Athletics News

The 2012 Hall of Fame Inductees

WALTER CHAPMAN (FOOTBALL) - Once called "a 5-foot-10, 240-pound stick of dynamite" by Texas Football magazine, Walter Chapman was a quick, powerful defensive nose tackle who was a four-year starter for the Mean Green before, ultimately, earning All-American honors. Chapman was named the Missouri Valley Conference's freshman defensive player of the year in 1973 and first team All-MVC as a sophomore in 1974. Following the school's decision to leave the MVC, Chapman was named to the National Independents All-Star first team after the 1975 season. That season he also earned Lineman of the Week honors from the Associated Press and was the Sports Illustrated Defensive Player of the Week after registering 14 tackles (including nine for lost yardage) and six assists in a 28-0 victory over Houston. After a season-ending knee injury in 1976, Chapman came back for a stellar senior season in 1977, helping the Mean Green to a 10-1 season that ended with the team ranked No. 16 in the nation by United Press International (UPI). Chapman closed out his playing career by being named third-team All-American by Football News and honorable mention All-American by AP. Prior to Chapman's senior season, Mean Green head coach Hayden Fry called the Grand Prairie native, "the finest defensive lineman I've ever seen."He played with the Shreveport Steamers after graduation, and coached at Carter-Riverside High School and A. Maceo Smith High School before passing away in 1996.

BRANDON KENNEDY (FOOTBALL) - One of the most dominant interior lineman to play for North Texas, Kennedy was the 2002 and 2003 Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year. In 2002 Kennedy was the Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Year and was three-time first-team all-conference player from 2001-03. Kennedy turned in one of the most dominating seasons in recent history in 2002 when he finished No. 3 in the nation with 24 tackles for a loss. He was named Third Team All-American by the College Football News that year. During that year Kennedy led the league with 10 sacks and was the SBC Player of the Week three times during the year. In 2003 Kennedy had 20 tackles for a loss and he left as the school's all-time leader in tackles for a loss with 61 for his career. Kennedy is one of only four players in school history to be a four-time all-conference player.

RON LINSCOMB (TRACK AND FIELD) -  In 1965, his senior season, Linscomb was undefeated and the #1 ranked Long Jumper in Texas Collegiate competition.  As Missouri Valley Conference Long Jump Champion in 1965, he set a new conference record of 25' ¾" and became the first North Texas athlete and the first Missouri Valley athlete to soar over 25'.  He was awarded a total of seven medals in Missouri Valley Conference competitions.  He first set the North Texas Long Jump standard in 1963, his sophomore year, with a jump of 24' 2.5", eclipsing Hall of Famer Luther Fambro's record.  He subsequently broke his own record three more times and retained the school record for 12 years.  He also set the Indoor Long Jump school record. He was a versatile performer until his senior year when Coach Pop Noah wanted him to concentrate on his specialty.  He competed in eight different events at one time or another in his career.  Among these he was a regular member on the Mile Relay Team and established the school record in the Triple Jump (new event) and held it for three years.

C. DAN SMITH (FOOTBALL, SPECIAL CONTRIBUTORS) -  C. Dan Smith is one of the most influential figures in the history of University of North Texas Athletics.  As a student-athlete, administrator, philanthropist and overall ambassador, Smith's legacy of contribution is felt across the university - in athletics, academics and the arts.  He was a football letterwinner from 1959-61, where he developed a loyalty to North Texas that has lasted more than 50 years.  He was a member of the 1959 Missouri Valley Conference championship team, helping his squad to a 9-1 regular-season record and a berth in the Sun Bowl.  Smith played fullback in a backfield with Hall of Famer Abner Haynes in 1959 before missing most of the 1960 season with an injury.  He returned as a fullback in 1961 to help two North Texas halfbacks, Bobby Smith and Billy Christle, earn first team All-Missouri Valley Conference honors.    He earned his bachelor degree in business administration in 1962.  Smith has been an active member of the Geezle Fraternity - a social organization of former North Texas students that began in the 1930's whose mission was and continues to be the support and promotion of North Texas athletics. In 1995 Smith was recognized for his strong support of North Texas Athletics by being presented with the Green Glory Award.  In 2001 the university honored Smith with its most prestigious alumni accolade, the Distinguished Alumnus Award.  With a history of financial contribution to the university that spans more than 30 years, Smith has been at the forefront of capital campaign projects that helped develop the entire Mean Green Village into a state-of-the-art training, academic and competition facilities.  His major gift for the Hall of Fame area allowed Smith to bestow naming rights for the facility after his former teammate Terry Don Parks.  After becoming a successful businessman and entrepreneur Smith was appointed by Texas Governor Rick Perry to the North Texas System Board of Regents in 2002.  He served in that leadership role until 2011, acting as the chairman of the board his last two years.  

JAMARIO THOMAS (FOOTBALL) -  In one of the most improbable ways, Jamario Thomas burst onto the national scene as a true freshman to lead the nation in rushing. He rushed for most than 180 yards a game, set a North Texas and Sun Belt conference record with 1,801 yards, and set the NCAA freshman record for 200-yard games, going over that mark five times. He tied the NCAA record for fastest to reach 1,000 yards when he made it in seven games. In 2004, Thomas was a First-Team All-American pick by CBS Sportsline and a Third-Team All-American selection by the AP. He was the 2004 Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year and the Freshman of the Year as he totaled 17 rushing touchdowns. Thomas also set an NCAA record in 2004 with six 200-yard rushing games, which is the most by a freshman in NCAA history. He finished his career as the second all-time leading rusher in school history with 3,496 yards and 27 touchdowns. Thomas ranked in the top-10 all-time when he left North Texas in rushing yards, attempts, touchdowns, 100-yard rushing games, and consecutive 100-yard rushing games.