2019 Hall of Fame Induction: October 18, 2019
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2017 Alumni Awards Banquet and Sports Hall of Fame Induction
2015 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Video
2013 Hall of Fame Lunch and Induction Video
2011 Hall of Fame Induction Video
Hall of Fame Magazine (PDF)
Hall of Fame Tribute Video
Steve Higgins ('79)
Baseball (1974-75, 1977-79)
Inducted in 2017
Steve Higgins was among the top baseball players in the Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference (AIC) during the 1970's. The versatile Higgins was the team's top pitcher and hitter under head coach Lonnie Qualls. In the 1979 season, Higgins led the conference in strikeouts (68) and finished second in hitting (.423). He also led the AIC in strikeouts (70) in 1978. He finished his career as a three-time All-Conference player, including earning All-Conference as a designated hitter and pitcher in 1979. He is a native of Glenroe, Missouri.
Don Kessler ('70)
Inducted in 2017
Don Kessler is a highly-respected athletic trainer with over 40 years of experience at the collegiate, professional and Olympic level. He is currently the athletic trainer for the United States Navy Seals. He has served as the head athletic trainer at San Diego State University, Rutgers University and Princeton University. He has won numerous regional and national awards for his service and contributions to athletic training and is a member of the Athletic Training New Jersey Hall of Fame. A native of Riverside, New Jersey, he has been an athletic trainer spotter for the National Football League and served as a trainer for US Olympic teams.
George Loss ('54)
Inducted in 2017
George Loss built a powerhouse football program at St. Ann's Academy in Fort Smith from 1954-66. During that stretch, Loss posted an impressive 116-15-3 overall record. At one point during his stint at St. Anne's, his teams won 44 straight games. As a head coach, he had seven undefeated seasons. Following his success at St. Anne's, he went to Little Rock Catholic High School where his team won the State Championship in 1968 and 1969. He also served as the head coach at Bryant and North Little Rock. He was named the head coach of the 1965 Arkansas Activities Association All-Star Football Game. A native of Hartford, Ark., Loss was a durable player on the Ozarks' Football team starting in every game over four years.
Lindy Swatzell Mantooth ('05)
Inducted in 2017
Lindy Swatzell Mantooth ('05) is considered the greatest player to ever suit up for the women's soccer team and was one of the most prolific scorers in the American Southwest Conference (ASC). A native of Westwood, Kansas, Swatzell holds nearly every offensive record at Ozarks. She owns the program record for career goals (42), career points (95) and career goals per game (0.63). Her single season records include most goals (21) and most points (46). She holds the program record for most goals in a game (6). The team leader in goals all four seasons, she finished her record-breaking career as a four-time All-Conference performer. In 2001, she was named the ASC East Division Co-Offensive Freshman of the Year.
Alicia Haney Skinner ('95)
Women's Basketball (1991-1995)
Inducted in 2015
Whether pulling down a rebound in traffic, hitting a tough jump shot or throwing a perfect pass for an assist, women's basketball star Alicia Haney Skinner made it look easy. The smooth 5-foot-10 forward had a knack for filling up a stat sheet, earning her the reputation as one of the most versatile players to ever suit up in an Ozarks' uniform. Skinner remains the program's all-time leader in career rebounds (892) and career assists (425). She is the ninth-leading scorer (1,239) in program history. A native of Ola, Ark., she guided Ozarks to a remarkable 77-42 record during her four-year stretch. From 1991-1995, Skinner proved to be a force in the Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference. She was named to the AIC All-Freshman Team following the 1991-92 season. She followed her freshman campaign by ranking among the AIC's top-10 in rebounding (9.1) and assists (3.9). Her junior season, she guided the Lady Eagles to a program-best 26-6 record and earned Honorable Mention All-AIC. She capped her career with All-AIC honors as a senior, ranking among the top scorers, free throw shooters, rebounders and assist leaders in the league. Her production as an all-around player resulted in impressive career statistics: 10.6 points, 7.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game over 116 games. Skinner is the Sales and Marketing Manager at Bridgestone Americas in Russellville. She and her husband, Terry, are the parents of one daughter.
Ricky Herrera ('04)
Men's Soccer (2000-2003)
Inducted in 2015
Soccer star Ricky Herrera's legend grew larger in the American Southwest Conference championship match in the fall of 2003. Trailing 1-0 in the second half, Herrera scored the equalizer in the 70th minute to give Ozarks the momentum. Ozarks would eventually score the game-winning goal to capture the ASC title and propel the team into the NCAA Tournament. His goal would be one of a record-setting 54 he scored in an Ozarks' uniform. He is the conference's all-time leader in goals, and ranks third at Ozarks in career points (128) and fifth in career assists (20). In 83 career matches, he accumulated 205 shots, third most in school history. In addition, he is the program leader in career game-winning goals (14). He was a four-time ASC All-East Division First Team pick and a three-time All-ASC selection. He earned All-Region status from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America in 2002 and 2003. His other conference-wide awards included ASC East Division Preseason Player of the Year (2002) and ASC Offensive Freshman of the Year (2000). Twice, he was selected to the Academic All-District Team, and three times, he was on the ASC All-Academic Team. Herrera was part of four post-season teams. A native of Las Cruces, New Mexico, Herrera serves a sergeant with the State Police in New Mexico. He and his wife Leslie are the parents of three children and reside in Las Cruces.
1983-1984 Men's Basketball Team
Inducted in 2013
The 1983-84 Men’s Basketball Team has the distinction of being the first team inducted into the Ozarks Sports Hall of Fame. Picked to finish fourth in the Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference heading into the 1983-84 season, the then College of the Ozarks Mountaineers shocked the state by winning the league by four games on their way to a 27-6 record, which remains the most wins in the program’s history. The 1983-84 team snapped a 35-year streak of consecutive non-winning seasons for the program and was ranked as high as 14th in the nation at one point in the year. Team members, coaches and managers included: Donnie Siebenmorgen, Terrance Rhodes, James Wilks, Scotty Pierce, Kevin Winn, Ron Culver, Charles Ingram, Bruce Terry, David Hund, Tony Joyner, Reggie Martin, Troy Johnson, Bill Cox, Pete Van Dyke, Keith Johnson, Carlos York, Fred Frye, John Lewis, Roscoe Gordon, George Reid and John Hinsley.
