5 join Wayland Baptist Athletics Hall of Honor - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5 join Wayland Baptist Athletics Hall of Honor

Source: Wayland Baptist Athletics Source: Wayland Baptist Athletics
PLAINVIEW, TX (KCBD) -

Via Wayland Baptist Athletics

Wayland Baptist University’s Athletics Hall of Honor grew by five members Saturday when Rosa Ibarra, Rhane Jeffress, Robert E. Johnson, Caddo Matthews and Kevin Stinson were inducted.

The induction of the 2016 class was the 24th into the Hall of Honor that was started in 1992 and takes the total number of members to 91.

Richard Miller, pastor of Plainview’s Happy Union Baptist Church and a member of the Class of 2011, offered official congratulations on behalf of current members.

“Being inducted is something special,” Miller said, calling the members of the Hall of Honor “an elite group.”

Danny Andrews, director of alumni development at Wayland who was inducted into the Hall of Honor in 2005, introduced the five honorees. Each received a plaque, a replica of which will hang in the Hall of Honor room located in Hutcherson Center.

Jeffress served as sports information director for 13 years, from 1999-2012. She went from part-time to full-time as the program grew from seven sports to 18.

Former WBU Athletics Director Dr. Greg Feris, who helped found the Hall of Honor, said Jeffress played a huge role in the growth of the WBU Athletics Department.

“I honestly believe that the athletic program would not have taken off in the way it did without her tireless efforts on behalf of literally thousands of athletes and coaches,” Feris noted in a letter read by Andrews. It was the first induction ceremony Feris, who was committed to duties with his church, was not able to attend.

Jeffress, a native of Hale Center who lives near Bailey, Colo., thanked dozens of people, from student-workers to administrators, family to Feris.

“Thanks for keeping it fun,” she said. And to Feris, she added, “It was an honor to work for you.”

Jeffress also thanked husband Tim and son Todd, an all-American pitcher for the Pioneers. She said they spent almost as much time at Wayland sporting events through the years as she did.

Johnson, a nine-time all-American and three-time national champion hurdler at Wayland from 1980-84, said he “has a lot of very fond memories” of Wayland, including “endless bus rides and just being with teammates.

“This humbles me,” said Johnson, a Petersburg native who lives in San Antonio. “I’m very joyed and very prideful.”

Johnson, who has a three-decade career coaching track, also thanked numerous individuals, including his mentor, former WBU track coach John Creer.

“I have great, great memories of this place,” he said of Wayland. “It’s almost like I never left.”

Stinson is the first golfer to be inducted into the Hall of Honor. The former walk-on who didn’t start playing golf seriously until he was 16 became a three-time all-American who helped the Pioneers to a national runner-up finish in 2007.

Stinson said it was quite a shock arriving on the South Plains of Texas from his native British Columbia, Canada. “But the people are what made it happen. I can’t thank Coach (Tom) Harp enough for taking a chance on me. His faith in me was priceless. It meant so much to have the opportunity to come here for five years.”

Stinson alluded to the concept of “Team Wayland” that was stressed by Feris.

“It really is a team. We supported each other. We weren’t a big school, we weren’t the most talented. To come in second at nationals was amazing.”

Ibarra was a 21-time all-American, 10-time national champion and three-time most valuable performer at nationals while running track and cross country at Wayland from 1992-96. Efforts to locate Ibarra, a native of Colombia, South America, were unsuccessful.

Matthews coached the Flying Queens to the first 52 of the record 131-straight victories from 1953-55. His teams also was the first two of an eventual 10 AAU championships. Matthews was honored posthumously.

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