NTJCAC HALL OF FAME
Don Flowers - Ranger College
Former Ranger College baseball player and coach Don Flowers was inducted into the the Northern Texas Junior College Athletic Conference (NTJCAC) Class of 2018 “Hall of Fame” during a campus ceremony on December 21, 2017 immediately following the induction of the late Jack Allen.
Flowers played for the hall of fame coach, Allen from 1971-73. During his time on the field, he was named MVP of the national tournament when the Rangers captured the title in ’73. After his time as a Ranger, Flowers went on to play at Pan American University, now called University of Texas Rio Grande located in Edinburg.
After his playing career ended, Flowers returned to Ranger and became an assistant for his former coach. In his first season assisting his former coach, RC placed third in the national tournament and would go on to win the 1978 national championship. When Allen retired in 1985, he endorsed Flowers to take over the Rangers baseball program, of which he did and went on to win over 400 games.
While he coached future MLB players Hector Ortiz, Danny Williams and Pedro Bourbon many would say his biggest contribution to RC baseball was overseeing the construction of a new ballpark, which was named after Ranger alum and former MLB player Ellis Burks. Construction was completed in 2000 and RC still plays its home games there.
Flowers retired from coaching in 2004 and began working in the wildlife industry.
Jack Allen - Ranger College
Former Ranger College baseball head coach and NJCAA Hall of Famer, Jack Allen was posthumously inducted into the Northern Texas Junior College Athletic Conference (NTJCAC) Class of 2017 “Hall of Fame” during a campus ceremony on December 21, 2017. Mr. Allen passed away on May 28, 2016 at the age of 80.
A 1953 graduate of Ranger High School, Allen coached at Ranger Junior College – later renamed Ranger College – for more than two decades and won a school-record 814 games and a pair of NJCAA national championships. He began his coaching career in 1963 at RJC and helped turn the Rangers into a perennial national power. Under his leadership, the team won the NJCAA national title in 1973 and 1978, finished fifth in 1975, and third in 1976. In addition to the two national titles, he led Ranger to seven regional championships and four state titles. During his 23 seasons as the Rangers’ head coach, he compiled a record of 814-399.
Allen was elected into the Junior College Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in 1986. After retiring from Ranger Junior College, he took over the head coach at Tarleton State University in 1989. Over the ensuing 13 seasons, he led the Texans to consecutive 40-win seasons and was named the NAIA District 8 and Area II Coach of the Year in 1992. He helped TSU qualify for the school's first NCAA South Central Regional Tournament in 1998. Allen returned to RC to finish out his career as the Rangers athletic director.
Coach Allen was inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame prior to the 2000 season. He retired from coaching in 2002 and was inducted into the Tarleton Athletics Hall of Fame in 2009.
Jack a resident of Lake Leon, was married to his wife of 50 years, Linda Ann Allen. He becomes the second recipient of this prestigious honor, following former Coach Ron Butler in 2015.
Ron Butler - Ranger College
Ranger College has selected Mr. Ron Butler as the first recipient of the newly established Northern Texas Junior College Athletic Conference (NTJCAC) “Hall of Fame”.
Ron Butler, better known as “Coach Butler” or “Mr. Ranger College” to many area folks and colleagues retired in 2000 after providing 36 years of athletic direction for Ranger College. His long running successful career began in 1964 as the Men’s basketball coach and Assistant football coach. This endeavor followed an outstanding High School career at Oak Grove High School in Paragould, Arkansas, which earned him a basketball scholarship at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock and Midwestern University.
During his tenure at Ranger College, Coach Butler held the reigns as Athletic Director for 32 years. In addition, he was the Men’s basketball coach for 16 years, enjoying many successful seasons. Throughout his successful coaching career, Ranger College would benefit from many of Butler’s accomplishments. His basketball team would quickly earn the nickname “Butler’s Bullies,” especially while overpowering opponents in Ranger Gym, now appropriately named Ron Butler Gymnasium, where the Rangers very seldom ever suffered a defeat. In only his second season, Ranger would win the Region V Tournament and advance to the National JUCO Tournament in Hutchinson, Kansas. Several conference championships would come his way; 1965, 66, 67, 71, 76, and 1982. It was the 1967 season that the Rangers reached their highest level of play, winning the Region V Championship and placing 6th in the National Tournament, having held the rank of #2 in the Nation for much of the season. In all Butler amassed a 320-160 record.
