Thursday, May 1, 2008
Strickland in first Hall of Fame class
Northeast Mississippi Community College inducted its inaugural class into the newly formed NEMCC Sports Hall Of Fame on Thursday, April 17, and the group included David “Nub” Strickland of Holly Springs.
The ceremony was held in the Claude Wright room of the Frank Haney Union on the Northeast campus in Booneville.
Strickland was a captain on the 1950 and 1953 Northeast football teams. As a two-way player at offensive and defensive end, “Nub” was twice named All-State at Northeast.
After stepping away from his football career in order to fill his obligations with the U.S. Marine Corp, Strickland attended Memphis State University from 1957-58 where he starred on the gridiron, enough so to garner offers to play professional football. Strickland spent time in the CFL with the Ontario Golden Bears for two years, before finishing his pro career with the Denver Broncos.
Strickland’s number 88 jersey has been retired by Northeast.
The other nine honored at the ceremony included Bonner Arnold, Gene Garrett, “Doodle” Floyd, Ken Lindsey, Kenneth “Cat” Robbins, Adrian Smith, W.B. “Bill” Ward, Harold T. White and Earline Woods.
Bonner Arnold was head basketball coach, athletic director and physical education instructor at Northeast from 1948-1974. Arnold and legendary Kentucky
Chuck “Doodle” Floyd was a Northeast Tiger from 1953-54 where he led the nation in scoring during both years, was voted a Junior College All-American, and made the National Junior College All Tournament Team in 1953 and 1954.
Gene Garrett shined as a member of the Northeast Tigers basketball team from 1948-50 and was named to the All-State Tournament team, All-Region Tournament team, and All-National Tournament team during both his freshman and sophomore seasons. In 1950, Garrett led Northeast to a runner-up finish in the Junior College National Tournament, and for his efforts was named an All-American.
Ken Lindsey was a two-time All-State selection as a basketball star at Booneville High School during his three-sport career in 1945-1949. Lindsey starred as a basketball player at Northeast from 1950-51 where he was selected as an All-American following both his freshman and sophomore seasons.
Kenneth (Cat) Robbins’ coached the Northeast men and women on the basketball court from 1966-68. Under Robbins the 1968 the Northeast Tigers went 28-1 en route to a state title.
Adrian Smith of Cincinnati, Ohio, an All-American guard on Northeast’s men’s basketball teams from 1954-1956, averaged approximately 22 points per game during his career. He was named All-American in 1956 and signed with the University of Kentucky.
W.B. “Bill” Ward, longtime football coach and athletic director at Northeast, coached his last football game at NEMJC in 1982 and retired as the school’s athletic director in 1996. Ward’s career coaching record stands at 152-118-8. He was inducted into the Mississippi Association of Coaches Hall of Fame in 1988 and received a 40-year-service award from that association in 1994.
Harold T. White became president at Northeast Mississippi Junior College in 1965. At Northeast, White led the resurgence of the dormant Tiger football program by hiring a legendary area high school coach, Bill Ward. He was a staunch supporter of Northeast Tiger athletics and made numerous improvements to the athletic programs of the college.
Earline “Woodsie” Woods has been an avid supporter of Northeast athletics since her days as a student. Woodsie was employed at Northeast from 1954-1995 as bookkeeper then as fiscal officer of the college. She has supporter the college’s athletics with both her attendance and her gifts during those 40+ years and continues to do so.
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