Monthly Archive: March 2013

Smith, Dean

Dean Smith Smith was an all-state running back at Graham and played football and ran track at the University of Texas.  He was a halfback on the Longhorns’ team that beat Tennessee in the Cotton Bowl.  In 1952, he was a gold medalist on the U.S. 4×100 relay team at the Helsinki Olympics in Finland […]

Overton, Ray

Ray Overton Overton is the longest tenured coach in Abilene Cooper history, spending 19 seasons at the school, including 11 years as head coach compiling a 69-40-2 record.  A graduate of Paint Creek High School in 1941, he went to Texas A&M for a year and then joined the Air Force during World War II. […]

Malone, Andy

Andy Malone Malone compiled an 861-345 record in 41 years as a high school baseball coach, including a 220-52 mark in seven seasons at Cooper.  He led the Cougars to back-to back state titles in 1987 and 1988.  His 1987 team went 33-3 and was deemed the co-national champions by Collegiate Baseball.  His Cooper teams won six […]

Land, Bruce

Bruce Land Land of Hawley unofficially broke or tied the 100-yard dash world record seven times during his track career.  After earning all-American honors at Cisco Junior College, he ran track at McMurry and is a member of that school’s Hall of Fame.  He qualified for the 1960 Olympic Trials in the 100, 200, and long jump, […]

Kent, Kelly

Kelly Kent Kent was an all-state running back at Cisco in the mid-1970s and then played football at Abilene Christian University where he scored 26 touchdowns in three seasons.  He was a member of the ACU team that won the NAIA national championship in 1977 in the Apple Bowl and was the MVP in that game.  He […]

Ford, Ken & John

John “Model T” Ford and Kenneth Ford The Ford brothers of Breckenridge were among the first of many great passing quarterbacks to come out of the Big Country. Both are in the Hardin-Simmons Hall of Fame.  John set 13 Cowboy passing records and ranked among the nation’s top 10 passers in 1948, 1949 and 1950. […]

Crousen, Joe

Joe Crousen Crousen was a linebacker on Breckenridge’s state championship team in 1958.  He played football at Sul Ross State before starting a long coaching career that included an assistant coaching job at Mississippi State under his high school coach and fellow Hall of Famer Emory Bellard.  He was the defensive coordinator on the Cooper team […]

Casey, Judy

Judy Casey Casey, a graduate of Abilene High, is one of the best female golfers to come out of the Big Country.  She was a three-time Texas Publinx champion and also won the Women’s West Texas Golf Championship three times.  She won the Louisiana State Amateur in New Orleans, too.  Casey set course records at […]

Cain, John Paul

John Paul Cain Cain, a four-year letterman in golf at Texas Tech, was the 1959 Texas Amateur champion and played Ben Crenshaw in the finals of the 1973 Trans-Mississippi Mid-Amateur.  After a lengthy career as a stockbroker and amateur golfer, Cain from Sweetwater turned pro and qualified for the Senior PGA Tour.  He won two […]

Young, John Paul

John Paul Young Young was a starting offensive lineman at Abilene High in 1957 and then played collegiate football at Texas Western.  He made his mark as a long-time assistant coach, first at SMU and Texas A&M and then in the NFL with the Houston Oilers, New Orleans Saints, Kansas City Chiefs, Denver Broncos, and […]