Sept. 4, 2008
· 2008 Longhorn Hall of Honor inductees bios
AUSTIN, Texas -- Two-time football All-American and two-time Super Bowl Champion Dan Neil will join three other football players and four other former UT athletics stars as the Men's Longhorn Hall of Honor inducts its class of 2008, UT's Men's Athletics Department announced Thursday.
Center Mike Baab, a first-team All-Southwest Conference selection in 1981, who went on to play 11 years in the NFL, along with vintage selections Ed Padgett (1959-61) and Knox Nunnally (1962-64) complete the football class.
Augie Garrido, the all-time winningest coach in NCAA Division I baseball history; Longhorn All-American, PGA Tour participant and current Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee; all-time leading basketball scorer Terrence Rencher; and vintage selection Charlie Munson (baseball, 1947-49) round out the rest of the class.
The 52nd Longhorn Hall of Honor class of eight inductees will be honored at a banquet at the Four Seasons Hotel on November 7. That event begins at 6:15 p.m. They will be enshrined during ceremonies at the Texas-Baylor football game the next day. Tickets to the Friday night event are $60 and available through the "T" Association office at 512-471-6864.
Neil started 49 consecutive games (second-longest streak in UT history) at either guard or center during his Longhorn career from 1993 through 1996, earning consensus first-team All-America honors as a senior in 1996. A two-time first-team all-conference pick, he was the anchor of an offensive line that paved the way for Texas to claim the final Southwest Conference Championship in 1995 and the first-ever Big 12 title in 1996. The Longhorns earned berths in the Sugar and Fiesta Bowls those two seasons. He was a finalist for the Outland Trophy and a team captain and MVP as a senior, only the second offensive lineman in the modern era of UT football to earn team MVP honors. He played eight seasons in the NFL for the Denver Broncos and was a starter for the Broncos' back-to-back Super Bowl Championship teams in 1998 and 1999.
Baab was a four-year letterman and the first-team All-Southwest Conference center and team captain for the Longhorns in 1981. He helped Texas post a 10-1-1 record, including a 14-12 upset of No. 3 Alabama in the Cotton Bowl and a final No. 2 ranking as a senior. Baab went on to a long career in the NFL, playing in 149 games over 11 seasons, including eight with the Cleveland Browns (1982-87 and 1990-91). He also spent two years with the New England Patriots (1988-89) and one with the Kansas City Chiefs (1992).
Padgett was a tackle who was a key member of Darrell Royal's first recruiting class at Texas in 1957. He was an important cog in the Longhorns' Southwest Conference Championship teams in 1959 and 1961. Texas posted a 9-2 record in 1959 and finished ranked fourth nationally. In 1961, the Horns were 10-1, including a 12-7 win over No. 5 Mississippi in the Cotton Bowl, and finished the year ranked No. 3 in the nation.
Nunnally, a Houston attorney who has served as a consultant to UT and the athletics department, was an All-Southwest Conference end that played on the Longhorns' first National Championship team in 1963. During his years at Texas (1962-64), the Longhorns posted a remarkable 30-2-1 record.
Garrido joins Longhorn football coach Mack Brown and swimming coach Eddie Reese as current Longhorn mentors selected through the exception rule. With a career record of 1,668-777-8, Garrido is the winningest coach in NCAA Division I baseball history and has led the Longhorns to two College World Series National Championships (2002 and '05) in the last seven years. He also has led Texas to second and third-place national finishes in 2003 and 2004 and four Big 12 Championships (2002, '04, '06 and '07). Garrido has led his team to five National Championships during his career, taking Cal State Fullerton to three titles (1979, '84 and '95).
Chamblee, one of the lead commentators for the Golf Channel, is one of only four Longhorn golfers to earn first-team All-America honors and win a Southwest Conference individual title. He won five college tournaments including the SWC title in 1983. In 17 seasons on the PGA Tour, he recorded 25 top-10 finishes.
