GASF HALL OF HONOR
Since 1980, GASF has inducted over 70 individuals who have selflessly volunteered time and resources to support and grow youth sports in Central Texas. Some of our honorees are well-known in the community for their good works – many are not. They are our unsung heroes – hence the name – Hall of Honor, not Hall of Fame.
We congratulate our Hall of Honor Inductees and thank them for their wonderful contributions to Central Texas youth sports throughout their lifetimes.
For the last 30 years, Stacy Bruce has demonstrated a commitment to her community through volunteering with organizations such as Special Olympics, Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation, Austin Fit, Austin Flyers, Hospice Austin and Communities in Schools. An avid and life-long athlete, Stacy enjoys sharing her passion and love of sport and fitness with others. Since 1996, Stacy has been active as an advocate for children across the nation. Currently, serving as the Executive Director and President of Variety, the Children’s Charity of Texas, Stacy has set her sights on creating a brighter future and quality of life for those children and families living with special needs. Watch and listen to the incredible story of this 2022 Greater Austin Sports Foundation Hall of Honor inductee.
Jody Conradt is in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame with 900 wins, but it's her pioneer spirit and her role in the fight for Title IX, that has always made the former Longhorn women's basketball coach an icon in the sport. Oh, and throw in the 1986 National Championship to boot! As someone who started the Neighborhood Longhorns Program and has been a key component in the rights for female athletes, Jody is now enjoying retirement. And in 2022, she can add the Greater Austin Sports Foundation Hall of Honor into her long list of achievements. Jody might have been born and raised in Goldthwaite, Texas, but Austin is where she calls home now, and her fans adore her. Here's Jody's story including players, coaches and others who surround her.
Glen Lietzke’s life revolves around sports – especially volleyball. Since the early 80’s, Glen has either been a coach, or otherwise directly involved with expanding the footprint of volleyball on a local and national level. But it’s his longtime involvement with junior volleyball in Austin that brought him to the attention of the Greater Austin Sports Foundation. From 1984 to 2019, Glen was Head Coach of Austin Junior Volleyball, coaching national champions in the Open Division in both 2011 and 2017. Hear his entire story and why he is a 2022 Greater Austin Sports Foundation Hall of Honor inductee!
For a list of past Hall of Honor honorees see below.
HALL OF HONOR NOMINATIONS
Nominees must have contributed to youth sports in the greater Austin area.
Nominees need not be or have been sports participants. The keyword for nomination is “contributed.”
It does not matter where the nominee lives, only that their contributions influence greater Austin area youth sports.
A special selection committee will review all nominations. The selection process and ballots remain confidential.
Each inductee will be recognized through our website, social media, and at the annual Hall of Honor Banquet.
The recently-retired, now unretired Reese has led the Longhorns to 15 NCAA championships and 42 consecutive conference championships over his forty-three-year career at UT. In addition, Eddie was a three-time Head Coach of the United States Men’s Olympic Swimming Team and has received numerous awards throughout his stellar career.
DR. NEWT HASSON
Newt Hasson was inducted into the Texas High School Football Hall of Fame in 2009 – the first team doctor (Westlake High School) to be so honored. He has been the team doctor for over 36 years. For his service to student-athletes, Dr. Hasson has also received the Champions of FCA award, the Contribution to Amateur Football award from the National Football Foundation, and the You Make a Difference in Eanes ISD award. He serves on the Greater Austin Chapter of the National Football Foundation and previously served on the board of directors for Texas Special Olympics, in addition to serving as their medical director.
Barbara Scott is constantly working to improve lives in Austin – through the Colony Park Neighborhood Association, Equidad ATX, LBJ High School Campus Advisory Council, and a newly formed committee working on the redevelopment of the Travis County Expo Center. She recently assisted RBI Austin in securing 33 acres in Colony Park for baseball and softball programs and serves on the RBI Advisory Board. The City of Austin recently recognized Barbara with a proclamation during Black History Month for her work in Colony Park. The Bleu Lotus project recognized her in 2019 with a “She Wears a Crown” award.
