The Texas High School Football Hall of Fame
Annual Induction Banquet
Class of 2017
WACO, TX – March 27, 2017 – The Texas High School Football Hall of Fame announces nine new inductees among its 2017 class. These nine will be formally recognized and inducted on May 6 at Baylor University’s Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas.
The inductees are broken down into decades and coaches. Athletes include: Tommy Joe Crutcher (1950s), Joe Greene (1960s), Lovie Smith (1970s), Johnny Walker (1980s), Dat Nguyen (1990s), and Reggie McNeal (2000s). The coaches category, honoring Eddie Joseph, include: Steve Lineweaver and Eddy Peach. The Dave Campbell Contributor to the Game Award will be presented to Frank Arnold. The Gordon Wood award will be presented to Iraan High School for their 2016 season and the Tom Landry Award will be presented to Phil Danaher of Calallen High School.
Tommy Joe Crutcher, of McKinney High School, played fullback and linebacker and rushed for 1,070 yards in 13 games, leading the Lions to 1958 Class 3A semifinals where they lost to eventual state champion Breckenridge. A year later, Crutcher earned 3A All-State and All-America honors when he rushed for 850 yards on 143 carries despite missing three games with a shoulder injury. He became a 3-year starter at TCU, leading the Frogs in rushing each season to finish his career with 1,583 yards and 10 TDs. Crutcher was first team All-American as a senior fullback in 1963. He was drafted by Green Bay in 1964 as a linebacker, where he spent eight seasons in the NFL and was part of the last team to win three straight titles, including the first two Super Bowls in 1965-1967.
Joe Greene, of Temple Dunbar High School, played linebacker, where he was recruited by North Texas. Greene boosted North Texas to one of the most successful periods in program history as the Mean Green went 23-5-1 during Greene’s three varsity seasons. Greene was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers with the fourth overall pick in the first round of the 1969 NFL Draft. He went on to win four Super Bowl rings as a cornerstone of the Steelers’ “Steel Curtain Defense.” Greene was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987.
Lovie Smith, of Big Sandy High School, played a vital role on one of the great defenses in the history of Texas high school football when he helped Big Sandy win three consecutive state championships in 1973, 1974, and 1975. Smith, Big Sandy’s middle linebacker, and the Wildcats surrendered only 15 points during the 1975 campaign when they went 14-0 and defeated Groom High School 26-2 for the Class B state title. His bio on the Illinois athletics website states that Smith was an All-State selection at defensive end and linebacker and that he twice earned All-American honors at Tulsa during his college career. After his college career, Smith returned to Big Sandy as the Wildcats’ defensive coordinator. That began a prestigious coaching career that is still going. Smith coached defense in college from 1983-1995. Then he left Ohio State as the defensive backs coach to join the staff of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He eventually became the defensive coordinator for the St. Louis Rams and head coach of the Chicago Bears and Buccaneers before returning to college football as head coach at Illinois in 2016.
Johnny Walker, of San Antonio Holmes High School was on the state’s top-rated wide-out and was the first option on perhaps the best receiving corps in Texas history with Keith and Kerry Cash. Walker was named to 1986 Texas Football Super Team, 5A all-state first team as the Huskies went 24-3 overall with five playoff wins in his last two years. He signed with Texas, where he finished No. 2 on all-time receptions list (114), and earned all-SWC honors in 1989-90. Walker was taken by Atlanta in the third round of 1990 MLB draft and by Green Bay in the eighth round of the 1991 NFL draft.
Dat Nguyen, of Rockport-Fulton High School helped lift his team to a 9-1-2 season and its first district championship in 20 years as a junior in 1992. He had key game-changing tackles, causing a fumble that was returned for a touchdown in a district win over Taft, and another big hit that shifted momentum in a pivotal district tie versus Sinton. The Pirates posted a 17-4-2 record during Nguyen’s junior and senior seasons. Nguyen drew the attention of college recruiters and came close to signing with Michigan before Texas A&M wooed him and he signed with the Aggies. Nguyen thrived at Texas A&M, earning first-team All-Big 12 three times and capturing the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year honor in 1998. He made the Big 12 10th Anniversary team in 2005 and the Associated Press All-Time Big 12 Team in 2010. Nguyen finished his Texas A&M career with 517 tackles and an Aggie-record 51 straight starts. During a seven-year NFL career with the Dallas Cowboys, Nguyen made the all-rookie team in 1999, was named second team All-Pro in 2003 and finished with 389 career tackles.
