2006 Nominees


David Hodge (1975-76, 1978-79)
David Hodge starred for the Cougars for four seasons, leading the Houston defense from his linebacker spot. As a four-year starter, Hodge played in three Cotton Bowls and was named the Defensive Player of the Game for his outstanding effort in the 1979 Classic versus Notre Dame. In 2001 Hodge was inducted into the Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame.

Hodge was a Second Team, All-America and an All-Southwest Conference first-teamer as a senior in 1979, after leading the Cougars in tackles with 125. The prior season as a junior, Hodge was selected honorable mention, All-America and a First Team, All-SWC performer when paced the Houston defense with a team-leading 110 tackles.

Hodge finished his career with 377 total tackles, which is currently fifth-best all-time. More impressively, Hodge racked up 261 unassisted stops, which ranks him third. Hodge took part in the 1980 Senior Bowl upon the conclusion of his career and was a fourth-round selection in the NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers.

Jason Phillips (1987-88)
Current Houston Assistant Football Coach Jason Phillips registered two memorable years as a Cougar wide receiver in 1987-88. After transferring from Taft Junior College, the former Sterling High School star was on the receiving end of many "Run-n-Shoot" passes from eventual Heisman Trophy winner Andre Ware. Phillips led the nation in receiving in 1987 and 1988, becoming the first NCAA player in 23 years to accomplish such a feat in consecutive seasons.

Phillips garnered All-Southwest Conference honors, was the 1987 SWC Newcomer of the Year and received All-America recognition from UPT in his junior season at UH. In addition to earning All-SWC First Team honors and being named SWC Co-Offensive Player of the Year, Phillips was a Consensus First-Team All-America in 1988. He also was selected to the All-Decade Team for the 80s.

Phillips is still ranked in both the seasonal and career receiving Top 10s. His 108 catches in 1988 are still second best, while his 99 in 1987 rank sixth. As for receiving yards in a season, Phillips racked the second-best total with his 1,444 in 1988. On the career charts, Phillips ranks third in receptions (207) and fifth in both yards (2,319) and touchdowns (18).

Phillips was drafted in the 10th round by the Detroit Lions in 1989, where he played for two seasons. Phillips later played three years (1991-93) for the Atlanta Falcons before ending his professional career with two years in the Canadian Football League playing for the Birmingham Barracudas and Hamilton Tiger-Cats.


Dwight Davis (1969-72)
A graduate of Worthing High School in Houston, Dwight Davis signed with Houston in January 1968, as a mid-term graduate. He guarded Elvin Hayes every day in practice and played for the Cougars' freshman team the following year.

During the next three season, Davis emerged as one of the greatest players to don a Cougar uniform. As a sophomore, he averaged 21 points and 11 rebounds to help Houston to a 25-5 record and a Sweet 16 appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

As a junior, Davis led the Cougars in scoring and rebounding with 20.3 points and 12.3 rebounds per game. He also became the first Cougar to record officially 100 blocked shots in a season.

He attained third-team All-America honors as a senior after leading the Cougars in scoring with 24.4 points and blocked shots with 106. Houston finished the year with a 20-7 record and was ranked among the Top 10 teams in the nation.

Davis still ranks seventh among Houston's all-time career scoring leaders and is among the top five rebounders in school history. He also is second among Houston's all-time leaders in blocked shots.

He was a third player chosen in the 1972 NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers. He played with Cleveland for three years before being traded to the Golden State Warriors in 1975. He retired as a NBA player in 1977.

Rob Williams (1979-82)
A three-time All-Southwest Conference selection, Rob Williams ended his career was one of the most talented players coached by Guy Lewis. He averaged 20.9 points per game throughout his collegiate career from 1979-82. Williams finished with 1,838 career points. He led Houston to the 1982 NCAA Final Four after earning MVP at the Midwest Regional.

Williams was selected in the first round by the Denver and scored 1,319 points in his two seasons with the Nuggets.


