The LISD Athletic Hall of Honor announced its Hall of Honor Class of 2014 on Thursday. The LISD Athletic Hall of Honor chose eight Lubbock ISD athletic greats and two teams to be included in their fourth class, as the Hall of Honor's Board of Directors released its selections coming from a list of dozens of nominees that had been nominated by members of the community. The class of four LISD coaches, three players, two teams and one former LISD Athletic Director will receive the ultimate accolade by being inducted into the LISD's Athletic Hall of Honor in Lubbock on June 21st, 2014 at the induction ceremony to be held at the Overton Hotel.
The ten-member group that comprises the 2014 Hall of Honor class is a nice mix of players and coaches from various sports as well as two state championship teams. The induction will include former Estacado girls’ track coach Caylene Caddell, former Estacado track star James Collins; former Coronado football player Kevin Curtis; former Monterey boys’ basketball coach Joe Michalka; former Monterey football coach James Odom; former LISD Athletic Director Pete Ragus; former Coronado football player Mike Smith; former Dunbar football and track coach Prenis Williams; the 1951 State Champion Lubbock High boys basketball team; and the 1957 Dunbar State Champion boys basketball team. It is quite an honorable list of people that were involved in Lubbock area high school athletics, highlighted by two state championship teams in basketball, as well as longtime director of athletics and athletes and coaches with different accolades earned during their careers.
Caddell began her coaching career in 1977 at Estacado High School. From 1980 until 2011, Caddell served as freshman basketball coach, assistant basketball coach, and head track and field coach, and even was head volleyball coach for a year. During her tenure as head track coach, Caddell won 10 district championships and her teams featured at least one state qualifier for 24 consecutive years.
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 All-Star Coach for 4A-5A track and field three times, and in 2005 she was selected as TGCA Coach of the Year for 4A-5A track and field. Off the field, Caddell taught health, biology, and physical education, and served as the sponsor for Odyssey of the Mind participants for 21 years. She continues to serve as FCA huddle leader for Estacado.
James Collins participated in track at Estacado High School from 1980-1983. He was a three-sport letterman in track, football and basketball. He was a member of the 1982 and 1983 State Champion track teams. In 1982, he placed first in the long jump and set a new school record in the 300-meter hurdles. Additionally, he was recognized as the EHS Most Outstanding Track and Field Athlete in 1982 and 1983.
Collins received an athletic scholarship to Texas A&I University (Now known as Texas A&M-Kingsville), where he became an outstanding wide receiver, tight end, as well as a tremendous track athlete. During his time at Texas A&I University, he established himself as the top hurdler in the Lone Star Conference, and became a two-time All American.
Kevin Curtis played football for Coronado High School from 1995-1998. He was a three-sport athlete in football, baseball and basketball. As a two-way player, Curtis helped the Mustangs clinch a regional championship in 1996 as both the starting quarterback and a defensive back. He helped Coronado to an 18-6 record over two seasons. During his senior season, he was named first team All-District and would receive an athletic scholarship to Texas Tech University.
At Texas Tech, he played safety from 1998-2002 and was named a second team All-American during his junior and senior seasons. He was named to the All Big-12 Team three times. During the 1999 season, he was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week following a Red Raider win against Colorado. Prior to the 2000 season, he was named to the Jim Thorpe watch-list, which was awarded to the top defensive back in college football.
Curtis went on to play football professionally for San Francisco, Green Bay, Oakland, and Houston. After his career in the NFL, he started his coaching career at Navarro Junior College in 2008 as the cornerbacks coach. From 2010-2012, he was the cornerbacks coach at Louisiana Tech under Sonny Dykes. Currently, he is the cornerbacks coach at Texas Tech.
Joe Michalka started his coaching career at Monterey High School in 1960 as assistant coach under Coach Gerald Myers. He worked with Monterey Basketball for 23 years, and served as their head coach from 1967-1983. Under his leadership, the Plainsmen compiled a record of 338 wins and 167 losses. During his tenure, Monterey went two and half seasons without a district loss and three seasons without a home court defeat. He had 14 consecutive winning seasons, leading Monterey to eight district championships and advancing to the regional playoffs five times. Twenty-four of his players played NCAA basketball, including LISD Hall of Honor alum, Craig Ehlo. Coach Michalka received coach of the year honors in ’71, ’72, ’75, ‘78, ’79, and ’80.
In 1999, Texas A&M University-Commerce named him an Outstanding Alumni Coach. Additionally, he was chosen as the first Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Director from his region and was the regional representative for the Texas High School Coaches Association. In addition to coaching, he taught physical education. He still adheres to the philosophy that “defense wins games, and offense loses games.”
James Odom arrived in Lubbock at the age of 16 on a football scholarship to Texas Tech University. He played quarterback through his sophomore year until he sustained a career ending injury. For the next two years, he served as a graduate assistant coach for the Red Raiders. After Graduation, he was hired in 1955 as an assistant football and head golf coach at Monterey High School. In 1962, he left Lubbock to take a head-coaching job in Petersburg, Texas. He won a District Championship his first year at the helm, and during his second season he won the 1-A State Football Championship. He would return to Lubbock in 1964 to the head coaching position for the football team at Monterey. In his second year as head coach, he took the Plainsmen to the quarterfinals. He would continue to serve as Monterey’s head coach for 22 years until he retired in 1985. During his reign as head coach, he compiled a 177-74-11 record and won 15 district championships, 5 regional championships, and 1 state championship.
