Sept. 11, 2010
Melvin R. "Pat" Patterson
AUSTIN, Texas -- Eight distinguished and decorated former University of Texas student-athletes will be inducted into the Men's Athletics Hall of Honor later this fall. The 54th Men's Hall of Honor class includes Ricky Williams (Football 1995-98), the 1998 Heisman Trophy winner; Chris Mihm (Basketball 1997-2000), UT's first-ever Associated Press first-team All-American in basketball; Ron Gardenhire (Baseball 1978-79), a first-team All-Southwest Conference shortstop who is now the manager of the Central Division-leading Minnesota Twins; and Bill Wyman (Football 1971-73), a consensus first-team All-America center and Lombardi Award finalist.
Founded in 1957, the Longhorn Hall of Honor is one of the most cherished athletics traditions at The University of Texas. Its governing body -- the Longhorn Hall of Honor Council -- is made up exclusively of men who have lettered at UT. Each year, a selection committee nominates 16 candidates, whose names are distributed to the Hall of Honor Council. To be eligible for nomination, a letterman must have completed his eligibility 10 years prior to the year of election. The four nominees receiving a majority of votes are inducted into the Longhorn Hall of Honor.
Vintage selections Travis Eckert (Baseball 1952-54); Melvin R. "Pat" Patterson (Swimming 1955-56; UT Swimming Coach 1971-78); Mike Perrin (Football 1966-68); and Wally Wilson (Track & Field 1957-59) round out the class. A vintage era candidate is any letterman who lettered 40 years or more prior to the year of election.
The new inductees will be honored at a banquet at the Four Seasons Hotel on Friday, Nov. 19, beginning at 6:15 p.m. Enshrinement ceremonies will be held during the Texas-Florida Atlantic football game on the following day. Tickets to Friday night's banquet are $60 or $600 for a table of 10, and can be purchased through Carol Hastings with the T-Association by calling 512-471-6864.
Williams, who is in his 10th NFL season, set 21 NCAA records and 46 UT marks in a career that was punctuated by a Heisman Trophy victory in 1998. In his final home game that year, Williams rushed for 259 yards against Texas A&M to eclipse Tony Dorsett's 22-year-old NCAA rushing record with 6,279 yards. He went on to lead the Horns to a 38-11 victory over Mississippi State in the Cotton Bowl to cap Mack Brown's first year at Texas with a 9-3 record. The first-ever two-time winner of the Doak Walker Award (nation's top running back), Williams also claimed the Maxwell Award (nation's top player), Walter Camp Football Foundation Player of the Year and Associated Press Player of the Year as a senior. He was a two-time unanimous first-team All-American and twice was tabbed the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year. As a pro, Williams has produced three of the top five rushing games and rushing seasons in Dolphins history, and his 5,763 rushing yards with the Dolphins are second only to Larry Csonka on the teams all-time list.
Mihm, who spent eight seasons in the NBA, became the first Longhorn to ever earn Associated Press first-team All-America honors in basketball as a junior in 1999-2000. He became just the second player in UT history to claim consensus first-team All-America recognition that season, joining Jack Gray (1935). A three-year starter at center who played in all 96 games during his three seasons in Austin, Mihm finished his career as UT's all-time leader in career blocked shots (264) and ranked second on UT's career lists in double-doubles (47) and rebounds (945). When he left UT, Mihm owned the school record in every blocked shot category: single-game (eight), single-season (90), career (264) and career average per game (2.8 bpg). He was the first person in UT history to record 1,100 points, 800 rebounds and 200 blocked shots. He spent eight seasons in the NBA with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers.
Wyman, a finalist for the Lombardi Award in 1973, was a two-time first-team All-SWC selection. He was tabbed consensus first-team All-America in 1973 and has been named to the Cotton Bowl, Southwest Conference and all-South all-Decade teams of the 1970s. He was the lynchpin of the Texas "Wishbone" attack which produced All-America running backs such as Jim Bertelsen and Roosevelt Leaks. Wyman helped UT win three straight conference titles and finish in the nation's Top 10 in his final two seasons.
