April 21, 2004
Cougar greats announced for UH Hall
By Mike Emery
host of athletes have worn Cougar red through the decades, but only
a select few have been inducted into the University of Houston’s
Hall of Honor.
On April 14, 10 new Hall of Honor members were announced.
Among the famed Cougar athletes elected were former football running
back Warren McVea, hoops great and current men’s basketball
assistant coach Michael Young, former track star and Olympic gold
medalist Ollan Cassell, and swimming star Carin Cone.
“It’s really a great feeling because
it lets me know that I am appreciated by UH for all of my accomplishments
here,” Young said. “It’s especially rewarding
going into the hall with so many other great athletes, coaches and
Young and fellow inductees will be in good company.
Current residents in the Hall of Honor include “Phi Slamma
Jamma” hoopsters Clyde Drexler and Hakeem Olajuwon, as well
as longtime basketball coach Guy V. Lewis. Other Hall of Honor members
include Heisman Trophy winner Andre Ware and track star and former
coach Tom Tellez.
"The 2004 Hall of Honor electees are an outstanding
group of athletes and individuals who have made real contributions
beyond their days and years of competing in sport," said Dave
Maggard, UH director of athletics.
A panel of UH alumni and sportswriters selected
this year’s honorees. The official induction ceremony will
be held Nov. 5.
UH Hall of Honor’s
Class of 2004
Billy Ray Brown, Golf (1982 - 1985)
Brown’s Cougar career was filled with several highlights.
In 1982, he became the last UH golfer to win an NCAA individual
national championship. He also was a member of three NCAA national
championship teams and three All-America teams. Following UH, Brown
played on the PGA Tour and recently served as a golf analyst for
Ollan Cassell, Track and Field (1958 - 1961)
Cassell was a three-year letterman, from 1958 – 1961. His
specialty was the 440-yard run, and he served as the anchor leg
for UH’s 4x440-yard relay teams. In 1960, he recorded the
sixth-fastest time in the United States for the 440-yard run. After
graduating from UH, Cassell’s track career continued with
two gold medals at the 1962 World Military Championships, two gold
medals at the 1963 Pan-American Games and a gold medal at the 1964
Carin Cone, Swimming and Diving (1958 -
Cone won 16 National Senior Championships as a Cougar. Her prowess
with the backstroke earned her national fame. In 1960, she became
the first UH athlete to make the cover of Sports Illustrated. During
her swimming career, Cone set and broke several world records. In
1984, she was elected to the International Swimming Hall of Fame.
Richard Crawford, Men's Golf (1959 - 1961)
Crawford is the only Cougar golfer to win two individual NCAA championships.
In fact, he was the first college golfer to win more than one NCAA
title and is one of four golfers in NCAA history to do so. He also
was a member of two NCAA national championship teams, two Missouri
Valley Conference championship teams and was named a First-Team
All-American in 1960 and 1961.
Lovette Hill, Baseball (1950 - 1974)
For 25 years, Hill’s dugout leadership steered Cougar baseball
to success. Known as the “father of Cougar baseball,”
Hill took his teams to 343 victories including five first-place
Missouri Valley Conference finishes. Just three seasons after becoming
the team’s coach, Hill took the Coogs to their first NCAA
World Series appearance. In 1967, Hill led the Coogs to a come-from-behind
series victory against the University of Texas at Austin in the
NCAA District 6 playoffs. That year, he also managed the team to
another come-from-behind series victory against Stanford University
in the College World Series, but the Coogs would eventually falter
against Arizona State University in the National Championship game.
Jolanda Jones, Track and Field (1985 - 1988)
Jones athletic and academic prowess defined her career as a Cougar.
A Houston-native, Jones earned the NCAA’s Top VI Award after
becoming the first three-time NCAA heptathlon champion and earning
GTE/Academic All-American honors. Jones also represented the United
States in the 1986 Goodwill Games, the 1987 Pan American Games and
the World University Games in 1985, 1987 and 1989. She also won
three Southwest Conference high jump championships. Jones graduated
magna cum laude with a bachelor of science degree in political science
in 1988 and in 1995 she received her juris doctorate from the UH
Warren McVea, Football (1965 – 1967)
When McVea joined the Cougars, he became the first African American
to play for UH A multi-faceted player, McVea served as running back,
flanker and a punt/kick return specialist. McVea played on nationally
ranked Cougar teams and was a three-year letterman and two-time
All-American. He holds the distinction of being on the receiving
end of the longest pass play completed in UH history – a 99-yard
reception against Washington State University in 1966. After his
Cougar career ended, McVea played professional football with the
Cincinnati Bengals and the Kansas City Chiefs. In 1970, he and the
Chiefs won the Super Bowl.
Leonard Mitchell, Football (1977 –
In his four years as a Cougar, Mitchell helped the team to two bowl
victories (the 1979 Cotton Bowl and the 1980 Garden State Bowl).
A defensive powerhouse, he received All-Southwest Conference Honors
in 1978 and 1980. During his final year with the Cougars, Mitchell
racked up an amazing 104 tackles, including 67 unassisted tackles.
Following graduation, Mitchell was a first-round draft pick by the
Philadelphia Eagles. He played with that team until 1987 and finished
out his career with the Atlanta Falcons.
Ted Nance, Sports Information Director (1957
– 1979, 1988 - 1994)
During his long tenure behind the scenes of Cougar athletics, Nance
promoted some of the greatest coaches and athletes ever to step
foot on the UH campus. Among the stars Nance publicized to local
and national media outlets were Guy V. Lewis, Andre Ware and Elvin
Hayes. Nance’s “Air Ware” campaign helped Heisman
Trophy winner Ware receive massive attention from sports outlets
across the country. Nance was inducted into the College Sports Information
Directors of America Hall of Fame in 1994.
Michael Young, Basketball (1980 –
Young is one of only three Cougar basketball players to have scored
2,000 points in his collegiate career. He also holds the distinction
of being the only Cougar to start on three NCAA Final Four teams
and four NCAA Tournament teams. As the leading scorer on the 1982
– 83 “Phi Slamma Jamma” team, he averaged 17.3
points a game. Following his career at UH, Young played three years
in the National Basketball Association and later took his skills
overseas to play in the Philippines, Spain, France, Italy and Israel.
In 2003, Young was inducted into the French Sports Hall of Fame.
He is currently an assistant coach for the Cougars.