Louis Whorton ('76)
Inducted in 2013
Louis Whorton has established himself as one of the most successful women’s collegiate basketball coaches in the country. In 30 seasons as the head coach at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith (formerly Westark College), Whorton compiled an impressive 594-232 overall win-loss record, including a junior college national championship. He was named NJCAA National Coach of the Year in 1995 after leading the Lady Lions to a national championship and undefeated season. He has coached three WNBA players and 12 All-Americans during his tenure. He was inducted into the NJCAA Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010. Prior to UAFS, Whorton coached at the high school level in Arkansas at Hector, Hoxie, Blytheville, Subiaco and County Line. He and his wife, Pat, have one son, Jeremy.
Percy Williams ('84)
Track and Field (1980-84)
Inducted in 2013
Percy Williams was one of the fastest athletes to ever wear the purple and gold of Ozarks. A native of Sunshine, La., Williams was a standout sprinter for Coach Jerry Wagoner’s track and field teams in the early 1980s, earning both All-American and All-Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference honors three times. He still owns school records in the 100 meters, 200 meters and 800 meters and was part of the school’s record-setting one-mile relay team. His fastest 100-meter time was 10.33, a mark he set as a freshman. He would eventually qualify for the Olympic trials his senior season, but was unable to participate because of a knee injury. He and his wife Lois reside in Prairieville, La. He is employed with Turner Industries in Baton Rouge.
Inducted in 2011
Coaching the men’s basketball team from 1990 to 2001, Johnny Johnson compiled 173 victories, the most in the program’s history, and won 20-or-more games a school-record three times. Johnson was named the Arkansas Intercollegiate Coach of the Year in 1992-93 after leading the Eagles to a 23-9 overall record and a first-place finish in the conference. He was also named NAIA District 17 Coach of the Year following the 1992-93 and 1993-94 seasons. In 2000, he was named American Southwest Conference Coach of the Year after a 16-9 season and second-place finish in the ASC. Johnson's exciting brand of basketball won over the Clarksville community and produced two members of the U of O Sports Hall of Fame. Johnson served as the athletic director for the Little Rock (Ark.) School District and Russellville (Ark.) School District. Johnson and his wife, Robin, are the parents of Drake and Bryce. He is a 1984 graduate of the University of Arkansas. VIDEOS- To view a video about Johnnny, visit: http://www.youtube.com/user/jpeppas23#p/a/u/0/aGI21QwjWaM To view the Hall of Fame lunch and ceremony, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5b3fjkq_RoY
Jerry Wagoner ('58)
Inducted in 2011
Affectionately known as “Coach Wag,” Jerry Wagoner was associated with the University for more than 50 years, beginning in 1954 when he enrolled as a star football recruit out of Booneville, Ark. Playing at 195 pounds, Wagoner was a four-year starter at both offensive and defensive guard for Ozarks, earning All-Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference honors three times. As a senior, Wagoner led an offensive line that helped Ozarks rush for 275 yards a game and compile a 7-1-1 record, the best overall record in the program’s history. He went on to coach football as well as track and field at Ozarks for more than 30 years, and was also a long-time instructor in the physical education department. After retiring from full-time teaching in 1996, he served as an adjunct instructor at Ozarks until his death in June of 2010. He is survived by his wife, Delores, and two sons, Mitchell and Jay. VIDEOS- To view a video tribute to Coach Wag, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krAALtkIU7U To view the lunch and ceremony, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5b3fjkq_RoY
Marcos Gonzalez ('01)
Inducted in 2009
A native of Georgetown, Texas, Gonzalez was a flashy, creative, high-scoring forward for the soccer program from 1998-2001. He was a four-time All-American Southwest Conference performer and was named the ASC Offensive Player of the Year for the 2001 season. The prolific scorer still owns nine conference records, including most career points (149) and assists (45), season points (66) and assists (26), and assists in a game (8). He remains the only player in league history to record 40 goals and 40 assists in a career. His 8 assists in a single match are the second-most in the NCAA Division III record books. Gonzalez also owns numerous school records, including career points, assists and shots (367). He is second in career goals (52). He helped the 2001 team capture the ASC East Division title with an 18-3-1 overall record and earned National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-Region First Team honors that season.
Anthony Porchia ('93)
Inducted in 2009
Porchia, a Stephens, Ark., native, was a fluid, smooth-shooting 6-foot-5 forward for the Eagles’ basketball team from 1989-1993. He still holds the school record for career 3-pointers (241) and is the program’s No. 2 all-time scorer (1,671 points). Porchia made an immediate impact at Ozarks --- earning a spot on the Arkansas Intercol¬legiate Conference (AIC) All-Freshman Team in 1990. He went on to a stellar career as a four-year starter for the Eagles and was among the top players to play under head coach Johnny Johnson. Porchia, known for his unselfishness on the court, helped Johnson’s teams achieve national status, too. He earned All-AIC honors in both 1992 and 1993 as well as NAIA District 17 honors in 1993. He helped lead the Eagles to the NAIA District 17 Tournament title in 1993 as the Eagles capped a 23-9 season by advancing to the NAIA National Tournament in Kansas City. Porchia went on to manager Wal-Mart stores in the Dallas, Texas, area following his graduation.