Paul Carroza opened RunTex in 1989 and quickly became known as an important contributor to sports programs in Austin. He started Marathon Kids, a family activity involving many thousands of participants annually. His Shoes for Austin Program – awarded free shoes for children who performed well academically. He has sponsored many running events and gives his time privately coach coaches, parents and children in running. Paul was appointed to the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness.
WILLIAM FOREST JR.
Bill Forest dedicated many hours supporting youth soccer programs in Austin. He’s built soccer fields worked on existing baseball, kickball, and practice areas to improve and/or provide places for youth to play sports. He helped get a sprinkler system at Zilker Park. He also helped develop the Southeast Travis County Park and Northeast Metropolitan Park as well as the CAYSA facility in Manor. For many years Bill transported at-risk youth from East Austin to play soccer at various other sites while trying to get parents involved to build programs at their home schools. Bill developed the Soccer Start program for “at-risk” youth in the Austin area, which influenced programs at the state and national levels. Bill has received the Optimist of the Year from the Optimist Club of University Hills 1986-87; the President’s Award from South Texas Youth Soccer, and other honors from individual clubs. Bill has also served as a coach, mentor, and referee.
Bunny Bennett went beyond her job as a supervisor for the Austin Parks and Recreation Department, and fostered new softball programs and cross country facilities for youth across Austin.
Leo Leyendecker became known as coach, mentor, referee, and league sponsor for over 20 years for sports programs at the South Austin Optimist Club and Del Valle Little Leagues. A bricklayer by trade, he donated much time, effort, and materials to the construction of facilities for youth sports.
DIANE M. SWINNEY
JOE HINES JR.
DR. TEX KASSEN
Dr. Tex Kassen has received many honors and awards through his associations with Southwestern University, The Southwest Football Officials Association, the American Red Cross, the University Interscholastic League, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, Texas Special Olympics, the City of Austin, and the State of Texas. All the honors touch of his commitment to youth athletics – high school and collegiate football, swimming, tennis, and track. In football, he was a player, head coach for 25 years, athletic director for 20 years, officiated 2,000 games in 55 years, and eventually timekeeper. He received the C.J. “Shorty” Alderson Award in 1987 from SFOA, and on the occasion of being named an honorary life member of that organization in 1994, Austin Mayor Bruce Todd proclaimed a “Dr. Tex Kassen Day” and he was honored with a state Senate proclamation.
Juan Vega began his commitment to youth sports as his son’s baseball coach, quickly moving to a leadership position with the Delwood Northeast Optimist’s sports programs and cheerleading programs. He served over twenty years, and helped at least 10,000 boys and girls. He was a coach in baseball, football, and basketball; he’s taken teams to city, regional, and state championships. He worked on fields and manned the concession stand. He helped create a league alternative to Pop Warner football, one where every boy who wants to can play. He was commissioner, league official, secretary-treasurer, and Delwood board member, some years serving in all those roles.
“Rocky” Medrano made a name for himself in boxing, once ranked 6th in the world. After his boxing career, he founded the East Austin Optimists Club, raised money, solicited donations of equipment and uniforms for the baseball teams he created. He made and sold hamburgers and tacos for more money. He provided transportation for kids to get to games. He was coach and manager. His club pressured the city for baseball fields. He also served as boxing referee at the Pan Am Center, and coach, helping a dozen kids at a time, and director for Austin Golden Gloves tournaments.
Rick Payson dedicated many years and much energy into bowling – as lane coach, junior league head coach, youth leader advisor, instructor, booster club member, team captain, league officer, tournament director and sponsor, scholarship fund founder, and player. He’s helped kids who couldn’t afford to bowl. He spent many Saturdays from August to May for years at Westgate Lanes signing up eager bowlers. He made college scholarships available to young bowlers from age 5 to 18. He held a cone-man-bowl-a-than, knocked down to 1,760 pins in one hour, and raised $6,500. He’s even dressed up as a giant bowling pin to promote the sport. His primary intent is simple: Make sure the kids have fun bowling. Rick established the Chad Payson Memorial/Scholarship Fund in his son’s honor, to cover the costs for kids to bowl, and to provide the scholarships. It was for the Chad Fund that Rick knocked down those 1,760 pins.