He began the Women’s basketball program in 1968, cultivating an 18 year run. His Women’s basketball teams ranked at the top of the old AIAW and won the National Invitational Tournament, the then National Championship in Oklahoma City, in 1971. Ranger’s baseball program also rose to prominence under Butler’s 34-year watch as A.D., winning National Championships in 1973 and 1978. Remaining a vital part of Ranger football program, Butler would witness a feat, reached by few…helping the program win a National Championship in 1979.
In 1987, Butler pioneered a women’s Fast-Pitch softball program as an intercollegiate sport. At the time, Ranger College was only the second Junior College in Texas offering Women’s softball at the Division I college level. His Lady Rangers would advance to the National Tournament four times placing second in both 1988 and 1991. In 1994 and still going strong, Butler founded the “Cowtown Classic,” which now represents the largest two-year college women’s softball event drawing over 35 teams from 7 states.
A special tribute was paid to the long-time coach and Athletic Director on January 9, 2010, a celebration in his honor recognizing this day as “Ron Butler Day.”
Butler remains very much the center of all things at Ranger College, where he attends many home sporting events and also serves on the Ranger College Board of Regents as Vice-Chairman. Of his many accomplishments he acknowledges one of his best, which is being married to his lovely wife Rowena for over 56 years. The Butlers raised three children and have five grandchildren.
WJCAC HALL OF FAME
Steve McLeery - New Mexico Junior College
For over 32 years, Steve McCleery dedicated his time and energy to build, advance, and lead New Mexico Junior College and its athletic programs into one of the premier higher-learning institutions in New Mexico. Under his leadership, the Thunderbirds have won several National and Regional championships, as well as several individual national athletic titles, that have brought prestige to being a Thunderbird.
Arriving at NMJC in 1984 as Coordinator of Caster Activity Center, McCleery maintained and promoted a robust community fitness program, coordinated all NMJC Intramural programs, taught several classes, and managed all events at Caster Activity Center. He was also the Thunderbirds Women’s Basketball coach for the 1986-87 season.
McCleery then became Director of Athletics in 1988, creating the Thunderbirds Booster Club to support all NJCAA sports at New Mexico Junior College. He oversaw all compliance issues and eligibility records for athletes, managed all athletic facilities, hired faculty, coordinated fitness programs, and served as liaison between the community, the staff and the athletic department.
McCleery’s career grew at NMJC, first as Dean of Arts and Sciences from 1991-1998, then as President of the college from 1998 until he retired in 2016. During his tenure, enrollment grew and facilities were added and remodeled, including new student housing, expansion of student services facilities, installation of smart technology in classrooms, a new workforce training center, a museum, and more. Assets of the NMJC Foundation were expanded to give more scholarships to deserving students; and online classes were created to offer additional educational opportunities. The financial health of the college continued to grow under McCleery’s leadership, guided by strategic planning and master planning activities.
Steve McCleery was an exceptional leader, a trusted mentor to students and a groundbreaker in education.
Ray Birmingham - New Mexico Junior College
The long list of awards and recognition keeps growing for former New Mexico Junior College baseball coach Ray Birmingham.
Birmingham earned the honor of being inducted in the WJCAC Hall of Fame by building NMJC baseball from a first-year program in 1990 into a national powerhouse – culminating in an NJCAA national championship in 2005 and an NJCAA national runner-up finish in 2007. Birmingham guided the Thunderbirds to six WJCAC titles and seven WJCAC runner-up finishes.
“It’s an honor to be in the WJCAC Hall of Fame and represent the city and county that I grew up in,” Birmingham said. “NMJC and Lea County gave me the opportunity and I’ll never forget that. I will always be a Lea Countian until the day I die.”
Birmingham is also a member of the NJCAA Hall of Fame (2011), the Lea County Sports Hall of Fame (2012) and the New Mexico Sports Hall of Fame (2015).
Birmingham finished his Thunderbird career with an eye-popping .750 winning percentage (765-255-2), including 17 consecutive winning season to finish his tenure at NMJC – which came to an end after the 2007 season when he accepted the head coaching position at New Mexico. Following the program’s first season, the T-Birds were at least 12 games over .500 in his final 17 seasons, including an incredible 378-88-2 (.810) from 2000-07.
