Tarleton inducts nine into Rodeo Hall of Fame

Tarleton Rodeo Hall of Fame

Tarleton State University

Monday, November 4, 2013

STEPHENVILLE, Texas—Seven members of Tarleton’s 1967 men’s national championship team, their coach and a longtime supporter of the program were inducted as the second class of honorees into the Tarleton Rodeo Hall of Fame during the fourth annual steak dinner and auction Nov. 2.

Inductees include Tarleton’s first-ever National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) championship rodeo team, including: Billy Albin of Comanche; Charles Bitters of Mineral Wells; Johnny Kirk Edmondson of Sylvester; Bobby Hungate of Riesel; Lionel Lane of Brock; Randy Magers of Comanche; and Terry Walls of Goldthwaite. Also inducted were former rodeo coach Carl Chumney and Ken Dorris, a longtime supporter of the program and former veterinarian for the team.

Each honoree was presented with a bronze Rodeo Hall of Fame medallion by President F. Dominic Dottavio.

The 1967 team won Tarleton rodeo’s first NIRA national team championship during the finals held in St. George, Utah. The team amassed 747 points to win first place over California Polytechnic State University with 405 points. Hungate accounted for 290 of those points and was the All-Around Cowboy that year. Albin collected 60 points in the ribbon roping towards the team championship title, while Bitters earned 60 points at the finals in the steer wrestling event. Magers earned 181 points in the bull riding. Of the 1967 team’s members, all seven men went on to graduate from Tarleton.

Albin, who began his rodeo career as a teen, participated in American Junior Rodeo Association (AJRA) and FFA rodeos and was the world champion ribbon roper in AJRA in 1963 and the world champion steer wrestler in 1964. He began his collegiate rodeo career in 1964 and earned the Southern Region calf roping champion title. The following year Albin was the Southern Region champion steer wrestler. In 2000, he was inducted as a member of the 1967 NIRA championship team into Stephenville’s Cowboy Capital Walk of Fame.

Bitters enrolled at Tarleton in 1963 and helped to recruit members for the first rodeo team at the college. In 1964, the Tarleton rodeo club filed to charter and join the NIRA, and just three years later, in 1967, the newly formed team won the college national championship. Bitters was involved in Texas High School Rodeo from 1990-97, serving as THSRA’s Region III president and director, and state vice president and director.

Edmondson began roping at an early age and joined the AJRA in the early 1960s. He came to Tarleton in 1965 and qualified for the college finals three out of the four years as a student. He later joined the PRCA and won the average at San Antonio and won second at Dallas to help him win the calf roping title the first year in the Texas Circuit. He also won all three rounds and average at the prestigious OS Ranch Roping in Post, Texas. In 2000, Edmondson was inducted into the Cowboy Capital Walk of Fame.

Hungate started junior rodeos at age 10 and won his first world championship at age 15 in AJRA optional roping. He enrolled at Tarleton in 1965 and qualified for the NIRA finals each year during his college career. Hungate won the calf roping, placed in the ribbon roping and won the All-Around Cowboy title at the college finals. In 1968, Hungate received his PRCA card and began his professional rodeo career, winning the Houston Rodeo in 1973, tying the fastest calf at the Calgary Stampede to win second in the average and qualifying for the 1973 PRCA National Finals. Hungate was also inducted into the Cowboy Capital Walk of Fame in 2000.

Lane came to Tarleton in 1963, and like many others, he began riding bulls and bareback horses at a young age in FFA and AJRA competitions. He later competed in the amateur and the Central Rodeo Association. Lane was one of the original cowboys who helped to organize Tarleton’s first rodeo team in 1964, and was a member of the first team to qualify for the finals in Laramie, Wyo. in 1965, where they finished third. After graduating from Tarleton in 1967, Lane went on to graduate from Texas A&M. Having one year of NIRA eligibility left, Lane qualified for the finals once again in 1968 as an individual in the bareback and bull riding. In the mid 1970s he moved to the Texas panhandle where he helped to organize the High Plains Junior Rodeo Association and continued to judge rodeos for several years. In 2000, Lane was inducted into the Cowboy Capital Walk of Fame.