Gardenhire, the manager of the Central Division leading Minnesota Twins, was a two-year letterman at shortstop for the Longhorns during the late 1970's. A first-team All-SWC selection in 1979, he helped Texas win the SWC Championship and finish fourth in the nation that year. Gardenhire's 10 RBIs against Arkansas in 1978 still stands as a school record for most RBIs in a game. He was drafted in the sixth round by the New York Mets and made his Major League debut with the team in 1981. He played five Major League seasons, all with the Mets, before deciding to become a manager. He took over as manager of the Twins in 2002 and is in position to lead Minnesota to its sixth Central Division title in the last nine years. Gardenhire is on pace to surpass 800 career Major League victories this season.
Eckert was a two-time All-American and first-team All-SWC selection in 1953 and 1954. He had a career batting average of .321 and set the UT career marks for triples (10) and total bases (188) when he finished playing in 1954. Eckert's 15 career home runs ranked second on the UT all-time list at that time as well. One of the founders of the Texas Track and Field Officials Association, he served as a Texas Relays Official for 37 years.
Patterson was a three-year letterman who captained the 1956 Longhorn Swimming team. He was one of the top point scorers as the Longhorns challenged SMU's pool domination with an upset SWC victory in 1955. He served as Texas' head swimming coach from 1971-78 where he helped produce 21 SWC Champions and 12 All-Americans.
Perrin was a three-year letterman at defensive end and linebacker from 1966-68. He was a starting linebacker on the 1968 Longhorn team that began the 30-game winning streak that still stands as one of the longest in the modern era of the NCAA, as well as the longest in UT school history. Following the 1968 season he was awarded a National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame's postgraduate scholarship.
Wilson was a part of the golden age of track sprinters during the long and successful reign of Clyde Littlefield as UT track coach. Teaming with legends and now fellow Hall of Honor members Eddie Southern, Hollis Gainey, Bobby Whilden and Ralph Alspaugh, he was a three-year track and field letterman who ran the leadoff leg for the SWC Champion 440-yard relay in 1957, 1958 and 1959. He was a member of UT's World Record-setting 440-yard and 880-yard relay teams. Wilson also ran legs on Texas' SWC mile relay champion squad in 1957 and 1958 and the conference winning 880-yard relay in 1957.
RON GARDENHIRE (Baseball 1978-79)
Ron Gardenhire is currently one of the most successful managers in major league baseball. A two-year letterman at shortstop for the Longhorns during the late 1970's, he helped Texas win the 1979 SWC title and finish fourth in the nation. Gardenhire, who's 10 RBIs against Arkansas in 1978 is still a school record, was a 1979 first-team all-SWC selection. He is tied at second for most triples hit in a season with nine during his 1979 campaign. Gardenhire was drafted in the sixth round by the New York Mets in 1979 and made his Major League debut with the team in 1981. He played five Major League seasons, all with the Mets, before deciding to become a manager. Gardenhire began his managerial career with Single-A Kenosha in 1988 and earned accolades as Baseball America's Best Manager in 1989 and Southern League co-manager of the Year in 1990. After several years as an assistant coach, he became the Manager of the Minnesota Twins in 2002. The Sporting News selected Gardenhire as the American League co-manager of the Year in 2004. In 2006, he became the first manager in Minnesota Twins club history to have five consecutive winning seasons and the third manager in Major League history to reach the playoffs in four of his first five seasons as a manager. In his ninth year as the Twins manager, Gardenhire's team is in postion to win its sixth Central Division title (they also lost a one-game playoff to the Chicago White Sox to determine the division champion at the end of the 2008 season). The Twins have had a losing record just once (in 2007) during Gardenhire's tenure. Gardenhire is on pace to surpass 800 career Major League victories this season and his .551 winning percentage ranks third among active managers.
