LUBBOCK, Texas – The likes of Larry Hays, Rodney Allison, Alicia Thompson and Will Flemons will join the all-time greats in the Southwest Conference Hall of Fame this September as part of a 10-member class of former Texas Tech student-athletes.
The quartet joins fellow Red Raider standouts in Marcus Coleman (football), Byron Hanspard (football), Thomas Howard (football), James Mays (track and field), Ruben Garcia (baseball) and Robert McKinney (men's golf) as part of the 10-member induction class.
The SWC Hall of Fame is one of four separate halls of fame housed within the Texas Sports Hall of Fame located in Waco. Members of the Texas Sports Hall of Fame are automatically included in the SWC Hall of Fame.
The 2017 induction class will be enshrined during a Sept. 2 luncheon prior to the Red Raider football season opener against Eastern Washington. The luncheon begins at 11 a.m. in the City Bank Room at United Supermarkets Arena.
For tickets, please contact the Red Raider Club at 806-742-1196.
2017 SOUTHWEST CONFERENCE HALL OF FAME CLASS
Rodney Allison (1975-77; Football, Quarterback)
Allison recorded 193 completions, 2,847 passing yards and 18 touchdowns, while running for another 1,093 yards and 16 touchdowns in his three seasons as Texas Tech's quarterback. One of the first great quarterbacks in Texas Tech history, Allison earned Southwest Conference MVP honors after leading the Red Raiders to a 10-1 regular season and a share of the Southwest Conference title in 1976. Allison was among the most lethal quarterbacks in the country that season as he ranked second in the SWC for rushing touchdowns and fourth nationally with 2,263 total yards of offense. He played one season in the Canadian Football League before pursuing a successful coaching career with stops at both Auburn, Duke, Southern Miss, Clemson and Texas Tech as an assistant and then as the head coach of the University of Tennessee Chattanooga from 2003-08. Allison, a 2003 inductee of the Texas Tech Hall of Fame, is currently the director of the Double T Varsity Club at Texas Tech.
Marcus Coleman (1992-95; Football; Defensive Back)
Coleman racked up nine interceptions in his four seasons as a Red Raider defensive back. Of those nine, four were returned for touchdowns, which landed Coleman the top spot in the Southwest Conference rankings during the 1993 and 1994 seasons. Coleman's senior campaign in 1995 garnered enough national attention to land him a spot as a first team All-American, marking just the third time in program history a Tech defensive back had received the honor. Coleman, a 2010 inductee into the Texas Tech Hall of Fame, was selected in the fifth round of the 1996 NFL Draft by the New York Jets.
Will Flemons (1990-93; Men's Basketball; Forward)
Flemons was a two-time Associated Press and two-time UPI All-America honorable mention selection during the 1991-92 and 1992-93 seasons. He also secured the 1992 and 1993 Southwest Conference Player of the Year accolades along with 1990 Southwest Conference Freshman of the Year award. Flemons is one of only two Texas Tech players (Rick Bullock in 1974-75 and 1975-76) to win the SWC Player of the Year honor twice. He notched a pair of All-Southwest Conference First-Team selections in 1991-92 and 1992-93. Flemons averaged over 10 points per game in all four of his seasons with the Red Raiders and currently ranks No. 11 on Tech's all-time scoring list with 1,604 career points. Flemons is the program's all-time leader with a .598 field goal percentage, is third with 109 career blocks and is fourth with 934 career rebounds. Flemons averaged a double-double twice in his career highlighted by 20.2 points and 10.8 rebounds as a senior in 1992-93. He amassed 43 double-doubles which ranks second only behind only Bullock in program history since the 1970s.
Ruben Garcia (1970-73; Baseball; Pitcher)
Garcia dominated the Southwest Conference in his four years at Texas Tech from 1970-1973. One of only three Red Raiders in school history to throw for a no-hitter, Garcia ranks second all-time at Tech for both strike outs and earned-run average after fanning 304 hitters while posting a 2.06 ERA over his career. Garcia's outstanding 1971 season pushed him to third team All-American honors. He also earned All-SWC accolades following both the 1971 and 1972 campaigns. Garcia, a 1991 inductee into the Texas Tech Hall of Fame, was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 16th round of the 1973 MLB Draft.
