Lubbock, TX (Lubbock ISD Press Release) - The 2014 class of the Lubbock ISD Athletic Hall of Honor will be recognized and inducted on Saturday evening, June 21st, in a ceremony to take place at the Overton Hotel and Conference Center in Lubbock. The event in the Sunset Ballroom will begin with dinner at 6:15 pm, followed by the induction ceremony at 7:00 pm
The 2014 class consists of Lubbock ISD athletic icons, including coaches, players and teams from throughout the years in LISD athletic history. This will be the fourth class to be inaugurated into the Hall of Honor. The class was selected by the Hall of Honor Board of Directors, and was chosen from numerous nominations submitted by community members.
Here are the 2014 Hall of Honor class members (listed alphabetically):
CAYLENE CADDELL, Lubbock Estacado Track and Field Coach:
Coach Caylene Caddell began her coaching career in 1977 at Estacado High School and from 1980 until 2011 she served the school in a plethora of positions. She was the freshman basketball coach, assistant varsity basketball coach, and head track and field coach … and, oh by the way, she was even the head volleyball coach for a year.
While she excelled at any role that the school called her to serve, it was during her tenure as head track coach for EHS that her legacy was built. Coach Caddell helped lead the Lady Mats to 10 district championships and her teams featured at least one state qualifier for 24 consecutive years, an amazing testament to, not only her coaching skills, but to the allure that her leadership had on the young ladies in the EHS program.
Not one to sit aside and let others handle the organizational duties of her profession, she was an active member of the Texas Girls Coaches Association from 1983-2011, serving four years on the board of directors, one year as vice president, and one year as president. She was selected as an All-Star Coach for 4A/5A track and field three separate times, and in 2005 Caddell was selected as the TGCA Coach of the Year for 4A/5A track and field.
JAMES COLLINS, Lubbock Estacado Track Standout:
James Collins was a three-sport letter winner for the Matadors of Estacado High School in track, football and basketball. His exploits on the track as a member of the Matador squad helped to lead the team to the 1982 and 1983 State Championships. In 1982, he placed first at the state meet in the long jump and set a new school record in the 300-meter hurdles. Because of his accomplishments, he was recognized as the EHS “Most Outstanding Track and Field Athlete” in both 1982 and 1983.
After graduating from Estacado High School, Collins received an athletic scholarship to Texas A&I University (now known as Texas A&M-Kingsville), where he became an outstanding wide receiver and tight end, as well as a tremendous track athlete for the Javelinas. He was recognized as the top hurdler in the Lone Star Conference during his time at Texas A&I and because of that success he became a two-time All-American.
KEVIN CURTIS, Lubbock Coronado Football Star:
Kevin Curtis was a three-sport athlete for Coronado High School from 1995-1998, where he played football, baseball and basketball. Football was his passion and as a quarterback and defensive back, he helped the Mustangs clinch a regional championship in 1996. He was named first team All-District and went on to receive an athletic scholarship to play for the Red Raiders.
While at Texas Tech, Curtis played safety from 1998-2002 and was named a second team All-American during his junior and senior seasons for the Red Raiders. He was named to the All Big-12 team three times in his illustrious career. Prior to the 2000 season, he was named to the Jim Thorpe watch-list, an annual award that recognizes the top defensive back in college football.
He went on to play football professionally for San Francisco, Green Bay, Oakland, and Houston. With the end of his NFL playing days, he began a coaching career on the collegiate level as he coached cornerbacks at Navarro Junior College in 2008. He joined the coaching staff at Louisiana Tech in 2010 where he served under head coach and fellow Coronado High School alum, Sonny Dykes, until 2012. One of the first hires that current Texas Tech head football coach Kliff Kingsbury made when he returned to Lubbock in 2013 was his former teammate, who is in his second season as the cornerbacks coach for the Red Raiders.
DUNBAR 1957 STATE CHAMPIONSHIP BOYS’ BASKETBALL TEAM:
Tenacious defense using the entire court … quickness at every position … taking advantage of opponent mistakes … all ingredients to successful basketball teams even to this day. For the Dunbar High School basketball squad that formula proved to reap great rewards as a 1957 state title was captured.
The Prairie View Interscholastic League, known as the PVIL, played a leading role in developing African American students in the arts, literature, athletics and music from the 1920’s through 1967. The PVIL staged championships in football, basketball, baseball and track and at its peak it enrolled 500 schools in the state of Texas. The PVIL proudly served as the main academic and athletic organization for Texas’ African American students for half of the 20th century.