Kenneth Little ('81)
Track & Field (1978-1981)
Inducted in 2007
Kenneth Little wasted no time making his mark as a track and field athlete at Ozarks. Little, who competed for the University from 1978-1981, won the triple jump competition in the very first collegiate track meet he competed in, setting the standard for a highly successful career. Little was a standout triple and long jumper for Ozarks and also ran on the school’s relay teams. He is the co-holder of the Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference (AIC) record in the triple jump (50-feet and one-half inch) and qualified for the NAIA National Championships all four years he competed. He was also a two-time All-AIC selection. Little qualified for the NAIA Championships in both the long jump and triple jump as a freshman and sophomore and in the triple jump as a junior and senior. As a junior, he finished fourth in the 1980 NAIA Championships at Abilene Christian University with a triple jump of 50-10 3/4, earning him All-American honors. A hamstring injury limited his success during his senior season, but he still qualified for the National Championships, making him one of the few Ozarks athletes to qualify for national competition four consecutive seasons. Before the injury in his senior season, Little finished fourth in the Kansas Relays against competitors from Division I schools. Little, who has worked in the chemical industries field in the Baton Rouge, La., area for 26 years, is currently a supervisor at Turner Industries. He continues to be involved in track and field, serving as a volunteer coach in the jumping and relay events for Plaquemine High School.
Lori Myers ('97)
Inducted in 2007
Lori (Myers) Hines blossomed into one of the top basketball players in Ozarks history, and her impact on the school’s record book continues to loom large. The 6-foot-1 center remains third at the school in career scoring (1,504) and eighth in career rebounding (661). She also holds the career record for highest field goal percentage (61%). Her senior season was especially rewarding as she led the Lady Eagles to an American Southwest Conference co-title and earned NAIA All-America Second Team honors. She additionally received the ASC Player of the Year and the ASC Defensive Player of the Year awards after averaging a double-double (20.8 points and 11.1 rebounds) that season. She remains one of the few athletes at Ozarks to ever earn All-America honors in the same year as winning a conference championship. A native of Perryville, Ark., Hines led Ozarks to a combined 72-35 record during her playing days, while averaging 18.8 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game during that span. She earned NAIA All-America Honorable Mention and NAIA Midwest All-Conference her junior season and was an All-AIC performer her sophomore year. Hines went on to play two seasons of professional basketball in Australia and later became a coach at John Milledge Academy in Milledgeville, Ga.
Ray Basinger ('54)
Inducted in 2005
Ray did not start during the season-opening kickoff of his freshman year, but he seldom left the field after that. The quick, 6-foot-2, 215-pound tackle from Hartford, Ark., was a force on both sides of the ball in his four years at Ozarks. Recruited out of high school by such major programs as Tulane and the University of Arkansas, Basinger overcame a nagging knee injury early in his career to become one of the top linemen in the Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference. The four-year starter earned AIC Lineman of the Year honors in 1953 and helped the Mountaineers go a combined 10-4-2 in 1952 and 1953. He went on to a successful 36-year coaching career, including a 21-year stint as the head football coach at Caprock High School in Amarillo, Texas. He and his wife, Mary Ann, have been married more than 50 years.
Marilyn Bauer ('85)
Inducted in 2005
Bauer was one of the most well-rounded, versatile female players in school history. She earned All-AIC honors her senior season and was All-AIC Honorable Mention as a junior. At the time of her induction, Bauer ranked ninth in school history in points (1,160), eighth in rebounds (619) and third in assists (380), earning her the distinction of being the only female player at Ozarks to score more than 1,000 points, tally more than 600 rebounds and record more than 300 assists in a career. She owns numerous records at Ozarks, including most steals in a career (228), most steals in a season (92), most steals in a game (8) and most assists in a game (13). The 5-foot-8 star guard once hit 28-of-32 free throws in a win over Arkansas College. Marilyn coached at Dardanelle, Ark., for 14 years where she was named conference coach of the year in basketball, volleyball and softball, and led the track team to back-to-back state titles. She also coached girl’s basketball at Lincoln High School.
Fletcher Lowry ('52)
Alumni Athletic Achievement (1947-1952)
Inducted in 2005
Fletcher, a native of Dermott, Ark., was a standout offensive guard and defensive nose tackle for the Ozarks football program in the late 1940's before being recalled to active duty in the U.S. Army. He returned to Ozarks in 1952 and was captain of a Mountaineers team that went 5-2-1. He earned All-AIC in 1952 as a lineman. After graduating from Ozarks, Fletcher began a long and distinguished coaching and athletic administration career, including 33 years at the University of Central Arkansas. Fletcher, who went on to earn a Ph.D., coached football and basketball at UCA, but he left his coaching mark in baseball where his teams won more than 200 games and won or tied for six AIC titles in 14 years. He served as chair of the UCA Department of Physical Education for 17 years before retiring in 1988. He and his wife, Jo Nell, also an Ozarks graduate, have been married more than 50 years.
Sylvester Benson ('67)
Alumni Athletic Achievement (1963-1967)
Inducted in 2004
Sylvester Benson played basketball at Ozarks from 1963-67, becoming the first African-American to play intercollegiate sports at a traditionally white college in Arkansas. The Hugo, Okla., native helped break racial barriers in the state when he joined the Ozarks team in the fall of 1963. After graduating from Ozarks, Benson went on to a 35-year career as a high school teacher and administrator in Kansas, including 31 years in Manhattan, Kan. He retired as a principal in 2001. He has been an active member in the University’s Alumni Association for many years and was named to the University’s Board of Trustees in 2009.
Leroy Douglas ('60)
Baseball (1952-54, 1956-60)
Inducted in 2004
Douglas was a standout baseball and basketball player for Ozarks in the early 1950's. In basketball, he led Ozarks in scoring during the 1953-54 season, averaging 16 points a game. An All-Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference performer for the baseball team as a freshman in 1953, Douglas was 7-2 as a pitcher, hit a conference-best .481 and led the team in RBIs, hits and home runs. In one game against Fort Smith Junior College, Douglas pitched a perfect game, hit two home runs and had nine RBIs. After receiving offers from 16 different professional baseball teams, Douglas left Ozarks in 1954 to sign a major league contract with the Detroit Tigers. His professional career was cut short after he was hit in the head by a fastball, causing a near-fatal skull fracture. Douglas went on to a successful coaching career, going 582-227 in eight seasons of coaching junior and senior high boys and girls basketball at Coal Hill. He also served as junior high principal at Ozark High School for 12 years.