CHRIS MIHM (Basketball 1997-2000)
Chris Mihm was a three-year starter at center who played in all 96 games during his three seasons in Austin. He finished his career as UT's all-time leader in career blocked shots (264) and ranked second in double-doubles (47) and rebounds (945), and 13th in scoring (1,404 points). When he left school, Mihm owned the school record in every blocked shot category: single-game (eight), single-season (90), career (264) and career average per game (2.8 bpg). He was the first person in UT history to record 1,100 points, 800 rebounds and 200 blocked shots. Mihm earned consensus first-team All-America honors during his junior season (1999-2000), becoming just the second person in UT history to earn the honor (Jack Gray, 1935). He also became the first Associated Press first-team All-American in school history. One of 10 finalists for the John R. Wooden Award and one of 15 finalists for the Naismith Award, both honoring the national college player of the year, he led the Big 12 Conference in double-doubles (20), rebounding (10.5 rpg) and blocked shots (90) as a junior. A consensus first-team All-Big 12 selection that earned a spot on the Big 12 All-Defensive team, he helped lead the Longhorns to a 24-9 record and the NCAA Tournament Second Round in 1999-2000. That team earned a No. 15 ranking in the final AP poll, the highest final AP ranking in school history at that time. Mihm earned AP honorable mention All-America and consensus first-team All-Big 12 honors as a sophomore. He tied for the NCAA lead in double-doubles (19) and ranked fourth nationally in rebounding (11.0 rpg). Mihm helped lead the Longhorns to their first Big 12 regular-season title and a trip to the NCAA Tournament as a sophomore. A Big 12 All-Freshman team pick in 1997-98, Mihm was selected by the Chicago Bulls as the No. 7 pick in the 2000 NBA Draft (rights traded to Cleveland Cavaliers on draft night). He spent eight seasons in the NBA (2000-01 to 2003-04 with Cleveland Cavaliers; 2003-04 with Boston Celtics; 2004-05 to 2008-09 with Los Angeles Lakers).
Ricky Williams (Football 1995-98)
Ricky Williams came to Texas from California and left as one of the most decorated Longhorns athletes in school history. A four-year starter, Williams completed his UT career with 21 NCAA and 46 school records, became Texas' second Heisman Trophy winner and was a two-time unanimous first-team All-America selection. Williams' legend began as a fullback in a freshman year that saw him break Earl Campbell's UT freshman rushing record with 990 yards. His career culminated with a dramatic, record-breaking senior season where, in his final home game he surpassed Tony Dorsett's 22-year-old NCAA rushing record. That accomplishment propelled him to a landslide victory in the Heisman Trophy voting. A three-time first-team all-conference pick, two-time Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year and two-time Longhorn team MVP, he rushed for 6,279 yards and 72 TDs while eclipsing the NCAA all-purpose yardage record (7,206) without returning a kick. His 72 rushing TDs, 75 total TDs, 452 points, 33 games with a TD, 11 career 200-yard games and 6.2 yards per carry (min. 781 carries) all were NCAA all-time records. He led the nation in rushing in 1997 and '98 and scoring in '97 (second in scoring in 1998). Williams' back-to-back 300-yard games (318 vs. Rice/school-record 350 vs. Iowa State) that year set an NCAA record. One of only two players to win the Doak Walker Award (nation's top running back) twice, he rushed for a UT record 2,124 yards and 27 TDs as a senior. He also claimed the Maxwell (nation's top player), Walter Camp Football Foundation Player of the Year, The Associated Press Player of the Year and The Sporting News Player of the Year awards in 1998. As a junior, he moved to tailback and rushed for 1,893 yards and 25 TDs and finished fifth in the Heisman Trophy balloting. Playing fullback as a sophomore, he ran for 1,272 yards and 12 TDs. He was selected as a team captain in 1998, a year he helped the Horns in a dramatic turnaround season, going from a 4-7 mark in 1997 to a 9-3 Cotton Bowl Championship campaign. Williams helped Texas claim the final SWC Championship in 1995 and the first-ever Big 12 title in a thrilling upset of two-time defending National Champion No. 3 Nebraska in 1996. Thanks to his numerous individual awards, Williams raised $29,000 for the UT General Scholarship Fund. He also was named to the American Football Coaches' Association "Good Works" team in 1998 for his charitable efforts off the field. A first-round (fifth overall) pick of the New Orleans Saints in 1999, Williams is heading into his 10th NFL season and has rushed for 8,892 yards and 62 TDs and has caught 310 passes for 2,382 yards and seven TDs. The NFL's leading rusher in 2002 with Miami Dolphins team records of 1,853 yards and 16 TDs, he registered his fifth 1,000-yard rushing season at the age of 32 in 2009. He was voted the Dolphins team MVP last season after rushing for 1,121 yards and 11 TDs and catching 35 passes for 264 yards and two scores. He has produced three of the top five rushing games and rushing seasons in Dolphins history and his 5,763 rushing yards with the Dolphins are second only to Larry Csonka on the teams all-time list. Off the field, Williams is very active in the community through his foundation, the Ricky Williams Foundation. He is part of the "All-Community Team" in which he donates 20 tickets for every home game to various South Florida charities and works with the Cooperative Feeding program in Miami.
