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Kilgore College will once again honor former standout athletes, coaches and contributors at its annual Hall of Fame Weekend Oct. 14-15.
There is also a new honor this year – The Spirit of Excellence Award – for former KC athletes or coaches who have carried on the Ranger tradition of excellence to achieve an impressive level of distinction in his or her career field.
A benefit golf tournament is set for Friday, Oct. 14, and Hall of Fame inductees will be introduced during a luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 15, in the Devall Ballroom on the Kilgore campus.
Hall of Fame members will also be recognized during halftime of the KC versus Navarro College football game 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15, in Kilgore.
“I always look forward to the Hall of Fame event because it is one of the most inspirational and motivational events of the year,” said Jimmy Rieves, athletic director. “It is such a hard task to narrow down all of the great student-athletes and contributors who have come through our doors over the years to select a few outstanding people each year to honor.”
The golf tournament will be a two-man scramble at Southern Hills Golf Course in Gladewater sponsored by KC, Trinity Mother Francis Hospital, UT Tyler and Aramark.
All proceeds will benefit KC Athletics.
Also, the college looking for hole sponsors for the golf tournament or any business that can donate door prizes.
For more information, contact Gail Jackson at 903-988-7537.
The newest inductees for the Hall of Fame for the 2016 season are:
Football Players:
· Charles Champine (posthumously) played tackle for the KC football team from 1977-78 under head coach Jim Miller and assistant coaches Marion Turner and Jim Prewit. Champine was named an All-American in 1978. KC was 10-0-1 that season, winning the TJCFF Conference Championship and the JC Gridwire National Championship.
· Robbie Tobeck played football for KC from 1989-90, then played for Washington State University. After college he played 14 seasons in the NFL as a guard/center for the Seattle Seahawks, the Atlanta Falcons, played in two Super Bowls (XXXIII and XL) and was named to the NFC Pro Bowl Team in 2005. Tobeck played six seasons for the Seahawks after being acquired as a free agent from the Atlanta Falcons after signing as a rookie in 1993. He retired from the NFL in 2007.
Men’s Basketball Players:
· Gerald Paddio played basketball at KC from 1984-85 under head coach Ron Mayberry. That season the Rangers were 25-5. He then played for Seminole Junior College from 1985-86 and for UNLV from 1986-88. After college, he was selected by the Boston Celtics in the third round (74th overall) of the 1988 NBA Draft. A 6’7″ guard-forward, Paddio played in three NBA seasons for five teams: Cleveland Cavaliers, Seattle SuperSonics, Indiana Pacers, New York Knicks and Washington Bullets. In his NBA career, Paddio played in 129 games and scored a total of 715 points. His most notable year as a professional was during the 1990-91 NBA season as a member of the Cavaliers when he appeared in 70 games and averaged 7.2 points per game. During his college playing days at UNLV, he was coached by Jerry Tarkanian.
· Francisco Elson played basketball at KC from 1995-97 under head coach Scott Schumacher. He then played for the University of California, Berkeley from 1997-99 and was drafted in the second round of the 1999 NBA Draft by the Denver Nuggets, but did not play with them until the 2003-04 season because he played four years in Spain. In 2006 Elson signed a 2-year $6 million contract with the San Antonio Spurs where he won his first NBA Championship in 2007. He also played for the Seattle SuperSonics, Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers and the Utah Jazz before he retired in 2013. Elson was the seventh Dutch player to appear in the NBA. He also served as the captain of the Netherlands national basketball team in international basketball, and led the team in several Eurobasket qualifying rounds.
· Gussie Nell Davis (posthumously) was hired in 1940 by B.E. Masters at Kilgore College to organize a group of girls to perform at the halftimes of college football games. As a result, the world famous Kilgore College Rangerettes were born. She directed the Rangerettes for 40 years. Davis was inducted into the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame in 1990 and was named posthumously to the Texas Drill Team Hall of Fame in 1996. She was also named Honorary Citizen of Fort Worth in 1965; received the International Civitan Citizenship Award in 1969, the Cotton Bowl Association 25th Anniversary Participation Award and a State of Texas House of Representatives Certificate of Citation in 1974 and was honored as a Distinguished Alumnae of Texas Woman’s University in 1978.
· Manny Almanza has worked at Kilgore College since 1995 and has been the play-by-play radio “voice” of KC Athletics since the fall of 1997. In his 19th year broadcasting Ranger athletic events, he is also the sponsor of the KC student club “Latinos en Accion” and is involved in numerous civic organizations and his church, Forest Home Baptist Church. Almanza has had other sports casting opportunities come his way in East Texas including high school basketball, baseball and softball playoff games for various schools. Additionally, he completed his eleventh season of broadcasting high school football in East Texas, and his fourth as the radio play-by-play announcer for John Tyler High School football. Almanza is the Coordinator of Marketing Operations and Outreach, a part of the Marketing and Enrollment Management office at KC.
Spirit of Excellence Awards:
· Garry Monty played quarterback for the Rangers football team during the 1970 and 1971 seasons under head coach Charles Simmons and assistant coaches Jim Miller and Brodie Campbell. Those two seasons, KC was 15-4-2, winning the TJCFF Conference Championship in 1970. Monty played QB at Wichita State University from 1972-73. He also earned a Master of Education in 1984 from East Texas State University. Monty was a coach and teacher for more than 30 years including stops at Bishop Lynch, Lake Highlands, Samuell, Hillcrest and Creekview (Carrollton, TX) high schools. While coaching at Lake Highlands, the Wildcats won the 1981 5A Texas State Championship. As head coach at Hillcrest, Monty’s teams made the playoffs 5-of-7 seasons and he was named Coach of the Year four times. In 1995, Monty was named 4A North Texas Coach of the Year. Monty began the football program at Creekview in 1998 and was head coach there until 2005. Creekview had one of the most successful teams for any first year program in the state of Texas, going undefeated through its first six games and made the playoffs in its second season of varsity football. He now resides in Mesquite where he is a sales representative for Pro Maxima Strength and Conditioning.
· John Underwood played basketball at KC from 1964-66 under head coach Joe Turner. During the 1964-65 season, the Rangers were 31-2, winning the Texas Eastern Conference Championship and advancing to the third round of the national tournament. In 1965-66, they tied for second in the TEC and were 18-9. After KC, Underwood transferred to Texas A&M University where he was a two-year basketball starter in 1967 and 1968. He was selected to the All-Southwest Conference Academic team both years and was named to the All-SWC Second Team in 1968. Underwood joined the Big 12 Conference in May of 2002 as the Assistant Commissioner and was named Associate Commissioner for Men’s Basketball and Game Management in 2006, a job he still holds today. He oversees all aspects of the men’s basketball operations in the Big 12. Underwood works directly with the coaching groups and administrators on each Big 12 campus along with handling the conference’s issues with game management. He also plays a significant role in the Big 12 Men’s Basketball Championship and also serves as vice chair on the Men’s College Basketball Officiating, LLC (MCBO) Board of Managers and the Competition Committee.

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