Reggie McNeal, of Lufkin High School was a multi-sport star that led the Panthers to Class 5A (now 6A) Division II state title in 2001, running for 159 yards and passing for 223 to rally Lufkin from a 21-3 deficit to beat Austin Westlake, 38-24. He finished the season with 2,385 passing yards (134 of 307) for 24 TDs, 856 yards and 10 TDs rushing, plus seven interceptions as a crunch-time defensive back to earn All-State honors for the second straight season, and East Texas Player of the Year honors. The three-year-starter led Lufkin to 33-8 mark (9-2 in playoffs), with 5,935 yards passing and 64 TDs. He was named Offensive Player of the Year and All-America by SuperPrep, which ranked him No. 3 QB recruit in the nation. McNeal signed with Texas A&M and was a three-year starter for the Aggies and finished atop A&M’s career list for passing yards (6,992), total offense (8,876). He was chosen by Cincinnati in the 2006 NFL Draft and spent parts of seven seasons in the NFL and CFL.
Steve Lineweaver, Coach of Euless Trinity High School, in 22 total seasons at Commerce High School (1993-1999) and Euless Trinity (2000-2014), Lineweaver posted a 257-43-2 mark (.851) with 17 district titles and five runner up finishes. The record at Trinity was 176-29, including 43-12 in the playoffs. He led the Trojans to 6A state titles in 2005, 2007, and 2009, and reached the finals in 2010, winning a 3A state title with a 16-0 team in 1999 and could have won a co-championship in 1995 with an extra point but went for a two-point conversion late in a 21-20 loss to Sealy. Lineweaver also served as the offensive coordinator for Southlake Carrol teams that won two titles and 72 straight regular-season games under Bob Ledbetter. He put an emphasis on team bonding at Trinity that was manifested in pregame dances, the Haka and Sipi Tau, which saluted the Tongan heritage of several players, and have become a trademark of the program.
Eddy Peach, Coach of Arlington Lamar High School, coached for 39 seasons. From the day the school opened in 1970 to his retirement in 2010, he was the first coach in Texas history to win 300 games at the state’s highest level. His 309-124-6 record puts him seventh on Texas’ all-time wins list. His teams won 16 district titles in 39 years, and he went 13 seasons (1988-2000) without missing the playoffs. Peach led Lamar to the 5A Division II championship game in 1990, losing to Aldine, and to the semifinals in 2000 and 2003. As an All-America baseball player at Oklahoma, he got his first varsity coaching job with an Arlington baseball team. When Lamar opened, Peach was hired as the first football coach and coached the first varsity football game in 1971.
Frank Arnold, of Converse Judson High School will receive the Dave Campbell Contributor to the Game Award. Arnold served as the athletic director at Converse Judson High School for 21 years, following a 20-year teaching and coaching career in the San Antonio area. He became the head football coach and athletic coordinator at Judson in 1980 and let the Rockets to the 5A state championship in 1983. Arnold was named Texas Sportswriters Association Coach of the Year in 1983. He became Judson’s athletic director in 1984 and appointed assistant coach D.W. Rutledge as the Rockets’ head football coach. Rutledge won four state championships. When Rutledge moved on to lead the Texas High School Coaches Association (THSCA) in 2001, Arnold hired Jim Rackley, who took the Rockets to the state title in 2002. Arnold was known and respected by Judson coaches for leading the entire athletic department and helping all Rockets sports flourish. He has been inducted to the THSCA Hall of Honor, the THSCA Athletic Directors Hall of Honor and the San Antonio Sports Foundation Hall of Fame among others. The Judson athletic facilities were renamed the “Frank Arnold Athletic Center” in 2006.
The Gordon Wood award will be presented to Iraan High School for their 2016 season and the Tom Landry Award will be presented to Phil Danaher of Calallen High School.
Please join us in welcoming the class of 2017 into the Hall of Fame May 6 at 6 p.m. at Baylor University’s Ferrell Center. Please contact Tiffany Wilkins at firstname.lastname@example.org or 210-290-8570 by April 30th to purchase tickets. Adult tickets are $45, students are $15.
A news conference will be held prior to the banquet at 3:00pm at the Texas Sports Hall of Fame.