Marvin Kanter is recognized for officiating as a referee at almost 1,000 football games over 24 years – from Little League to high school to the Lone Star Conference, often three to four times a week. He got involved with the Northwest Optimist Youth Football Association in the mid-1950’s, and never slowed down. He wanted kids to learn about sportsmanship and he visited injured athletes. He gained the respect of coaches, athletic directors, and other officials across the state. He served as President, Secretary, Division representative, and Regional Director of the Southwest Football Officials Association, Austin Chapter and was awarded the Shorty Alderson Award. He donated his time to lecture and study with coaches and officials. He also volunteered at the Dallas Cowboys training camp when the team trained in Austin.
One of his most prized awards was the game ball from the last game he worked, Reagan vs LBJ in 1990. Area coaches signed the ball and presented it to him on the field during halftime.
As the ultimate soccer enthusiast, Roy Smithers dedicated countless time and energy to the sport. After getting involved as a parent in the 1970’s, he served as a coach, referee, board member, committee leader, commissioner, secretary, treasurer, or president of every soccer group and association in Austin. He has negotiated sponsor contracts, formed committees on by-laws and rules and budgets, brought licensing clinics to the city to upgrade officiating and play, and helped organize invitation and charity tournaments. He served as Secretary of the Capital Area Youth Soccer Association and President of the South Texas Youth Soccer Association.
As a track star, Howard Ware earned All-State and All America recognition. He named his track club the Austin Striders because he wanted it to be for everyone in the city. Its membership drew a mix of black, white, Hispanic, Asian, and Native American young people. Ware and his coaches worked on the ability to run but also instilled the sense of family, teamwork, respect, discipline, responsibility, and care. The organization also helped acquire many partial and full college scholarships for high school seniors. The Austin Striders won the 1994 Amateur Athletic Union National Track and Field Championship and Ware was honored by Governor Ann Richards. He’s been Coach of the Year five times.
After retiring from the United States Air Force in 1977, Ric Castaneda devoted much of his life to the youth of South Austin. While being fully employed at Tracor as a systems analyst, he found the time to be involved with the South Austin Optimist Little League. He did everything, mow the field, chalk the lines, run the concessions. He served the Optimist as president, and was voted Central Texas Optimist of the Year four times from 1982 to 1988. He also co-founded the Challenge Division, a baseball league for children with disabilities.
DR. JERALD R. "DOC" SENTER
“Doc” Senter, a family practice physician in Austin, served as the volunteer team physician for the Reagan High School football program for 27 years, never missing a home or road game during that time. He traveled with the players, and attended as many practice sessions as his busy schedule permitted. In 1968, he served as the team physician for the South Texas All-Star football team. He advocated for the tremendous benefits to be derived from athletic participation and was always concerned with the emotional well-being of all young people, on and off the field. He contributed his medical knowledge and didn’t charge players when they sought medical attention at his office.
He initiated the Jackie Linam Award named for the 1968 Reagan championship player who died in a car accident. The award is presented annually to a senior Reagan football player who best exemplifies qualities of desire, determination, and unselfishness.
A.B. Cantu dedicated his life to the youth of Austin. For years he worked as a boxing coach and counselor at the Pam American Rec Center. He also worked at the San Marcos Job Corp and a halfway house for former convicts. He spent many hours counseling young people about the issues of drug abuse. He served as a mentor and role model for many young people and had a particular devotion to the youth of East Austin.
James Wilson, an Austin native, graduated from old Anderson High School, a B.S. Degree from Huston-Tillotson, and a Master’s Degree from Prairie View A&M. He is known for his college career as a scholarship athlete (the first four-year letterman), as well as his coaching positions in baseball, tennis, basketball, and track at Huston-Tillotson. He followed his coaching career as Athletic Director at Huston-Tillotson. He also served the Capital City Officials Association, and served as a Southwest Conference official.