A 32-0 record over the course of an entire basketball campaign is certainly a season to remember and the Panther proved much too tough for opposition squads to handle in 1956-57. The Dunbar squad is the first and only one in school history to have an undefeated season on the hardwood and making the feat even more incredible is the fact that they were also the shortest team in school annals, with only one player over 6-feet tall.
The team played a fast paced offensive style with full court pressing defense, which caused many turnovers. In their run to the State Championship, the team defeated Navasota in the first round, tournament favorite Lufkin in the second round, and Baytown Carver 98-79 to bring the state title home to Lubbock. Three players from this historic Dunbar team, led by coach Ernest Mallory, earned All-State recognition, including Ola Dean Chew, Jimmy Peppers and Don McCormick.
LUBBOCK HIGH 1951 STATE CHAMPIONSHIP BOYS’ BASKETBALL TEAM:
The folks in Austin don’t need to be reminded of the greatness that was the 1951 Lubbock High Westerner basketball team. This outstanding basketball squad left Austin High fans in a daze of disbelief as they walked away with a one-point victory in the Class 2A state title game of 1951.
The Westerners were making their first ever appearance in the state tourney, while the Maroons of Austin High were there for the 13th time, although they never had claimed a crown for themselves. Most on hand figured this was the year, but under the tutelage of head coach Dave Cook, the lads from Lubbock High made sure the “jinx” continued for their friends from Austin.
The squad representing LHS was loaded with talented players, including all-state tournament team members, Carl Ince and Walter Norton. Those two, along with future college players Sammie Adams and John Pittman helped to lead the well-coached team throughout the season that ended with an overall record of 29-3. In the title game Bobby Day made a steal and scored the winning bucket to give the Lubbock High bunch a 44-43 victory and a state title.
JOE MICHALKA, Lubbock Monterey Basketball Coach:
Coach Joe Michalka started his coaching career at Monterey High School in 1960 as an assistant to head coach Gerald Myers. He worked with Monterey Basketball for 23 years, and served as the Plainsmen head coach from 1967-1983. Under his leadership, the Plainsmen compiled a record of 338 wins and 167 losses. Amazingly, during his tenure, Monterey went two and half seasons without a district loss and three seasons without a home court defeat.
His squads managed 14 consecutive winning seasons, leading Monterey to eight district championships and advancing to the regional playoffs five times. Twenty-four of his players went on from MHS to play NCAA basketball, including LISD Hall of Honor alum and former NBA standout, Craig Ehlo. A highly decorated coaching legend, he received coach of the year honors in ’71, ’72, ’75, ‘78, ’79, and ’80.
In 1999, he was named as an “Outstanding Alumni Coach” by his alma mater, Texas A&M University-Commerce. He was chosen as the first Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Director from this region and he was the regional representative for the Texas High School Coaches Association.
JAMES ODOM, Lubbock Monterey Football Coach:
Coach James Odom arrived in Lubbock at the age of 16 on a football scholarship to Texas Tech University where he played quarterback for the Red Raiders through his sophomore year. After he sustained a career ending injury, he spent the next two years as a graduate assistant coach for the red and black.
After receiving his degree from Texas Tech, he was hired in 1955 as an assistant football and head golf coach at Monterey High School. In 1962, he left Lubbock to take over the duties as head coach for the Petersburg High Buffaloes, a small school just 30 miles from Lubbock. He led the Buffs to a District title in his first year at the helm, and during his second season he won the Class 1A State Football Championship. Coach Odom would return to Lubbock in 1964 to take the head football coaching position at Monterey and in his second year, he took the Plainsmen to the state quarterfinals. He would become a fixture in the LISD coaching ranks as he continued to serve as Monterey’s head coach for 22 years until his retirement in 1985.
The numbers he compiled as a head football coach are mesmerizing to be sure: a 177-74-11 overall record for a .697 winning percentage, 15 district championships, five regional titles and one state trophy under his tutelage.
Recognition for his outstanding career as a leader of young men included being named the “All-South Plains Coach of the Year” five times and “District Coach of the Year” following seven seasons. In 2011, he was inducted into the Texas Tech Chapter of the National Football Foundation for his outstanding contributions to amateur football.
PETE RAGUS, Longtime LISD Athletic Director:
Pete Ragus had a major impact, to put it mildly, on Lubbock ISD athletics when he was named the district’s Executive Athletic Director beginning in 1964. He went on to serve the district for some 24 years before retiring in 1988. The growth and achievements that were benchmarks during his tenure provide an impressive window of success in LISD history:
… he was charged with management of five high schools and nine junior high schools
… the LISD athletic program almost tripled in size during his tenure as athletic director
… the staff size increased from 72 coaches and trainers to 200
… the budget for athletics increased from $250,000 to $1.2 million, not including coaching salaries
… LISD athletic programs increased from just eight sports to 20 sports
… in his tenure, LISD squads produced 208 district championships; 158 bi-district, regional and semi-final teams; and 17 state championships were brought back to the Hub City.
