Aug. 30, 2006
UT Arlington's first head baseball coach, Tom Beasley, highlights a class of four individuals and two teams to be inducted as the 2006 Class of the UT Arlington Athletic Hall of Honor.
Men's basketball standout Paul Renfro, baseball second baseman B.G. Wilson, softball player Brenda Woodard and the 1967 and 1968 swimming and diving teams complete the class of 2006.
Dr. Chuck Vavrin will receive an honorary letterman's award while David Webster will be honored as this year's distinguished alumnus.
The ceremony will be held Sept. 16, 2006, at 7 p.m. at the Hilton Arlington Ballroom, 2401 East Lamar Blvd., in Arlington. Admission is free.
Beasley died August 16, 2006, from complications due from prostate cancer. He was a football letterman for the then-Rebels twice - in 1956 and 1957 as a junior college standout and again 1959 and 1960 after the school had evolved into a four-year school.
In 1956, Beasley played offensive and defensive end for the Rebels on the first Junior Rose Bowl team and was named to the Pioneer Coaches All-Conference Second Team and the all-Texas Junior College Team. After one season at the University of Houston where he was named the all-American second team and a brief stint with the U.S. Army, Beasley returned to Arlington State College in the fall of 1959. He was named to the All-Texas College team at the end position in 1960. He was a member of the University's physical education faculty for various periods of time between 1966 and 1981. He was the head baseball coach the first two years of the program's existence, going 16-34 from 1969-70.
Renfro is second in career scoring and rebounding at UT Arlington with 1,380 points and 851 rebounds in 107 games. He has the career mark for most blocked shots with 118 between 1976-80. Renfro holds the school single-game record with nine blocks against Texas Wesleyan on Jan. 18, 1980. He earned second-team all-Southland Conference honors his senior season in 1980.
A four-year letterman from 1993-96, Wilson was named to the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-America second team in 1995 and third team in 1996. In 1995, he led the team in batting average (.360) and hits (73) and was named the second-team all-Southland Conference second baseman. His senior season, Wilson led the squad in hits (70), runs scored (41), doubles (17) and stolen bases (6) in 1996.
Woodard was a four-time first-team all-Southland Conference performer and was a member of the first all-SLC Team in 1983. She is the all-time career hits leader at UTA with 288 between 1983 and 86. She played in 262 career games and scored a record 158 runs in her four-year career. She was named the Southland Conference Hitter of the Year in 1985 after leading the conference in batting average (.368), runs scored (37) and stolen bases (36). She led the league in stolen bases three consecutive seasons (1984-86) and finished UTA the career leader with 124.
The 1967 and 1968 swimming and diving teams will enter the Hall of Honor with a wake of national acclaim during their year's at the UTA pool.
The 1967 squad took fifth place at NCAA College Division national championships with 152.5 points. The six-man contingent recorded five meet records, five first-place finishes, two seconds and a fourth-place finish at the meet. Junior Rick Nesbit and sophomore Doug Russell each won two individual events and they teamed with sophomore Ernie Siefert and junior Ed Bagot on the winning 400-yard medley relay team.
Doug Russell led all Texas college swimmers in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 1:58.9. Sophomore George Deerfield had the top 50-yard freestyle time of 22 seconds and the 100-yard backstroke with a 58.2.
The 1968 team had 11 UTA swimmers earn a total of 35 All-America awards while finishing seventh with 89 points at the 45th Annual NCAA National Collegiate Swimming Championships in Hanover, N.H. and finished the runner-up of the NCAA college division. Nesbit, a senior, won the national 100-yard breaststroke (59.11) and was a member of the Rebels' national champion 400-yard medley relay (3:31.53). Russell, Siefert and Charlie Smith completed the winning relay team. Russell took the national title with a NCAA and NCAA meet record time of 49.57 in the 100-yard butterfly.
Russell, diver Brian Robbins, Nesbit, Deerfield, Smith, Siefert, Rusty Strong, Buzz Graves, Milas Kennington and Andy Lorimer earned all-America College Division accolades in 1968 while Russell, Nesbit, Siefert and Smith also earned University Division All-America honors.
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