Sept. 13, 2009
ARLINGTON, Texas - Jeff Burrow has seen his fair share of battles on the mound. The former UTA pitcher was the horse of the UTA pitching staff during his career. Which is why when the former Maverick standout was standing in front of a crowd again, he didn't disappoint.
Burrow along with former Mavericks Mike Barnes, Rayla Allison and Jenny Hockett were inducted into the UTA Athletics Hall of Honor Saturday night, with Burrow providing many laughs along with memories after being introduced by former UTA baseball coach Butch McBroom
"Thanks for those kind words Butch, very kind words," Burrow said with a smile. "Wish I'd know all of that while I was playing."
Burrow wasn't only there for laughs however. He offered thanks to almost everyone involved in his life and playing career, which includes holding the UTA baseball records for most victories (27), innings pitched (333.0) and complete games (25).
"This means the world to me. UTA gave me a tremendous opportunity to both play baseball and get both a quality education," Burrow said. "I will never forget that, ever."
Burrow wasn't the only one who delighted the crowd at the Arlington Hilton with a speech. Former standout defensive back Barnes has the most interceptions in school history with 13, a record that doesn't seem to be in danger anytime soon.
"It's always been hard for me to realize that some people think they're the greatest player," Barnes said. "There were a lot of other players to go right along with it."
Barnes had many of his family in attendance and he wasn't hesitant to thank them for his accomplishments.
"I'd like to thank my sons and my wife who I love very much," Barnes said.
Allison led off the festivities being the first inducted. Allison had one of the most varied careers of all of those inducted. She was a catcher and team captain for the Mavericks softball team. She also played with Team USA in China, played professional softball and coached the UTA softball team for five years.
If that wasn't enough, after her time coaching Mavericks softball, she got her juris doctorate and started her on practice before then ending up as a professor at the University of Minnesota in Kinesiology.
Allison understood the hardships of being a woman in sports during her time in college along with the camaraderie she formed with her players.
"I remember the athletes for their play on the field, for their competitive drive but more importantly I remember them for the individuals they transformed into and how they transformed me," Allison said. The other inductee, Hockett, was unable to attend do to family conflicts. Her impression didn't go unnoticed though, as former track and field coach Ron Abrams offered his thoughts on the prolific javelin thrower.
"I felt this was long overdue, she was an outstanding individual," Abrams said. "She was an outstanding athlete."
The night ended with applause. All four inductees standing together. It was a night to remember for them, and thanks to their speeches, for the crowd as well.
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