From “it’s an exclusive club,” to “only a few get the call,” use whatever cliché fits the bill, but it should be a special weekend at Kilgore College.
The Kilgore College Hall of Fame will get seven new members this year, each of them having contributed a piece of themselves to the spirit of being a Ranger. They’ll be honored Saturday, at a luncheon at the Devall Student Center’s ballroom, then recognized again, fittingly, at halftime of KC’s football game with New Mexico Mililtary, set for a 5 p.m. kickoff here at R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium.
This year’s inductees include Tony Atchley, Jorge Diaz and Jason Doyle, in football; George Jackson and Jacqueline Hodnett Massey in basketball; contributor Raymond Muchowich; and Don “Tooter” Carroll, this year’s recipient of the Spirit Of Excellence Award.
Carroll is already a member of the KCHOF in a way, as a member of the 1978 Rangers football team that finished as the number 1-ranked team in the nation. Carroll went on to play football for the University of Tennessee and is now a principal/ partner in Landbridge Commercial Properties, in real estate and development.
The Spirit of Excellence Award is for those former Rangers or coaches who have continued to display that spirit in their chosen field.
Muchowich will be inducted posthumously, but well-deserved. He was on one of KC’s very first football teams (having played in 1936-38) and was the largest donor for the first hall of fame class in 2002, which started funding for the field house now standing at the south end of R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium.
Massey, then Jacqueline Hodett, is a Georgia native who starred for KC’s Lady Rangers basketball program, and for then-coach Evelyn Blalock, in 1995-96. She helped KC to a 21-9 record that season, and went on to a big career at Auburn University-Montgomery campus, where she averaged 24.7 points per game.
Jackson is also a posthumous inductee. Jackson played for the Rangers in 1967-69, and then transferred to Dayton University and led them to the National Invitation Tournament (NIT). He was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 1971 NBA Draft.
Tennessee native Atchley helped KC win the 1966 national championship in football, guided by coach Boyd Converse. He left here for the University of Alabama in 1967. At KC, he played in the 1965 Shrine Bowl. And is also a member of the NJCAA Hall of Fame, alongside his ’66 KC national title teammates.
Diaz was a lineman for the Rangers in 1992-93, for coach Marion Turner. The former Katy High standout finished his collegiate career at Texas A&M-Kingsville, and then signed with Tampa Bay in 1999 as an undrafted free agent. He also played a season for the Dallas Cowboys (2000).
Doyle was also part of that late great 1970s run under coach Jim Miller. The California native was an NJCAA All-American here and helped KC win a conference title. He, like Muchowich and Jackson, will be inducted posthumously.