SOUTHWEST CONFERENCE HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES NAMED
Waco - - The Texas Sports Hall of Fame (TSHOF) is proud to announce nine new members into its 2015 class of inductees for the Southwest Conference Hall of Fame: Bill Montgomery (Arkansas), Cotton Davidson (Baylor), Carol Lewis (Houston), Jose Cruz Jr. (Rice), Rick Herrscher (SMU), Eric Metcalf (Texas), Curtis Mills (Texas A&M), Lance Brown (TCU) and Dan Irons (Texas Tech).
The Southwest Conference (SWC) Hall of Fame is sponsored by the Texas Sports Hall of Fame. The next induction ceremony and luncheon recognizing members of the SWC HOF will be in downtown Austin, Texas on Monday, March,30th at 11:30 a.m. at the Hilton Hotel on 500 East 4th Street, Austin, TX 78701 (512) 482-8000.
Follow this link to purchase Individual tickets ($75) or tables of 10 ($500)
The inductees include:
Bill Montgomery of the University of Arkansas
Bill Montgomery was the starting quarterback for the Arkansas Razorbacks in 1968, 1969 and 1970. At the conclusion of his career at Arkansas, he held virtually every school passing record, including career touchdown passes, career passing yards and single season passing yards. The Razorbacks went 28-5 in three seasons with Montgomery as the quarterback, the highest winning percentage (.875) in the school's history over any three-year period. In 1968, Montgomery led Arkansas to a share of the Southwest Conference title and finished the season by winning the Sugar Bowl. In 1969, Montgomery played in The Big Shootout, a game in which #1-ranked Texas played #2-ranked Arkansas. He was selected All-Southwest Conference in 1970.
Cotton Davidson of Baylor University
Cotton Davidson was one of the great quarterbacks to come out of Baylor University and was the first Bear quarterback ever selected in the first round of the NFL draft. He played for Baylor from 1949 to 1953. Davidson still ranks eighth on the all-time list with 17.7 yards per completion. He led the Bears in total yards on offense in both 1952 and 1953. In addition to playing quarterback, he was a placekicker and punter. Davidson was drafted by the Baltimore Colts and also played professionally for the American Football League's Dallas Texans (1960–1962), who later became the Kansas City Chiefs and the Oakland Raiders (1962–1968). As an original Dallas Texan, Davidson was the very first starting quarterback for the franchise.
Carol Lewis of the University of Houston
Carol Lewis first came to prominence as a high school athlete in New Jersey, setting the high school indoor long jump record at 21' 7.5" (6.59 meters) in 1981. She would go on to attend the University of Houston, where she set multiple records. Lewis won the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships for the first time in 1982, the first of four National championships. Further success came in 1983, with a win at the NCAA Outdoor Championships and bronze medal at the 1983 World Championships. The following year she won the NCAA Outdoor Championships for a second time and took bronze at the World Cup. In Zürich in August that year, Lewis reached her peak, setting a personal best and breaking the American record in the long jump twice at the same track meeting. Her record was 7.04 meters.
Jose Cruz Jr. of Rice University
Jose Cruz Jr. attended Rice University from 1992 to 1995 and was a member of Team USA in 1994. He was a three time All-American while at Rice, setting virtually all possible offensive records. Cruz was a first round pick, 3rd overall, for the Seattle Mariners in the 1995 draft and began his major league career in 1997. He holds the distinction of having the most home runs in the first season of a career while playing for two or more clubs. Cruz would play for the Toronto Blue Jays, the San Francisco Giants, Tampa Bay Rays, Arizona Diamondbacks, Boston Red Sox and finally the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Rick Herrscher of Southern Methodist University
Rick Herrscher is one of the most decorated basketball players to ever hit the hardwood floor at SMU. The St. Louis native was a key player on the 1956 NCAA Final Four team. Herrscher also earned All-SWC First Team honors in the 1956-57 and 1957-58 seasons and was Southwest Conference Player of the Year in 1957-58. That season he averaged 17.5 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. After graduation, Herrscher would go on to play professional baseball and spent one season (1962) as an infielder for the New York Mets.
Eric Metcalf of the University of Texas
Eric Metcalf played college football at the University of Texas at Austin where he was an All-Southwest Conference selection three times. He was the 1987 SWC player of the year and a second team All-American. He is the only player in Texas history to lead the team in all-purpose yards all four years. He holds every school receiving record for a running back. Metcalf still holds the University of Texas long jump record at 8.44 meters. He won the NCAA National Long Jump Championship in 1986 and 1988 and the SWC Long Jump titles in 1986 and 1987. He earned the distinction of being a five-time All-American and in 1988 competed in the USA Olympic Trials. He went on to an NFL career and was a three-time Pro Bowl selection for the Cleveland Browns and San Diego Chargers.
Curtis Mills of Texas A&M University
Curtis Mills lettered in track all four years (1968-71) at Texas A&M. He was the first African-American athlete signed to an A&M scholarship. Mills set, or helped his team set, eleven school records and won seven Southwest Conference championships during his collegiate career. In addition, he set a world record in 1969 in the 440-yard dash and was also a member of relay teams that set two additional world records. He was All-American all four years and in 1979, he was inducted into the Texas A&M Athletic Hall of Fame.
Lance Brown of Texas Christian University
Lance Brown has played a large role in the success of TCU baseball, first as an all-America player who pitched the Horned Frogs to the 1963 Southwest Conference championship, then later as a coach. Thirty-one years after he earned the '63 SWC Player of the Year honor by posting an 11-1 record (8-1 in the SWC), he guided the Frogs to the 1994 SWC title as the head coach, making him one of only two men to win both the SWC Player and Coach of the Year honors. He is TCU's all-time winningest baseball coach.Brown spent 17 seasons as the Horned Frogs head coach. During his retirement year of 2003, he reached a pair of milestones, recording both his 500th win and his 200th conference victory. Brown's career record is 517-471.
Dan Irons of Texas Tech University
Dan Irons played offensive tackle for the Texas Tech Red Raiders and was recognized as a consensus All-American in 1977. He played from 1975-77. In 1975, as a starter on the offensive line, he helped the Red Raiders lead the Southwest Conference in total yards. He made the All-SWC team in both the 1976 and 1977 seasons. Following his senior year, the 6-foot, 7-inch, 260-pound tackle, was recognized as a consensus first-team All-American, having received first-team honors from several publications and organizations including the American Football Coaches Association and United Press International (UPI). Irons was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the 1978 NFL Draft, but was unable to play professionally due to recurring knee problems. In 1999 he was inducted into the Texas Tech University Athletic Hall of Honor.
“We are delighted with this class of inductees,” said Jared Mosley, the new President/CEO of the Texas Sports Hall of Fame. “They were an essential part of the prestigious 82-year history of the conference.”
Carroll Dawson, Board Member of the TSHOF and Chairman of the SWC Hall of Fame project added, ““This class exemplifies the high standard of athletic and coaching standards found in the Southwest Conference. It is our great pleasure to honor them with an induction luncheon on March 30th in Austin.”
The Southwest Conference Hall of Fame is one of four separate halls of fame housed within the Texas Sports Hall of Fame’s physical structure. They include the Texas High School Football Hall of Fame, the Texas Tennis Hall of Fame, the Texas Sports Hall of Fame and now, the Southwest Conference Hall of Fame.
Media interviews with the inductees will be available before and after the luncheon.