Under Birmingham's leadership, New Mexico Junior College became known for its hitting prowess with six former players leading the country in batting and six teams hitting above .400. The Thunderbirds hit .416 as a team in 2007. The 2005 NMJC national championship team hit .411 during the regular season and .400 in postseason play. In 2001, the Thunderbirds displayed one of the most impressive offensive machines in college baseball history, hitting .438 as a team. NMJC led the country in home runs (122) in 1998.
Despite national championships, international victories and jaw-dropping numbers on the diamond, Birmingham is most proud of his former players during his tenure with the T-Birds. NMJC closer Brendan Donnelly (1990-91) won Game 6 for the Anaheim Angels in the 2002 World Series, and became the first T-Bird with an MLB championship ring. A year later, Armando Almanza (1992-93) was a member of the World Champion Florida Marlins. In the summer of 2003, Donnelly was the winning pitcher in the MLB All-Star game in Chicago.
Birmingham also watched proudly as former NMJC players Jose Flores (1992-93) and Mike Vento (1997) participated in the MLB playoffs with Oakland and the New York Yankees, respectively. Johnny Lujan and David Carpenter are the most recent former NMJC players to be make noise with a big league organization.
Birmingham’s success has translated to The University of New Mexico. He guided the Lobos to their first NCAA postseason appearance in 48 years in 2010 - just his third season at the helm - and has since taken UNM to the NCAA postseason five of the last seven seasons. Birmingham guided the Lobos to Mountain West regular-season titles from 2011-14 and to Mountain West Tournament titles in 2011, 2012 and 2016. He was named Mountain West Coach of the Year in 2012 and 2013.
Overall Birmingham is the winningest coach in state history.
Joe Tubb - South Plains College
Joe Tubb served as the Director of Athletics for South Plains College for 33 years, leading the Texans and Lady Texans to a combined 42 NJCAA championships in men’s and women’s track and field, cross country, half-marathon, and men’s basketball.
During his tenure, which began in 1983, Tubb’s programs claimed a combined 15 Western Junior College Athletic Conference (WJCAC) championships and eight Region 5 tournament titles.
Under Tubb’s direction, the college has also hosted 14 NJCAA Championship events, including the 2016 Division I Outdoor Track and Field National Championships, which saw the Texans make collegiate history, capturing their 10th consecutive national title.
In addition to his duties leading the SPC Athletic Department, Tubb served a three-year term as President of the NJCAA where he was responsible for a myriad of duties including presiding over annual, executive, and special meetings for the nation’s second largest intercollegiate athletic association.
Tubb has served in multiple capacities over the years and has been instrumental in the growth of two-year collegiate athletics. He was the recipient of the highest honor bestowed by the National Alliance of Two-Year Collegiate Athletic Administrators (NATYCAA) when he was presented the L. William Miller Award at a special ceremony in Dallas on June 25, 2012. In 2006 and 2010, Tubb was named Athletic Director of the Year by the National Association of College Athletic Directors (NACDA).
Each of SPC’s 42 NJCAA national championships occurred under Tubb’s watch, and the 2011-12 season was one of the most successful in the history of SPC athletics. South Plains’ athletes brought home national titles in the women’s half-marathon, men’s basketball, and men's and women’s outdoor track and field. The Texan basketball team became only the sixth team in history to complete an undefeated season en-route to claiming the NJCAA national championship. They also won the basketball championship in 2008.
Tubb coached and taught math in high school for 12 years with stints at Palo Duro, Hereford, Shallowater, and Odessa High School. During this time, he was a head golf coach, assistant football coach, and a head basketball coach. After winning the 4-5A District Championship in basketball in 1983, and being named District Coach of the Year, he returned to his alma mater when he accepted the role of Director of Athletics.
Brad Winter - New Mexico Junior College
After graduating from Highland High School in Albuquerque, NM, Winter continued on to New Mexico Junior College in Hobbs, NM where he received his Associates of Arts in 1972. While there, he was a NJCAA National Championship Team Member (’71), finished 2nd in Pole Vault at the National Meet jumping 15’ 9” (’71), and set the NJCAA Pole Vault record at 16’ 9” (’72).
