The following have been inducted into the Greater Austin Sports Foundation’s Hall of Honor for outstanding contribution to youth sports in Austin, Texas.
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 … Continue reading 1995: Roy Smithers
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 … Continue reading 1996: Rick Payson
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 … Continue reading 1996: Alex & Peggy Mosqueda
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 … Continue reading 1996: James Howard
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 … Continue reading 1996: Mace B. Thurman Jr.
“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 … Continue reading 1996: Ricardo Medrano
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 … Continue reading 1997: Donald Spence
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 … Continue reading 1997: Dr. Tex Kassen
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 … Continue reading 1997: James C. Borders
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 … Continue reading 1997: Juan Vega
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 … Continue reading 1995: Marvin Kanter
Ricky Duncum served as Administrator of Little League baseball for the South Optimist Club.
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.
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.
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.Now deceased.
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.
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, … Continue reading 2002: Beverley Brown
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 … Continue reading 2002: William Forest Jr.
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%. … Continue reading 2002: Jackie D. Harris-Crayton
(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.
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 … Continue reading 2002: Paul Carozza
“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 … Continue reading 1983: G.C. “Ox” Emerson
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.”
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 … Continue reading 1981: Derden Wofford
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 … Continue reading 1981: Elton Toney “Coach” Burger
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.
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 … Continue reading 1982: Dale G. Foster
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 … Continue reading 1982: Gordon A. Bailey
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 … Continue reading 1982: Harvey S. Williams
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 … Continue reading 1982: Tom Attra
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 … Continue reading 1983: Lee Jefferson
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 … Continue reading 1983: Bill & Bee Crenshaw
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 … Continue reading 1983: C.P. Damon
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 … Continue reading 1983: Nelson Puett
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. … Continue reading 1993: A.B. Cantu
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 … Continue reading 1993: J. Dan Brown
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 … Continue reading 1993: James Wilson
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 … Continue reading 1993: Sammie Joseph Jr.
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 … Continue reading 1994: Dr. Charles Akins
“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 … Continue reading 1994: Dr. Jerald R. “Doc” Senter
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, … Continue reading 1994: Harvey Penick
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 … Continue reading 1994: Ric Casteneda
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 … Continue reading 1995: Howard Ware
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, … Continue reading 1995: Donald Snowden
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 … Continue reading 1995: Edmond P. Knebel