Waco, Texas -- Six former Baylor standout student-athletes - Brandon Couts (track & field, 1998-2001), Sheila Lambert (women's basketball, 2000-02), Jerry Marcontell (football, 1955-57), David Murphy (baseball, 2001-03), Walter "Pinkie" Palmer (football (football, 1966-68) and Brian Skinner (men's basketball, 1995-98), comprise Baylor University's 54th Athletic Hall of Fame class and will participate in 2013 on-campus enshrinement activities during Homecoming weekend, Oct. 18-19. In addition, former Baylor letterman Jerry Moore (football, 1958-60) has been selected to join the Hall of Fame's Wall of Honor.
Tickets to the 2013 Baylor Athletic Hall of Fame banquet, which will be held on Friday, Oct. 18, at 7 p.m. in the Ferrell Center, are $50 each. 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 $750 each and corporate sponsorships are available for $1,000.
In addition to being honored at the Hall of Fame banquet, the Hall's 2013 class will be introduced during the Baylor-Iowa State football game on Saturday, Oct. 18 (kickoff TBA) and ride 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, 198 former Baylor student-athletes have been enshrined in the Hall of Fame. The Wall of Honor, established in 2000, boasts 19 total honorees.
One of the most decorated athletes in school history, Couts was a part of three NCAA championship 4x400-meter relay teams (one indoor, two outdoor) and became just the second NCAA indoor 400-meter dash champion in school history when he captured the 2000 national title in 45.79. All-told, the Greenville, Texas, product earned 13 All-America citations (six individual, seven relay) during his standout career to rank in a tie for third in overall All-America awards at Baylor, along with Olympians Michael Johnson and Darold Williamson, and just behind Tony Miller (15) and Deon Minor (14). He anchored Baylor's 1999 NCAA indoor champion 4x400-meter relay team, as well as its 2000 and 2001 NCAA outdoor championship 4x400 relay squads.
Couts won more conference titles (15) than any other Baylor track & field student-athlete, capturing seven individual Big 12 crowns and eight as a member of gold medal-winning relay teams. He captured Big 12 indoor crowns in the 200 meters (1999) and 400 meters (2000, 2001), as well as the 200 (1998, 2000) and 400 (1998, 1999) outdoor league championships, and helped the Bears to seven first-place finishes in the 4x400-meter relay (1998, 1999, 2000 indoor; 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 outdoor) at the conference meet. A member of the Big 12's 10th Anniversary Track & Field team, he was selected by the league's coaches as the 1998 Big 12 Indoor & Outdoor Freshman of the Year, as well as its 1998 Outdoor Performer of the Year and 1999 Indoor Performer of the Year.
Featured on the cover of Track & Field News in June, 1998, Couts was the high-point scorer at the 1999 and 2000 Big 12 Indoor meets with 20.5 points each year. He tallied 25 points at the 1998 Big 12 Outdoor to lead all performers in that meet, too. Couts still ranks second on Baylor's Indoor 400 (45.53) list, third on the all-time Indoor 200 (20.68) chart and fifth on the career Outdoor 400 ranking (44.72). He was also a member of three Indoor 4x400-meter relay teams that still rank among the 10-fastest in BU history. Couts is entering his first season as the Head Boys Track Coach at Pascal (Texas) High School.
In just two seasons at Baylor, Lambert left an impressive legacy as a standout Lady Bear point guard, playing for Hall of Fame coach Kim Mulkey, an Olympic gold medalist as the United States' 1984 Olympic Games at the same position. The 2001 Big 12 Newcomer of the Year was a two-time, first-team consensus All-Big 12 selection who scored 1,315 points in her two-year career. Despite playing just two seasons at Baylor, Lambert ranks among the program's career leaders in points (17th, 1,315), scoring average (4th, 20.9 ppg), assists (7th, 398) and assist average (1st, 6.3 apg).
As a junior in 2000-01, the Seattle, Wash., native led Mulkey's first Lady Bear team in scoring (22.1 ppg), 3-point percentage (.254), steals (3.0) and assists (6.1 apg) while helping a team that went 7-20 the year prior to the duo's arrival to a 21-9 overall record (9-7 in Big 12) and the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament berth. The following season, she again led Baylor in scoring (19.8 ppg), while also pacing the squad in free throw percentage (.763), steals (3.2 spg) and assists (4.0 apg) as the Lady Bears reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time ever en route to 27-6 overall record and a second-place Big 12 finish at 12-4. For her efforts, Lambert earned All-America honors from the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) and won the 2002 Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award.
