ACU will induct six new members into its ACU Sports Hall of Fame at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 16 in the McCaleb Conference Center in the Hunter Welcome Center.
Track stars Delloreen Ennis-London and Tracey Barnes head the 2009 inductee class. The other inductees are football standout Jim Reese; former golf coach Vince Jarrett; former athletics trainer Wes Speights; and Dr. Jerry Strader, ACU alumnus and the 17th Lifetime Achievement Award recipient.
Ennis-London is one of the most decorated athletes in ACU history. She is the only female athlete in NCAA history to win eight national titles in hurdles in her career and still holds the NCAA Division II record time in 100-meter hurdles at 12.71 seconds.
Ennis-London won the national title in the 55-meter indoor and 100-meter outdoor hurdles every year from 1996-99. She also ran on the Wildcats’ 4×100 relay teams at the national championships in ’98 and ’99. She was named to the NCAA Division II women’s track and field Silver Anniversary Team, selected by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross-Country Coaches’ Association, in 2006.
In her post-ACU career, Ennis-London, competed for her home country of Jamaica in the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, finishing fourth in the 100-meter hurdles. Although she failed to make the finals at the 2004 Olympics, she finished fifth at the 2008 Games in Beijing. She has also competed in the track and field world championships – she finished second in the 100-meter hurdles in 2005 and third in 2007 and 2009.
Tracey Barnes won an astounding 14 individual national championships, more than any other athlete, man or woman, in ACU’s history. Barnes won 10 national championships outdoors, including the women’s 200-meter in 1998 and 1999 and the 400 in ’96, ’98 and ’99. She anchored the national champion 4×400 relay teams in 1996 and 1998. Her NCAA Division II record time of 50.67 seconds in the 400 still stands.
ACU is organizing a 10-year reunion of the 1999 men’s and women’s track and field teams to coincide with the induction of Ennis-London and Barnes. The two teams won a total of four national championships that season.
Jim Reese, currently an assistant baseball and football coach at Abilene High, will also be inducted next month. Reese took over quarterback duties for the Wildcats from Clint Longley in 1974. In his three years as starting quarterback, Reese was 23-8-1 and earned honorable mention all-American honors as a senior in 1976. Reese is seventh on the ACU all-time career-passing list in yards and touchdowns, with 5,946 yards and 37 touchdowns. Reese led the Lone Star Conference in passing in 1975 and 1976. Reese will join his father, Leon Reese, in the Hall of Fame to become only the second father-son pair inducted; Ted and Chuck Sitton were the first, inducted in 1994 and 2001, respectively.
Vince Jarrett coached the Wildcat men’s golf team to seven LSC championships in his 11-year career: 1986-89, 1991, 1993 and 1995. Jarrett coached the 1993 team, led by Jeev Singh, to an NCAA Division II national championship; Singh is now a professional golfer. Jarrett was named LSC Coach of the Year in 1989, 1991 and 1993. 27 Wildcat players earned 40 all-American awards while he was coach, and 14 of his student athletes were named to academic all-American teams.
Wes Speights became ACU’s first full-time professional athletic trainer in 1976. He was an assistant trainer at the NBA pre-draft rookie camp in Chicago in 1988 and served as assistant trainer for the San Antonio Spurs’ annual Midwest Revue tryout camp from 1988-92.
Dr. Jerry Strader graduated from Abilene Christian in 1952 and is a longtime supporter of ACU athletics. Strader is on the ACU Board of Trustees and served as president of the Alumni Association from 1984-88. He received ACU’s Alumni Citation Award in 1982 and was named ACU’s Outstanding Alumnus of the Year in 1991. Strader served his country for more than 40 years as deputy assistant surgeon general for dental services/Offices of the Surgeon General in the Army Dental Corps and was promoted to brigadier general, the highest possible rank for an Army reservist in the Army Dental Corps, in 1988.
Tickets to the 25th annual Hall of Fame festivities are $20 and can be purchased by calling the ACU athletics office at 674-2353. Reunions for lettermen in all sports will begin at 8 p.m. in the Welcome Center. There is no admission fee for the reunions.