EDITOR’S NOTE: This story focuses on today’s hall of fame induction at Kilgore College, to begin shortly before the KC-Trinity Valley football game. For a preview of the game, see the Game Time Weekly section on the home page of kilgorenewsherald.com.
The Kilgore connection to this year’s Kilgore College Hall of Fame class is strong – Terry George, Kenny Mobbs, Dana Ransom and of course, Bob Bustin – but today’s induction also boasts one of the best overall groups in the hall’s history, dating back to its inception in 2002.
Kilgore College’s Rangers (4-2) face Trinity Valley (3-3) in a Southwest Junior College Football Conference game today at 5 p.m., but prior to that, at a banquet on campus, the 2018 KC Hall of Fame inductees will be feted. They’ll be recognized again for the football game crowd shortly before kickoff.
It’s an event that’s been a regular part of the KC calendar for 17 years, and a lot of preparation goes into it: the inductees are contacted and informed of intentions to honor them, then announced back in the spring, and the college also has a golf tournament fundraiser, which was held yesterday at Meadowbrook Golf and Event Center, not to mention the banquet.
To be sure, KC has a rich athletic history. Here is this year’s strong field.
Bustin, the former Kilgore High and KC football player that was a member of KHS’s first district champion and a conference champ at KC. He was all-conference and moved on to Baylor, as well. Bustin is retired and lives here in the city.
Thomas Herrion. Herrion is a former KC offensive linemen on the famed 2000-01 teams, an NJCAA All-American, who went on to play at the University of Utah, and then in the NFL (for the Dallas Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers) and NFL Europe. He died of heart disease at just 23 back in August, 2005. The 49ers established the Thomas Herrion Award in his honor.
1954 Rangers. The Rangers went 9-1 and were Longhorn Conference champions that year under coaches Jasper Flanakin, Solon Holt and Joe turner.
1980 Rangers. This was Jim Miller’s 10-1 team that won the Texas Junior College Football Conference title.
Beth LaGrone Fulton. An NJCAA national women’s singles champion in 2001, LaGrone Fulton is now the director of marketing and analytics for a workers compensation insurance company in Austin.
Richard Fothergill. Fothergill was a tennis coach and teacher at KC for 22 years.
Frank O’Brien. O’Brien was a part of the near-mythical KC teams in 1963-65 under the guidance of Joe Turner, who lost only seven games in those years and conference champions in both.
George Roderick. Roderick was one of those players on the ’63-’65 Rangers, as well, and went on to coach at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks from 1977-96.
Mobbs, the president of K-K Mobbs Construction, Inc., here in Kilgore, who is a supporter and donor to Rangers athletics.
Ransom, a 51-year educator, 12 at KC in director of counseling, school relations, and placement and testing.
Spirit of Excellence Award
George, the managing partner at Geonix Oilfield Products here in Kilgore and former KISD board member. George was an athlete at KC in 1964-66, and coached the Rangers’ men’s basketball program in 1975-79.