Joe DeLoach (1987-88)
The only runner to beat Carl Lewis in Olympic competition, Joe DeLoach shocked the world when he won the 200 meters at the 1988 Olympic Games with a record time of 19.75 seconds in Seoul, Korea. His time also was the collegiate record until 2002. Earlier that year, DeLoach beat Michael Johnson at the Southwest Conference meet. He also won the 100-meter dash at the 1988 NCAA Championships. In the Olympic Games, Lewis broke out of the blocks and took the lead around the curve. Almost everyone in the world thought the race was over, but DeLoach did something no other runner had done, he ran down Lewis and won the race with his record-setting time. Lewis finished second in 19.79 seconds. Following the Olympics, DeLoach's career ended four years later because of numerous and severe hamstring injuries.

Leonard Hilton (1967-71)
Leonard Hilton came to the University of Houston from Houston's Austin High School after winning the Texas Class 5A state championship in the run. An outstanding distance runner for the Cougars from 1967-71, Hilton was an All-American and school record-setting runner. Hilton earned All-American honors in the three-mile run in 1971 with a third-place finish at the NCAA Championships with a time of 13:31.6.

His performance at the NCAA meet came after he set school records in five different events. He holds school records in the mile (3:59.64), two-mile run (8:42.3), three-mile run (13:04.3) and the six-mile run (28:30). In addition to those records, Hilton ran the anchor leg on Houston's 1970 Distance Medley relay team that set the current school record of 9:34.0.

He is the only UH runner and first Texan to break the four-minute barrier in the mile and attained the feat 32 times. After completing his running career at Houston, Hilton ran for the 1972 United States Olympic Team at Munich, Germany. He qualified for the team with a third-place finish in the 5,000 meters at the U.S. Olympic Trials. Hilton qualified for the 1972 USA Olympic team when he finished third in the 5,000 meter run at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore..

Steve Prefontaine won the 5,000-meter race when he set the American record of 13:22.8. Hilton, who was never worse than fourth place, edged Sid Sink by 3 1/2 seconds to finish third and qualify for the Olympic Games. During his running career, Hilton was a two-time American champion in the mile in 1973 and 1975. In 1970, as part of his training, Hilton entered and won the American National Marathon.

After winning the mile for the second time at the USA Championships in 1975, Hilton helped form the Houston Harriers as a national and international championship caliber running club.

Hilton earned his degree in engineering from UH and later served as vice president of operations with Kinder Morgan Energy and Enron Corp.


Rolan Walton (1975-86)

  • The second-winningest coach in school history with 378 career wins and a .616 winning percentage from 1975-86.
  • Worked for only $1 per year as a salary while running a local Houston trucking company.
  • Twice named the SWC Coach of the Year and guided the Cougars to a No. 2 national ranking (in-season) twice during his career.
  • Award-winning player as well.
  • Was the team's first Most Valuable Player in 1951 after batting .333 in 22 games.
  • Batted .300 or better in each of his first three seasons at shortstop while helping lead the Cougars to two league championships.
  • Had his jersey No. 6 retired in November 1998.


    Marty Fleckman (1964-66)

  • Lettered at UH from 1964-66
  • 1965 NCAA individual national champion
  • 1964 Third-Team All-America honoree
  • 1965 and 1966 First-Team All-America honoree
  • One of only 10 Cougars players to earn First-Team All-America honors in two seasons.
  • Member of three straight NCAA national championship teams
  • Ranks 11th in school history with 72.46 scoring average.
  • Won more than $160,000 on the PGA Tour
  • 1964 Texas State Amateur champion
  • Member of the United States Walker Cup Team in 1967
  • One of only four players in the history of the PGA Tour to win his first Tour event.
  • Inducted into the Texas Golf Hall of Fame in 1986
  • Member of the PGA of America and the PGA Tour
  • Currently director of instruction at Blackhorse Teaching Center.


    Dianne Johannigman (1978-81)

  • Became the first UH student-athlete to win an AIAW national championship and was the first student-athlete to win three consecutive national championships.
  • Received 24 All-America honors during her outstanding collegiate career, the most by any Cougar swimmer or diver.
  • Set a new American AAU record in 1977 in the 100-yard time with a clocking of 54.11, nearly a full second faster than the previous record.
  • Besides three national crowns, was the National Runner-Up in the 100-yard butterfly in 1979 and 1980... Earned five third-place finishes at the AIAW national meet in a three-year span as well.
  • Was ranked among the world's Top 20 leaders in three events (100-meter butterfly, 200-meter butterfly and 100-meter backstroke).
  • Finished as the eighth-highest scorer among the Top 10 leaders at the 1980 AIAW national meet.
  • Continues to hold the Cougars Top Three fastest times in both the 100-yard and 200-yard butterfly events.
  • Posted 15 times in eight events that continue to rank among the Cougars Top 10 fastest times, more than 20 years after competing in her final collegiate meet.