Little League in Austin benefited significantly from the efforts of C.P. Damon. He served as President of the Balcones Little League and saw that League through an eviction notice and relocation and development of a new facility. C.P. was also a creator of programs. He helped create a new program for teenage boys, the Balcones Senior League. Later, he helped form the Big League for 16-18 year-old youth.
C.P. didn’t stop with his own community. He assisted other leagues in Smithville, Pflugerville, and Del Valle. He also developed an umpiring system that was an example to others. Further, C.P. helped form soccer and basketball leagues.
Lee Jefferson was inducted to the Hall of Honor because of his work with baseball programs in East Austin. He started his community commitment after umpiring a Little League baseball game, and the next year, then began coaching boys in the Los Caballeros League. During one troubled time, Lee enlisted the aid of the East Austin Optimist Club to save the baseball program in the area. It worked. He also served as President of the Babe Ruth Program.
Lee Jefferson has directly touched the lives of over 3,000 youth and has earned their respect.
Tom Attra, was famous for his boxing abilities. Between 1939 and 1958 he fought in 188 pro and amateur fights and earned at least a dozen boxing titles, including the national light heavy weight championship in 1942 and 1945. Mr. Attra was a newspaper street sales manager, having started selling papers in 1928 and working with generations of young newspaper carriers. So, whenever youth and boxing were involved, Tom Attra was there to help.
DALE G. FOSTER
Dale Foster was involved in the youth football programs of the Optimist Clubs for over 20 years, primarily as a coach. He served as head coach from 1963-1972, and as assistant coach and other years. In 1979, he was elected Commissioner of the Citywide Teenage Football League and did a most credible job of bringing together several diverse organizations from ethnic neighborhoods. He was awarded the Friend of Youth Award by the Optimist Clubs. Mr. Foster is not only highly respected as an athlete and coach, but also as a family man and lay leader of Faith Lutheran Church.
J. BOONE BAKER
J. Boone Baker was an All-State basketball and football player in high school. He continued to serve sports in Austin through the West Austin Optimist Club, including such jobs as scorekeeper, field manager, building and maintenance manager, coach, and chief fund raiser.
Lawrence Britton served as Head Coach and Track Coach at L.C. Anderson High School and later as a winning Basketball Coach. He continued his devotion to sports by leading youth programs in East Austin and organizing the East Austin Youth Foundation. He was also instrumental in the expansion of citywide softball facilities.
R.E. "DICK" CHALMERS
Dick Chalmers coached baseball and football for many years. He worked with the West Austin Youth Association. A field was named for him.
As a long time sports enthusiast with the Austin Parks and Recreation Department for the City of Austin, Roy Guerrero contributed significantly to all sports by involving himself in all aspects of planning, leadership, development, and competition in citywide sports activities.
Wally Pryor distinguished himself as a member of the Texas Swimming Hall of Fame, but was also one of the founders of the Austin Aquatic Club, a competitive AAU swimming and diving team. He was known for many years as the “Voice of the Longhorns” at Memorial Stadium.
Derden Woffard served as a consultant to the Little League Baseball Committee of the North Austin Lions Club. He was instrumental in starting the league and spent the better part of his life as a coach and organizer. His leaguers were the only ones in the Austin area to send a team to the Little League Baseball Series.
Leon Black was Head Basketball Coach at the University of Texas from 1968-76, very formative years for UT’s basketball program. During his tenure, he won two Southwest Conference Championships and recruited the first seven black student-athletes. He was inducted into UT Athletics’ Hall of Honor in 1989. Coach Black is known for his humble values and loyalty. He made a huge impact on his players – teaching life lessons as well as coaching basketball. He continued his career at UT as Assistant Athletic Director and volunteered for Texas Relays.
Lloyd Morrison and Lion’s Municipal Golf Course have so closely entwined that they almost seem synonymous. Lloyd worked at Muny and Hancock golf courses for over 35 years and he is a huge part of Austin’s golf history. He developed an interest in golf at age 13. By age 17, had won the Austin Men’s City Championship, the City Jaycee Junior Tournament, finished second in the State Junior, qualified for the Texas Open, and made the cut at Oak Hills Country Club in San Antonio. Must have fueled his enthusiasm for Junior Golf – his Junior Golf programs reached thousands of young golfers in Austin.
