Hall of Honors Banquet

By J.T. Keith

ENMU Athletic Hall of Honors… You might ask yourself what that is. Well, it is only the hottest show on campus. This past Friday, Oct. 28, witnessed another well run and coordinated event. Everything was first class from the decorations, done by Event coordinator Sara Hill, to the autograph signing by the inductees.

Don “Doc” Elder was the master of ceremonies and worth the price of admission alone. Moving this event away from Homecoming three years ago made the award ceremony a stand-alone event, and gives the former athletes proper recognition; it is the ENMU equivalent to being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Student/Athletes feel they are in school to play sports and have a good time, and that is partly true, but the key ingredient is to get an education. Once an athletic career is over, it is time to become a contributing member of society and live a productive life; not only, to give back, but to pay it forward. ENMU provides that for its athletes.

ENMU athletics is not only about competing hard on the athletic field; it is also about developing the whole person, to become successful, by doing things the right way, regardless of the scoreboard. ENMU is about creating a family bond that can never be broken through time, life or death.

Some student/ athletes walk around thinking they’re the man/woman, but the athletic department has a different criteria than one might think for selecting honorees. To become a member of this club a person must be a good athlete, a good student, and most importantly a good person who is contributing to society, and supported ENMU.

This is  exclusive club started inducting members in1984, and includes a former member of the House of Representatives, Gary Robbins, ENMU graduating class of 1973, inducted this year as a Supporter. In attendance was current State Senator Stuart Ingle, Hall of Honors Inductee Class of 1995, as a Supporter. This year’s 7 inductees bring the total members to 163.

Hall of Honors, for the first time in its illustrious history, has inducted a husband and wife duo together- Jeff and Laci Lee-Howard.

This year’s Bench Club Member of the Year award went to Hall of Fame Rodeo Coach Charles Chambers. Mr. Chambers said that he and  his wife Evelyn bleed Silver and Grey, and expressed how thankful he was to be “useful and needed.”

Corporate Partner of the Year went to Rooney Moon Broadcasting. Mr. Rooney told of how he and his partner originally bought the radio station with the intention of flipping it after several years, but he and his wife fell in love with the town of Portales. Rooney loves how ENMU is doing things the right way academically and athletically. Mr. Rooney complimented “the outstanding leadership of President Gamble, and Athletic Director Jeff Geiser, and the direction the school is headed.”

Faculty and Staff Member of the Year went to Jackie Kabrick, who was not present to accept the award.

Greatest Zia was cross-country runner Nicole Reid; Reid thanked her family for supporting her.

Greatest Greyhound went to Tillman Stevens. Stevens thanked Head Football Coach Mark Ribaudo, and ENMU, for helping him “develop into a man.”

Athletes who were inducted included Terry Cron for football, Class of 1971. Cron at ENMU played tight end. As a head football coach, Cron is the only coach in Texas football history to win three State Championship titles at three different schools in three different classifications.

Other honorees included:

Lindsay Schiely for Volleyball, Class of 2005. Schiely was voted Greatest Zia 2005-06, selected First Team All-Lone Star Conference South Division 2004 and 2005, and First Team ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District 2005.

Dallas McMann for Baseball, Class of 2003. McMann was voted Greatest Greyhound in 2002-03, and a Three-time First-Team All-Lone Star Conference selection.

Terry Don Leatherwood, Rodeo, Class of 1980, qualified for Intercollegiate Rodeo Finals in Bozeman, Montana, 1979-80, and Reserve National Champion Calf Roper, Second day Money Calf Roping.

Laci Lee-Howard, Women’s Basketball Class of 2004, is a Two-Time Lone Star Conference South Division All-Academic selection, 2004-05 ESPN Academic All-American, and 17th on the ENMU career scoring list.

Jeff Howard, Football, Class of 2004, First Team AFCA All-American 2004, Honorable Mention All-American D2 Football.com 2004, played in 2004 Cactus Bowl, and his Jersey was retired by the Greyhound football team.

Gary Robbins, Supporter Class of 1973, 1987 ENMU Distinguished Service Award, Former Bench Club Board Member, 1979-1992 Member of the New Mexico House of Representatives, and in 1990 was instrumental in the reestablishment of Eastern’s baseball program. While in the New Mexico Legislature, he was responsible for numerous increases in the Eastern’s Athletics budgets and the restoration of the baseball park, in addition to being a yearly contributor to Eastern’s Baseball and Softball Equipment Fund.

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