Waco, Texas - Six former Baylor standout student-athletes - Pat Combs (baseball), Karin Ernstrom (cross country, track & field), Larry Gatewood (basketball), Johann Jooste (tennis), Courtney Saunders (soccer) and Ervin Randle (football), comprise Baylor University's 53rd Athletic Hall of Fame class and will participate in 2012 on-campus enshrinement activities during Homecoming weekend, Nov. 2-3. In addition, former Baylor lettermen John H. Styles (football) and Bill Williams (football) have been selected to join the Hall of Fame's Wall of Honor.
Tickets to the 2012 Baylor Athletic Hall of Fame banquet, which will be held on Friday, Nov. 2, at 7 p.m. in the Ferrell Center, are $45 each ($35 for Baylor letterwinners). Tickets may be purchased by contacting the "B" Association's Tammy Hardin at 254.710.3045 or e-mail at tammy_hardin @baylor.edu. Table sponsorships (seating for 10) are also available for $450 each and corporate sponsorships are available for $500.
In addition to being honored at the Hall of Fame banquet, the Hall's 2012 class will be introduced at the Baylor-Kansas football game on Saturday, Nov. 3 (kickoff TBA) and participate in the school's annual Homecoming parade prior to the game. Baylor's Athletic Hall of Fame, organized in 1960, recognizes and honors individuals whose participation and contributions have enriched and strengthened the university's athletics program. Student-athletes are required to wait 10 years after completing their eligibility before being eligible to be considered for this honor. Since coach Floyd "Uncle Jim" Crow and baseball's Teddy Lyons comprised the hall's first class in 1960 through this year's class, 192 former Baylor student-athletes have been enshrined in the Hall of Fame. The Wall of Honor, established in 2000, boasts 18 total honorees.
A Houston native, Combs earned All-Southwest Conference honors as a pitcher in both 1987 and 1988 before being drafted with the 11th pick in the 1988 Major League Draft by the Philadelphia Phillies. Only one other player in school history has been selected higher in the MLB Draft than Combs, who pitched for the Phillies from 1989-92. His career ERA of 2.44 ranks as the second-best in Baylor history, while his 16 complete games also rank second on the school's all-time list.
After spending his freshman season at Rice, Combs transferred to Baylor and made an immediate impact in the Baylor program as a sophomore in 1987, winning a team-high nine games, while registering a 2.76 earned run average and striking out a then-school single-season record 88 batters. His .900 winning percentage (9-1) in 1987 still ranks as the best by a BU pitcher with a minimum of 10 decisions. After playing for the 1987 U.S. Baseball Federation team, he returned to Baylor in 1988 to post a 2.16 ERA while winning seven games and breaking his own school record with 97 strikeouts. He fanned a school-record 16 batters as a junior in a 1988 game at Texas Tech, a mark that still stands as the Baylor single-game record, en route to becoming the program's first, first-team CoSIDA Academic All-America selection.
Ernstrom was a standout distance runner for Baylor from 1997 through 2000, garnering five career All-America awards, four in track & field and one in cross country. The Upplands Vasby, Sweden, native still holds the Baylor school record in the indoor 5,000-meter run (16:03.76), which she posted en route to a third-place finish at the 1999 NCAA Championship in Indianapolis, and her indoor 3,000 meter time of 9:33.44 at the 1999 Big 12 Indoor Championship still stands as BU's fifth-fastest time. Outdoors, she ranks No. 3 on Baylor's all-time 5,000-meter run list (16:13.71), fifth in the 3,000-meter run (9:31.44) and 10th in the 1,500 meters (4:27.76).
Baylor's highest individual finisher ever at the NCAA Women's Cross Country Championships with her 22nd-place All-America performance at the 1999 meet in Bloomington, Ind., Ernstrom also earned All-America honors in the 5,000 meters at both the 1999 and 2000 NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships. In 1999, she finished third in the 5,000 meters at the national indoor meet and was eighth in 2000; while she was eighth in the same event at the 1998 NCAA Outdoor meet and third in 1999. Enstrom helped the BU women's cross country team to its highest finish ever at the 1998 NCAA Championships, as she was the second Bear to cross the finish line (46th place) to help her squad place eighth in the team standings.
A three-year starter at forward for the basketball Bears from 1969-70, Gatewood still ranks 17th on Baylor's career scoring list with 1,120 points. He led Baylor in scoring during the 1968-69 campaign with a 19.5 per-game average en route to third-team National Association of Basketball Coaches Association All-District honors. An outstanding free throw shooter during his career, Gatewood still shares the BU single-game record for free throw percentage with a 12-for-12 performance vs. Rice in 1969, while he ranks sixth on the school's single-season free throw percentage chart (.845, 1968-69) and ninth on the career list (.813).
The Houston native was a member of Baylor's All-Centennial Team and amassed 22 all-time 20-point scoring games, including three 30-point performances. Gatewood helped coach Bill Menefee's teams to winning records in each of his three varsity seasons, highlighted by an 18-6 mark in 1968-69 that included the Bears' first-ever appearance in the national rankings (19th in the Associated Press listing) and a runner-up SWC finish for the second consecutive season.
