June 4, 2008
HOUSTON, Texas - Saluting its rich history and tradition, University of Houston Director of Athletics Dave Maggard announced on Wednesday that nine former Cougar standouts and one great team will be inducted into the UH Hall of Honor this fall. The Hall of Honor gala will take place on Friday, November 15, at the Hyatt Regency Houston.
The Class of 2008 includes a record-breaking quarterback, a three-time golf All-America, a basketball legend that played for the Harlem Globetrotters, two Olympic medalists, an All-America shortstop, an NFL head coach and former three-time Southwest Conference Coach of the Year.
The class is headlined by the first-ever induction of an entire team, as the historic 1967-68 men's basketball squad has its place in the illustrious hall. This team played in the NCAA Final Four, but its game against UCLA in the Astrodome, known as the "Game of the Century," put the national spotlight on Division I basketball.
"Celebrating tradition is a big part of every outstanding university," Maggard said. "The individuals who have been nominated for this years University of Houston Hall of Honor are individuals who have exhibited not only their athletic skill while here at Houston, but also have continued to represent the athletic department and our University in an exemplary fashion.
"We are very proud to induct these individuals and this special team to Houston Hall of Honor. They have truly enriched the tradition of University of Houston."
Quarterback David Klingler joins fellow Run-n-Shoot signal-caller Andre Ware in the Hall of Honor, as does former UH linebacker and current Dallas Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips. Tight end Riley Odoms, a four-time Pro-Bowler for the Denver Broncos, also will be inducted.
Joining the '67-68 basketball squad in the hoops division is basketball legend "Sweet Lou" Dunbar. Dunbar, who starred for Cougars from 1972-75, gained fame as a member of the Harlem Globetrotters.
PGA Golfer Keith Fergus was a three-time All-America for the Cougars, and he later led the Houston golf program after legendary Dave Williams retired in 1987. As a coach, Fergus led the Cougars to eight tournament titles.
Two Olympic medalists join a long list of hardware-toting Hall of Honor members, as the athletics department inducts Rita Crockett (volleyball silver medal) and sprinter Kirk Baptiste (silver medal) during the ceremony. Crockett starred for one season for the Cougars, but she later helped lead the USA Volleyball team to a silver medal in the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. As for Baptiste, he captured the silver medal in the 200-meters in Los Angeles, finishing second to Carl Lewis, a 1998 Hall of Honor inductee.
Baseball standout Carlton Hanta becomes just the fifth baseball player to get the call to join the Hall of Honor. An All-America shortstop, Hanta led the Cougars to the 1953 College World Series.
Finally, former swimming and diving head coach Phill Hansel takes his place in the illustrious hall, joining former coaching colleagues Guy V. Lewis (basketball), Tom Tellez (track and field), Rolan Walton (baseball), Dave Williams (golf) and Bill Yeoman (football), as well as administrators Harry Fouke, Sue Garrison, Ted Nance and Tom Wilson, as contributors to Cougar success.
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The Class of 2008 Bios
1967-68 Men's Basketball Team The team that put the University of Houston on the national map when they defeated UCLA, 71-69, before 52,693 fans in the Astrodome on January 20, 1968. The team featured three-time All-American Elvin Hayes along with All-Americans Don Chaney and Ken Spain. They also reached the NCAA Final Four for the second straight year that season.
Kirk Baptiste (1983-85) A two-time NCAA champion, Kirk Baptiste emerged as one of the world's top sprinters in 1984. Baptiste won a Silver Medal at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, finishing second to Carl Lewis. He also won the 200 metes at the 1984 NCAA and Southwest Conference Championships. He won both titles with a time of in 20.16 seconds. He also placed third in the 100 meters at the NCAA Outdoor meet. Baptiste capped off his collegiate career winning the 200 meters at the 1985 NCAA Championships with a wind-aided time of 20.03 seconds.
Rita Crockett (1977) * AIWA 1977 * One of three Cougars that led the USA Olympic team to the silver medal at the 22nd Olympiad in Los Angeles, the country's best finish in the Olympics at the time
Louis Dunbar (1972-75) "Sweet" Louis Dunbar was a member of the Harlem Globetrotters and entertained basketball fans for more than 25 seasons. Dunbar, who at 6-10, was one of the first big men to play point guard when he played at Houston in 1973-75. He played all five positions on the floor during his Cougar career. In 1974-75, Dunbar averaged 23 points and seven rebounds en route to earning Third-Team All-American honors.