He received his Bachelors at the University of Oklahoma in 1976. While at the University of Oklahoma, Brad competed in (’73, ’74) and won (’73) the Big 8 Conference Championships, clearing 17’ in events. Brad achieved All-American status as a pole vaulter.
Dr. Winter continued on to complete his Masters at the University of New Mexico in 1979, and his Doctorate of Education at the University of New Mexico in 1995.
Dr. Winter began his career in education as a professor at New Mexico Junior College. While there, he coached at NMJC as an assistant. While coaching during a meet at Odessa College, Dr. Winter cleared 17’1” at age 37. He also set an American Record at a meet in Baton Rouge, LA for his age group.
Dr. Winter then commenced a 22-year career with Albuquerque Public Schools. After his retirement as Chief Operations Officer, Dr. Winter was named Interim Superintendent by the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education from August 2014- June 2015.
Brad Winter is serving his fourth term as an Albuquerque City Councilor, and is currently the longest serving seated councilor. He has served as Council President four times during his tenure. On December 15, 2015, he was appointed by Governor Martinez to serve as the interim Secretary of State for the State of New Mexico, making him the first man to have the job since 1922.
In June of 2016, Dr. Winter competed in the NM Senior Games as a pole vaulter, and qualified to attend the US Senior Olympics in Birmingham, AL in summer of 2017.
Dr. Winter is also an avid fly fisherman. He is married to Nann Winter and they have seven children.
Don Stevens - Howard College
Don Stevens, who retired from Howard College in 1989, was nominated for the WJCAC Hall of Fame by Howard College for his direct impact on student athletes at Howard College and women’s basketball across the state and nation.
Stevens was at the helm of Hawk women’s basketball from 1976 – 1989 tallying up a record of 262 wins and 130 losses. During his tenure with Howard College, he led the Hawks to several conference championships and regional championships, in addition to NJCAA National Tournament appearances.
Stevens was a graduate of Lamesa High School and Texas Tech University. After graduating from high school, he brought his basketball talent to Howard College where he played as a Hawk for two years and followed that up with one year at Corpus Christi University before transferring to Texas Tech to finish his education. He spent two years in the military and was a player / coach of the First Infantry Division Basketball Team in Fort Riley, Kansas.
The local schools are no stranger to Stevens as he began his coaching career in the Big Spring Junior High program coaching all sports. From there, he spent an additional ten years at Forsan High School where he coached both boy’s and girl’s basketball where he left an impressive legacy.
Not only has Stevens coached at the state-side level, he was also chosen as one of seven American coaches in 1973 to lead coaching clinics in Mexico City, Vera Cruz, and other Mexican cities. While there, he was privileged to work with the women’s Olympic team.
Coach Stevens has been honored at several levels across high school and college level combined for his dedication to improving the lives of students and promotion of the game of basketball.
Don Stevens passed away on December 6, 2015.
Jim Watkins - Odessa College
Paul Chavez - Odessa College
Skipper Driver - Howard College
Skipper Driver, an accomplished calf roper, team roper, and steer wrestler, took the helm as the head rodeo coach at Howard College in 1979 where he helped carry on his tradition of excellence for more than 10 years.
Always a “hands-on” coach, he took his rodeo team to the top level every year as they made the trip to the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) Finals Rodeo.
At Texas Tech University, Driver was a member of the collegiate rodeo team where he qualified for the NIRA Finals Rodeo on two different occasions and was also named the Southwest Regional Champion calf roper in 1965. Aside from being on the rodeo team, he served two terms as president of the Tech Rodeo Association and was named winner of the Dub Parks Memorial Award.
His ties to professional rodeo began early and carried out through his life as he was a Gold Card member of the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association and served as director of the Big Spring Cowboy Reunion.
Skipper Driver passed away on April 20, 2011 at the age of 67.
Lisa Risinger - South Plains College
One of the earliest Lady Texan basketball stars, Lisa Risinger was an outstanding player for South Plains College during the 1975-76 and 1976-77 seasons and became the first Lady Texan basketball All-American following her sophomore campaign.
