Kilgore College will once again honor former standout athletes, coaches and contributors at its annual Hall of Fame Weekend Sept. 27-28.
Henderson Athletic Director and head football coach Phil Castles will receive the Spirit of Excellence Award from KC this fall. The Spirit of Excellence Award is for former KC athletes or coaches who have carried on the Ranger tradition of excellence to achieve an impressive level of distinction in his or her career field.
Castles played football at KC on the 1986 and 1987 teams under head coach Jim Miller and assistant coaches Marion Turner and Phil Fuller. Castles has served as head football coach at Henderson High School since 2013 where he has a record of 52-23. In six seasons at Henderson, the Lions have made the playoffs four-out-of-six seasons, having reached the state quarterfinals in 2018. In 2017, the Lions were 11-3 and he was named American State Bank's 2017 East Texas Coach of the Year.
Henderson reached the regional playoff (third) round during the 2014 and 2016 seasons. Prior to Henderson, he coached at Corsicana, Chapel Hill and Elysian Fields.
A benefit golf tournament is set for Sept. 27, and Hall of Fame inductees will be introduced during a luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Sept. 28, in the Devall Ballroom on the Kilgore campus.
Entry fee for the golf tournament is $75 per player. Tickets to the luncheon are $20 each.
Hall of Fame members will also be recognized during halftime of the KC versus Texas A&T football game 5 p.m. Sept. 28, at R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium in Kilgore.
“I always look forward to the Hall of Fame event because it is one of the most inspirational and motivational events of the year,” said Jimmy Rieves, athletic director. “It is such a hard task to narrow down all of the great student-athletes and contributors who have come through our doors over the years to select a few outstanding people each year to honor.”
The golf tournament will be a two-man scramble at Tempest Golf Club in Gladewater sponsored by KC, Baylor Scott and White, UT Tyler and Aramark. All proceeds will benefit KC Athletics.
Also, the college looking for hole sponsors for the golf tournament or any business that can donate door prizes.
For more information, contact Rieves at 903-988-7536 or Kristan Propes at 903-988-7537. More information is also available at www.kilgore.edu/halloffame.
The newest inductees for the Hall of Fame for the 2019 season will include:
Football players: Curtis Buckley and Dr. Robert Iden. Buckley played defensive back for the Rangers on the 1989 and 1990 teams under head coach Jim Miller and assistant coaches Marion Turner, Phil Fuller and Raymond Woodard. In those two seasons, KC was 15-7. After KC, he played football at East Texas State University and played in the National Football League from 1993-99 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, San Francisco 49ers, New York Giants and the Washington Redskins. He works now as an assistant psychiatrist at Dallas Behavioral Healthcare Center in Dallas.
Iden was an All-American football player for the Rangers on the 1970 and 1971 teams under head coach Charles Simmons and assistant coaches Jim Miller and Brodie Campbell. In those two seasons, KC was 15-4-2.
Men’s Basketball player: Jermaine Lewis. Lewis played basketball for the Rangers from 1999-2001 under head coach Scott Schumacher. He was named head basketball coach at Pine Tree High School in March of 2017. Last season, the Pirates advanced to the Bi-District (second) round of the state playoffs. Lewis took over coaching at Pine Tree after spending eight years coaching at Gladewater High School. At Gladewater, Lewis’ team won the district championship in 2015-16 for the first time in 20 years and he was named 16-4A Coach of the Year.
Women’s Basketball Player: Meosha Walker. Walker played basketball for the Rangers from 2000-2002 under head coach Scotti Wood and assistant coach Cortina James. During these two seasons, KC was 40-23 overall and 18-12 in conference play.
Men’s Basketball Team: 1963-64 Team. The 1963-64 men’s basketball team won the Texas Eastern Conference championship with a 26-4 overall and 11-1 conference record. Head coach was Joe Turner.
Tennis Coach: Chris Blair. Blair served as tennis coach at KC from 1996-2001 where he had several outstanding seasons. He currently works at Pinecrest Country Club in Longview as the USPTA Certified Tennis Professional and has 34 years’ experience coaching top-ranked juniors, adults and future touring professional tennis players.
Tennis Player: Martin Kardos. Kardos played tennis at KC from 1999-2001 under head coach Chris Blair where he had outstanding seasons and was ranked in the Top-100 tennis players in the NJCAA his sophomore year. After KC, he transferred to University of Missouri-St. Louis where he earned a Bachelor’s in International Business and an MBA in Management, graduating Summa Cum Laude with 4.0 GPA. Kardos now resides in his home country of Slovakia and is Managing Director for CSI Leasing, Inc., for Central and Eastern Europe, a job he has had since 2005.
Contributors: Travis Martin and Glenn Wells. Martin is a major supporter and booster of KC athletics. Martin has also served in the Kilgore High School Football Booster club for many years and has been a constant supporter for the youth of Kilgore for decades. He was also co-founder of the Kilgore Boys & Girls Club where he served on its board for many years. In 2010, the Kilgore Chamber of Commerce named Martin Kilgore's Citizen of the Year for his work in the community. He currently serves as a supervisor for JDW Services where he has worked since 1985.
Former band director Glenn Wells revitalized the band program at KC when he was hired by KC in 2011. Wells, a KC graduate and band alum, served as head band director at KC from 2011 until retiring in December of 2018. With more than 30 years in education, Wells served 20-plus years as the head band director of high schools including Kilgore, Pine Tree, Lufkin, Gladewater, Chapel Hill and Overton.
Spirit of Excellence Awards: Castles and Dr. Hurley Miller. Dr. Miller serves as the district extension administrator for Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. He played football for KC from 1989-1990 under head coach Jim Miller and assistant coaches Marion Turner, Phil Fuller and Raymond Woodard. Miller played football at Abilene Christian University after KC from 1991-92 where he was named Offensive Player of the Year in 1991. He was also named by ACU as the “Young Alumnus of the Year” in 2005.