Athletics News

2013 Hall of Fame Bios

Jim Cooper (football) - Cooper was one of the earliest All-America players in North Texas history. In 1946, Cooper was an HM Little All-America, the anchor of the offensive line that captured the Lone Star Conference title and played in the first bowl game in school history. North Texas won the Optimist Bowl in 1946 with a 14-13 victory over Pacific. The next season Cooper and North Texas posted the most wins in school history with 10 and played in the Salad Bowl on New Year’s Day. In his two seasons with the Mean Green, Cooper was a two-time first-team all-conference player in 1946 and 1947. He was drafted by the Philadephia Eagles in the eighth round in 1948 but eventually played professionally with the Brooklyn Dodgers of the All-American Football Conference. Following his playing career, Cooper coached high school football in Texas and Alaska. In 2010, the Jim Cooper Memorial Coaching Scholarship in the College of Education at the University of North Texas was established to aid graduate assistant coaches.

Scott Hall (football) - One of the most accomplished quarterbacks in school history. Hall led North Texas to the Sun Belt Conference title in 2001, 2003 and 2004. The Mean Green went to the New Orleans Bowl each of those years thanks to the leadership of Hall. He guided North Texas to 24 wins while under center at North Texas. In 2000, he became the first freshman since 1987 to lead North Texas in total offense. In 2003, Hall led the Sun Belt Conference in passing efficiency and had the best touchdown-to-interception ratio in the league that year. He was named to the first-team all-conference as he threw for 1,732 yards and 13 touchdowns. In 2004, Hall passed for a career-high 1,818 yards and 14 touchdowns with only four interceptions and was named to the second-team all-conference. He led North Texas in total offense in 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2004 becoming only the second player in school history to lead the team in total offense in four seasons. As starting quarterback at North Texas, Hall had a Sun Belt Conference record of 19-1.

Heather Hutyra (women’s soccer) -Hutyra took the North Texas soccer team to new heights during her time as one of the most decorated players in school history. She finished her career as a three-time first-team all-conference selection. She was the 2004 Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year and helped lead North Texas to the NCAA Tournament and Sun Belt Conference Tournament title for the first time in school history, and set a single season freshman record with 83 shots, six goals and 17 points. In 2005, Hutyra powered the Mean Green back to the NCAA Tournament for a second straight season and was named the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year and first-team all-conference. She scored 20 goals that season and notched 47 points and was named the Sun Belt Conference Tournament MVP and to the All-Central Region team. In 2006, she was named first-team all-conference for a third-straight season and to the all-region third-team with 13 goals and 31 points for the season. In 2007, Hutyra tied for the team lead with 12 goals and was second with 32 points. She finished her career tied for second with 51 goals, third with 25 assists and second with 127 points.

Ernie Kuehne (Fred McCain Award) - Kuehne is the recipient of the 2013 Fred McCain Award, presented to individuals whose contributions and efforts advance the athletic program in major ways.  Kuehne, a 1966 graduate of North Texas, made an initial $1 million pledge in January of 2011 to help with Apogee Stadium and other department needs. His commitment didn’t stop with the monetary gift. A year later Mr. Kuehne agreed to chair the basketball enhancement committee whose main priorities included a basketball practice facility and a new scoreboard and sound system in the Super Pit. In 30 days, the group raised over $3 million in pledges, including an additional $1million dollar gift from Kuehne himself. The basketball practice facility was quickly completed along with the improvements at the Super Pit due to the dedication of Kuehne.

Corky Nelson (football) -Clark "Corky" Nelson was head football coach for nine seasons from 1982-1990, a time when the program moved to Division I-AA and overcame financial hardships to succeed as a member of the Southland Conference. Nelson coached the Mean Green to the third most victories in school history (48), winning a league championship in 1983, leading the team to a pair of second-place finishes and advancing as a Top 20-ranked team to the Division I-AA national playoffs three times. Nelson-coached teams registered several impressive victories over Division I opponents, including New Mexico (18-8, 1983), Kansas State (22-10, 1985), TCU (24-20, 1986), Texas Tech (29-24, 1988), Rice (33-17, 1988) and SMU (14-7, 1990). He was named the Southland Conference Coach of the Year in 1983 and coached a total of 29 All-Conference performers at North Texas. Nelson also coached two future NFL Hall of Famers in Earl Campbell (Tyler John Tyler High School) and Mike Singletary (Baylor). Nelson served in a dual role of head football coach and athletic director for one year, 1990.

Cody Spencer (football) - Spencer was one of the stalwarts of the North Texas defense from 2000-03. He was a three-time all-conference selection from 2001-03 and was twice named to the first-team all-conference. Spencer had 105 tackles his sophomore season in 2001 and was named to the second-team all-conference squad. In 2002, despite missing three games with an injury, he was a first-team all-conference selection. Spencer had five sacks, three interceptions and 66 tackles in 2002. The 2002 Mean Green defense was one of the most dominant in school history as the Mean Green captured its second straight Sun Belt Conference title and won the 2002 New Orleans Bowl. The 2002 defense had three shutouts and held nine opponents to less than 20 points. His senior season saw Spencer rack up 121 tackles and seven tackles for loss as the Mean Green won the Sun Belt Conference title for the third-straight year. Spencer was one of the forces on a defense that limited teams to the second fewest rushing yards allowed in a single season since 1969. The 121 tackles were the most at North Texas since 1989 and ranked sixth most in school history.

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