The first Lady Bear drafted by the WNBA, Lambert was selected with the seventh pick of the first round in 2002 by the Charlotte Sting. After missing most of her rookie season due to injury, she went on to play two seasons (2003, 2005) with the Detroit Shock and one year (2004) with the Houston Comets. She was a member of the Shock's 2003 WNBA championship team.
Marcontell was a three-year letterman for the football Bears from 1955-57. He earned consensus All-Southwest Conference honors as an end in 1956, helping coach George Sauer's Bears to 9-2 record and an 11th-place finish in both the season-ending Associated Press and United Press International polls. The Bears started the 1956 campaign with four straight wins to reach No. 8 in the AP poll, then after back-to-back losses to No. 7 Texas A&M (19-13) and TCU (7-6) closed the season with four straight wins to earn a Sugar Bowl bid, where they upset Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Majors and the second-ranked Tennessee Volunteers, 13-7.
In the Bears' 1957 Sugar Bowl victory, Marcontell caught a 12-yard TD pass from BU quarterback Bobby Jones and went on to register a game-high three receptions for 24 yards against the then-undefeated Volunteers. He was also one of three Bears named to the 1956 American Peoples Encyclopedia Scholastic All-America Team, forerunner of today's Academic All-America program run by the College Sports Information Directors of America. Marcontell, a Cedar Bayou, Texas, product, served as a co-captain as a senior on the Bears' 1957 football team.
After graduating from Baylor in 1958 he went on to earn his medical degree from Baylor School of Medicine in 1963 and spent 35 years in private practice as a Houston-area obstetrician-gynecologist. Marcontell, who also served in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, attaining the rank of major and earning the honor of Flight Surgeon of the Year, was active in medical professional organizations at the local, state and national level and served on the board of the Texas Medical Association and the Texas Medical Foundation. After retiring to Rye, Texas, he has engaged in conservation of the Big Thicket area in Hardin County. He is a Master Tree Farmer and past president of the Southeast Texas Forest Landowner's Association.
A three-year letterman for coach Steve Smith's Bears as an outfielder from 2001-03, Murphy earned first-team All-America honors from the American Baseball Coaches Association and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association as a junior in 2003 before launching a pro baseball career that continues to this day. He also received 2003 first-team All-Big 12 honors, was named to the Big 12 Tournament All-Championship squad and was the MVP of 2003 Hattiesburg NCAA Regional.
The MVP of the Bears' 2003 team which game within six outs of reaching the College World Series, Murphy still ranks among Baylor's career leaders in batting average (No. 3, .346) and multi-hit games (No. 9, 70). He still holds Baylor single-season records for hits (121, 2003) and multi-hit games (40, 2003), while ranking second on the single-season runs scored list (84, 2003), third in at-bats (293, 2003), fourth in both total bases (190, 2003) and on-base percentage (.487, 2003), tied for fourth with a 21-game hit streak and sixth in batting average (.413, 2003). As a junior in 2003, he led the Bears in batting average, at bats and hits. With Murphy in the line-up, Baylor went 118-73 (.618) and reaching the NCAA Tournament every season.
The 17th overall selection in the 2003 Major League Draft by the Boston Red Sox, Murphy reached the big leagues for the first time in 2006, then was traded to the Texas Rangers in 2007 and has spent the six seasons in Arlington. Murphy is one of four Bears, joining Dave Danforth, Mule Watson and Ted Uhlaender, to have played in at least two World Series, as he was a key member of the Rangers' 2010 and 2011 American League championship teams. The Houston native's best professional season to date came in 2012, when he hit .304 with 61 RBI in 147 games for Texas.
Palmer was an outstanding halfback for coach John Bridgers' Baylor football team from 1966-68, and was named to the Bears' 1960-69 All-Decade team. The Olney, Texas, native led the 1968 Bears in rushing with 818 yards on 222 carries with six touchdowns. At that time, both Palmer's marks for yards and attempts were Baylor single-season records. He still ranks sixth on the Baylor career list for rushing attempts (444) and 15th in rushing yards (1,554).
A second-team All-SWC selection as a senior, Palmer's most-memorable performance came in the Bears' 10-9 Homecoming victory over defending SWC champion Texas A&M in 1968. That evening, he rushed for 128 carries on 30 totes. Palmer, who served as a 1968 team co-captain, also had 120 yards on 31 carries at 14th-ranked Arkansas as a senior and 115 yards in his final collegiate game, a 16-7 win over Rice.
