Men's Hall of Honor inducts seven in weekend ceremonies
The University of Texas paid tribute to seven former Longhorns student-athletes when the school enshrined its newest Longhorn Hall of Honor inductees this weekend in Austin.
Baseball star Brooks Kieschnick, former Lombardi Award winner Tony Degrate, all-pro tackle Diron Talbert, and Eddie Phillips, who quarterbacked the Longhorns' last National Championship football team were honored at a Friday night banquet and at halftime of the Texas-Kansas football game, along with the newest members of the Women's Hall of Honor, whose ceremony was held at a luncheon on Friday afternoon. Three vintage-era Longhorns -- former coach and basketball player Jimmy Viramontes, baseball player Charlie Gorin and defensive end/linebacker Monte Lee -- also were inducted.
The current era inductees were chosen by a 50-person committee of their peers from a ballot of 16 nominees representing all Longhorn men's sports. The vintage honorees are picked by a special veterans committee, and must have lettered 40 years prior to consideration.
Kieschnick was a three-time all-American and two-time winner of the Dick Howser Award as the nation's top collegiate baseball player. He has gone on to play 12 years of professional baseball, including six years in the Major Leagues, and finished the 2005 season in the Houston Astros organization.
Degrate was a consensus all-American and winner of the Lombardi Award as the nation's top lineman in 1984. Talbert, an all-Southwest Conference selection as a junior 1965, was tri-captain of the 1966 Longhorn team. His brothers, Don and Charles, also starred for the Longhorns. Talbert went on to a remarkable 10-year career with the Washington Redskins of the NFL.
Phillips was considered by many to be one of the best Wishbone quarterbacks in the history of the formation. In 1970, he led Texas to an unbeaten regular season and a UPI (coaches poll) National Championship.
Gorin, a two-time all-Southwest Conference pitcher, was a major contributor to one of the greatest eras in Longhorn baseball history. The left-hander was a starting pitcher on the 1949 and 1950 Longhorn teams, which won the first back-to-back College World Series championships in NCAA history. Following a stint in professional baseball, he returned to Austin and became a teacher and high school coach before moving into school administration.
Lee played on three of Royal's first four teams at Texas, earning all-SWC honors in 1959 and 1960, playing end on offense and end and linebacker on defense. He played five years in the NFL, and then became a coach and administrator in Cotton Center, Texas.
Viramontes was a spark-plug guard in the early 1950s, but endeared himself as a popular assistant basketball coach from 1957 through 1963. After serving as head coach at then-West Texas State in Canyon, he returned to Austin where he retired after many years as a high school principal at Reagan High School.