton later was hired as head basketball coach at what’s now the University of Central Arkansas. His teams won 20 or more games six times in his 14 seasons, including two trips to the NAIA national tournament. His 24-4 team of 1958-59 was among the best in school history. Horton later served as UCA’s athletic director in the early 1970s.
Carolyn Moffatt – This Crossett native built a national women’s basketball powerhouse at Ouachita Baptist University, where she coached from 1965-84. She became the first female coach inducted into the NAIA Basketball Hall of Fame. She posted a record of 213-162 at Ouachita while taking her teams to tournaments across the country. She also held numerous national positions with the AAU through the years and served as a women’s basketball adviser to the U.S. Olympic Committee.
Forrest Wood – The man known as the father of the bass boat is also a member of the Professional Bass Fishing Hall of Fame, the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame, the International Boating Hall of Fame, the National Marine Manufacturers Hall of Fame, the Legends of the Outdoors Hall of Fame, the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame and the Arkansas Outdoor Hall of Fame. Wood founded Ranger Boats in 1968 and built it into the largest manufacturer of bass boats in the country. The Flippin native became known at a young age as a skilled fishing guide on the White River, Buffalo River, Crooked Creek and Bull Shoals Lake. Ranger made six boats in its first year of operation. That number increased to 600 boats in 1969 and 1,200 boats in 1970. Wood was appointed to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission in 1998.
Jerry Carlton – This Sheridan native starred in both basketball and baseball at the University of Arkansas after having been recognized as one of the top high school basketball players in the country at Sheridan. As a Razorback, he led the baseball team in batting three times of averages of .341, .375 and .382. In basketball, he became only the second Razorback player to score more than 1,000 points and posted the highest field goal and free throw percentages to that point in Razorback history. Carlton’s free throw percentage was fifth in the country as a junior and second nationally as a senior. He earned All-Southwest Conference honors in basketball following the 1961 and 1962 seasons. Carlton was inducted into the University of Arkansas’ Sports Hall of Honor in 2004.
Class of 2012
Elmer “B” Lindsey – There have been some great athletes in Arkansas who acquired legendary status. Among them is Forrest City’s Elmer B. Lindsey. A 4-sport standout for the Mustangs he was considered one of the top football standouts in the United States earning All-American status. That was long before there were recruiting guru’s and scouting services. Lindsey was Frank Broyles first signee when he took over the Razorbacks program. His high school team in the late 1950’s won 22 straight. B had 44 touchdowns to his credit. However Lindsey never made it to Fayetteville. The baseball Cardinals also got his signature. B became what was known as a “bonus baby” picking up a reported $85,000 signing bonus. His baseball career lasted 6 seasons as he played in the minors for Memphis and Tulsa.
Bill Keedy – Having played for Newport High School he returned to his alma mater in 1977 spending the next 20 years as the Greyhounds head football coach. Keedy compiled a record of 175-48 and 3 at Newport. His overall record is 199-55 and 4. Ten times his teams won 10 games or more. 19- times his teams made the state playoffs winning state championships in 1981 and 91. His teams reached the semifinal round 8 times. 17-times his teams won district championships and 17-times he was named conference Coach of the Year. Bill twice was head coach in the High School All-Star Classic. Seven other times he was an assistant. In 1999 he was voted into the High School Coaches Hall of Fame. Newport’s athletic facility was named after him 1994.
U.S. Reed – With one heave of the basketball Reed became an Arkansas legend in 1981 as his 49 foot buzzer beater against Louisville in the NCAA regional in Austin, Texas, lifted the Razorbacks over the Cardinals. The date was March 14th. After the game at the Drum, Abe Lemmons coach of arch rival Texas was seen calling the Hogs with Arkansas fans. While remembered for “the shot” Reed had a terrific career at the U of A. As a freshman he played a reserve role on a team with the “triplets” (Moncrief, Delph and Brewer) who made the Final Four. The next three years he was a marquee player. His sophomore year the Razorbacks made it to the Elite 8. Upon completion of his career he was one of only 11 Razorbacks to score 1,000 points in their career.
Raymond Bright – Raymond was a coaching success in both football and track and field during his many years as coach for the Conway School District and for what’s now the University of Central Arkansas. A former player at UCA (ASTC) Bright later became the Bears head football coach (1965) winning back to back Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference championships in 65 and 66. He was named AIC Coach of the Year in 66. As head track coach his Bears won or shared 5 AIC titles. At Conway High his track teams won state championships in 1954 and 57. A native of Hope, he’s in the Arkansas Track and Field Hall of Fame and the UCA Sports Hall of Fame.
