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October 2011

Release Date: Oct. 10, 2011ASU Logo

Six Named to ASU’s Athletic Hall of Honor for 2012

Former Angelo State University student-athletes Curry Dawson and Jacki Mays Earl, coaches Mike Martin, Ed Messbarger and Jerry Vandergriff and administrator Shirley Morton have been selected for induction into ASU’s Athletic Hall of Honor in January.

ASU Athletic Director Kathleen Brasfield announced the Hall of Honor’s Class of 2012. The six honorees make up the fifth class for the hall, which was established in 2004 to recognize outstanding contributors to Angelo State’s athletic legacy. The induction ceremony is scheduled for Jan. 20 in the C.J. Davidson Conference Center. The Class of 2012 will also be introduced at the ASU basketball game against Abilene Christian University the next night.

The new inductees will bring to 19 the number of honorees in the hall. Permanent plaques recognizing members of the Hall of Honor are located on the east concourse of the Junell Center/Stephens Arena.

Tickets for the induction ceremony will go on sale in December. Tickets will cost $25 apiece and will be available through ASU’s Athletics Office. No tickets will be sold at the door.

The nominees and their accomplishments are:

Curry Dawson – Football/Track and Field, 1998-2001

Curry Dawson is entering as a two-sport athlete for his accomplishments from 1998-2001 in both track and field and football. He was a two-time Academic All-American and a five-time All-Lone Star Conference selection in the sports. Dawson won three NCAA Division II national championships with discus titles in 2000 and 2001 and a shot put title in 2001. He still holds the top nine marks in ASU discus history. In 2009, he was inducted into the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Division II Hall of Fame.

In football Dawson was named the LSC Defensive Lineman of the Year and a second team All-American in 2000. He was honored as a National College Scholar Athlete by the National Football Foundation and the College Football Hall of Fame in 2001. Upon graduation he received a prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.

Jacki Mays Earl – Track and Field, 1980-82

A Rambelle sprinter, Jacki Mays Earl enters the Angelo State Hall of Honor for accomplishments in track and field between 1980-82. In addition to setting ASU women’s records which still stand, Earl was the Rambelles’ first national champion, claiming the national crown in the 200-meter dash at the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women’s National Outdoor Track and Field Championships in 1982.

Her accomplishments at Angelo State still stand in the school records she established in the 100- and 200-meter dashes. Her record in the 100-meter dash was set in 1982 with a time of 11.26. A year later she established the record in the 200-meter dash with a time of 23.08.

Mike Martin – Football, 1972-2004

Martin joined the ASU coaching staff in 1972 and remained as an assistant coach through the 2004 season, ending his Angelo State career as defensive coordinator. Throughout his coaching tenure, his defenses were consistently ranked among the top in the LSC and, multiple times, among the best nationally in Division II.

Three of his former defensive players – Pierce Holt, Clayton Weishuhn and Greg Stokes – preceded him as inductees into the ASU Athletic Hall of Honor. Martin, who becomes the first assistant coach inducted into the Hall of Honor, was defensive coordinator when ASU won the 1978 NAIA National Championship in football.

Ed Messbarger – Men’s Basketball, 1978-98

A legend in the coaching profession, Messbarger guided the Rams for 20 seasons and compiled a 268-289 (.483) record during that period. He guided ASU to a pair of Lone Star Conference titles and was named the LSC Coach of the Year in 1984 and again in 1988.

At the time of his retirement from coaching, Messbarger ranked third in Division II career wins with 665 and was second all-time in coaching appearances at any level of play. He is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame as well as university halls of fame at St. Mary’s and Northwest Missouri State. Messbarger was enshrined in the LSC Hall of Honor in 2006.

Shirley Morton – Athletic Administrator, 1967-2007

From the time she took a position with ASU in 1967 until her retirement, Shirley Morton was involved in athletics in various support capacities. From 1984-94, she served as secretary treasurer for the Lone Star Conference, which enshrined her in the LSC Hall of Honor in 1997.

As a student at San Angelo College, Morton was an active member of the Ramettes drill team. After joining the ASU staff, Morton voluntarily sponsored the cheerleaders from 1975-88, missing only two football games, home or away, during that stretch. She also sponsored the ASU Fellowship of Christian Athletes from 1986-2003 and ended her ASU career as executive assistant and coordinator of special activities. Morton is the mother of former Belles basketball player Tracy Morton Hastings, a 2010 Hall of Honor inductee.

Jerry Vandergriff – Football, 1971-2004

Angelo State’s all-time winningest football coach, Jerry Vandergriff guided the Rams to four playoff appearances, including the semifinal round in 1989. During his tenure as head coach, he led the Rams to two Lone Star Conference titles and 93 LSC victories.

Vandergriff also won LSC Coach of the Year honors three times in his tenure as Rams head coach from 1982-2004. During those 22 seasons, he compiled 143 victories. Prior to being named head coach, Vandergriff was the offensive coordinator under Jim Hess and a part of the coaching staff that won the 1978 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics National Championship in football.


The Class of 2012 is the largest in the history of the Hall of Honor. Previous classes were: 2004 – Phil George, Pierce Holt and Kirby Jameson; 2006 – Amy Bippert Bohensky, Joshua K. Owusu and Clayton Weishuhn; 2008 – Jerry Austin, David Noble and Greg Stokes; and 2010 – Tracy Morton Hastings, Jim Hess, Tim Howard and Lloyd Vincent.

An athlete becomes eligible for nomination to the Hall of Honor five years after leaving Angelo State University as a student. An athlete must have graduated or left ASU in good academic standing and must have participated a minimum of two years in the athletics program. In addition to the importance of athletic achievement and involvement, the moral character and good citizenship of student candidates during both undergraduate and post-graduate years are factors considered in the selection.

Individuals who have had an outstanding career and have had a direct and significant impact on ASU athletics programs also are eligible for consideration. ASU staff or faculty members become eligible for consideration once their direct service to the intercollegiate athletics program has ended.

All nominations are reviewed by a selection committee made up of university and community personnel to determine the biennial selectees.

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