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A Legend Comes To Town

By Joe Starkey

 

 

Doyle Brunson is bigger than life. Even on a crutch as he made his way thru the crowd at the Abilene Country Club, he and his big white Stetson seemed to tower over the people around him. A brilliant smile and a great memory even for folks he had not seen for 50 years lit up the room. He had come back to Hardin Simmons to be recognized for his athletic accomplishments of 56 years ago. Most of his teammates that excelled were long ago placed in the Hall of Fame but Doyle had been left out due to his choice of life style. He remained gracious towards HSU the entire time and one of his friends pointed out to me that Doyle’s big white Stetson had been his symbol of the connection between himself and Hardin Simmons for all this time.{{more}}Doyle remarked in his speech that he didn’t know how he could have been the Most Valuable Player for the Border Conference his Junior year when he was just the third most valuable player on the HSU team. There were three young boys in Longworth, TX and they looked at the world and saw the only way out of that 20 house town was thru athletics. Working hard got them on the Sweetwater High School Team and then to Hardin Simmons. Doyle immediately impacted HSU athletics as he placed in the mile run in every track meet his freshman year and took third in the Border Conference Meet. As a sophomore, he scored 151 points for the basketball team and took second to the man who beat him every year in the mile. As a Junior, He followed the same man around the track at the Border Conference Meet but really excelled that year in Basketball. Doyle was selected MVP of the Border Conference after scoring 412 points and leading his team to the Border Conference Championship and the NCAA Division I playoffs. He broke his leg prior to his senior season and did not get to compete as a senior.He thanked all the people who supported him thru the years and made his selection possible.Others selected for the HSU 2009 Athletic Hall of Fame were Micky Davis Brewer, Collin McCormick, and Morris Southall.Mrs. Micky Davis Brewer came to HSU from Abilene Wylie. She was named the Texas Intercollegiate Athletic Association Freshman of the Year and was named to the Academic All American team every year. Despite the extremely heavy load of physical therapy school her senior year , she helped the Cowgirls to an American Southwest Conference Championship.Mr. Morris Southall played for the 1946 football team that went 11-0 and beat the University of Denver 20-0 in the Alamo bowl. He was assistant coach to Gordon Wood for over 30 years. At Stamford, they won consecutive state championships. They won 7 state championships in 26 years at Brownwood High School. He was the only assistant coach ever elected President of the Texas State Coaches Association and is in the Texas High School Coaches Association Hall of Honor and the Texas High School Football Hall of Fame.Mr. Collin McCormick was the first of the great Hardin Simmons slotbacks after the sport was revived in 1990. He set many records that still stand. He was a four time all-TIAA performer at both slotback and punt returner. His 90 yard return for a touchdown tied a school record and he also has 142 punt return yards against McMurry for a school record. Collin McCormick was the first All-American of the Jimmie Keeling era. The team reached the playoffs three times with Collin, including the NAIA Semifinals in 1993. He thanked his big brother for giving him the toughness to go forward and his sister for the faith to finish what he started.

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