Keith Fergus (1973-76) Student-Athlete & Coach ** Is the school's only three-time First-Team All-American. ** Was the 1974 and 1976 Southwest Conference Tournament champion. ** Member of three Southwest Conference Tournament championship teams. ** Ranks sixth in school history with a 71.94 career average. ** Recorded the school's fifth-best scoring average in 1975 with a 71.23 mark. ** Lettered at UH from 1973-76. ** Led the Cougar Golf program from 1987-94 and guided the Cougars to eight tournament championships during that time.
Phill Hansel Phill Hansel's dedication to the UH Swimming & Diving program can be clearly seen through the 31 Cougar women who reached All-American status under his tutelage. While serving as the team's first head swim coach, Hansel built the foundation for where the program is today. He took a pedestrian women's program at UH and guided it to national prominence with ten Top 20 finishes during his 20 seasons as swim coach. The 3-time Southwest Conference coach-of-the-year produced 12 SWC individual champions including Carin Cone and Ang Peng Siong. His consistency and longevity made Hansel a legendary coach in field of women's swimming and diving. A list of other international achievements for Hansel include head coach for the Singapore national team at the 1984 Olympics and as manger for 1992 US Olympic Swim team.
Carlton Hanta (1952-54) Hanta led the University of Houston to its first College World Series in 1953 and was the first baseball player of Japanese descent to be selected by the NCAA as a collegiate All-American. He epitomized the toughness and hustle of a baseball player. He finished his collegiate career with a school-record batting average of .363. After his UH baseball days were up, Hanta played in the Japanese Pacific League as an infielder for the Nankai Hawks from 1958 to 1961 and for the Chunichi Dragons in 1962.
David Klingler (1989-91) In just two seasons as a starter, former Stratford High School prep star David Klingler virtually rewrote the Houston passing records, and over a decade later still is the Cougars' all-time leader in yards (9,430), touchdown passes (91) and total offense (9,327). After two seasons as Heisman Trophy winner Andre Ware's backup, Klingler took control of Houston's vaunted Run-n-Shoot offense in 1990 and set seasonal NCAA records that may never be broken. In just 11 games Klingler threw for 5,140 yards and 54 touchdowns, while completing 374 of 643 attempts. His yardage, touchdowns and attempts still stand as records to this day. More impressively, Klingler recorded nine games with at least 400 yards passing and averaged 467.3 yards per game. Against Eastern Washington that season Klingler tossed an NCAA record 11 touchdowns in the win over the Eagles, and later that season Klingler threw for 716 yards in a win over Arizona State. Klingler was First Team, All-Southwest Conference and Third Team, All-America in 1990, and later picked up second-team, all-league accolades as a senior in 1991. After taking part in both the Hula Bowl and Senior Bowl, Klingler was a first-round draft pick of the Cincinnati Bengals. Klingler played for six seasons in the NFL for both the Bengals and the Oakland Raiders.
Riley Odoms (1969-71) The athletic tight end possessed tremendous size, speed and hands that paved the way for him to enjoy enormous success on the football field. After winning the Walter O. Caldwell Jr. Award, given to the top freshman, he continued to display his unparalleled talents throughout his years at UH named an All-American in his senior season at UH. He was taken with the 5th overall pick in the first round by the Denver Bronco in the 1972 draft making Odoms the highest UH football player ever selected in the NFL draft. Odoms enjoyed a 12-year career and made the All-Pro team 5-straigh years from 1973-77.
Wade Phillips (1966-68)
Three-year lettermen as linebacker for the Cougars from 1966-68, Wade Phillips, went on to become a well-respected head coach in the National Football League. He left UH as the all-time career leader in assisted tackles with 228. After his playing days for the Cougars were up, Phillips started his coaching career as the graduate-assistant for the defensive unit under legendary coach Bill Yeoman in 1969. From there he went on to become the defensive coordinator for several NFL teams before landing his first head coaching job in 1993 for the Denver Broncos. He is now currently the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys.