POSTED: Saturday, February 18, 2012 - 8:48pm
UPDATED: Saturday, February 18, 2012 - 10:33pm
The Lon Morris College 50th Year Reunion luncheon honoring the 1962 Bearcat team that lead LMC to the NJCAA Championship Game against Coffeyville, Kansas was Saturday.
Here's what the class of 1962 is up to now.
LMC Basketball Biographies
Alfred Barbre -- Lettered two years in basketball before graduating from Stephen F. Austin State University. Upon graduation he was named assistant coach at SFA and later head coach at Jacksonville College. His career took a turn when he was named the women’s coach at Lamar University. After his coaching career was over he became an administrator at the casino in Marsville, Louisiana. He is married and has one son and currently lives in Orange, Texas
Phil Black -- Graduated with a business degree from North Texas State University. He then attended East Texas State University where he received an MBA and completed all of the course work for a Ph.D. in Guidance and Counseling except for the dissertation. He taught Psychology at Tidewater Community College in Virginia for 41 years before retiring this past December. In addition to his teaching profession he owned a Century 21 real estate franchise and a real estate school. He sold both companies this past December but continues to work in the real estate field. Phil continued to play basketball in city league programs until he was 40 year old and now focuses his energy on chasing a racquetball.
Johnny Carter  -- Received the Bachelor of Science degree from University of Houston 1965, his Masters from Sam Houston State University in 1968. He began his coaching career in the fall of 1966 at Kennard High School. At 23 in his very first season his team defied all odds as he became the youngest coach to win the state championship. Over the next three years his teams would win two more state titles going undefeated in 1970 and finishing at Kennard with a record of 160-13. He was an assistant coach at Howard Payne University 1971-1973. Carter became the Head Coach in 1974 at McLennan Community College and would win six Conference Championships and go to the National Tournament 1976. He became an assistant coach at University of Oklahoma 1981-1982 before returning to his home town to coach the Madisonville Mustangs for 22 years. Consistently in the play-offs the Mustangs reached the state finals in 1995. Retiring from basketball in 2005 he remained in the Madisonville school system as the Cross-Country coach retiring in 2011. The best player Carter coached was Vinnie (the micro-wave) Johnson, a member of the two time NBA champion, Detroit Pistons. Johnny and his wife Sallie reside in Madisonville with their 14 year old son John Reid. Johnny has written a book “The First Season”, published in 2011 by Brown Books. Now in its second printing, the heartwarming true story has been well received. He was recently interviewed by a movie producer about a possible film.
Mike Cook -- After lettering three years in basketball he received a bachelor and a masters degree from Stephen F. Austin State University. It was during that period that he met and married Rilea Erwin, his wife of 47 years. He began his coaching career in Athens, Texas and later returned to his home town of Frankston where he spent the next nine years coaching and teaching. After working in the private sector for ten years he returned to coaching for thirteen additional years before retiring. He now spends his time operating a cow/calf ranching enterprise. At the encouragement of fellow LMC teammates Dave Klimpel and “Squirrel” Johnson he took up golf at age sixty. When approaching the ball on the first tee box he has often been heard to mutter “If Coach Black thought my defense was bad he should see my golf game.” He is an accomplished bass fisherman, in his own mind, and boasts of being able to out-fish both James Hahn and Ronnie Lusk. He has three children and seven grandchildren.
Tommy Ferguson (Deceased 2007) -- Graduated from Sam Houston State University and began his coaching career at Richards High School in the fall of 1966. Out of coaching and pipelining in Kentucky in 1968, he received a phone call from his good friend Johnny Carter about a coaching position at Chester High School. Obviously thrilled he drove all night knocking on Johnny’s door the next morning. Two years later his Chester team won the state championship. The ironic twist was that Tommy and Johnny classmates and teammates at Madisonville High School, both celebrated championships that very same year, quite an accomplishment for the graduating class of 1961. Tommy finished his coaching career at North Shore High School in Houston. Tommy is survived by his beloved wife Katrina and two children Ryan and Monica.
Benny Fletcher -- After graduating from the University of Texas he entered the United States Air Force and became a pilot. After leaving the Air Force he became a pilot for American Air Lines, a position he held for thirty years. Upon retirement he moved to his farm north of Tyler and now custom bales hay. He is married and has two daughters.