Magers competed in bareback riding, bull riding, steer wrestling and calf roping, and was the NIRA’s 1965 reserve champion bull rider and the 1967 reserve champion bull rider. In 1966 and 1967, Magers was a member of the Southern Region championship team. He qualified for the PRCA national finals rodeo nine times and was the reserve world champion in 1975-77. His first professional rodeo was in 1966 when he won bull riding, and in 1967 he joined the Rodeo Cowboys Association. Magers rode in 101 rodeos and was thrown off only 19 times. He qualified for his first national finals rodeo finishing the season in fifth place in the world standings. Magers was also the only bull rider to be featured on a Dr Pepper bottle, shown riding No. 13, the famous bucking bull. He also recalls a Hall of Fame bull named Oscar, which more than 300 cowboys tried to ride but only eight riders  lasted eight seconds—two of those rides were by Magers, including during the 1975 NFR when he finished as reserve world champion. Magers was also inducted into the Cowboy Capital Walk of Fame in 2000.

Walls has won many titles and prizes in AJRA, and later served as the association’s president. He advanced from that to the NIRA in which he qualified for the finals ever year during his collegiate career. Walls is one of the co-founders of the Cowboys’ Professional Rodeo Association and also produces UPRA and TCRA rodeos. As owner of the Walls Rodeo Company, he has sent stock to the Wrangler National Finals every year, and in 2005 the rodeo company was voted Producer of the Year at the TCRA Finals.

Chumney, at age 22, became an instructor at Tarleton and taught on campus for 41 years. During the 1960s he helped to organize the first rodeo team at Tarleton State College and served as their faculty advisor and coach for a decade. During his tenure, the men’s rodeo team won the national championship in 1967 and the women’s team won three national titles in 1969, 1970 and 1971. Tarleton rodeo was a family affair for Chumney and his family, with his wife Lou sewing team vests and flags, cooking countless team meals, and traveling with the rodeo team across the nation. Chumney received numerous awards during his career at Tarleton, including Outstanding Rodeo Advisor for all four national championship teams.

Dorris began rodeo competition while a student at Arlington Heights High School focusing on bull riding and bareback riding events. He became an early member of the NIRA representing Tarleton State College as a member of the school’s rodeo team. After serving in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, Dorris returned to Tarleton, graduating with an associate’s degree in 1960 and his doctorate of veterinary medicine from Texas A& in 1964. He returned to Stephenville in 1965, opening Dorris Veterinary Hospital two years later. Dorris continued his involvement with the Tarleton rodeo team upon his return and donated his time as official veterinarian for all NIRA rodeos hosted by the school. He was also instrumental in organizing locals for the creation of the Stephenville Rodeo Scholarship Committee, which later became the TSU Rodeo Scholarship Association. He owned Dorris Veterinary Hospital for 44 years until his retirement in 2010. Together, Dr. Dorris and his wife Virginia helped to found the Cowboy Capital Walk of Fame in Stephenville.

Tarleton’s rodeo program is known for having some of the toughest and most talented student competitors among NIRA members. To celebrate their achievements during the past 66 years, the Rodeo Hall of Fame was established to recognize some of the cowboys and cowgirls who have brought notoriety to the sport and university.

Competing for the purple and white under the motto, “A Winning Tradition,” Tarleton’s rodeo teams have won six national championship titles, 21 individual national championships, and numerous NIRA Southwest Region titles since the program was established in 1947. In 2012-11, Tarleton boasted one of the largest rodeo teams in the nation with 112 card-holding student members.


Tarleton State University
A member of The Texas A&M University System

Contact: Kurt Mogonye

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Tarleton inducts nine into Rodeo Hall of Fame - Media Relations - Tarleton State University