During her All-American sophomore year, Risinger helped lead the Lady Texans to a 27-4 record as well as Western Junior College Athletic Conference (WJCAC) and Region 5 championships and finished fifth at the NJCAA national tournament.
In addition to earning All-American honors, Risinger completed her career at South Plains College as a two-time All-Conference and All-Region player with 876 points and 389 rebounds. She then transferred to North Texas State University in Denton where she became the first female athlete to be inducted into the University of North Texas Hall of Fame in 1992.
Entering the 2012-13 basketball season, Risinger remained at the top of the Mean Green record book with a scoring average of 18.4 points per game from 1977-79. Despite playing only two years, Risinger ranks eighth in North Texas history with 1,101 points, seventh in field goals made with 457, and also made 47-percent of her shots, good for sixth on the career list.
As part of South Plains College’s celebration of the 20th anniversary of women’s basketball, Risinger was inducted into the Texan Hall of Fame in November 1994.
Mookie Blaylock - Midland College
Larry Johnson - Odessa College
Sally Kipyego - South Plains College
Sally Kipyego arrived at South Plains College in January 2005. By the time she had graduated a year and a half later, she had become the most decorated Lady Texan track and field athlete in South Plains College history and, arguably, the greatest female distance runner the NJCAA had ever seen.
During her time competing at South Plains College, Sally won seven NJCAA championships and, as of 2013, holds school records in the outdoor 1500M Run, 3000M Run, 5000M Run, and 10000M Run. At both the 2005 and 2006 NJCAA Outdoor Championships, Sally was a three-peat champion in the 1500, 5000, and 10000-meter races was named Female Track Athlete of the Meet at both the 2005 and 2006 NJCAA Outdoor Championships. As of her induction to the WJCAC Hall of Fame, she holds NJCAA meet records in the 1500 and 5000M distances.
Perhaps her greatest honor while attending SPC was being named the recipient of the 2006 NJCAA Betty Jo Graber Female Student Athlete of the Year award, which is awarded annually to the top female student-athlete in the NJCAA that best exhibits hard work, discipline, ethics and excellence in competition. Balancing school and athletics is what made Kipyego stand out. During her tenure at SPC, Sally was undefeated against two-year collegiate athletes and maintained a 3.34 grade point average.
Sally did not miss a beat when she left South Plains College for NCAA Division I Texas Tech, where she became one of the most decorated distance runners in history, winning nine NCAA championships, tied for most all-time. She is also the only female in NCAA history to win three consecutive NCAA Cross Country Championships.
In May 2009, Sally received a bachelor’s degree in Nursing, but her running career was still going strong as she joined up with the elite Oregon Track Club. In 2011, Sally’s took her running to yet another level when she ended her season with a Silver Medal at the 2011 World Championships in the 10,000-meter run for her native Kenya and making her a medal threat at the 2012 London Olympics where she earned another Silver Medal in the 10,000 and just missed a medal with a fourth place finish in the 5,000-meter run.
Curtis Marshall - New Mexico Military Institute
Buddy Travis - Howard College
Buddy Travis began his storied career in basketball in 1949 as he played at Amarillo College. While there, he was named first team All American and set a scoring record with 40 points in one game.
He then moved on to his first coaching position at Clarendon College and led his team to a West Zone (previous name for WJCAC) conference championship before heading to Howard College.
In 1959, Travis found his stride in coaching and in his first year with Howard, he led the team to a West Zone conference championship, a regional championship, a state championship and a 5th place finish at the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) national tournament. The team ended his inaugural season with a 34-4 record.
The years to come held numerous records for Coach Travis bringing home several conference and regional championships. When he left Howard College, after 11 years of coaching, he had a win-loss record of 506-263 under his belt in the Western Conference.
Angie Braziel - South Plains College
Angie Braziel was an outstanding basketball player for the South Plains College Lady Texans under former coach and NJCAA Hall of Famer Lyndon Hardin during the 1995-96 and 1996-97 seasons.
During her sophomore campaign Braziel led the Lady Texans to a record of 26 wins and only 5 losses and a spot in the Region 5 semi-final game. Braziel was a starter in 29-of-the-30 games she played in and for the season led the Lady Texans in scoring (15.5), rebounding (9.1), blocks (1.9), and steals (2.5). The 6’2 post from Odessa even ranked fourth on the squad in assists (2.2). For her efforts, Braziel was named to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) All-American second team. The Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) and Kodak honored her as an All-American as well.
Upon completing her eligibility at South Plains College, Braziel moved east and took her talents to Texas Tech University where she helped the Lady Raiders to consecutive Big 12 season and tournament championships as well as appearances in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) tournament. As a senior Braziel started every game for the Lady Raiders during a season in which they finished with a 30-4 record and advanced to the ‘Sweet 16’ of the NCAA tournament before falling to Rutgers. The Lady Raiders have not experienced another 30 win season since the 1998-1999 season (as of August 2011).
Braziel was named Most Valuable Player of the Big 12 tournament in 1999 as well as the Big 12 Player of the Year after leading the Lady Raiders with 20 points and nearly nine rebounds per game. Braziel was also named to four All-American teams for the 1998-99 season: The United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA), the Associated Press, Women’s Basketball Journal, and the Women’s Basketball News Service. Entering the 2011-12 academic year, Braziel still ranks highly in several single season Lady Raider categories including fifth with 690 points in 1998-99, third in field goals made, and fifth in blocked shots.
Braziel’s success at both South Plains and Texas Tech landed her an opportunity to play at the highest level when she was drafted by the Charlotte Sting of the WNBA following the 1998-99 NCAA season. Although injuries forced her retirement from the league after only three years, Braziel has remained heavily involved in the sport when she had stints as an assistant junior high and high school coach and is now the head coach of the Odessa Permian high school girls’ basketball team.
Reggie Franklin - New Mexico Military Institute
Julian Pressely - Odessa College
Bob Schneider - Clarendon College
Brad Swindig - Midland College
Lewis Lloyd - New Mexico Military Institute
Dennis Patton - South Plains College
Dennis Patton began his relationship with South Plains College when he was recruited to wear a Texan basketball jersey by Coach Bill Powell in 1964.
As co-captain of the 1965-66 squad, Patton helped lead the Texans to their first WJCAC conference championship with a record of 21 wins and 11 losses and was named to the all-WJCAC and all-Region teams for his efforts.
In 1972 he joined the SPC faculty as director of the Natatorium and served as assistant coach of the basketball team before becoming head coach in 1974. After six seasons guiding the Texans, Patton entered private business and would go on to be elected into the Texan Club Hall of Fame in 1993 and then to the SPC Board of Regents in 1994, a position he held until his death in July 2007.
All total, Patton served South Plains College for 23 years as a student-athlete, assistant coach, head coach, and member of the Board of Regents.
Anna Smith - Howard College
Anna Smith, who joined the Howard College family in 1959 and retired in 1977, was the Director of Women’s Physical Education, Dean of Women and eventually Dean of Students. Throughout her tenure with the Hawks, she coached women’s volleyball and basketball as well as men’s and women’s varsity tennis.
Smith has served on various committees and boards on both a local and statewide basis advocating for youth.
She served on the Executive Board for the Texas Association for Health, Physical Education and Recreation and was a member of the committee that was instrumental in getting health education recognized on all levels in our public schools.
Additionally, she was selected as a regional member of the Governor’s Council on Life Time Sports.
Anna Smith passed away on September 4, 2011.
Kathy Whitworth - Odessa College
Bo Outlaw - South Plains College
Bo Outlaw began his Texan career in the fall of 1989. A gangly, athletic presence at 6-foot-8, 200 pounds, Outlaw was named honorable mention All-WJCAC his freshman year. Outlaw then led the Texans to a 32-1 record in the 1990-91 campaign and was named an NJCAA All-American and transferred to the University of Houston.
Undrafted out of college, Outlaw played in the CBA before being picked up by the Los Angeles Clippers in 1993. In 1997, Outlaw began his first season with the Orlando Magic.
The 1997-98 season may very well be Outlaw’s finest in a fantastic career as he averaged 36 minutes per game, and played in all 82 regular season games that year. Known as the “hustler,” the Magic implemented the “Bo Hustle Award” for employees who exemplify Bo’s characteristics. Bo retired from Orlando in 2008 after 15 years in the NBA and currently works in the Magic front office as the Director of Community Relations.
