DENTON (7/30/07) - The University of North Texas has announced its 2007 Athletic Hall of Fame Class. Among the group of four former Mean Green greats is the school’s all-time leading women’s basketball scorer, one of the best women’s soccer players who helped build the program, the best point guard in school history, and a former men’s basketball star from the late 1940’s.
Christy Johnson (women’s soccer), Jalie Mitchell (women’s basketball), Rosalyn Reades (women’s basketball), and Bennie Rutherford (men’s basketball) make up the four-member class and gives the North Texas Athletic Hall of Fame 150 members.
The school’s silver anniversary class, the 25th all-time, will be inducted as part of the Mean Green’s annual Homecoming Weekend Hall of Fame on October 27. The North Texas Hall of Fame, for the first time, will also recognize and honor the 1977 football team that won 10 games. Coach Hayden Fry, former North Texas assistant and Kansas State head coach Bill Synder, and other members of the 1977 team are scheduled to attend the breakfest.
"With it being our 25th anniversary of the Hall of Fame that makes this one a very special class," said North Texas athletic director Rick Villarreal. "The fact that we are inducting three female student athletes shows just how far we have come with our women’s programs throughout the years and for the first time we are going to honor one of our great teams from the past makes it even more special".
Johnson, a four-year letterwinner, was one of the pillars during the early years of North Texas women’s soccer. Johnson left North Texas in 2000 as the all-time leader in goals, points, shots, and games started in her four-year career. She was a freshman All-American in 1997 and first-team all-central region player that year. During Johnson’s time at North Texas the Mean Green compiled 55 victories that included wins over teams such as Arkansas, LSU, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, SMU, Texas, Texas Tech, and Vanderbilt.
Perhaps the greatest women’s basketball player in Mean Green history, Mitchell was named all-conference all four years at North Texas, concluding her career as the 2002 Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year. She is the Mean Green’s all-time leading scorer with 1,764 points and ranks No. 1 in free throws and attempts.
One of the most complete players to ever suit up at North Texas, Reades was a four-year letterwinner that ended her career ranked No. 1 in assists (458) and steals (296) at North Texas. She was a two-time all-conference pick and the Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Year in 2002. She ranks in the top 10 in career rebounds, free throws and free throw attempts. Reades is the only player in North Texas history to record 500 points, 400 rebounds, 300 assists, and 200 steals in a career.
Mitchell and Reades led North Texas to its best four-year stretch in women’s basketball history that included two apperances in the WNIT, 77 wins, and three divisional championships.
Rutherford was a four-year letterman in basketball from 1946-50. He was the Eagles’ leading scorer in 1949-50 with a 16.8 ppg average, which included a season-high 29 points against Houston. Rutherford was a first-team Gulf Coast Conference selection in 1949-50 as he scored 438 total points, the third-most in the state of Texas. He was voted the T Club’s Most Outstanding Athlete of the Year in 1949-50. In 1948-49, he averaged 9.6 ppg, which was the second-highest on the team.