Rencher was a four-year starter at shooting guard for the Longhorns from 1992 through 1995 and finished his career as the leading scorer (2,306 points) in Southwest Conference history. He still holds UT career marks in points, steals (255) and field goals made (826). Following a one-year stint in the NBA and a 10-year professional career overseas, he returned to Texas to finish his degree, and was recently named a graduate assistant basketball coach at Saint Louis University. He earned UT's Intercollegiate Athletics Council Academic Achievement Award -- an honor that recognizes student-athletes who through perseverance, determination and motivation, have met academic challenges -- at the 2008 Longhorn Men's Academic Awards Banquet.
Munson, the oldest of Vintage Era honorees, was a steady hitter who helped lead the Longhorns to their first National Baseball Championship in 1949. He continued his athletic career after graduation as a high school coach and later as the athletics director of the Austin Independent School District.
The Hall of Honor Vintage Committee, which considers candidates who earned their letters more than 40 years ago, also has the ability to waive the rules for selecting worthy candidates who -- like Garrido -- are still active with the UT athletics department. The current era inductees were chosen by a committee of their peers from a ballot, which included 16 former stars.
The four current era inductees -- Neil, Chamblee, Baab and Rencher -- were chosen from a ballot of 16 nominees by a panel of 50 former lettermen representing all sports and all eras of Longhorn athletics. Others on the ballot included John Langerhans (baseball, 1969-72), Chris Jacobs (swimming, 1984-86, '88), Steve Bryan (tennis, 1989-90). Dwight Jefferson (football, 1976-78), Preston Davis (track, 1964, '66, cross country, 1965), Alfred Jackson (football, 1974-77), Dr. Jim Willerson (swimming, 1959-61), Brad Elder (golf, 1995-98), Robert Brewer (football, 1981-82), Ron Gardenhire (baseball, 1978-79), Carlton Cooper (basketball, 1982-85) and Lance Gunn (football, 1989-92).
2008 LONGHORN HALL OF HONOR INDUCTEES BIOS
MIKE BAAB (Football 1978-81)
A four-year letterwinner and the All-Southwest Conference center on the No. 2-ranked Longhorns of 1981, Baab went on to a long career in the NFL. He earned honorable mention All-America recognition his senior year at Texas and was the anchor of an all-star offensive line that paced the Longhorns to a 10-1-1 record and a 14-12 victory over No. 3 Alabama in the 1982 Cotton Bowl Classic. Baab was voted a team captain his senior year. He was a fifth-round NFL draft choice of the Cleveland Browns in 1982. A steady, dependable performer who overcame injuries, Baab played in 149 games in 11 seasons in the NFL, spending eight seasons with Cleveland, two with New England and his final one with Kansas City. Following his NFL career, he began competing in the Scottish Highland Games, winning a Master's World title in 2005. He now manages a car dealership in Austin.
BRANDEL CHAMBLEE (Golf 1981-84)
Chamblee, one of the lead commentators for television's Golf Channel, is one of only four Longhorn golfers to earn first-team All-America honors and win a Southwest Conference individual title. Chamblee was a three-time All-American, with first-team acclaim coming in 1983. He won five college tournaments, including the SWC in 1983 and the Morris Williams Intercollegiate in 1984. In 17 seasons on the PGA Tour, he recorded 25 top-10 finishes, including a victory at the 1998 Greater Vancouver Open. In addition to that victory, he finished second four times on Tour, spent six straight years among the Top-100 on the Tour Money List from 1995-2000 and posted career earnings of $3.5 million. Chamblee also writes for Sports Illustrated magazine. He has worked as a commentator for the Golf Channel and ABC for the past several years. He lives in Scottsdale, Ariz., and coordinates the annual Braeden's Charity Golf Classic that benefits the Phoenix Children's Hospital. The event is named for Chamblee's, son, who died in 2000.