O.D. Hightower ('49)
Alumni Athletic Achievement (1946-1949)
Inducted in 2004
Hightower was a standout boxer at the University in the late 1940's. A native of Adona, Ark., he won a total of six state Golden Glove championships, five state AAU championships and qualified for the U.S. Olympic team tryouts while a student at Ozarks. Hightower, who served as executive director of the El Paso (Texas) Boys Club, died in 1964 at the age of 41. His widow, Mollie, still lives in El Paso.
Stephen Kennedy ('96)
Inducted in 2004
Kennedy was a 6-foot-4 scoring and rebounding machine for the men’s basketball program from 1991-95. The Dermott, Ark., native holds the school’s all-time scoring record with 2,318 points, more than 600 points ahead of the second-place scorer. The two-time NAIA All-American and 1994 AIC Player of the Year also holds the school record for career rebounds with 1,048 and is fifth in assists with 280. Kennedy made an immediate impact on the program, earning AIC Freshman of the Year honors and making the AIC All-Freshman Team in 1992. The reliable Kennedy was arguably among the top players to ever suit up in the AIC and was a perfect fit for head coach Johnny Johnson as he provided an inside presence during a four-year span that included an NAIA District 17 championship in 1993. The Eagles finished the season with a 23-9 record and advanced to the NAIA National Tournament in Kansas City that year. To most observers, Kennedy finished his career as one of the top athletes to ever play at Ozarks.
Charlie Roffine ('50)
Baseball, Basketball and Football (1946-1950)
Inducted in 2004
Roffine was a multi-sport standout at Ozarks in the late 1940's, earning a total of 12 letters from 1947-1950. He was a four-year starter as a basketball player, a team captain and starting end as a football player, and a starter on the baseball team. In basketball, he earned All-AIC honors in 1949 and 1950. Roffine was a four-time winner of the university’s T.L. Smith athletic award, which was given to the college’s outstanding athlete.
Bill Alverson ('49)
Baseball and Basketball (1946-1949)
Inducted in 2003
After serving his country in World War II, Alverson enrolled at Ozarks in 1946 and quickly became an integral part of the university's athletic program for the next three years. Alverson was a three-sport athlete, competing in football, baseball and basketball for C of O. He played two years of football as a two-way guard and three years of basketball as a reserve guard. But it was baseball where he made his biggest impact as a crafty left-handed pitcher. Known for his pinpoint accuracy and an ability to keep hitters off balance, Alverson was a two-time All-Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference selection and helped Ozarks compete for the 1949 AIC championship. He was also known for his durability on the mound, pitching in all of his team’s first nine games of the 1949 season. After leaving Ozarks, Alverson pitched several years in professional leagues in Arkansas and Louisiana, before finishing his baseball career with the Class C Fort Smith Giants of the Western Association. He had a tryout with the New York Yankees in 1952, but declined a contract in order to pursue a career in education. Alverson, who earned a master’s degree in education from the University of Arkansas, retired in 1984 after 37 years as a coach, teacher and administrator in Arkansas, including 15 years as a principal at Fort Smith Chaffin Junior High. He also worked as a sports official in baseball, football and basketball for 19 years, and officiated in both the Arkansas High School Coaches’ Association football and basketball all-star games. Alverson and his wife, Clara Chitwood (a 1950 U of O graduate), have been married 55 years and live in Greenwood, Ark.
Penni Peppas-Burns ('94)
Inducted in 2002
Her prowess on the basketball court earned her a reputation as a scoring machine in the Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference (AIC) during the early-1990’s. Her 2,170 career points ranks at the top of the U of O’s women’s scoring list. Her 47-point outburst against the University of Central Arkansas remains a school single-game record, as does her 19 field goals. Additionally, she holds single-season school records for most points (696) and field goals (276). She ranks third in career rebounding with 785. After earning National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) All-America status her sophomore season, Peppas-Burns received the honor again her junior and senior seasons. In 1992, she averaged a career high 24 points per game, also a school record, and was named to the prestigious Kodak All-American team. At Ozarks, Peppas-Burns took the Lady Eagles’ program to new heights. She was a three-time All-AIC player and was twice named All-NAIA District 17. Her senior season, she led the Lady Eagles to a school-best 25-6 record and to the semi-finals of the AIC tournament. Peppas-Burns went on to play professionally in Iceland where she was named Most Valuable Player each of her four seasons there. As the league’s leading scorer, she led her team to three Icelandic National Championships and lost only nine games in four seasons.
Charlie Spoonhour ('61)
Inducted in 2000
Spoonhour became perhaps the most recognized name in the Ozarks Sports Hall of Fame. Spoonhour was a widely recognized and successful collegiate men’s basketball coach following his graduation from Ozarks. His style, known as "Spoonball," featured a patient, possession-oriented offense and tough, hard-nosed defense. Spoonhour had great success at what was then Southwest Missouri State (Missouri State). He turned that program into a powerhouse, compiling a 197-81 overall record. He took the team to the NCAA Tournament five times and twice to the NIT. His teams won four Mid-Continent Conference championships and one Missouri Valley title. He was named MCC Coach of the Year three times. After ripping apart the junior college ranks with a 205-63 record (.765), Spoonhour became an assistant at Nebraska before taking over at Southwest Missouri State. Then “Spoonball” hit St. Louis where he recorded an overall record of 122-90, taking the Bilikens to three NCAA’s and one NIT. While at St. Louis University, Spoonhour was named National Coach of the Year by the United States Basketball Writers Association. After retiring, he gave it one more shot at UNLV and quickly guided the Runnin’ Rebels to consecutive 20-victory seasons and a post-season appearance. He was 54-31 at UNLV. His overall coaching record was 738-302 in 33 seasons. Following his stint at UNLV, Spoonhour worked as a television commentator for the Missouri Valley Conference and for the University of Oklahoma, and is a motivational speaker. He’s an inductee of the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame and Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame.
