Marshall Athletic Hall Of Fame Has New Members

Four newly elected members will join four previously elected members for enshrinement in the Marshall Athletic Hall Of Fame on Friday, October 10, 2003, at 6:30 p.m.. The dinner for enshrinement will be held in the Don Morris Room of the Marshall Memorial Student Union and the tickets are $20.00 each, available from the Marshall Athletic Ticket Office. Call 304-696-HERD, 1-800-THE HERD or stop by the Henderson Center main lobby to get tickets between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. all this week.

Four of the six candidates elected in 2003 will be inducted: Boyd "Fox" Chambers, who played football and baseball in 1900-1901, then returned in 1908-1917 to coach baseball, basketball and football as well as become the first Director of Athletics for Marshall. He is best known for the "Tower Play" in 1915, when he devised a play with a back climbing on top of a lineman in the end zone to catch a touchdown and avoid shutouts against West Virginia (92-6) and Ohio (18-7); Roger Jefferson, a football and wrestling captain who advanced to the finals of the MAC tournament in 1961 and semi-finals in 1963. Jefferson won four state AAA titles as a high school coach in Charleston, two as an assistant at Stonewall Jackson and two as head coach of Capital High School; Tracy Krueger, a basketball player at Marshall 1989-1993 who is eighth all-time in scoring and received the NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship. She and Chad Pennington are the only Marshall athletes to be so honored; and Dave "Robbie" Robinson, who was an honorable mention All-American and All-Mid-American Conference as a Marshall basketball player from 1952-55. He played baseball as well in 1955 and led the MAC in both field goal percentage (1955) and free throw percentage (1954).

Mark Taylor, the all-time saves leader as goalkeeper for Herd Soccer, and basketball standout Bob Allen, for MU men's basketball, were both elected this year. They are unable to attend this year's induction, due to previous commitments, but should join the others in the Hall in 2004.

In addition, four athletes previously elected will go in with the class of 2003. LaVerne Evans, who led Marshall to its first Southern Conference basketball title in 1984 and was All-SC; Joe Johns, a repeat indoor shot put SC champion (1978 and 1979) and discus champ (1978), who set the Marshall records in all throws for MU and his indoor shot put throw is still third-best all-time in the SC.. Johns is now with NBC News in Washington, D.C.; John Taft, the second-leading scorer of all-time for Marshall men's basketball and SC Player of the Year twice; and Norm "Wildman" Willey, who starred in both football and basketball for Marshall. Willey helped the Herd to the Tangerine Bowl in 1947, and the Helms Foundation's Los Angeles Invitational Basketball title, Helping the Big Green to defeat UTEP in the semi-finals before winning the title with a 46-44 win over Syracuse. Willey had an eight-year, three-time All-NFL career with the Philadelphia Eagles in the National Football League He still holds the "unofficial" sack record in the National Football League, with 17 sacks against the New York Giants in 1953. Sacks were not official recorded until the mid-1970's by the NFL.

Johns was elected in 2001, but national news events in the fall of 2001 (September 11 terrorist attacks) and 2002 (Washington, D.C. sniper) prevented him from attending. Evans, Taft and Willey have been elected for over five years and will be taken in automatically, according to a change made just this year in the Hall of Fame bylaws. Attempts to locate Taft and Evans have been unsuccessful.

New members will receive citations for their successes at Marshall and beyond, and each will make a speech at the dinner. On Saturday, October 11, they will unveil their new tiles in the "Walk of Fame" at the Marshall Hall of Fame Cafe', located at Third Avenue and Ninth Street in downtown Huntington, at 11:00 a.m. and be treated to lunch by the Cafe'. At 1:30 p.m., the new Hall members will be guests of the "M" Club at their pre-game tailgate, at the "M" Club Pavilion on the southwest corner of the Marshall University Stadium. The new members will be introduced about 15 minutes before kickoff of the homecoming game between the Herd and the Flashes of Kent State University.

The Marshall Athletic Hall Of Fame committee includes its founder and President, and former coach and player at Marshall, Sam Clagg. He played football in the early 1940's, coached in the late ‘40's and 1950's, both football and wrestling, then chaired the Geography Department at Marshall for many years and even served as Interim President of the university. Clagg served in WWII in the US Marine Corps and was a Marine reserve for many years; Joe Feaganes, former MAC champion golfer at MU and 30-year Herd golf coach, winning over 1,000 team matches as the winningest coach in MU history; Jack Cook, former baseball player and coach, who won 422 games at MU; Dorothy Hicks, a pioneer in women's athletics at Marshall in the late 1960's and former MU Athletic Representative and President of the Southern Conference; Willard Hunter, a long-time NCAA college football official and former Marshall football player; Ralph May, former Marshall quarterback and retired Director of the Big Green Scholarship Foundation; Larry Jarrett, a MU professor and former Herd football player; Linda Holmes, former MU athlete, coach and assistant athletic director, who currently directs the Marshall School of Medicine Alumni Foundation; Keith Morehouse, Sports Anchor at WSAZ TV-3 and the "Voice of the Herd" on the Thundering Herd/ISP Sports Television Network broadcasts (and the son of the late Gene Morehouse, who died in the 1970 football crash while serving as SID and "Voice of the Herd" on radio); and Woody Woodrum, MU athletic historian and a long-time member of the Marshall family in many capacities. Currently, Woodrum is Senior Editor of the HERD Insider and host of the Thundering Herd/ISP Sports Network's pre-game and post-games shows for football and men's basketball on radio.

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