Byron Hanspard (1994-96; Football; Running Back)
One of the greatest running backs in school history, Hanspard recorded 4,135 rushing yards, 38 total touchdowns, and 5,031 total yards of offense in his three seasons at Texas Tech where he remains the all-time leader for both career rushing yards and rushing yards in a single season. His 1996 junior campaign still ranks among the best in NCAA history as he became just the sixth player all-time to record 2,000 rushing yards in a season. Hanspard, who reached the 1,000-yard mark in the first five games of that season, finished sixth in the Heisman Trophy voting, marking the first time a Red Raider had ranked among the top 10 in over 30 years. He also garnered the prestigious Doak Walker Award, which is given to the nation's top running back. Hanspard elected to forego his senior season in order to join the professional ranks as he was selected in the second round of the 1997 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons. He was inducted into the Texas Tech Hall of Fame in 2012.
Larry Hays (1987-2008; Baseball; Head Coach)
Hays, the first Texas Tech coach or player to be inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame, led the Red Raiders to 813 wins, four conference championships, nine NCAA Tournament appearances and 11 40-win seasons during his illustrious career. Hays also led Tech to a 51-14 record in 1995 – a school record for wins in a single-season. Hays coached 36 All-Southwest Conference selections and 14 consensus All-Americans in his time as head coach. He remains the second-longest tenured head coach (22 years) in Texas Tech history while his infamous No. 27 jersey number retired at Texas Tech on March 23, 2009. He was inducted into the Texas Tech Hall of Honor in 2013.
Thomas Howard (1974-76; Football; Linebacker)
Howard set the bar for linebackers during his three-year career as a Red Raider. Behind a stingy defense, Howard and the Red Raiders wrapped his 1976 senior season with a 10-1 regular season record following top-25 victories over both Texas and Texas A&M. His successful year earned his All-Southwest Conference honors as well as first team All-America accolades. He joins fellow Red Raider greats E.J. Holub and Zach Thomas as the only Tech linebackers in school history to be named a first team All-American. Howard, a 1993 inductee into the Texas Tech Hall of Fame, was selected in the third round of the 1977 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs.
James Mays (1978-81; Track & Field)
Mays was among the first all-time track and field greats in Texas Tech history as he was a three-time All-American under the guidance of coach Corky Oglesby. Mays, one of the top 800-meter runners still in school history, became the first Red Raider to ever receive All-America honors three times in a career. He won the 800-meters twice at the Southwest Conference Championships in both 1980 and 1981. Following his Red Raider career, he went on to have a successful professional career as a member of the U.S. National Team. Mays was inducted into the Texas Tech Hall of Fame in 1991.
Robert McKinney (1966-68; Men's Golf)
McKinney claimed the 1967 Southwest Conference individual title in just his first season as part of the Red Raider golf program. McKinney, who won the conference tournament by an impressive 10 strokes, played the majority of his career as Tech's top golfer in the lineup. He is one of four individual conference champions in school history. McKinney, a 2008 inductee into the Texas Tech Hall of Fame, was part of two top-five team finishes at the SWC Championships during his career.
Alicia Thompson (1994-98; Women's Basketball; Post)
Thompson was a four-year letterwinner for the Lady Raiders (1994-98). She was a three-time All-American and an All-Southwest Conference selection. During her sophomore season and the last season of the SWC, Thompson was named the All-Dr Pepper/SWC Most Valuable Player (1996). She ranks second in all-time scoring at Texas Tech with 2,156 points just behind Carolyn Thompson (2,655). She also ranks second in field goals made (865) and rebounds (953). Following her career at Texas Tech, she was the second Lady Raider to be drafted in the WNBA. Thompson was inducted into the Texas Tech Hall of Honor in 2008.