Ron Marvel ('65)
Inducted in 1997
Marvel received a degree in physical education from Ozarks in 1965 and then went on to become an ultra-successful basketball coach on several different levels in Arkansas. Marvel had an incredible run as head coach at University of Central Arkansas from 1980-2004, retiring as the winningest college women’s basketball coach in Arkansas history with a 489-207 (.703) record. In his 24 years, UCA never had a losing season and averaged more than 20 wins per season. Ten times during their time in the AIC, the Sugar Bears made the postseason and then, after moving to NCAA Division II, made four NCAA Tournament appearances. He coached countless All-Conference players during his tenure. On the junior high and high school levels at stops in Magazine, Cedarville and Fountain Lake, he compiled an impressive 951-430 record. His coaching honors include college district Coach of the Year four times, Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference Coach of the Year twice, high school district Coach of the Year 11 times and four appearances in the Arkansas High School All-Star Game. Though he didn't compete in sports at Ozarks, he transformed a strong emphasis on fundamentals and a burning desire to win into a successful formula that has added up to more than 1,300 victories and a winning percentage of better than 70 percent in 33 years of coaching. He was inducted into the UCA Sports Hall of Fame in 2003.
Ted Young ('58)
Inducted in 1997
Young, who graduated from The College of the Ozarks in 1958, made his mark as one of the finest all-around athletes to compete at the school. As a freshman in 1952 he earned letters in football, baseball, basketball and track, making him one of the first athletes in Ozarks history to earn four letters in one season. As a speedy halfback/defensive back in football, Young led the AIC one season with the longest punt return (62 yards) and the longest run from scrimmage (66 yards). In baseball, the smooth-fielding, leadoff-hitting second baseman was a four-year starter who helped the Mountaineers to two AIC titles. He hit .375 one season and was consistently among the league leaders in stolen bases. He lettered in track for two years as a sprinter until the school dropped the program, and was also a four-year letterman on the basketball team. By the time he graduated, Young had earned a total of 12 athletic letters.
Bobby Hurley ('58)
Inducted in 1996
Bobby Hurley was a standout halfback and punter for Ozarks from 1955-1958. The Clarksville native was one of the top rushers in the Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference in both 1956 and 1957, totaling 1,405 yards combined over the two seasons before an injury-riddled senior season slowed him down. Running out of the Split-T formation, Hurley helped the Mountaineers establish one of the top ground games in the nation during their 7-1-1 campaign in 1957 in which the team averaged 275 rushing yards a game. Hurley played every quarter for four straight seasons and was named to the All-AIC team in all four seasons he played. He also excelled as the team’s punter during his career.
Dorothy Salter ('41)
Inducted in 1996
Salter founded the Sooner Gals, a competitive senior women’s basketball team, in 1992. She led the team to the gold medal in the national competition of the Senior Olympics in Virginia in June 2003. Known as “Dot” to her teammates, the Sooner Gals won either the silver or gold medal in the Senior Olympics every year. She won more than 100 gold medals in various competitions in the Senior Olympics since 1988.
Roy O. Ralston ('29)
Inducted in 1995
Ralston was a member of the football, baseball and basketball teams in his career at Ozarks, lettering in all three sports in 1925, 1926 and 1928. After graduation in 1929, Ralston enlisted in the Army Air Core School and served as Major in World War II. In 1945, Ralston was part of the Canadian Colonial Airlines and he retired in 1960.
Bill R. Seabolt ('52)
Inducted in 1995
Before entering Ozarks, Seabolt boasted an impressive AAU boxing history and had three consecutive AAU boxing titles from 1945 to 1947. In 1948, he was the State Golden Glove Champion and went to the regional semi-finals in Boxing. In 1949, Seabolt lettered in baseball. The following years he lettered in both baseball and football and again won the State Golden Glove Championship and participated in the regional semi-finals for boxing. In 1952, Seabolt was a baseball captain and lettered in football as well as receiving his third Golden Glove Championship. In 1952, Seabolt graduated from C of O, and he retired in 1991 after serving 40 years as an educator and coach.
Bill Crowder ('56)
Inducted in 1994
Crowder entered the College of the Ozarks in 1952 and played both basketball and baseball. In 1956, his senior year, he was an Assistant Baseball Coach to Fritz Ehren and graduated with honors and the following accolades: Who’s Who Among American Colleges and Universities, Senior Class President, Outstanding Political Science Student and served as the Student Director of Intramural Sports Program. From 1956 to 1959 Crowder coached basketball, football and was the athletic director and principal at Ozark High School. In 1959, Crowder moved to Springdale where he also coached football, basketball and baseball. While in Springdale, Crowder received his master’s degree from the University of Arkansas and in 1965 he became the Head Baseball Coach at Westark Junior College where he had 912 career wins, sent 400 players to major universities and had over 30 players sign professional contracts. He received the National Coach of the Year award and the National Baseball Coaches Award. Crowder has authored literature covering drugs, baseball and winning in life. The Westark (UA-Fort Smith) Baseball Field was named “Bill Crowder Field” in his honor. He was also inducted into the NJCAA Hall of Fame and the UA-Fort Smith Hall of Fame.
James Rackley ('50)
Inducted in 1994
Rackley came to Ozarks after a short stint with the New York Giants as an infielder in 1947 and a four year tour in the South Pacific with the United States Navy from 1942-1946. In 1949 after he reclaimed amateur status, Rackley played basketball and baseball for C of O and received All-AIC honors in baseball. In 1950 Rackley graduated from C of O and joined the National Guard where he served at Camp Stoneman until 1952. From 1952 to 1954 Rackley coached all sports at Palestine High School in Palestine, Arkansas and in 1955 coached just one year at Coal Hill High School. From 1956 to 1985, Rackley was the Head Basketball Coach at Mena High School in Mena, Arkansas. During his impressive career at Mena, he posted a 433-249 record while coaching 11 teams that participated in the State Tournament. Rackley was a Coach of the Year 12 times and had six district championships and six district championship runner-ups during his tenure. In 1959 and 1969 Rackley was awarded the Arkansas High School All-Star Coach position and in 1979 he was awarded the Fort Smith Times Record Coach of the Year. In 1984, a year before his retirement, Rackley was honored as a Polk County Citizen of the Year and in 1987 the Mena High School gym was renamed “Jim Rackley Gymnasium.”