BILL WYMAN (Football 1971-73)
Bill Wyman earned the reputation as the best center Darrell Royal ever coached, and he did it against some of the best nose guards in college football. Wyman, a finalist for the Lombardi Award in 1973, was a two-time All-SWC selection. He was tabbed consensus first-team All-America in 1973.Wyman has been named to the Cotton Bowl, Southwest Conference and all-South all-Decade teams of the 1970s. He was the lynchpin of the Wishbone attack, which produced all-Americans such as Jim Bertelsen and Roosevelt Leaks. Wyman helped UT win three straight conference titles and finish in the nation's Top 10 in his final two seasons. The Longhorns carved a record of 26-7, including a 10-1 season in 1972 during Wyman's career at UT. Wyman is currently working in the construction business.
TRAVIS ECKERT (Baseball 1952-54)
A team leader in almost every offensive category, Travis Eckert earned all-star honors as an outfielder on teams that won three Southwest Conference championships and finished as the National Championship runner-up in 1953. Eckert was an All-SWC selection and second-team All-America on the Longhorn team that went all the way to the finals of the NCAA College World Series in 1953. He again earned All-SWC honors and was a third-team All-America pick in 1954. Through the 1968 season, when the schedule was limited to no more than 30 regular season games, Eckert ranked first in career triples and total bases, and was second in home runs. After a four-year stint in professional baseball following his time at Texas, Eckert returned to Austin and entered the insurance business. For 37 years he volunteered as an official at the Texas Relays, and he was one of the founders of the Texas Relays Officials Association.
MELVIN R. "PAT" PATTERSON (Swimming 1955-56 / Head Swimming Coach 1971-78)
Melvin R. "Pat" Patterson became a swimming icon at Texas during his time as a participant and a coach for Longhorns swimming. Captain of the 1956 Longhorn swimming team, he was one of the top point scorers as Texas challenged SMU's pool domination with an upset SWC victory in 1955. Following his graduation from Texas, he helped start the renowned Dad's Club Swimming Team of Houston. He went on to serve as head coach at Rice, Arkansas, SMU and Texas A&M. In 1971, he began a tenure as men's swim coach at Texas that lasted for eight seasons. During that time, he produced 21 SWC champions and 12 All-Americans. He also served as UT's first swim coach for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women. Following his years at Texas, he went into public school administration. From 1978 until he retired in 1990, he served as principal of Westlake High and Eanes Junior High, as well as assistant superintendent of the Eanes ISD. He finished his career as superintendent of the Sweeny, Texas ISD.
MIKE PERRIN (Football 1966-68)
Mike Perrin was a starting linebacker on the 1968 Longhorn team that began the 30-game winning streak that still stands as one of the longest in the modern era of the NCAA, as well as the longest in UT school history. A great example of the "student-athlete," Perrin was named to several All-SWC teams on the field, and earned honors as one of the nation's top student athletes off of it. Following the 1968 season, he was chosen as one of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame's post-graduate scholarship winners. He lettered three years as a defensive end and linebacker, and earned numerous accolades for his overall success in campus life. He was a leader of the Texas Cowboys service organization and a member of the Friar Society. After achieving his undergraduate degree, Perrin went on to attend UT law school and is now an attorney in Houston. He has remained active in an advisory role to both UT athletics and campus academic endeavors.
WALLY WILSON (Track & Field 1957-59)
Wally Wilson was a part of the golden age of track sprinters during the long and successful reign of Clyde Littlefield as UT track coach. Teaming with legends and now fellow Hall of Honor members Eddie Southern, Hollis Gainey, Bobby Whilden and Ralph Alspaugh, Wilson helped the Longhorns 440 and 880-yard relay teams set World Records. He was a co-captain, along with Southern, of the 1959 team. In his three years as a track & field letterman, he was the leadoff man for SWC sprint relays in 1957, 1958 and 1959, as well as being a part of the mile relay championship teams in 1957 and 1958. Following his graduation, he served three years as an officer in the U.S. Navy before embarking on a CPA and financial consulting career that took him from Houston to New York to Brussels and finally to Denver, Colo. He has recently retired and is moving back to the Texas Hill Country this fall.