Mr. Ragus began his coaching career in 1951 as an assistant to legendary coach Gordon Wood at Stamford High School before joining the staff at Corpus Christi Miller where he coached football and track from 1952-1964. He was the head football coach for the Buccaneers from 1958-1963 where he compiled a record of 57-13-1, including a 13-1 mark in 1960 that resulted in a state championship, marking the first-ever integrated team to win a University Interscholastic League football state crown. He was named the Texas High School “Coach of the Year” following that incredible 1960 campaign.
He was inducted into the Texas High School Coaches Association Hall of Honor in 1974, the Texas High School Athletic Directors Association Hall of Honor in 1984, the Coastal Bend Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1989, and the Abilene Christian University Sports Hall of Fame in 1991.
His 25-year dream for the Lubbock ISD aquatic program was commemorated in 1998. He had decreed that the school district needed a competitive swimming program in 1973 and the aquatic center that current LISD swimmers and divers calls home is named in his honor.
In 2006, Ragus received recognition from the National Football Foundation and the Texas Tech University Chapter Award for Outstanding Contributions to Amateur Football.
Although he retired in 1988 his contributions to athletics and the profound influence he had on so many lives continued to resonate in 2009 when he was inducted into the National Hispanic Heritage Hall of Honor. The organization was established to recognize outstanding Hispanic leaders in education, athletics and public service and, although Mr. Ragus is not Hispanic, he was honored for his work with Hispanic youth during his stellar career. He is one of only two non-Hispanics bestowed with the honor.
MIKE SMITH, Coronado Football/Baseball Star:
Mike Smith was a two-sport athlete in both baseball and football at Coronado High School from 1997-2000 where he was the first athlete ever to be named All-State in two sports for the Mustangs. On the football field, he was a two-time All-District Player, and in 1999 was named Defensive Player of the Year in the district, while also being named to All-State honors that year.
Taking his tremendous athletic skills from the gridiron to the diamond, he played varsity baseball and was named the District 3-5A player of the year in both 1999 and 2000. The Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association named Smith an All-State player in both ‘99 and 2000. In 1999, he set a Coronado record for most runs scored with 47 and most hits with 56 in a season. He was the MVP for the Texas Team in the Senior Sunbelt Classic in 2000 and he remains in the top 10 for career batting average in Mustang history with a .459 average.
After completing his career at CHS, he received a football scholarship to Texas Tech University and played for the Red Raiders from 2000-2004. After his first season at Texas Tech, he was named to the All Big-12 Freshman Team and he was named All Big-12 after his sophomore season. During his junior and senior seasons, he served as a team captain and was the Texas Tech “Linebacker of the Year.” As a senior Smith was named the Red Raiders’ “Team MVP” and he received All-Big 12 honors for a third time. He also was the recipient of one of Texas Tech’s most prestigious awards following his senior season as he claimed the “E.J. Holub Double-Tough Award.” He finished his Texas Tech career #8 in all time tackles, and he was second in all-time career starts.
The Baltimore Ravens of the NFL drafted Smith in the seventh round with the 248th overall pick and he went on to play four years for the Ravens. Injuries cut his NFL playing career short and he entered the coaching ranks as he joined the staff at the University of Hawaii as linebacker coach. He then took his coaching skills to the NFL where he was a member of the New York Jets’ staff in both 2011 and 2012. The opportunity to “come home” was too much to pass up in 2013 and he joined the Texas Tech coaching staff where he is currently serving as the co-defensive coordinator for the Red Raiders.
PRENIS WILLIAMS, Lubbock Dunbar Athlete/Coach:
The late Prenis Williams displayed his stellar athleticism while playing both football and basketball at Dunbar High School from 1950-1953. He was a member of the first state championship basketball team at DHS in 1953 and upon graduation from high school, he received a full scholarship to play football at Prairie View A&M where he played four years.
After his collegiate athletic career concluded, Williams coached high school athletics in several locales in Texas, including Sealy, Odessa, Lubbock Coronado and at his alma mater, Lubbock Dunbar, from 1957-1974. As head track coach for Dunbar, he led the Panthers to three state titles.
In 1970, he became the head football coach for Odessa Ector and remained there until 1974 when iconic University of Texas football coach Darrell Royal hired him as a receivers and recruiting coach for the Longhorns. He remained on the UT staff until coach Royal retired seven years later and Williams also opted to retire from coaching.