Sheryl Swoopes - South Plains College
Bill Griffin - Howard College
Coach Bill Griffin, who has been inducted into the Western Junior College Athletic Conference Hall of Fame as a member of the class of 2007, led the Howard College Baseball Program for 9 seasons and built an impressive legacy in the process.
During his tenure as the Hawks’ skipper, he led the program to 347 wins, two conference crowns, two regional titles, one state title and the 1991 NJCAA National Championship. He was twice named the National Coach of the Year and was inducted into the NJCAA Hall of Fame in 1983 and has a lifetime record of 986-405 with a lifetime winning percentage of .708.
While at Howard College from 1982-1992, Griffin held several other positions, clearly a “pro” at multi-tasking. He served as the Dean of Student Services for 6 years, as the Athletic Director for 8 years and as an Assistant Professor for 3 years. He did all of this while he was coaching baseball! Although his claim to fame lies on the baseball field, we know that he had an equally strong impact on the many student lives he touched. His wisdom and guidance for the students and his peers were invaluable.
His storied career also includes accomplishments such as being selected by the American Baseball Federation as one of four coaches chosen to coach in the World Baseball Games held in the Republic of China, which was a forerunner of baseball being introduced into the Olympic Games in 1980. Throughout his career, he has coached 23 All-Americans and has had 64 players drafted into professional baseball. Forty of the 64 players were drafted during his tenure with the Hawks.
The highest recognition or accomplishment for a player or a coach is to have their number retired. For a permanent recognition of Coach Griffin’s career achievements and induction into the WJCAC Hall of Fame, the number 39 was officially retired on April 27, 2007 and will not be worn again at Howard College.
Ron Mayberry - South Plains College
Ron Mayberry won over 800 games in his career as a head basketball coach with 386 of those wins coming at the junior college level.
After 12 years as a high school coach, Mayberry started his coaching career in 1976 at Midland College. He followed that with coaching stints at Odessa College, Wayland Baptist University, Kilgore College, South Plains College and Howard College.
While at South Plains College he posted an eight-year record of 212-60. His 1991 team was ranked No. 2 in the nation all season, while his 1992 team finished fifth at the NJCAA national tournament. In 44 years as a basketball coach, Mayberry never had a losing record at any school he coached (16 schools).
He coached teams into the playoffs for 19 straight years and was named Coach of the Year 11 times including National Coach of the Year once. He coached in three different Texas All-Star games and coached and recruited 11 players that made it to the NBA.
Ross Black - New Mexico Junior College
Ross Black was New Mexico Junior College’s first athletic director, first head men’s basketball coach, first head track coach and was chair of the NMJC physical education department. He was inducted into the Western Junior College Athletic Conference Hall of Fame in 2006.
Black led the 1971 NMJC men’s track team to become national champions, and was selected as the National Junior College Track and Field Coach of the Year for 1971. He served as President of the National Junior College Track and Field Coaches Association for three years. In 1973, he went to Moscow as one of the United States track coaches in the World University Games, where he saw the two American relay teams that were his responsibility bring home the only two gold medals that the U.S. won in the track and field competition.
Black was honored as the New Mexico School Administrator of the Year in 1987 and was inducted into the New Mexico Activities Association Hall of Fame in 1991. He became Superintendent of the Lovington, NM Municipal School District, and later served on the Lovington, NM County Commission, becoming Chairman of the Commission.
Black passed away in 2013 at the age of 82.
Red Lewis - Howard College
Leslie Lee “Red” Lewis, inducted into the Western Junior College Athletic Conference Hall of Fame as a member of the class of 2006, put Howard College on the map winning four national track championships – 1961, 1962, 1963, and 1967 and 11 Western Conference championships.
Coach Lewis obtained his Bachelor of Science degree from Hardin Simmons University in 1941 and his Masters of Science degree from North Texas University. He served In the United States Air Force during WWII as a navigator and taught navigation to Chinese navigators. He also ferried planes of officers to England, India, and Africa.
In addition to his time as a math professor and track coach at Howard College, Coach Lewis spent time at Cisco Junior College as a football and basketball coach and math professor and at Dallas Baptist College as a math professor, football and wrestling coach.
Coach Lewis was selected as Coach of the Decade by the Texas Sports Writer’s Association and served as president of the National Junior College Track Association. He retired from Howard College in 1979.
