Tulsa Public Schools will be adding some new members to its Athletic Hall of Fame Thursday night. The banquet will be held at the Marriott Tulsa Hotel Southern Hills. The reception starts at 6:00 p.m., dinner will be served at 7:00 p.m., and the event will end at 10:00 p.m.
“I think we have another outstanding class, including the iconic Eddie Sutton,” stated TPS athletic director Gil Cloud. “With the longevity of all the coaches we're inducting, and the student-athletes we have going in, I think we have everything covered.”
“We also want to make this a catalyst for our current student-athletes to show them that they can make history, and perhaps they will be on the wall someday,” said Cloud.
This year's banquet will induct 12 new members: Eddie Sutton, Lee Mayberry, Gene Shell, Robert Sprague, J.V. Haney, Mike Mims, Jill Most, Neal Mask, Melvin Driver, Doug Dugger, Gene Hart, and Art Williams.
Eddie Sutton was the head basketball coach at central from 1959-1966. He led the team to four state tournaments, before advancing his career to a college level. As a college coach he led Oklahoma State (1995 and 2004) and Arkansas (1978) to the Final Four. He also coached at Creighton, Kentucky, and San Francisco. Sutton is one of only eight coaches to gain over 800 wins during his coaching career.
Lee Mayberry led Will Rogers high school to a state championship in 1988. He also played collegiate basketball at the University of Arkansas, posting 1,940 points during his career there. After college, Mayberry was selected as a first round pick for the Milwaukee Bucks (1992). He later played for the Vancouver Grizzlies. Mayberry went on to spend seven seasons in the NBA, never missing a regular season game in the first four years of his career.
Gene Shell led Webster to two state championship titles. He later went on to coach baseball at the University of Tulsa, where he had an overall record of 478-199 for his 15 seasons as a head coach. He led his team to seven Missouri Valley conference titles, five second place finishes, and seven District V playoff appearances. Shell was named the MVC Coach of the Year three times, and was named the District V Coach of the Year twice. His teams were nationally ranked, reaching number one in 1972. In 1980, he became the fourth most winning coach in collegiate baseball.
Robert Sprague was a coach and worked for the TPS administration for 41 years. During his career, he led Memorial and Hale to three state tournaments as a head basketball coach. “Spending 41 years in the district at three different high schools while serving as a teacher, coach, and athletics administrator, he has become one of the most respected site athletics directors in Northeast Oklahoma,” said Cloud.
J.V. Haney led Edison to three state tournament appearances during his time as head basketball coach (1970s). He later spent four years with the Webster basketball program. During his career as a high school basketball coach he recorded 313 wins. In the 80s Haney also launched his broadcasting career. In 1985, Haney was named Tulsa World Coach of the Year. Due to Haney's outstanding career, he was also elected to be president of the Oklahoma Coaches Association. Haney was later inducted into the National High School Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2003.
Mike Mims was the head basketball coach at Booker T. Washington, where he coached the team to three state titles. In 2009, Mims returned to BTW as the assistant principle who also oversees athletics. "I'm extremely proud to have this honor. It's been a long time coming in a sense. Forty years I've been doing this, it's nice to see the end coming," said Mims about his induction.
Jill Most pitched the first perfect game in Oklahoma history at the University of Oklahoma in 1997. At OU, she was an All-American second-team selection twice. She also was the first player from OU to be named Big 12 pitcher of the week in 1997. In high school, Most pitched at East Central, leading them to a title in 1990.
Neal Mask, from Hale, was named player of the year in 1968 for his on-court performances. Mask also played for Kansas in college, where he was a part of its Final Four team in 1971.
Melvin Driver was McLain's head football coach from 1977-1992. There, he led the team to three state championship victories.
Doug Dugger was Memorial's head basketball coach during its first ten seasons. He also was the athletic director for the program. Dugger helped create the Tournament of Champions, a high school basketball tournament that showcases local talent. In 1968, he was inducted into the OCA Hall of Fame.
Gene Hart coached Webster high school to three state titles in baseball. In 1985, he was named coach of the year for Oklahoma. While in college at NEO, Hart was part of the baseball team that finished fourth in the NJCAA World Series in 1959. He finished with an outstanding batting average of .430. He also played football there, and was part of the program's 1959 championship team. That year he was named JUCO All-American as a quarterback.
Art Williams coached Booker T. Washington football from 1955-1965, where his team was known for not allowing many points. He also coached basketball for the school.
Reservations are $100 per person. For more information about purchasing tickets, contact TPS administrative assistant Lisa Norman at 918-746-6453.