Robert Ed. Garrison -- After receiving a BBA and an MBA from the University of Texas he moved with his wife and a two month old daughter to NYC and entered the investment business and taught corporate finance at St. John’s University. After six years he returned to Houston and worked in asset management, venture capital and investment banking at Sanders Morris Harris Group (Edelman Financial Group) as partner and managing partner until he retired at the end of 2011. He remains on the board of several public, private and non-profit entities. Robert has been married to Patti for 27 years and has four daughters and five grandchildren. Continuing his love for basketball he spent eight years coaching all four of his daughters. He currently attends area high school basketball games, has University of Texas and Houston Rockets season tickets and attends the NCAA basketball final four tournament every year. He and his wife love to travel and entertain their children and grandchildren at their Galveston beach house and to take family and friends to UT football games.
Bill Gasway -- Lettered two years in basketball before graduating with an engineering degree from Texas A&M University. He spent most of his professional career working in Shreveport, Louisiana.
James Hahn -- Graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University after lettering two years in basketball. He returned home to Ingleside, Texas and worked 38 years as a planner/scheduler for a large petro-chemical refinery in Corpus Christi. For 27 of those years he also served as the company photographer. He married Pat Meeks in 1968 and raised three children, two boys (6’10” & 6’6”) and one girl (6’) and has three grandchildren. He retired in 2006 and is an avid deep sea and bay fisherman, a love that he shares with his family. He and his sons own four kayaks and four outboard boats. He is very active in his church and the Knights of Columbus.
Robert “Squirrel” Johnson (Deceased 2/1/2008) -- He was manager of his Dallas Samuell High School basketball team (1959 & 1961) which produced Lon Morris players Jim Bob Smith, Don Teague, Wayne Jones, Phil Black, Ken Norman and Dave Klimpel. He graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University with a bachelor degree in 1967 and from East Texas State University with a Masters of Education degree in 1972. He was a public school teacher/coach in the Dallas area for 35 years which included an extended period as golf coach at Mesquite High School. He married his beloved wife Janie Chambers in 1967 and they had one son Ryan who works in transportation sales for CHRobinson Co. He was a dear friend to all who knew him.
Wayne Jones -- Graduated from Samuell High School in 1960 along with fellow LMC players Jim Bob Smith and Don Teague. After Lon Morris he was employed for 37 years by Texas Utilities as an environmental specialist and retired in 1999. In addition to his professional vocation he became a college basketball official. He has three children and six grandchildren. One grandson Dustin is a senior at Texas A&M University. Wayne lost his beloved wife Barbara in 2010 to pancreatic cancer. He currently enjoys cooking and playing golf, playing golf and playing golf.
Dave Klimpel -- Attended Midwestern University and received a degree in Business. During his junior year he and his LMC teammate John Thompson led the team to the Southwest Regional Championship but lost in the 2nd round of the N.A.I.A. National Tournament to the eventual winner. He earned an M.B.A. from SMU and has spent 46 years with LTV/Lockheed Martin as the Director of the Personnel/Human Resources Department. He married Carol McElree, has twin daughters – Anna and Julie – 25 years old; a son Davey – 21 years old – junior at Univ. of North Texas; and a daughter Ellen – 17 years old – junior at Colleyville Heritage High School.
Wayne Lambert -- Received his B.S. in mathematics from Stephen F. Austin State University. He taught in the public schools before joining Texaco as a computer programmer and worked in Houston, Texas, Des Moines, Iowa and Saudia Arabia. After leaving Texaco he worked as an independent computer programmer for fifteen years. He then worked for ten years with UNOCAL before returning to teaching. He married his LMC sweetheart, Linda Gail Hawkins in 1964 and they adopted two girls, Courtney and Brittney. Courtney, who is a professor at Trinity University, married her high school sweetheart, Michael Crim and they have two daughters, Ryan and Harris. Brittney has MS and she and her children, Amber and Reese currently live with Wayne and Linda.
Ronnie Lusk -- He graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University and became a teacher/coach in the public school system. After a successful career he retired and now spends his leisure time bass fishing. He currently lives in Lufkin, Texas.
Jack Nelson -- After serving in the Air Force he received a bachelor and masters degree of education from Sam Houston State University and the Doctorate of Education degree from East Texas State University. He served as president of the Southern Association of College Auxiliary Services in 1987 and president of the National Association of College Auxiliary Services in 1992. That same year he led a delegation of 48 college and university administrators from across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico on a two week tour of universities in Russia. He was a university administrator/instructor and spent his last 25 years at Stephen F. Austin State University before retiring in 2005 to his farm near Cushing, Texas and now spends his time feeding cows, ducks, geese, swans, wild birds and deer. He has been married to Cheryl Keneaster for 48 years and has two sons and two grandsons. Dr. Nelson currently serves as a member of the board of trustees at Lon Morris College.
Ken Norman -- The second leading scorer on his team, Ken helped lead the Texas A&M Aggies to their first SWC championship in 41 years. He also made the All-Houston Classic team his senior year. Serving in the United States Air Force he made the All Air Force Team and averaged 25 points per game while leading the team to the World-Wide Armed Forces Championship. He then entered the public school system as a teacher/coach and taught for 31 years while coaching for 25 years in and around Richardson, Texas. Ken then served for two years as the National Sales Manager for Medical Designs, Inc. For the past 15 years he has been the Advanced Placement Economics Teacher in a private school where he was chosen “Teacher of the Year” three times. Interspersed in the above teaching responsibilities he was an instructor at Richland College for ten years and a College Board Consultant for the AP Board. He is the father of one son and grandfather to two boys and one girl.
Leroy Parnell -- Graduated from Texas A&M University with a civil engineering degree and traveled the world pursuing that profession. He continues to work and currently lives in Conroe, Texas.
Sandy Rhodes (Deceased 1994) -- Attended the University of Houston before enlisting in the U.S. Army and being stationed in the Washington D.C. area. After his military service he returned to Houston and joined Stewart and Stevenson eventually becoming sales manager for the specialty (ATV) truck division. He and his wife Karen lived in the Cypress Fairbanks area and raised a very lovely and athletic daughter who attended Stephen F. Austin State University on a volleyball scholarship.
Jim Bob Smith -- Graduated from The University of Texas after lettering two years in basketball. He was employed for 31 years by Dun and Bradstreet and worked in New York and Texas before retiring in 1997 to enjoy traveling with family and friends. He currently divides his time between Plano, Texas and Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.
Don Teague -- Attended the University of Texas and received a business degree and a law degree. He received the masters of law degree from the Harvard School of Law and spent two years as professor of law at Rutgers University before joining the law firm of Debevoise & Plimpton in New York. In the early 70s he returned to Texas with the law firm of Vinson & Elkins and later moved to London to head their office there. Leaving V&E in the mid 90s he held three executive/general counsel positions in Denver, London and Houston until his retirement. He has been happily married to Ginger Bernard for 35 years and has three children, Austin, Jonathan and Gigi.
John Thompson -- Attended Midwestern University and during his junior year he and his LMC teammate Dave Klimpel led the team to the Southwest Regional Basketball Championship but lost in the 2nd round of the N.A.I.A. National Tournament to the eventual winner. He earned an M.B.A. degree from North Texas State University and then taught 2 years at Sam Houston State University before getting into the Banking Business and the U.S. Army Reserves in 1968. He was at the bank in Huntsville until 1979 when he moved to Lancaster for another banking opportunity. After serving as COO or CEO at 4 different banks in the Dallas area, he retired in 1991. During those years he was very active in the Junior Chamber of Commerce and advanced to State President in 1973 and National Vice President in 1974. In 1978, he was named one of the 5 Outstanding Young Texans. He and his wife of 46 years, Martha have one son, Mark, 37, who works for the U.S. State Department in Washington, D.C. after stints in Russia and China. John currently lives in Duncanville where he operates a "as big as he wants" video production business and covers most all activities of general interest in the City, especially the High School Sports teams and produces a Show regularly for the Internet (www.duncanvilleweeklynews.com ). He has also been an active member of the local Lions Clubs where he has lived and is Past President of the Duncanville Chamber of Commerce and was Duncanville's Man of the Year in 1997.
Don Tullos -- After graduating from Sam Houston State University he entered the public school teaching/coaching profession. During his career he coached Jr. High and High School boys and girls teams and won more than 1,000 games. He currently resides in Lovelady, Texas.
Jerry Wade -- Graduated from Lamar University in 1965 and then coached for ten years at Richardson ISD. In 1976 he took over the family electrical contracting business. He has been married to Jody for 23 years and has two children and two step-children. He resides in Dallas, Texas.