As a volunteer for several organizations serving the Greater Austin area, Beverley Brown eventually focused on the Optimist Club of North Austin. As the first woman member, she served as President of the North Austin Optimist Club for several terms. Through the NAO, she was involved with sports programs as head team representative, assistant coach, concessions manager, and officer for the baseball and football programs. Beverley’s basic philosophy has always been aimed at working for the betterment of our youth in the belief that even one little edge of learning about life given to those youngsters will have the potential of making them better citizens in tomorrow’s world. Beverley’s volunteering efforts programs at her church, local nursing homes, the Austin Family House, Austin State Hospital, Texas School for the Deaf, CASA, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and at times inviting underprivileged/troubled young girls to her home for a taste of close family life.
(Posthumous Award) By founding Texas’ first chartered Little League in 1950, Jimmie introduced thousands of Austin youth to the sport of baseball. Throughout his life, he served as coach, mentor, and manager to Central Texas boys and girls, and built fields for them to play on.
JACKIE D. HARRIS-CRAYTON
Jackie Harris-Crayton’s volunteer commitment to youth athletics was focused on the Greater East Austin Youth Association. She recruited players, coaches, and volunteers, organized Opening Day activities, banquets, fundraisers, banner and program designs, fundraising and Secretary duties. Her years of service have positively influenced well over 1000 youth and adults along with increasing volunteers by 75%. Her personal sacrifices for the betterment of youth collaboration with the GEAYA and the Austin Parks and Recreation Department include building team commitments, improving building facilitation, renovation of Little League field concession stands and helped restore the Annual Juneteenth Parade and Festival.
After Eddie Jones’ children were through playing sports for leagues sponsored by the Delwood Optimist Club, he stayed another 20 years in the organization – building fields, initiating softball for girls, coaching, managing, and raising funds to send young players across the country to compete.
The legendary football coach for the University of Texas Longhorns, Coach Royal quietly raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for youth groups in East Austin through efforts such as the Ben Willie Darrell golf tournament. Austin youth in many sports received equipment and mentoring through his efforts.
Ricky Duncum served as Administrator of Little League baseball for the South Optimist Club.
PHILIP E. SANDERS
JAMES C. BORDERS
James Borders became active with the University Hills Optimist Club after coaching, umpiring, and sponsoring soccer and baseball teams with his two sons. He served on the club’s soccer, baseball, and kickball boards and as President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Commissioner, Field Director and recruiter of residents. He has also been involved with Capital Area Youth Soccer, was advisor to Round Rock’s Crossfires teams, and development of the Vipers Select Soccer Program. His contributions have benefited thousands of young people.
Donald Spence is recognized as a coach, referee, organizer, sponsor, financial supporter in baseball, basketball and kickball in Little League and youth programs. He served them as a volunteer counselor, a tutor, and a mentor with Kappa Alpha Psi’s Guide Right Youth Program and the Together for Youth programs. He also served them as a coordinator and a fundraiser for the Boy’s Club, Police Activity League, and the Kiwanis Club. As a Greater East Austin Youth Association commissioner, he brought boys who had scattered across town to play baseball. He recruited other volunteers for activities at Rosewood, Alamo, Givens and Dottie Jordan parks.
James Howard almost single-handedly brought youth football, youth basketball, girl’s kickball, and Little League baseball to East Austin. James Howard raised money and drafted others to raise money to set up teams and provide equipment and uniforms. He helped found the East Austin Youth Foundation and the Greater East Austin Youth Association. He had been involved in coaching so long – over 25 years – that he was coaching the children of the kids he once coached. He provided transportation tor hundreds of kids to and from games, missed dinner at home, gave his time and his money, and was frustrated at time. He rededicated himself after his wife, Lola Bernice, also a coach died. He said it came to him that God had picked him to help the kids.
Hundreds of East Austin kids played on the associations’ first football teams, the Blue Knights and the Green Hornets; or the first Little Dribblers basketball teams, the Falcons and the Yellow Jackets, who played mini-games during UT half-times; or the first Little League baseball teams. The number of teams continued to grow. James believed that youth sports bring a community together, that youth in sports learn about discipline, rules, respect, sportsmanship, team spirit, athletic ability, and that everyone’s a winner if you do the best you can.
ALEX & PEGGY MOSQUEDA
Alex and Peggy Mosqueda got involved in women’s softball in 1970. Alex began coaching Peggy’s softball team, the Ragdolls. After a time, they joined the Austin Softball Association. Alex served as President and began fundraising for scoreboards, chalking machines, and maintenance equipment. Alex also serves as Vice President, Peggy was the treasurer. They started a softball team for 11-year old girls, the Sluggers, who won three national championship tournaments in its eight years. Eleven of the Sluggers lived with the Mosquedas, helping pay for college for the girls – seven of whom went on to graduate. Peggy died in 1995, and Alex continued to serve as a coach’s coach.
MACE B. THURMAN JR
Judge Mace Thurman influenced the lives of hundreds of young men in Austin as a Little League coach and as a founder of the Boys Club if Austin, but also from the bench – county court at law judge 1947 to 1957, district court judge until 1990 and then senior judge. He worked for a juvenile probation department that could work toward rehabilitation, sometimes through sports. He was known for his “10-minute talk,” to young offenders, reminding them work hard, go home, go to bed, and go to church.
EDMOND P. KNEBEL
Ed Knebel was recognized for putting together a semi-pro baseball team, “Nu-Icy” after Nu-Grape and Nu-Icy franchises he owned. He then turned his attention to Austin’s kids, giving away baseballs and bats, sometimes on street corners. As a 7-Up distributor, he began sponsoring a team in every Little League and youth league in Austin, also supplying uniforms. He initiated the Babe Ruth League. He built Disch Field on the site of Palmer Auditorium for the new Class B Austin Pioneers.
Mr. Knebel has one of the first inductees in the Austin Hall of Fame, and was named a Most Worthy Citizen in 1959. The West Optimist Club names their field after him.
Donald Snowden tirelessly served as a Little League umpire two or three times a week for almost 20 seasons. He coached six seasons for the Gold Eagles elementary and senior basketball teams. He helped build bleachers and dugouts for the Northland Little League, then served as Vice President and President. He pushed paper, scheduled games, raised funds, and moved the field. He was instrumental in helping start T-ball programs and was coach of one of the first teams in the early 1970’s. He has umpired Texas’ Little League championships and All-Star games.
DR. CHARLES AKINS
Charles Akins is recognized for working with students to teach, guide, nurture, and encourage them to learn and realize their full potential in the classroom and in the sports arena. From Old Anderson High School, to a B.A. from Huston-Tillotson, M.A. from Prairie View A&M, and an honorary Ph.D. from Huston-Tillotson, Dr. Akins served as a teacher, dean of boys, assistant principal, and assistant superintendent in Austin schools. In the sports arena, he served with Southwest Football Officials Association (Austin Chapter), the Lone Star Conference, a Texas track and field official, a Texas Relays official, and a Special Olympics official.
Harvey Penick started his golf career in 1912 as a caddy at the old Austin Country Club, becoming the pro in 1923 at age 18. He was the first golf teacher to receive national recognition for his abilities who was not a native of Scotland. He coached at The University of Texas for 33 years, winning 20 Southwest Conference championships and honing 19 individual SWC champions, Ben Crenshaw and Tom Kite among his famous student-athletes. He has influenced countless young golfers and shared his secrets in his “Little Red Book.”
J. DAN BROWN
Dan Brown was a successful high school and college athlete, and carried his love of sports with him as a sponsor of countless sporting events including many at The University of Texas, Southwest Texas State University, the Legends of Golf, and many Little League programs – especially the Greater East Austin Youth Association. Importantly, he created an entire Little League from the ground up and coached for several years. He also coached a girls basketball team.