Palmer, a business major, received his undergraduate degree from Baylor in 1969 and then went on to graduate from Baylor Law School in 1972. He and his family moved to Marshall, Texas, in 1972, and opened Palmer Law Firm, Inc. An active member of the Marshall community, he served 18 years as the town's City Attorney. Like Marcontell, Palmer is a past president of the Baylor "B" Association.
Arguably the most dominant shot-blocker and rebounder in Baylor history, Skinner was three-time all-conference selection (first-team All-SWC in 1996, second-team All-Big 12 in 1997, 1998) who carried the Baylor program through the transition from the SWC into the Big 12 as center from 1995-98 for coach Harry Miller. In 1996, he was named first-team All-SWC, and he garnered second-team All-Big 12 honors from both the league's coaches and media in his final two Green and Gold campaigns. Skinner was also tabbed as the SWC's 1995 Freshman of the Year, and earned a spot on the SWC's All-Defensive team in 1996 and the Big 12's All-Defensive team as selected by the media the following season.
One of just two, three-time first-team National Association of Basketball Coaches All-District selections in school history, joining Terry Teagle (1980-82), Skinner still holds Baylor career records for rebounds (915), blocked shots (346), double-doubles (34) and triple-doubles (two), while ranking second in blocks per game (3.36 bspg) and free throws attempted (638), third in field goals made (673), fourth in games started (102), fifth in scoring (1,702), sixth in minutes played (3,399), seventh in field goal percentage (.575), rebounds per game (8.9 rpg), field goal attempts (1,171) and minutes per game (33.0 mpg) and eighth in free throws made (356). He owns three of the top four single-season block totals in school history, and his 3.83 blocks per game in 1994-95 still stand as the Baylor single-season record, while his 10 rejections vs. both Louisiana Tech in 1995 and Eastern Washington two years later still rank as the BU single-game standard.
A Member of the U.S. gold medal-winning World University Games team in 1997 and gold medal-winning World Championships team in 1996, he was the No. 22 overall NBA draft pick by the Los Angeles Clippers in 1998 NBA Draft. Skinner spent 13 seasons in the NBA with eight different teams and averaged 4.7 points and 4.7 rebounds in 607 career games with 197 career starts. Since leaving the NBA, he continued playing professionally for Benetton Treviso in Italy before retiring in the Houston area.
Baylor's Wall of Honor recognizes the school's 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. The 2013 Wall of Honor recipient is former Baylor football wide receiver Jerry Moore, who went on to an outstanding career as a college football coach.
Moore led the 1958 Bears in receiving with 31 receptions for 357 yards and two touchdowns, and shared the team lead in interceptions with two. He was a co-captain on the Bears' 1960 team which beat four ranked opponents en route to an 8-3 overall record, a Gator Bowl bid and a final national rank of tied for 11th by United Press International and 12th by Associated Press.
After graduating from Baylor, Moore began his coaching career at Corsicana High School. In 1965, he became an assistant coach at SMU, and after the 1972 season, joined the Nebraska staff as receivers coach before becoming Hall of Fame coach Tom Osborne's offensive coordinator in 1978. Moore left Nebraska to become the head coach at North Texas (1979-80), and spent two seasons in Denton before taking over the Texas Tech program, where he was the head coach for five seasons (1981-85). He stepped away from football for three seasons after his stint in Lubbock and after two seasons as an assistant coach at Arkansas, was named head coach at Appalachian State in 1989 and transformed it into one of the nation's finest FCS programs ever. In 24 seasons at the Boone, N.C., school, Moore led the Mountaineers to three straight FCS national championships (2005-06-07), 18 FCS playoff appearances, including eight straight from 2005-12 to close his coaching career, and 10 Southern Conference titles, including six straight from 2005-2010. On Sept. 1, 2007, his Mountaineers scored one of college football's greatest upsets ever, beating fifth-ranked Michigan, 34-32, at Michigan Stadium. That marked the first time a team in a lower subdivision defeated a ranked team in a higher classification.
Moore became the 28th head coach in Division I history to reach 200 wins with the Mountaineers victory over Furman in 2008. He concluded his 31-year coaching career with a record of 242-135-2 (.641). Moore received the 2006 Eddie Robinson Award, was the 2009 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year and a three-time AFCA Division I-AA/FCS Coach of the Year (2005-07) winner. He was also a six-time AFCA Regional Coach of the Year honoree and a six-time Southern Conference Coach of the Year selection, too.