Ralph Brown Jr. ('76)
Inducted in 1993
After he graduated from Westark Junior College where he was All-Conference and All-Region and helped the team to the Junior College Qualifying National Tournament, Brown starred on the diamond at Ozarks. From 1974 to 1975 Brown was a two-time First Team All-AIC selection and was also a two-fold All-NAIA athlete. Brown led the C of O in batting average, home runs and RBIs during his career and was a team captain. Brown was also an AIC All-Star for two years and received All-American Honorable Mention. After he graduated, Brown started the Girls Athletic Program at Fort Smith Northside High School where he also coached basketball, volleyball and track. He was a 4A West Coach of the Year ten times for volleyball and basketball and took teams to the state finals in 1988, 1989 and 1990. Brown was on the Gatorade National Coaches Honor Roll in 1993. He served the Fort Smith Boy’s Club for 13 years.
Robert Ehren ('55)
Inducted in 1993
Before enlisting and serving in the Army, Robert Ehren attended the College of the Ozarks for one year in 1949. During that year he participated in football, baseball and track. In 1952, he received All-AIC Honorable Mention in football, participated in basketball and ran the 440 in track. During his time at Ozarks, Ehren was First Team All-AIC in football and was awarded AIC Back of the Year and helped the team to an AIC football championship. Ehren received his master’s degree from the University of Tennessee and completed post-graduate work at the University of Arkansas. From 1958 to 1986, Ehren was a High School Administrator where he served as Principal for seven years, Superintendent for 21years and three years as a Special Education Supervisor in Franklin and Logan Counties. In 1989 Ehren retired after 35 years of service to the education profession.
Annabel Rice ('29)
Inducted in 1993
Annabel Hess Rice graduated from Arkansas’ Nashville High School in 1926 where she played basketball, softball and volleyball. In her time at College of the Ozarks, Rice participated in basketball, was a team manager for the basketball team, was the Athletic Editor for the Mountain Eagle, the President of the Eagle Screams Pep Club, President of the Women’s Dormitory Council and an active member in the following clubs: Literary Society, Music, Home Economics, Art and Debate. After graduation, Rice married 1990 Hall of Fame inductee Glenn Rice and earned two master’s degrees. She and her husband had three daughters. In 1975, Rice retired after 45 years of distinguished service at Dumas High School. Her community honors include: Arkansas Governor’s Council on Secondary Education, Arkansas Post Girl Scouts Council, Executive Board of the Arkansas Association of Student Councils, Scottish Rites Graduate Fellowship, Arkansas PTA Council Congress Fellowship, Girl Scouts Service Award, Outstanding Arkansan, Who’s Who in the South and Southwest, Who’s Who of American Women, National Register of Prominent Americans and Delta Kappa Gamma Service Award.
Bob Chance ('69)
Inducted in 1992
The high-scoring forward from Ponca City, Okla., was a four-year letterman in basketball and was an All-AIC performer in 1968. He received All-AIC Honorable Mention in 1969. Upon his graduation in 1969, Chance held 13 individual basketball records at C of O. His single season records included highest points per game average (22.5) and field goals in a game (17). He owned career records in highest average points in a four-year career (14.4), second highest in rebound average in a four-year career (7.2), second in career points (1,288) and third in career rebounds (644). In 1976 Chance coached a Missouri High school basketball team to a 31-3 record and a third place finish in the state tournament. In 1989 Chance began serving as a Coordinator for drug testing on the United States Olympic Committee for Badminton, a position he held for five years. That same year, Chance also served as team manager for the championship US badminton team in Villach, Austria. From 1989-1991 Chance was the National governing Body Coordinator for Olympic festivals in Oklahoma, California and Minnesota. In 1992, he was the director of fitness and recreational services for Conoco Inc. and was responsible for all health and fitness recreational program for the 4,000 employees at the Ponca City Conoco site.
Inducted in 1992
Koon attended Henderson State Teachers College from 1929-1933 where he was the junior class president, student body president and was a three-year All-State football performer. From 1933 to 1942, Koon was a teacher and coach in his hometown of Sheridan, Arkansas. In 1942 Koon joined the United States Armed Forces 96th Infantry Division before coming to Ozarks in 1945. From 1945 to1955 Koon was the College of the Ozarks athletic director, football coach and basketball coach. He was named the AIC Coach of the Year in 1951. After Ozarks, Koon spent a decade at Arkansas State Teachers College where he too served as Athletic Director, posted a 54-34-6 record as the Football Coach and coached two AIC Championship football teams in 1959 and 1962. In 1965 Koon left the athletic world and was the Arkansas State Teachers College Vice President of Student Affairs before his retirement in 1976. Upon his retirement, Coach Koon posted a winning record of 159-99-6. At the time of his induction, six of his students had joined him in the U of O Hall of Fame.
Rex Yerby ('57)
Baseball (1950-51, 1956-57)
Inducted in 1992
In 1951 Yerby was a member of the All-AIC Basketball First Team and the recipient of the university’s T.L. Smith Award. He lettered in football, basketball and baseball before enlisting in the United States Navy in 1952. In 1956, Yerby returned to Ozarks and was a member of the All-AIC Baseball First Team in 1956 and 1957 and was the Arkansas Golden Gloves Heavyweight Champion. He lettered again in football, basketball and baseball in his final two years. From 1957 to 1986 Yerby was a coach and administrator posting an impressive .670 winning percentage and a record of 103-48-2. He was a three-time Coach of the Year and coach of the West All-Stars. He spent 32 years as a coach and administrator.