DAN NEIL (Football 1993-96)
Neil was a four-year UT letterman who started 49 consecutive games during his Longhorn career, the second-longest streak in UT history. A versatile player, he started at both guard and center during his career. Neil was a consensus first-team All-American, finalist for the Outland Trophy and a semifinalist for the Lombardi Award as a senior in 1996. He was the Longhorns team MVP and a team captain as a senior and is one of only two linemen in the last 42 years to earn team MVP honors. He was a key contributor on the first-ever Big 12 Championship team (1996) and the final SWC Championship team (1995). Neil earned first-team All-America honors from the Football Writers Association of America as a junior in 1995 and was a two-time first-team all-conference selection (1995 SWC/1996 Big 12). The Denver Broncos selected him as the No. 67 overall pick (third round) and he played eight seasons at guard in the NFL. He worked his way into the starting lineup of the Super Bowl Champion Broncos in 1998 and was one of their most consistent and durable starters for the remainder of his career. He was a starter for the Broncos line during their back-to-back Super Bowl Championship seasons in 1998 and 1999.
TERRENCE RENCHER (Basketball 1992-95)
A four-year starter at shooting guard for the Longhorns, Rencher helped UT post an 83-44 mark in his four seasons. He finished his career as the leading scorer in Southwest Conference history (2,306 points) and still holds UT career marks in points, steals (255) and field goals made (826). He scored in double figures in 111 of his 124 career games and was a two-time Associated Press All-America honorable mention (1992, 1995) and two-time first-team All-SWC choice (1992, 1995). His 19.1 point scoring average (No. 2 on the UT freshman list), helped lead Texas to a 23-12 mark. As a sophomore, he averaged 19.1 ppg, and as a junior, he averaged 15.9 ppg, while helping the Horns to a 26-8 mark and the second round of the NCAA tournament. He averaged a team-best 20.8 ppg as a senior while leading Texas to a 23-7 mark and the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Rencher earned SWC Tournament Most Valuable Player honors as a senior. The Washington Bullets selected him as the No. 32 overall pick (second round) in 1995. He was traded to Miami and spent one season in the NBA playing for both Miami and Phoenix. He went on to have a 10-year professional career overseas. Following that, Rencher returned to Texas and finished his degree in the fall of 2007. After serving as an academic mentor to Longhorn athletes, Rencher recently accepted a graduate assistant coaching position at Saint Louis University.
VINTAGE COMMITTEE CANDIDATES
AUGIE GARRIDO (Baseball Coach 1997-current)
Garrido is the all-time winningest coach in NCAA Division I history. He has led the Longhorns to two NCAA College World Series Championships and nine straight trips to the NCAA playoffs. Since 2000, his teams have claimed two national titles, finished second twice and third once in five trips to Omaha. In addition to his two national crowns in Austin, Garrido skippered Cal State Fullerton to College World Series titles in 1979, 1984 and 1995. In 2008, he joined Jim Morris in becoming only the second coach to ever win 500 or more games at two different Division I schools with 929 at Cal State Fullerton and 517 at Texas. Garrido has earned National Coach of the Year honors on six occasions, including twice at Texas (2002, 2005).
ED PADGETT (Football 1959-61)
Padgett was a key member of the first recruiting class of Darrell Royal and an important lineman on the Longhorns' Southwest Conference championship teams in 1959 and 1961. He has continued his loyalty to UT by organizing and running the highly successful Longhorn Foundation spring golf tournament for 19 years.
CHARLIE MUNSON (Baseball 1947-49)
Munson was a steady hitter who helped lead the Longhorns to their first NCAA baseball championship in 1949. He continued his athletic career after graduation, first becoming a high school coach and later as the athletics director of the Austin Independent School District. He has volunteered for years after his retirement as an usher at UT football and baseball games.
KNOX NUNNALLY (Football 1962-64)
Nunnally was an All-Southwest Conference end who played on Longhorns' first National Championship football team in 1963 and was a significant member of teams that posted a remarkable 30-2-1 record. He is a UT Law School graduate who served on the Longhorn Hall of Honor council and as a law consultant to The University and the athletics department during the 1980s and 1990s.