The newest class for the SWC Hall of Fame will be inducted during an Aug. 31 luncheon in Lubbock
LUBBOCK, Texas – The Southwest Conference Hall of Fame will add eight Texas Tech greats to its wall this fall as part of the 2019 induction class that was announced Wednesday afternoon.
Seven former student-athletes in Ecomet Burley (football), Denton Fox (football), Harold Hudgens (men’s basketball), Noel Johnson (women’s basketball), Richard Little (men’s basketball), Phil Tucker (football) and Ted Watts (football) will all be part of the induction class along with former head football coach and athletics director JT King.
The SWC Hall of Fame is one of four separate hall of fames housed within the Texas Sports Hall of Fame located in Waco. Members of the Texas Sports Hall of Fame are automatically included in the SWC Hall of Fame and each member of this year’s class is already a member of the Texas Tech Hall of Fame.
The 2019 induction class will be enshrined during an Aug. 31 luncheon prior to the Red Raider football season opener against Montana State. The luncheon, sponsored by Walk-Ons, will run from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. in the City Bank Room at United Supermarkets Arena.
For tickets, please contact the Red Raider Club at 806-742-1196.
2019 SOUTHWEST CONFERENCE HALL OF FAME CLASS
Ecomet Burley (Football, 1972-75)
Burley was a three-time All-Southwest Conference defensive lineman during his Red Raider career from 1972-75. The Lufkin native joined only a handful of Red Raiders to earn All-SWC accolades three times in a career as he garnered the honor in each of his final three seasons. Burley was among the first Red Raiders to letter as a freshman after the NCAA changed its policy to allow freshmen to play varsity sports prior to the 1972 season. Burley took advantage of the rule change as he was named the most valuable lineman at the 1972 Sun Bowl. He went on to be recognized as the SWC Sophomore of the Year in 1973 after leading the Red Raiders to an 11-1 season and a victory in the Gator Bowl. Burley became only the second defensive tackle in school history to receive All-America honors as a junior in 1974 as he was named to the second team. He later played in the Japan Bowl following his senior season and then six years in the Canadian Football League. He was inducted into the Texas Tech Hall of Fame in 2004.
Denton Fox (Football 1965-69)
Denton Fox became one of the top cornerbacks in school history during his Red Raider career from 1965-69. Fox, who starred at Texas Tech before freshmen could play varsity sports, earned first team All-America honors by the Football Writers Association of America as a senior, becoming the first defensive back in school history to receive the prestigious accolade. Fox picked off seven passes during his three-year career where he helped lead the Red Raiders to back-to-back wins over Texas for the first time in school history. Fox, who collected All-Southwest Conference in 1969 as well, played in the Blue-Gray Game, the Hula Bowl and the Coaches All-Star game following his senior before being selected in the third round of the 1970 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys. Fox was inducted into the Texas Tech Hall of Fame in 2001. He passed away in 2013.
Harold Hudgens (Men’s Basketball, 1959-62)
Texas Tech produced quite a few excellent basketball players in the late 1950s and early 1960s and one of the very best was Harold Hudgens. The center averaged 22 points and 11 rebounds per game over his junior and senior seasons en route to leading the Red Raiders to its first two Southwest Conference titles during the 1960-61, 1961-62 campaigns. Hudgens scored in double figures in 31-conseucitve games as a sophomore and reached the 20-point mark in 11-straight games that same year, which remains the longest such streak in school history. He was a unanimous All-SWC selection as a junior and earned All-SWC honors again a year later before leaving Tech as the school record holder for single-game points and points in a conference season. He was chosen with the No. 22 selection of the 1962 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons, which at the time, marked the highest all-time for a Red Raider. Hudgens was inducted into the Texas Tech Hall of Fame in 2006.
Noel Johnson (Women’s Basketball, 1991-95)
Johnson helped the program to four Southwest Conference titles, four NCAA Sweet 16 appearances and the 1993 National Championship during her Lady Raider career from 1991-95. Johnson was among the most lethal shooters from deep under Hall of Fame Coach Marsha Sharp after draining 256-of-623 attempts from behind the arc (.411 percentage). Johnson, an All-SWC selection as a junior and senior, scored 1,210 points over her four seasons and remains among the school’s all-time career leaders in assists, steals, 3-pointers made and 3-point field goal percentage. The highlight of Johnson’s career came in the 1993 National Championship game where she sank four free throws in the last 30 second to clinch the victory over Ohio State. Johnson, now the head coach at Midwestern State University, was inducted into the Texas Tech Hall of Fame in 2005.
Richard Little (Men’s Basketball, 1971-74)
Little was among the best guards for the Red Raiders during the Southwest Conference era as the Abilene native led Texas Tech to the 1973 SWC title and a runner-up finish in 1974 under head coach Gerald Myers. Little was a two-time selection to the All-SWC first team after pacing the Red Raiders in assists as a junior and senior. He also averaged in double figures in each of his three seasons on campus. Little went on to be selected by the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Supplemental Draft in 1974. He was inducted into the Texas Tech Hall of Fame in 2011.
JT King (Head Football Coach, 1960-69; Athletics Director, 1970-78)
King led the Red Raiders on the gridiron during its early stages in the Southwest Conference before closing his career as Texas Tech’s Director of Athletics from 1970-78. King took over as the sixth head football coach in school history in 1961 – only Tech’s second year in the SWC – and eventually led the Red Raiders to an 8-3 overall record, a 5-2 SWC mark and an appearance in the 1965 Gator Bowl. King, who was an assistant coach of DeWitt Weaver’s staff from 1958-60 before earning the head job, coached five first team All-Americans during his 10 seasons, including a pair of future College Football Hall of Famers in Donny Anderson and Dave Parks. After transitioning into his role as Athletics Director, King was credited in hiring several successful coaches such as Jim Carlen and Steve Sloan in football and Gerald Myers in basketball. He oversaw several facility upgrades on campus during his tenure such as the J. William Davis Dining Hall, a new track and field facility and the first instillation of artificial turf at Jones AT&T Stadium. For his efforts, King was inducted into the Texas Tech Hall of Honor in 1980.
Phil Tucker (Football 1965-67)
Tucker remains regarded as one of the top offensive linemen in school history as he was a three-year starter for the Red Raiders from 1965-67. Tucker, a native of Tulia, Texas, was a first team All-American as a senior, becoming only the eighth Red Raider all-time to earn the honor at the time. Tucker, who was also an All-Southwest Conference selection in 1967, boosted a Red Raider attack up the middle as Tech went on to rank third nationally in rushing offense his senior year after wins over both Texas and Arkansas. The Red Raiders closed the 1967 season as the SWC runner-up following wins in four of the final five games of the season. Tucker was also excellent in punt coverage, spurring the Red Raiders to a No. 3 national ranking in net punting in both 1966 and 1967. Tucker was inducted into the Texas Tech Hall of Fame in 1967.
Ted Watts (Football 1978-80)
Watts was a two-time All-Southwest Conference first team honoree during his time leading the Red Raider secondary from 1978-80. Known for his speed and hard-hitting ability from the safety position, Watts combined for 149 tackles and 19 pass breakups over his final two seasons. His final season in 1980 resulted in first team All-America honors, making him only the second Red Raider defensive back in school history to garner the accolade at the time. Watts, who was the Pete Cawthon Memorial Team MVP in 1980, went on to be selected in the first round of the 1981 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders, beginning a six-year professional career that included stints with the New York Giants and San Diego Chargers. He was inducted into the Texas Tech Hall of Fame in 2016.