Dwight “Doc” Blakely ('31)
Inducted in 1991
Originally from Canton, Illinois, Blakely graduated from the Clarksville Academy in 1925. In 1926 and 1927 alike, Blakely was a member of the College of the Ozarks baseball team and helped them to a pair of undefeated seasons. Both seasons resulted in winning a state championship. In his time at C of O, Blakely lettered in baseball five times and was the team captain in 1928. In 1933, he began podiatry school. In 1977 he received the Arkansas Traveler Award. In 1987 Blakely was the recipient of the Blue Cross Golden Anniversary Salute Award. He was a frequent guest on “Nashville Now”, a television program seen throughout the South.
Johnny Bock ('49)
Inducted in 1991
After starting his collegiate career at Arkansas Tech, Bock transferred to Ozarks in 1941. He was there for one year and then enlisted in the military and did not return to Ozarks until 1946. From 1947-49, Bock lettered in baseball at C of O. In 1948 and 1949 Bock received All-AIC baseball honors and his impressive senior campaign included: AIC Batting Champion (.420 average), George Peabody Individual Golf Champion, three-time Clarksville Country Club Individual Champion and four-time Clarksville Country Club Senior Champion. For 26 years, Bock was a superintendent in the Clarksville area School District and was the supervisor of the special education system in eight school districts. Bock received the Paul Harris Fellow Award from Rotary in 1991.
George Henry ('34)
Inducted in 1991
During his collegiate years at Ozarks, Henry was a four-year lettermen in tennis and a two-year lettermen in basketball. In his senior year, he was named All-AIC in tennis and was also the sports editor of the “Mountain Eagle” and “Aerie” campus publications. Upon graduation, Henry became a track coach and in 1969, 1970 and 1976 he was the NAIA District XVII Track Coach of the Year. In the latter two years, he was also the NAIA Area V Track Coach of the Year. In 1977, Henry was inducted into the National NAIA Track Hall of Fame in Kansas City, Missouri, where he coached nine Public School state titles, one football, two track & field and six consecutive tennis titles. From 1963-1977, Henry was a collegiate track coach and his impressive program capitulated him to four AIC Track titles and an AIC Cross Country title. His win-loss record was an impressive 1474-714 (.670) over his 43-year coaching career. Everywhere he coached, Henry started a track program, which culminated in coaching over 5,000 athletes in his four decade career. Henry retired in 1977.
Frank “Poker” Ingram ('48)
Football (1932), 1945-1948
Inducted in 1991
A native of Clarksville, Ingram graduated from Clarksville High School in 1931. Before College of the Ozarks dropped the football program in 1933, Ingram lettered one year (1932). In 1940, Ingram joined WWII and achieved the rank of 2nd Lieutenant Commander until 1945 when he returned to College of the Ozarks. In 1948, Ingram received the first degree in health and physical education from Ozarks. A year later, Ingram was a member of the University of Arkansas Kappa Delta Pi National Honor Fraternity, the C of O Chairman of Health & Physical Education Department and an assistant coach in the football and basketball programs. From 1955 to 1960, Ingram was the head football coach at College of the Ozarks where he coached fellow Hall of Famers, Gayle Kaundart, Fritz Ehren, Lonnie Qualls and Billy Bock. Ingram retired in 1970 as a full professor and the head of the Health and Physical Education department.
Francis “Windy” Morris ('50)
Inducted in 1991
From 1937 through 1941, Morris won both Golden Gloves and AAU Boxing Titles each year. In 1942 before he served the United States Air Force Morris was a student boxing coach at Arkansas Tech University. From 1942 to 1945 Morris served the US Air Force as a first Lieutenant in the Pacific Theatre. In 1946 Morris attended Northeastern State University before enrolling at the College of the Ozarks where he attended from 1947 to1950 and he served as student boxing coach. Morris graduated Magna Cum Laude from the College of the Ozarks and then attended the University of Arkansas. While at U of A, Morris was a graduate assistant tennis coach and also coached boxing. In 1984 Morris retired from a 32-year public education career. His boxing accolades include: six-time Arkansas Golden Gloves Champion and Arkansas AAU Boxing Champion, three-time Regional Golden Gloves in Kansas City and posted a National Runner-Up finish in Chicago.
Willard Ralston ('29)
Inducted in 1991
Ralston was a graduate of Clarksville Academy class of 1925. From 1925-1929, he attended College of the Ozarks where he lettered in football, basketball and track and participated in amateur boxing. In 1932 at the University of Arkansas, Ralston took 1st place in the 880 Relay Intramural and 1st place in the Cross Country Intramural. That same year he also participated in boxing and wrestling at the U of A. By 1972 Ralston was a coach and school superintendent for nine years and an FBI agent 31 years. He retired in 1991.
Billy Bock ('58)
Football and Baseball (1954-1958)
Inducted in 1990
Bock made his mark on the football and baseball fields at Ozarks in the 1950’s. But Bock’s greatest achievements came after starring at Ozarks. Bock was among the most prominent and successful High School baseball coaches in the country for four decades. His teams captured nine state baseball titles during his career which includes a state record five championships in a row. 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. He coached in Arkansas for 44 years. During this time, he served as head coach in football, basketball, golf, tennis, boxing, and 35 years in baseball. Six years in baseball were as head coach at Henderson State University, 29 years were at St. Anne's Academy in Fort Smith, Sylvan Hills High School, Arkansas High at Texarkana, and Pine Bluff High School. His teams finished as state runners-up five times and appeared in 27 state tournaments and won 23 district championships with an overall record of 641-121 (.841). He never had a losing season in any sport. He was named Arkansas High School Baseball Coach of the Year seven times and District Coach of the Year 18 times. He was nationally recognized as well. Collegiate Baseball named him Coach of the Decade for the 1980's and then Co-Coach of the Century. Additionally, he earned ABCA District VI Coach of the Year (three times), ABCA National Coach of the Year (two times), NAIA District 17 Baseball Coach of the Year, AIC Baseball Coach of the Year, National High School Gold Baseball Coaching Award, NFICA Outstanding Coach for Arkansas, USBF Golden Diamond Award, US Baseball Coach of the Year for Arkansas, District Football Coach of the Year (three times), and District Basketball Coach of the Year (two times). He was the 1986 head coach of the "Gold Medal" winning South Team in the USA Olympic Festival. He was honored twice by the Arkansas Legislature and twice had a "Billy Bock Day" in Arkansas proclaimed by then Governor Bill Clinton. He received the Distinguished Alumni Award at Subiaco Academy and also the University of the Ozarks. He was inducted into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame and the American Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame. As a player, Bock was a member of the All-AIC Team three seasons in baseball. He was All-AIC Honorable Mention in football and was the State Golden Glove boxing champion four consecutive years.