    Margaret Kitchen (Redfearn) (1982-85)
    UH Career: 1982-1985

    Margaret Redfearn was an All American tennis star for the University of Houston in the early 80's compiling 153 wins (.823), which is still a school record. Holds the record for wins in a single season going 44-7 in the 1983-84 season Competed in the NCAA Championships in singles play all four years she was with the Cougars and in doubles three of her four years.

    Class of 2004 Bios

    Billy Ray Brown, Golf (1982-85)
    In 1982, Billy Ray Brown became the last in a long line of Cougar golf greats to win an NCAA individual national championship - and he did so in impressive fashion. After shooting a 75 in the second round of the 1982 NCAA Championships at Pinehurst Country, Brown, a freshman, roared back to shoot a 7-under-par 65 in the third round. It is a record that still stands as the lowest round ever shot by a Cougar at an NCAA Championships. He followed that with a 70 in the final round and became the seventh and last player to win an NCAA individual national crown. By the time that his career ended, Brown was a member of three NCAA national championship teams, including back-to-back titles in 1984 and 1985. He was named to All-America Teams every year from 1982-85, with First-Team designations in 1982 and 1985, and ranks among the Cougars all-time career leaders in rounds played and strokes. After joining the PGA Tour in 1997, Brown won more than $2.3 million and won three tournaments. When his playing career was cut shot by wrist surgery, Brown moved into the media and has served as an on-course reporter for ABC's golf coverage since 1999.

    Ollan Cassell, Track and Field (1958-61)
    Ollan Cassell was a three-year letterman at Houston from 1958-61 and earned a bachelor of science degree in 1961. Cassell transferred to Houston from East Tennessee State after he won the 220-yard dash at the 1957 AAU National Championships. He began running the 440-yard run for the Cougars and also ran the anchor leg for the team's mile and 4x440-yard relay teams. Cassell recorded the nation's sixth-fastest time in the 440 yards in 1960 and was a NCAA semifinalist in the event in 1961. In 1962, he won a pair of Gold Medals in the 400 meters and 1600-meter relays, along with a Silver Medal in the 400-meter relay, at the World Military Championships. The following year, he won two Gold Medals at the 1963 Pan American Games. He also was a member of the U.S. team that won an Olympic Gold Medal in the 4x400-meter relay at the1964 Olympics. Cassell was the AAU national champion in the 440-yard dash in 1965. Cassell, who lives in Indianapolis, has been semi-retired since 1998 after serving as the track and field administrator of the AAU from 1965-72, Executive Director of the AAU from 1970-80 and Executive Director of USA Track and Field from 1980-97. He also was a founding member of the International Athletics Foundation that was created in 1988 and served as vice-president of the International Amateur Athletics Foundation (IAAF) from 1976-86. In 1997, Cassell created a nutrition company for international sports and businesses to help clear American products into foreign countries. Currently, he has scaled that business down and has created an education program for coaches through the USA Track and Field Coaches Association website and has been a realtor with Carpenter GMAC in Indianapolis since 1998. He also serves as an adjunct professor for Olympic Sports history at the University of Indianapolis and serves as the president of the Indiana Olympian Association.