Leslie Lee “Red” Lewis passed away in February of 1996.
Paul Pressey - Western Texas College
Jerry Stone - Midland College
Ron Black - New Mexico Junior College
*Head men’s basketball coach at NMJC from 1978-99
*Served as Secretary-Treasurer of WJCAC from 1968 to 1978
*During his term, developed the first conference Letter of Intent
*Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach at NMJC 1970 to 1978
*Career Record 414-287
*Won Regional Championship 1994-95 and 1995-96
*Lost by one point in the Region V 1997-98 Championship game
*Coached two All-Americans, Richard Hollis and Greg Brown
*Had 8 former players play professionally, including Avery Johnson of the NBA
Harold Davis - Howard College
Harold Davis graduated from Denton High School in 1941 at the age of 15. He attended the University of North Texas for three years where he lettered on the basketball team and helped lead the team to a third place finish at the National Tournament.
During World War II he joined the United States Marine Corps Officer Training Program. During this time he was able to complete his Bachelors Degree from Louisiana Tech University. After completing Boot Camp and Officer Training School, and receiving his Commission, he was assigned to the Fourth Marine Corps Division in the Pacific. During the battle of Iwo Jima, Harold was wounded and received the Purple Heart. Despite his wounds, he continued in command of his company and withheld a strong enemy counterattack accounting for more than 100 Japanese being annihilated. For this action he was awarded the Silver Star Medal.
After returning from the war and accepting the position as the first basketball coach at Howard College, it took him only two years to start a basketball dynasty. In only four years his young teams had participated in three NJCAA basketball tournaments, and won both a Conference Championship and State Championship.
As a member of the United States Marine Corps Reserve, Davis was recalled into the Marine Corps for the Korean War. After returning from this tour of duty, he picked up right where he left off with his coaching duties at Howard College. His first team finished the year with 34 wins and 4 losses and won the Conference Championship, Regional Championship and reached the Final Four at the NJCAA National Tournament. From that year on his teams averaged 24 wins and only 8 losses per season.
In his 11 years at Howard College, his teams won four Conference Championships, qualified for nine NJCAA Regional Tournaments and earned a berth in five State Tournaments, winning one of them. His Jayhawk squads finished twice as the Regional Finalist and twice were crowned Regional Champions advancing to the NJCAA National Tournament; reaching the Final Four in one tournament. In addition to coaching basketball, he also coached the baseball team winning several championships and led the golf team to two State Championships.
Davis was appointed as a member of the Howard College Board of Trustees in 1971, and then subsequently elected to the position six times by the voters, serving for 37 years until the time of his death. He served as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees on several occasions. He also served as a director for the Howard College San Angelo Foundation.
Davis has been the recipient of many other honors in addition to the recognition he received for his actions on Iwo Jima. He was named Big Spring’s Man of the Year in 1997. He received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of North Texas in 2000 and was named Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary International. Other prestigious honors include inductions to the Texas Junior College Coaches Hall of Honor, Howard College’s Athletic Hall of Fame, and the Western Junior College Athletic Association “Hall of Fame” as the first inductee. In recognition of his leadership in the establishment of a successful athletic program tradition and in honor of his service to Howard College, the Physical Education Building was named the “Harold Davis Fitness Center” in 1990 and the basketball court in the Coliseum arena was named in his honor on the occasion of his induction to the WJCAC Hall of Fame in 2005.
Harold Davis passed away on October 13, 2008 at the age of 84.
Bobby Lesley - Clarendon College
David Murphy - Frank Phillips College
Bill Powell - South Plains College
Hired in 1958, Bill Powell was the first person to direct the athletic department and coach men’s basketball at South Plains College.
Powell, who recruited his first players at local pick-up games, led SPC to its first WJCAC title in 1964 before stepping down as coach in 1967.
During his tenure at SPC from 1958-1980, Coach Powell played a vital role in every aspect of the athletic department as he coached the golf team until 1973.
In the spring of 1975 he filled in to coach the newly formed women’s basketball program, and served as chairperson of the physical education department until his retirement in 1980.
Delnor Poss - Midland College
Nolan Richardson - Western Texas College
Roger Staubach - New Mexico Military Institute