Fritz Ehren ('53)
Inducted in 1990
Ehren ended his career at Ozarks as one of the top football players in the Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference. In 1952, Ehren was a member of the All-AIC First Team and was named the AIC Football Back of the Year that season. In 1953, he was again named to the All-AIC First Team after racking up 1,528 yards of total offense, rushing for 1,144 yards and scoring 121 points. His rushing yard total stood as a record for 12 years in the AIC. His career AIC records included ranking fourth in rushing (3,937) and eighth in total offense (4,550). He was the first football athlete from the AIC to be drafted (LA Rams). Ehren’s #41 jersey number was later retired after an approved petition by the student body. Following his stellar football career, Ehren coached C of O to an AIC Championship in baseball. His teams advanced to the National Tournament twice during his coaching career. In 1971, Ehren was inducted into the NAIA Football Hall of Fame in Kansas City. Ehren then became a highly respected administrator at Ozarks. He had a twenty-six year relationship as a student, an Admissions officer, as a faculty member, a member of the department chair, with the Dean of students, the Academic Dean, the Vice President of Academic Affairs, and the President of the University.
Gayle Kaundart ('50)
Inducted in 1990
In 1947, Kaundart was placed on the All-AIC First Team for his basketball prowess. He again made All-Conference in 1948, this time earning Second Team honors. The following season he helped the team to an AIC co-championship, the first of its kind in 20 years at the school. He was named All-AIC Second Team following the team’s championship season. He capped his senior season by earning All-AIC First Team honors. After graduation, Kaundart would continue his excellence in basketball as he established himself as one of the top High School coaches at Fort Smith Northside guiding the boy's team for 19 years. From 1958-74, the school took home six state titles, including 1974 when the team finished a perfect 30-0. He garnered Arkansas High School Basketball Coach of the Year in 1958, 1959, 1965, 1971, and 1974. In 1971, he was named the National High School Athletic Coaches Association District 5 Coach of the Year. He then went to Westark Junior College as head men's basketball coach where he captured seven Region II tournaments, nine Bi-State Conference titles and a national title in 1981. In 13 seasons under Kaundart, Westark had six 30-plus winning seasons and only two years with more than nine losses. He posted a winning percentage of 81 percent, compiling a 379-87 record. He was named Region 2 Junior College Coach of the Year eight times and was the National Junior College Coach of the Year in 1981. During his more than 30 years of coaching, Kaundart posted a 975-293 record. Kaundart was inducted into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame in 1984. He was also inducted into the NJCAA Hall of Fame. In 1974, he received the College of the Ozarks Alumni Achievement Award.
Lonnie Qualls ('55)
Inducted in 1990
Qualls emerged as one of the top all-around athletes Ozarks has seen, excelling in baseball, basketball and football. Qualls made his biggest impact on the gridiron where he was a four-time All-AIC First Team member as a running back. In 1954, he was named the AIC Back of the Year, received All-AIC Honorable Mention in baseball and basketball. In 1955, he would garner AIC Honorable Mention honors in basketball and baseball. Qualls amassed 2,106 career rushing yards and scored 182 points. Qualls then went on to a successful coaching career at Clarksville High School and College of the Ozarks. In 1960, Qualls was selected as the head coach of the West All-Star Football team in the Arkansas High School All-Star game. He led Clarksville’s Senior High football team to three district championships and a pair of undefeated seasons. At Ozarks, Qualls became the NAIA District 17 Baseball Coach of the Year in 1976. In 1990, Qualls ended his career after thirty-five years. He held coaching and teaching positions at Ozarks for 29 years, as well as coached football, baseball, tennis, bowling, soccer, and cross country in his tenure. In 2005, Ozarks’ baseball field was named “Lonnie R. Qualls Field” in his honor.
Glenn Rice ('29)
Inducted in 1990
Rice lettered in football, basketball, track and field and baseball, but it was track and field where he made the biggest impact. In 1926, Rice set a state record for javelin. In 1927, he set the state record for broad jump which stood for 33 years for all colleges and 47 years as an AIC record. In 1928, Rice attended the Olympic Trials in track and placed third. In 1929, Rice attended the Olympic trials again and placed third in the Broad Jump and also broke the NCAA javelin record. He was the first Arkansas athlete to make the US Track and Field Honor Roll. This also led the NCAA to place Ozarks on the US Track and Field Honor Roll. Johnson County declared “Glenn Rice Day” on May 5, 1929. He would attend the Southern Olympic trials in 1932. Rice held school records in the 100 yard dash (10.00 seconds), Javelin (204’6”), broad jump (24’ 1 5/8”) and shot put (38’9”). In 1969 Rice was placed into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame.
Walter Brown Willis ('06)
Inducted in 1990
Willis attended Cumberland College and lettered in football and baseball from 1902-1905. In 1903, Willis made the All-Conference College Football Team where he was named the All-State Center and elected Captain of Arkansas’ All-Star Football Team. In 1904 and 1905, Willis lettered in both football and baseball.