    Carin Cone, Swimming & Diving (1958-60)
    Considered by many to be the first nationally-acclaimed student-athlete in UH history, Carin Cone won 16 U.S. Senior National championships in her career. She literally came on like a hurricane to win her first Senior National Championship in the 200-yard backstroke. It was at Philadelphia in the middle of a hurricane in August 1955. Two days later she won the 100 backstroke, an event in which she continued undefeated in the Nationals, Indoor & Outdoor, for the next five years. Her moment of greatest triumph, and yet disappointment, was at the 1956 Olympics, where she and Great Britain's Judy Grinham had identical times, and yet the judges picked Grinham first. Carin set four World and 24 American records all in backstroke. This "queen of backstrokers" in her time­like Eleanor Holm and Gloria Callen before her, and Lynne Burke afterwards­was also a cover girl supreme. The four of them, all from the New York area, were on more magazine covers than four full-time models, which all were invited to be. Cone became the first UH student-athlete to be featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1960. Cone had just two coaches in Marie Giardine at the Women's Swimming Association in New York and Phill Hansel at the University of Houston. Perhaps Cone's finest year was 1959 when she began by winning both women's backstroke titles at the Indoor AAU meet, and she was a finalist for the Sullivan Award, which honors the nation's top amateur athlete. In July of that year, Cone lowered her own World's Record in the 220-yard backstroke, slicing more than three seconds from her 1956 time. Two months later at the Pan American games in Chicago, Cone won the 100-meter backstroke title, and also established a world's record of 1:11.4 on the lead off backstroke leg in the medley relay. She was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1984.

    Richard Crawford, Men's Golf (1959-61)
    In the storied history of Cougar Golf, Richard Crawford's name stands out among a group of renowned players. While the Cougars have won 16 NCAA team national championships and eight individual national championships, Crawford is the only Cougar to win two individual titles. In 1959 and 1960, Crawford placed his name atop the collegiate golf word and became the first player in NCAAA history and one of only four players to win multiple titles. During his stay with the Cougars from 1959-61, Crawford was a part of two NCAA national championships, two Missouri Valley Conference championships and was named a First-Team All-American in 1960 and 1961. He was recently inducted into the state of Arkansas Hall of Fame.

    Lovette Hill, Baseball (1950-74)
    While he was the fourth coach in Houston Baseball history, Lovette Hill established himself as the Father of Cougar Baseball by the time his career ended. As the Cougar skipper for 25 years from 1950-74, Hill's Cougar teams compiled 343 victories with five first-place finishes in the Missouri Valley Conference. Only three seasons after he became head coach, Hill guided the Cougars to their first-ever appearance in the 1953 NCAA College World Series. As impressive as that achievement was, Hill would add an even more impressive accomplishment toward the end of his career. In 1967, Hill's Cougars advanced to the NCAA District 6 Playoffs against Texas. In the championship game, UH rallied from a three-run deficit to take a 4-3 win and advance to the NCAA College World Series again. But the Cougars were not finished in Omaha. After dropping the first game to Stanford, Hill's Cougar team - which featured future Major Leaguer Tom Paciorek - won three straight games before bowing out to Arizona State in the National Championship game. By the time his career ended, Hill had recorded 343 victories, good enough to rank as the third-winningest coach in program history. In addition, his 25 years as the leader of the Cougar program was more than double the closest coach in school history.

    Jolanda Jones, Track and Field (1985-88)
    After growing up in Houston's Third Ward, Jolanda Jones overcame numerous odds to become one of the most successful student-athletes at the University of Houston and later became the owner of a law practice and highly successful consulting firm. While at UH, Jones received one of the most prestigious awards given by the NCAA, the Top Six Award after becoming the first three-time NCAA heptathlon champion (1986, 1987 and 1989) and earning GTE/Academic All-American honors. She also was a member of USA Track and Field's national teams at the 1985, 1987 and 1989 World University Games, the 1987 Pan American Games and the 1986 Goodwill Games. In addition, she won three Southwest Conference high jump championships, and still holds the school record in the event. Jones was the SWC Female Athlete-of-the-Decade runner-up for the 1980s. In addition, Jones graduated Magna Cum Laude with a bachelor's degree in political science, was a member of the Dean's List every semester from 1985-89, was a Rhodes Scholarship nominee and was named the UH Alumni Organization's Most Outstanding Senior. Following graduation, Jolanda received a NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship and earned her Juris Doctorate at the UH Law Center in 1995. She also has received the Houston Area Urban League's Marguerite Ross Barnett Leadership Award, UH Black Alumni Association Award of Excellence and NAACP Alex Award. Inducted in the Verizon Academic All-America Hall of Fame in 1999, Jolanda was the most requested speaker for Verizon's Life's Playbook Program. This year, Verizon is changing the emphasis of its program to focus on establishing literacy programs at various schools. She also ran for a City of Houston Council position in 2003.

