I said in a previous column that one of the toughest jobs in the world is that of director of communications at a major university. Think of all the sports they take care of. I also said that Jeff Darby, who fills that position at UTEP, goes the extra mile.
For instance, he not only announced this year’s inductees into the UTEP Hall of Fame, but even did the research for us journalists.
This year’s inductees are: Hans Hoglund (track & field), Stefon Jackson (men’s basketball), Tony Perea (football), Kayla Thornton (women’s basketball) and Brian Young (football).
The 2019 Hall of Famers will be honored in the induction ceremony on Friday, Sept. 20, in the Larry K. Durham Sports Center, and at the UTEP versus Nevada football game on Saturday, Sept. 21
Without further ado, here, in part, is what Darby came up with:
HOGLUND was a five-time NCAA champion and seven-time All-American at UTEP. He was the 1973 and 1975 NCAA indoor and outdoor champion in the shot put, the 1974 NCAA indoor champ in the event, and held the NCAA record in the shot put in 1975, rating first in the world. He took third place in the shot put at the 1972 and 1974 NCAA Outdoor Meet. Hoglund was also a six-time WAC champion. He was a 1976 Olympic finalist (eighth place). He will be honored posthumously. He died in his home country of Sweden in 2012.
JACKSON scored a UTEP record 2,456 points and averaged more than 23 points per game as a junior (23.6) and senior (24.5). He is also first in school history in field goals (810) and free throws (726) made. He ranked seventh nationally in scoring as a junior and fifth as a senior. He was first in the country in free throws made (312) and attempted (374) during the 2008-09 campaign.
PEREA was named first team All-WAC in 1971 and 1972, the 1972 WAC Defensive Player of the Year and an Associated Press All-American in 1971. He was the 1972 UTEP team captain. The linebacker amassed 459 career tackles, the third-best total in UTEP history. During the 1970 season, he recorded 26 tackles versus Arizona State. He later played for the Calgary Stampeders and the Hamilton Tiger Cats in the Canadian Football League, and was also a world-ranked heavyweight boxer in his 30s.
THORNTON starred for her hometown squad and helped the Miners earn runner-up honors at the 2014 WNIT in her senior season. UTEP won 96 games during her four years, including a program-record 29 victories in both the 2011-12 (29-4) and 2013-14 (29-8) campaigns. She remains the UTEP record holder for points (1,679), rebounds (1,032), double-doubles (40), field goals made (600) and free throws made (390).
YOUNG, another El Paso native, was a fierce pass rusher for his hometown Miners. He closed out his college career with 32 tackles for losses and 14.5 sacks, ranking fifth in school annals in both categories. In 1998, he became the first UTEP defensive lineman to post 100 tackles in 10 years. He also went over the century mark as a senior while registering 16 tackles for losses and eight sacks, garnering WAC Defensive Player of the Year honors. He played for St. Louis and New Orleans over nine seasons in the NFL, and was a part of the Rams’ 2001 Super Bowl squad.