Baylor's first-ever All-American in men's tennis, Jooste earned ITA honors in 1999 and 2000. He posted a 94-53 (.640) career record in singles and a 72-51 (.640) mark in doubles. Jooste's 94 career singles victories rank in a tie for 10th-place on the Bears' career list. He appeared in the final ITA individual rankings three times in his collegiate career--finishing 67th as a sophomore in 1998, 18th in 1999 and 29th in his final green and gold campaign, while twice being ranked in the final national doubles ranking with partner David Hodge (29th in 1998 and 25th in 1999).
A key in the resurgence of the Bears' tennis program under coach Matt Knoll, Jooste played No. 1 singles and doubles for a BU squad that reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time ever in 1998, then advanced to the quarterfinals in 1999 and the Round of 16 in 2000. On the court, the 1999 Big 12 Player of the Year and Pretoria, South Africa, native was a four-time All-Big 12 singles performer and a three-time all-league honoree in doubles, while he was a three-time All-Big 12 pick in the classroom. After finishing as the Big 12's runner-up in No. 1 singles in 1998, Jooste came back to post an 8-0 mark en route to the 1999 Big 12 No. 1 singles crown while leading Baylor to its first-ever Big 12 team title in the sport.
Saunders was a four-time All-Big 12 selection from 1996-99, earning three first-team awards during her standout career. Arguably the most prolific offensive player in school history, she still holds Baylor career records for shots (425), points (172), assists (34), multi-assist games (four), goals (69), multi-goal games (19), consecutive games with a point scored (11), game-winning goals (21) and game-winning assists (nine).
A three-time Big 12 all-tournament team member and the event's 1996 offensive MVP, Saunders led Baylor to its first Big 12 crown in any sport during the 1998 season. The three-time all-region pick started all 84 games of her collegiate career and earned second-team All-America honors in 1998 from both the NSCAA and Soccer Buzz. A native of Hurst, Texas, Saunders still holds school single-game records for shots (14, twice), points in a Big 12 game (nine) as well as quickest goal to start a match (42 seconds).
Randle was a four-year letterwinner, playing both linebacker and defensive end, for coach Grant Teaff from 1981-84. He earned first-team All-Southwest Conference honors as a junior and senior, and was an honorable mention All-America selection by Football News in 1983. He shared the team lead in tackles for loss in 1983, registering 14 tackles behind the line totaling 69 yards in losses, a total that still equals the eighth-best one-season mark in school history. A member of Baylor's 1980-89 All-Decade team after totaling 294 career tackles (115 solo) and 25 tackles for loss, he helped the Bears to the 1983 Bluebonnet Bowl and played in both the 1984 East-West Shrine Game as well as the Blue-Gray Classic following his senior season.
Drafted in the third round of the 1985 NFL Draft with the 64th overall selection by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Randle enjoyed an eight-year pro career. The Hearne, Texas, product played in Tampa from 1985-1990, then spent his final two professional seasons (1991-92) in Kansas City.
Baylor's Wall of Honor recognizes Baylor letterwinners and graduates whose meritorious accomplishments in public or private life following graduation have brought positive public recognition, credit and honor to Baylor and its athletic department. This year's Wall of Honor selections are John H. Styles (football) and Bill Williams (football).
Styles lettered in football for the Bears in 1957, and after receiving his bachelor's degree in Business Administration in 1958, has gone on to be a leader in the health care industry for more than 40 years. He has served as a board member for more than 50 hospital/health care systems during his career, and currently serves as the founder and chairman of The Styles Company, a family owned investment company with a portfolio in healthcare finance, management and development with an emphasis on innovative health care treatment delivery systems and technologies.
The Styles Company's latest venture is the Proton Therapy Center at world-renowned M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. This $125 million free-standing cancer treatment center was developed through a unique public/private partnership of which The Styles Company is a general partner. After serving as Senior Vice President of Hospital Operations at Lifemark Corporation from 1973-83, Styles founded Ambulatory Hospitals of America, Inc., and a year later founded Healthsouth Rehabilitation Corporation. He also founded Mid-America Healthcare Group in 1984 and was founder and principal shareholder of Outpatient Heathcare, Inc., in 1987.
Williams lettered for the football Bears in 1962, and following graduation joined the First National Bank of Fort Worth's executive training program. While working for the bank, he also continued his education and received his MBA from TCU in 1965. He moved from the banking business to Owens Corning, working his way from field salesman to branch manager, which earned him a transfer to the home office in Toledo, Ohio. During his 26-year career at Owens Corning, Williams oversaw several divisions before ending his career as executive vice president for the building materials division, which is Owens Corning's largest.
In 1991, Williams and two associates purchased a medium sized packaging company in Chicago, Liquid Container. As its president, he guided the company through 19 years of exceptional growth, as it grew from a four-plant, $55 million operation into a 14-plant, $400 million venture, before he and his partners elected to sell the company in 2011 for more than $600 million.