    Warren McVea, Football (1965-67)
    Warren McVea helped the University of Houston set the standard in civil rights by becoming the Cougars' first African-American football player. A three-year letterman for legendary head coach Bill Yeoman, McVea helped the Cougars reach the national spotlight, as both the 1966 and 1967 teams finished the season ranked in the national polls (19th and 16th, respectively). McVea was a two-time All-America selection, picking up honorable mention accolades as a junior in 1966 and second-team honors a year later as a senior. He topped 100-yards rushing six times in his career, with three a piece in both the '66 and '67 seasons. McVea was a "do-everything" for the Cougars, playing running back and flanker and returning kicks and punts. He currently ranks tenth all-time in all-purpose yards, racking up 3,009 yards rushing, receiving and returning. His average per play of 6.73 currently ranks as the fourth-best career effort every time he touched the ball, while his career rushing average of 6.7 yards per catch trails only Chuck Weatherspoon's number-one mark of 8.2. McVea also was on the receiving end of the longest pass play in Houston history, a 99-yard scoring strike from Bo Burris against Washington State in 1966. Upon completing his UH career, McVea participated in the 1968 Hula Bowl and was a fourth-round draft pick of the AFL's Cincinnati Bengals. McVea played one season for the Bengals before moving on to the Kansas City Chiefs, where he played for five seasons (1969-73), including the 1970 Super Bowl won by the Chiefs.

    Ted Nance, Sports Information Director (1957-79, '88-94)
    In his 33-year association with the University of Houston, Ted Nance witnessed hallmark events. As the school's sports information director, Nance promoted Heisman Trophy winner Andre Ware; Lombardi Award winner Wilson Whitley; college basketball's "Game of the Century"; college basketball's 1968 Player of the Year, Elvin Hayes, and Coach of the Year, Guy V. Lewis; along with a host of All-American golfers and football, basketball and baseball players. He also witnessed Houston's 1967 upset over defending national football champion Michigan State, the Cougars first two NCAA Final Four appearances, 13 of Houston's 16 NCAA Golf Championships and the school's first College World Series appearance. His association with the University began as a student, when he served as the sports editor for The Daily Cougar and Houstonian Year Book. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism in 1956, Nance spent one year as a general assignment reporter in the city room before returning to UH to begin a career in sports information. He first served as an assistant under Jack Scott, before serving as sports information director from 1960-79. Nance left the University of Houston to work in the private sector and then as the Executive Director of the Bluebonnet Bowl. He returned to UH in 1988 and achieved what many would regard as his greatest accomplishment, promoting Ware for the Heisman Trophy a year later. Nance targeted his campaign by comparing Ware to some of the greatest quarterbacks ever to play the game in weekly "Air Ware" mail outs and making Ware accessible to as many newspaper and radio interviews as his schedule allowed. He was elected to the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Hall of Fame and retired from UH in 1994.

    Michael Young, Men's Basketball (1980-84)
    Current assistant coach Michael Young is one of three Cougars to score 2,000 points in their collegiate careers. Young, who scored 2,043 points during his UH career, is the only Cougar player to start on three NCAA Final Four teams and four NCAA Tournament squads. Houston had a 109-25 overall record during his collegiate career, and he was the scoring leader for two of Houston's most successful teams. Young led "Phi Slama Jama" with a 17.3 scoring average in 1982-83, and the 1983-84 NCAA Finalist with 19.8 points per game. He also led the 1983-84 squad in steals with 1.8 per game. A 1984 first-round selection by the Boston Celtics, Young played three years in the NBA with the Phoenix Suns, Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Clippers. He also played two seasons with the Detroit Spirit of the CBA, where he was named the CBA's Player-of-the-Year in 1986 after averaging 26 points per game. In addition to playing in the NBA and CBA, Young enjoyed an illustrious 14-year playing career overseas in the Philippines, Spain, Italy, France and Israel. While he was in France, Young averaged 23 points per game while leading the Limoges Club to the 1992 European Club Championship. It was the first time a French athletic club won a European title in any sport. In January 2003, Young was inducted into the French Sports Hall of Fame and his number was retired. He was named assistant coach on April 29, 2003, after serving five years as the strength and conditioning coach for the Cougars.

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