Harry Jones – A native of Enid, Oklahoma, Harry excelled as a Razorback on both sides of the ball. Affectionately known as “Light Horse Harry” he is the only Razorback football player who’s ever been featured solo on the front cover of Sports Illustrated (1965). Jones became an Arkansas legend following the release of a song called “The Ballad of Light Horse Harry”. At running back he became an All-Southwest Conference selection. As a junior he rushed for 632 yards and 7 touchdowns. His sophomore season he intercepted a pair of passes, running both back for touchdowns. In 66 he was one of two Razorbacks to be drafted in the first round, playing five seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Lee Mayberry – A native of Tulsa Mayberry was a four year starter for Nolan Richardson’s (1988-91) Razorbacks. Three times he was all-conference (twice All-Southwest Conference and All-Southeastern Conference once) One of the best point guards in U of A history he guided the Hogs to three Southwest Conference titles and one SEC west championship. Lee’s senior season Arkansas went 26 and 8 reaching the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament. The Hogs played in both the Final Four and Elite Eight during his playing days. He and teammate Todd Day were known nationally as “May-Day”. A first round draft pick of the Milwaukee Bucks, Lee played 7 years in the NBA. An inductee of the U of A Hall of Honor Mayberry ranks as the third leading scorer in school history.
1994 National Champions (University of Arkansas) – Monday April 4, 1994, is a night etched in the hearts of Razorback fans everywhere as their beloved Hogs beat Duke 76-72 and where crowned NCAA National Champions. The Hogs showed their toughness as they were ranked #1 in the country for 10 consecutive weeks heading into the NCAA Tournament. Corliss Williamson of Russellville was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, but it was forward Scotty Thurman’s rainbow three pointer with less than a minute remaining that put the Hogs over the top. The Hogs finished the regular season 24-2 while riding a 13 game win streak. Williamson and Thurman along with head coach Nolan Richardson are all inductees of the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame. The only other team inducted into the ASHOF in its 53 year history is the 1964 football Razorbacks.
Pat Jones – Having worked his way up the ranks from junior high coach at Little Rock’s Forest Heights Pat had an illustrious coaching career. As head coach at Oklahoma State University he was named Football Digest National Coach of the Year in 1984 his first season as a division one head coach. His Cowboys went 10 and 2 making him only the third Big 8 coach to win 10 games in their initial coaching campaign. The other two were Barry Switzer and Chuck Fairbanks. That same year Pat was named UPI Big 8 Coach of the Year. In 92 he was Associated Press Big 8 Coach of the Year. His OSU teams racked up wins in the 84 and 85 Gator Bowls, the 85 Sun Bowl and the 88 Holiday Bowl. Jones coached 9 All-Americans and is the winningest coach in OSU history. Jones coached with Jimmy Johnson helping the Miami Dolphins make the playoffs 6-times. In 2011 he was inducted into the Gator Bowl Hall of Fame. Born in Memphis he grew up in Little Rock later coaching on Frank Broyles staff at Arkansas.
Terry Wallace – For 37 years he was the “voice” of Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs. Terry called 20,191 consecutive races. Owner Charles Cella called the record setting performance “the most incredible record in sports”. Terry hit the 20,000 mark with his call of the third race on March 25, 2010. He ended the streak at 20,191 calls following the fourth race on January 28, of 2011. Terry worked his way up through the ranks doing odds jobs. He was even a jockey’s agent for a short while. In his early days at Oaklawn Terry continued to work at other tracks such as River Downs and Ak-Sar-Ben in Omaha. Terry is an inductee of the Nebraska Racing Hall of Fame.
Bob Ford – A native of Wynne he played on his hometown’s first state championship team in the fall of 1950. From there he was off to Memphis State College where he was voted the team’s most valuable player in 1954. Bob had a passion for coaching starting as a graduate assistant for Bear Bryant at the University of Alabama. Bob worked as an assistant for the Crimson Tide in 1959 and 60. From there he worked at Georgia and Kentucky serving as the Wildcats defensive coordinator under Charlie Bradshaw. He later worked under Paul Davis at Mississippi State. In the late 1960’s Ford enrolled in law school at the University of Arkansas where Frank Broyles allowed him to coach the freshman team and scout opponents as a means to support his family. Later on Bob became a scout for the Dallas Cowboys becoming good friends with coach Tom Landry.
Alonzo “Lonnie” Clayton – Has the distinction of being one of only two 15 year olds to ever win America’s most coveted race, the Kentucky Derby. Clayton was aboard Azra on May 11, 1892, coming from behind in the stretch to win by a nose. He would be in the money in the Kentucky Derby three more times in his career (finishing 2nd in 1893 and 3rd in 1895. Having moved to North Little Rock with his family when he was 10 Lonnie headed east with his brother with a vision of becoming a jockey and he did just that. He became a star on the east coast. Clayton’s best year was 1895 when he had 144 wins and finished in the money in about 60% of his races. Clayton won the Arkansas Derby that year at the Little Rock Jockey Club’s Clinton Park. In 1896 he became one of the few black jockeys to ever compete in the Preakness Stakes at Baltimore, where he finished third. He was considered one of the great riders of the New York circuit all through the 1890’s, although he rode all over the country.
Margaret Downing – She was considered one of the pioneers in women’s athletics in Arkansas. From 1965 to 1984 she served as the women’s basketball coach at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia. During her time at SAU her Riderette’s won 8 Arkansas Women’s Intercollegiate Sports Association conference titles, and two state championships and Southwest Regional Championships in the years before the AWISA. Margaret also coached teams at Amateur Athletic Union championships from 1963-65. She was named coach of the year in 1977-78 and 1984. Served on many committee’s and association’s including the U.S. Olympic basketball committee. Margaret was inducted into the NAIA National Hall of Fame in 1987.