He was named South Plains Coach of the Year for 5 years and District Coach of the Year for 7 years. In 2011, he was inducted into the Texas Tech Chapter of the National Football Foundation for his contributions to amateur football. In addition to all the coaching accolades, he provided the color commentary for the Monterey Plainsmen home football games for Sports Express Network from 2004-2010.
Pete Ragus coached football and track from 1951-1964 and was the head coach at Corpus Christi Miller from 1958-1964. He became Texas High School Coach of the Year in 1960. In 1964, he became the executive director of athletics for LISD and managed five high schools and nine junior high schools.
The program almost tripled in size during his tenure as athletic director. The staff size increased from 72 coaches and trainers to 200, and the operating budget increased as well - from $250,000 to the $1,200,000 (not including coaches salaries). Athletic programs increased from 8 sports to 20 sports. Also while as athletic director for LISD, the school district had 208 district championship teams, 158 bi-district, regional, and semifinal teams, and 17 state championship teams.
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 ACU Sports Hall of Fame in 1991. The LISD Aquatic Center is named after him.
In 2006, he received recognition from the National Football Foundation and the Texas Tech University Chapter Award for Outstanding Contributions to Amateur Football.
In 2009, he was inducted into the National Hispanic Heritage Hall of Honor, established to recognize outstanding Hispanic leaders in education, athletics and public service. Our honoree is not Hispanic, but was honored for his work with Hispanic youth, he is one of only two non-Hispanics bestowed with the honor.
Mike Smith was a two-sport athlete in both baseball and football at Coronado High School from 1997-2000. He was the first person to be named All-State in two sports at Coronado. He was a two-time All-District Player, and in 1999 was named Defensive Player of the Year in the district. In addition to district honors, he also made the All-State Football team in 1999.
He played varsity baseball from 1998-2000, and was named District 3-5A player of the year in both 1999 and 2000. THSBCA named him an All-State player in 1999 and 2000 as well. In 1999, Smith set a Coronado record for most runs scored (47) and most hits (56), a record that stood until 2011. He was the MVP for the Texas Team in the Senior Sunbelt Classic in 2000. He remains in the top 10 for career batting average at Coronado (.459).
He received a football scholarship to Texas Tech University and played from 2000-2004. After his first season at Texas Tech, he was named to the All Big-12 Freshman Team. He was named All Big-12 after his sophomore season. His junior year, he served as a team captain and was the Texas Tech linebacker of the year. His senior year, he was named Team MVP, retained captainship and was named the Texas Tech Linebacker of the Year again. In addition, he received the E.J. Holub Award, and was named All Big 12 for third time in his career. He finished his collegiate career with 8th in all time tackles, and 2nd in all time career starts for the Red Raiders.
The Baltimore Ravens drafted him in the seventh round, 248 overall. He played four years with the Ravens, and after his career in the NFL he went to become the linebacker coach at the University of Hawaii. He was on the defensive staff for the New York Jets for the 2011-2012 seasons. Currently, he serves as the co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach for Texas Tech.
Prenis Williams played both football and basketball at Dunbar High School from 1950-1953. He was on the first state championship basketball team at Dunbar in 1953. He received a full scholarship to play football at Prairie View A&M, and played four years for the Panthers.
After his collegiate athletic career concluded, he coached high school athletics at Sealy, Odessa, Lubbock Coronado and Dunbar from 1957-1974. As head track coach for Dunbar, he won three state championships. In 1970, he served as head football coach for Odessa Ector and remained there until 1974.
In 1974, Darrell Royal hired him as a receivers and recruiting coach for the University of Texas. He remained on the UT Staff until Coach Royal retired seven years later. This would be his last coaching job, despite ample opportunities.
After retiring from coaching, he accepted a position with the Division of Parole Supervision, Board of Pardons and Paroles and remained there for 2 years. He then was named superintendant for athletics and aquatics with the Austin Parks and Recreation Department.
1957 Dunbar State Champion Basketball Team
The 1957 Dunbar Basketball Team went 32-0 the season they won the Prairie View Interscholastic League State Championship. The team was coached by Lubbock ISD Athletic Hall of Honor recipient Ernest P. Mallory. They were the first and only team in Dunbar history to have an undefeated season in basketball. The team was the shortest in Dunbar’s history, 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 the State Championship game, the team defeated Navasota in the first round, tournament favorite Lufkin in the second round, and Baytown Carver to win the title. Three players from the team made All-State, including Olla Dean Chew, Jimmy Peppers and Don McCormick.
1951 Lubbock High School State Championship Basketball Team
The 1951 Lubbock High School Basketball Team, led by Coach Dave Cook, went 29-3 the season they won the 2A State Championship. They defeated Austin High School in the championship game, beating them 44-43. Lubbock had built up a large third quarter lead, but Austin came back in the fourth quarter. Bobby Day stole the ball from the Austin team in order to score the winning basket in the last seconds of the game. The team was greeted by 5,000 fans in their “welcome home” pep rally. The championship title achieved by the basketball team helped spur on the Lubbock High School Football Team to win State the following two years.