Nominations sought for sixth class of Tarleton Rodeo Hall of Fame inductees

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

STEPHENVILLE, Texas—Nominations for the Tarleton State University Rodeo Hall of Fame are now being accepted for 2017 induction, organizers announced.

The Tarleton Rodeo Hall of Fame committee will accept nominations through Monday, Jan. 16 for the sixth class of inductees.

Inaugural inductees in 2012 were Angie Watts Averhoff, Vicki Higgins Emerson, Sally Preston, Karen Walls, Connie Wilkinson Wood, Martha Tompkins Wright, Sharon Harrison Youngblood and Hadley Reed. All of these women were on one or more of the women’s championship teams of 1969, 1970 and 1971.

The 2013 inductees included Tarleton’s first-ever NIRA championship rodeo team from 1967: Billy Albin, Charles Bitters, Johnny Kirk Edmondson, Bobby Hungate, Lionel Lane, Randy Magers and Terry Walls. Also inducted were former rodeo coach Carl Chumney and Dr. Ken Dorris, a longtime supporter of the program and former veterinarian for the rodeo team.

In 2014, the Hall of Fame saw Darla and Bob Doty, Dr. Wanda Mercer, J.J. Hampton and Ryan Watkins inducted into the Tarleton Rodeo Hall of Fame. Last year, inductees included Jennifer Smith-Driver, Kenneth David Key, Turtle Powell and Steve Fryar.

Most recently, Tarleton inducted Debbie Garrison, Levi Garcia, Kurt Kiehne, Ronnie Ray and Richard “Tooter” Waites during the Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Nov. 12.

“Tarleton rodeo has had a huge impact on the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association and the NIRA Southwest Region,” said head rodeo coach Mark Eakin. “Today, Tarleton has one of the largest teams in the nation with 128 card-holding student members, and continues to demonstrate the winning tradition set years ago.”

The first rodeo team at Tarleton was formed in 1947. Since then, student competitors have won seven national championship titles and 24 individual national titles, plus numerous event and team championships within the Southwest Region.

Individuals and teams named to the hall of fame will have performed at a level distinctly and significantly higher than that of their teammates or associates, said Eakin. “Their performance will have brought honor and distinction to Tarleton,” he said.

Anyone interested in nominating a past Tarleton rodeo student or coach is encouraged to fill out the nominating form located online at:

For additional information, please call the Office of Rodeo Activities at 254-968-9187.

Tarleton State University, a member of The Texas A&M University System, provides a student-focused, value-driven educational experience marked by academic innovation and exemplary service, and dedicated to transforming students into tomorrow’s professional leaders. With campuses in Stephenville, Fort Worth, Waco, Midlothian and online, Tarleton engages with its communities to provide real-world learning experiences and to address societal needs while maintaining its core values of integrity, leadership, tradition, civility, excellence and service.


Contact: Mark Eakin, Head Rodeo Coach
[email protected]

A founding member of The Texas A&M System, Tarleton State is breaking records — in enrollment, research, scholarship, athletics, philanthropy and engagement — while transforming the lives of more than 16,000 students in Stephenville, Fort Worth, Waco, Bryan and online. True to Tarleton’s values of excellence, integrity and respect, academic programs emphasize real world learning and address regional, state and national needs.