Thursday, June 2, 2005

Northwest inducts six into Hall

Six new inductees, including Marshall County Superintendent of Education Don Randolph, were honored at the annual Northwest Mississippi Community College Sports Hall of Fame ceremony Thursday on the Senatobia campus.

Inductees are Randolph, a Potts Camp native; Memphis native Jack Peel, Mountain Home, Ark.; Fred Thomas, Bruce; Harry Adair, Ingomar; Catricia Howard, Kansas City, Mo., and Lawrence “Bud” Young, Coldwater.

Randolph is a veteran educator and one of the most avid sports fans you will meet. He has been a teacher, coach and administrator for a period of 36 years. He ranked fifth scholastically in his class at Northwest and was voted one of the most preferred men on campus. While at Northwest, he was a member of the basketball team and was named to the all-state team both years. He also was chosen as one of 20 players in the United States to participate in the All American Basketball Game in 1961. Randolph accepted a basketball scholarship to The University of Memphis and lettered two years. He participated in the National Basketball Invitational Tournament in Madison Square Garden in 1961 and the NCAA Tournament in Dallas in 1962.

Peel is a former Ranger baseball star. After Northwest, he transferred to The University of Memphis (The U of M) to play under former Tigers coach Bobby Kilpatrick. He was named one of the team captains for his senior year. Following his professional baseball career, Peel returned to Memphis in 1982 to complete a business degree at The U of M. While there he joined the baseball staff as an assistant coach. After earning a B.B.A. degree in marketing/distribution in 1994, Peel worked for FedEx for 10 years. He also has been an assistant baseball coach at Lyon College in Batesville, Ark., for the past three years. The 2004 team set a school record for most wins in a season with 43.

Thomas, a nine-year NFL veteran, has played cornerback for the New Orleans Saints for the past five seasons. He played four seasons for the Seattle Seahawks before joining the Saints. At Northwest, Thomas was a two-year starter at cornerback in 1992 and 1993. He also excelled as a kickoff and punt return specialist and played receiver in his sophomore season. He was a second-team NJCAA All-American in 1993.

Adair, a Mississippi coaching legend, retired from Northwest in 1987 after serving as head women’s basketball coach for eight seasons. During that time he led the Lady Rangers to five North Division championships, four state and regional titles, and a national championship. His teams also placed second, third and fifth in national tournament play.

He claimed a winning record of 236-28 making a total career record of 1,106 wins and 301 losses. Adair was named Mississippi Junior College Coach of the Year four times and Region 23 Coach of the Year four times. Following the 1983 national championship, he was named Outstanding Coach of the Year at the national tournament.

Before coming to Northwest, Adair was principal of Hatley High School where he coached basketball for 12 years. He took his girls team to state competition 11 of 12 seasons. The record for the boys team at Hatley was 266-131. He was president of the Mississippi Association of Coaches and served in numerous positions in the Mississippi High School Activities Association and the Southeastern Coaches Association.

Howard is a former Northwest basketball standout. She has been employed with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Federal Bureau of Prison (FBOP) for the past eight years. She serves as the Central Inmate Monitoring Coordinator at the FBOP’s North Central Regional Office in Kansas City, Kan. She has received numerous honors for outstanding job performance and was selected as the Correctional Worker of the Year in 2000 in recognition of her exemplary performance as an employee.

Completing his 31st year as rodeo coach and faculty member at Northwest, Young holds the record of the longest tenure of any coach currently at the college. He served for 16 years as regional director of the Ozark Region of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association and for two years as national faculty president of that organization. Under his leadership the Northwest team has traditionally earned awards in local, regional and national competition. His team members have won championships in bareback riding, bull riding, barrel racing, steer wrestling and in the All-Around category.

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