SAMMIE JOSEPH JR
Sammie Joseph is recognized his help in beginning the Austin Chapter of Big Brothers/Big Sisters and co-founded the West Austin Youth Association. For many years, Sammie coached Little League baseball, soccer, and football. He has served on the Board of the Western Hills Little League, as well as on various Boards and Committees of the State and District Little League organizations.
BILL & BEE CRENSHAW
After creating the Crenshaw Athletic Club, Bill and Bee Crenshaw attracted Austin’s first gymnastics meets and took athletes to other meets throughout the nation – many times at their own expense. Later, Bill help start the Austin Aquatic Club and coached swimmers and divers. Bill and Bee taught young athletes to excel in sports, but also taught them the importance of character, integrity, sportsmanship, fair play, and love.
Bill and Bee’s combined talents produced numerous state and regional individual and team champions in gymnastics and trampoline competition. They won two junior national team championships and two senior national team championships for their Austin Club.
G.C. "OX " EMERSON
“Ox” Emerson, a pre-law and history graduate of the University of Texas, played football at The University and was an All Southwest Conference player. He played with the Detroit Lions in the 1930’s and received All-Pro honors three times. He influenced many youth through his important coaching positions at The University of Texas, Lanier High School, Johnston High School, McCallum High School, and Austin High School. At age 65, he retired, and came back to coach Junior High athletes at St. Louis Catholic School.
A successful athlete, Nelson Puett also nurtured that love of sport with his children. In doing so, he created a baseball program for boys too young for Little League and worked many hours with his daughter’s tennis efforts. He extended his love of sport to other youth too. He sponsored Little League Football from its inception and for countless teams. His financial support meant so much to a broad variety of sports programs in the Austin area.
Nelson Puett is recognized for providing scholarships to almost 100 student-athletes, some of who became doctors, lawyers, dentists, coaches, pilots, oil field personnel. In getting their education, each student had to participate in intramural sports and maintain a “C” average.
GORDON A. BAILEY
Gordon Bailey was involved in sports in Austin for more than 40 years. He was active as a participant, coach, referee, and organizer in baseball, basketball, football, and track. He worked with youth through the AISD for 38 years, managed the Junior Football program for 15-20 years, and for 50 years served with The University Interscholastic League events, especially the Texas Relays. He was named to the South Central Texas Semi-Pro Baseball Hall of Fame in 1980 and received the Service to Mankind from Sertoma International in 1968. There is no way of measuring the number of young people Mr. Bailey has touched.
HARVEY S. WILLIAMS
Harvey Williams gave a quarter-century of his life to teaching Austin youth in the classroom and on the baseball diamond. Between the years of 1920 and 1946, he spent many hours coaching boys who claimed 50 years spoke of his importance influence. He organized and directed the first Austin Junior Baseball program from 1928-1938. Even during his retirement, Mr. Williams’ joy in watching youth baseball never lagged.
HUBERT "HUB" BECHTOL
“Hub” Bechtol was an All American football player at The University of Texas. After college, he devoted his efforts to sports in Austin through his leadership in obtaining land for playing fields, raising funds, and founding the Junior Football League in Austin.
ELTON TONEY "COACH" BURGER
Toney Burger served as coach and athletic director in the AISD for 33 years. As a coach at Austin High School, he had impressive winning records in baseball and basketball. But winning was not everything to Coach Burger – he was interested in how many good citizens he turned out. In 1971, AISD named Toney Burger Activity Center in Oak Hill in his honor.
M.Z. "MAC" COLLINS
Mac Collins organized West Austin Litle League baseball, Junior football and Babe Ruth baseball. He constructed three Little League fields and two Junior football fields.
Alvino Mendoza saw a need for the youth of East Austin to play Little League baseball, so he organized the East Austin Baseball League and continued working with the kids. His greatest reward? “The kids — they remember me.”
Louis Shanks sponsored his first Little League team in 1952 and promptly lost count of the number of teams he sponsored. He was a firm believer in sports developing character in the young player.