Austin College celebrated the success of athletics alumni and honored coaching achievements at the College’s annual Legends awards dinner on July 17 on the campus. The evening’s honorees included four Athletic Hall of Honor inductees, the Coach Joe Spencer Award for Lifetime Achievement and Meritorious Service in Coaching, and the Kedric Couch Alumni Coach of the Year award.
The award dinner is held each July in conjunction with the Slats McCord Golf Tournament, which honors Ralph “Slats” McCord of Sherman, Austin College alumnus, former coach, and professor emeritus of physical education. David Norman, athletic director, and James Rolfe, Class of 1965 and president of the Alumni “A” Athletics Association, presided over the event, with comments by Tim Millerick, vice president for Student Affairs and Athletics, and Marjorie Hass, president of Austin College.
2010 Athletic Hall of Honor Inductees:
Jerry Apple, Class of 1960, Irving, Texas
Anne Perreault Hartnett, Class of 1981, Dallas, Texas
Joaquin Johnson, Class of 1986 (Posthumous Award)
David Robertson, Class of 1979, Westworth Village, Texas
Gary Roe, Class of 1983, Bryan, Texas
Jerry Apple Irving, Texas
Native of Holdenville, Oklahoma
Jerry Apple was a starting football player for three of the four years he played at Austin College while earning a degree in business administration. He retired from General Telephone Company after 26 years, spent five years at Fujitsu Business Communications, and owned R.C. Data Communications. He is a member of the Austin College Board of Trustees and the Greater Irving/Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce. Jerry and his wife, Joy, attend Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church in Dallas.
Anne Perreault Hartnett ’81 Dallas, Texas
Anne Hartnett played basketball, ran track, and was a cheerleader at Austin College. She twice was awarded the Pat E. Hooks Outstanding Basketball Player Award and received Academic All-America and All-Conference honors. A business major at Austin College, Anne spent several years as director of Special Financial Projects at Trammell Crow Company. She is active in several charitable organizations in Dallas and attends St. Monica Catholic Church. She and her husband, Jim Hartnett, Jr. ’79, have four children.
Joaquin Johnson ’86 (Posthumously)
Frances Johnson of Dallas accepted the award on behalf of her son, Joaquin Johnson, who received many honors in football and track at Austin College, including the Pete Cawthon Outstanding Male Athlete Award. He was an all-conference football team selection and set individual and relay team school track records. A business administration major, he graduated from Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law and held several positions in the law field before opening his own firm. A mentor and tutor for elementary students at St. Anthony Catholic School, Johnson was a member of St. John Missionary Baptist Church in Dallas.
David Robertson ’79 Westworth Village, Texas
David Robertson was a four-year basketball player at Austin College. His honors included TIAA All-Conference First Team, NAIA District 8 First Team, and NAIA All-America Honorable Mention selections. He held multiple Austin College scoring records at the time of his graduation. David has been a member of the Manheim Dallas management team for 18 years and is the auction manager for the company, one of the five largest auto auctions in the world. He and his wife, Lisa, have one son.
Gary Roe ’83 Bryan, Texas
Wichita Falls, Texas (family hometown)
Sherman, Texas (14 years in community)
Gary Roe was a four-year member of the Austin College swim team, serving one year as assistant coach. The two-time team captain received the Hannah Outstanding Swimmer Award three times and qualified for three national championships. A psychology major, he earned two master’s degrees at Dallas Theological Seminary and is a hospice chaplain for Southern Care Hospice in College Station. Roe served in various capacities at Sherman Bible Church, working first as college ministries director from 1983-1987, and as associate pastor and then pastor, from 1996 to 2004. He is involved in many community and ministry organizations. He and his wife, Sharon, have three daughters.
COACH JOE SPENCER AWARD
The Coach Joe Spencer Award for Lifetime Achievement and Meritorious Service in Coaching, established in 1997 by the Athletic “A” Alumni Association, is given annually to alumni or former coaches of Austin College for achievement in the coaching profession. The 2010 honoree was Mel Tjeerdsma.
Mel Tjeerdsma Maryville, Missouri
Austin College Coach 1984- 1994
Mel Tjeerdsma, head football coach at Northwest Missouri State University since 1994, has made Division II coaching history, leading his teams to more post-season victories than any other coach and amassing an overall win record that places him fourth in the division’s history. He has led his teams to the playoffs 12 times in the last 14 seasons, including three NCAA national championships, and has a 29-9 post-season record. He was named the 2009 Liberty Mutual Division II Coach of the Year, has received several American Football Coaches National Coach of the Year honors, was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in January, and was named Conference Coach of the Year for the fourth straight season last fall, bringing his total for that honor to 11. The winningest coach in Northwest’s football history was recognized in 2007, with the playing field at the college named in his honor. His Northwest record is 171-30.
In 2006, in addition to coaching duties, Tjeerdsma was the American Football Coaches Association president.
Tjeerdsma coached 10 seasons at Austin College before taking his current position.
While at Austin College, he led the ’Roos to three TIAA championships and became the holds the record for coaching wins in the program. The ’Roos were 59-38-4 in the decade of his care, and twice made trips to NAIA Division II playoffs. Tjeerdsma earned three TIAA Coach of the Year Awards.
Tjeerdsma began his collegiate coaching career with eight years as offensive coordinator at Northwestern College in Iowa, where his team won a national championship in 1983. He had previously coached high school football in Iowa, adding a state championship win to his record in 1972.Mel and his wife, Carol, live in Maryville, Missouri.
ALUMNI COACH OF THE YEAR
The Kedric Couch Alumni Coach of the Year Award recognizes professional success in the season preceding the July event. The 2010 honoree was Larry Tidwell, women’s basketball head coach at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas,
Tidwell led his team to a 26-8 overall record and a 13-3 mark in the Southland Conference in the 2009-2010 season. The Lady Cardinals won the conference season and tournament titles as the team advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1991. Tidwell was named the Texas Basketball Coaches Association Division I Women’s Basketball Coach of the Year.
Tidwell, who previously spent eight seasons as the women’s associate head coach at Texas Christian University, earned letters in football, basketball, and track at Austin College. He and his wife, Teresa, have three adult sons.
The award is named for Austin College alumnus Kedric Couch, Class of 1955, a long-time Dallas coach and athletic director.
Austin College is a leading national independent liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas. Founded in 1849, making it the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original charter and name, the college is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA). Recognized nationally for academic excellence in the areas of international education, pre-professional training, and leadership studies, Austin College is one of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope’s influential book Colleges that Change Lives.