Club honors inductees at ceremony

Club honors inductees at ceremony

Five alumni athletes were remembered for their accomplishments and cemented into Horned Frogs athletics history when they were inducted into the Letterman’s Hall of Fame on Thursday.The five former Horned Frogs – Jamie Dixon, James Maness, Al Paschal, David Roditi and Mike Sullivan – were honored as the class of 2007 at the Dee J. Kelly Alumni Center before a group of administrators, alumni, family and friends.

Dixon, who is currently the men’s basketball coach at Pittsburgh, had the biggest following at the event with three tables made up of family and Pitt assistant coaches.

Before gaining national notoriety by leading Pitt to four years of 20-plus win seasons and NCAA Tournament appearances, Dixon enjoyed success as a player, helping lead TCU to back-to-back Southwest Conference championships in 1986 and 1987.

He said getting together with his Horned Frog teammates of the past reminds him of the special time he spent in Fort Worth.

“I think that’s really a reflection of success and having a good time when you’re at the university,” Dixon said. “I don’t think teams that came in last place are getting together 25 years later.”

Maness is best remembered for being a two-sport All-American in football and track. He remains an avid football fan and said despite the back-to-back losses, the success of the football program is at an all-time high.

“The program I think now is outstanding,” said Maness, a wide receiver for the 1986 Super Bowl champion Chicago Bears. “It’s been going great for the last 11 years. It has been getting better and better and better every year. It’s a fun thing to see and watch on the outside.”

Sullivan agreed with Maness’ assessment, saying the present-day state of TCU football is a lot healthier compared to what he remembered former football coach Jim Wacker calling “the living death penalty,” which resulted from rule violations in the late 1980s. Sullivan, who was named to TCU’s All-Century Team for his consistent play as an offensive tackle from 1987 to 1990, said the program is on the verge of being the most special it has ever been in its history.

“They used to say that the 1930s and the late 1950s were the golden ages,” said Sullivan. “I think we’re almost in the golden age right now.”

The youngest inductee in attendance was Roditi, who currently holds the top position in combined singles and doubles victories in TCU men’s tennis history. He said he was ecstatic to be honored by a place he remembers fondly.

“It is very, very special,” Roditi said. “TCU has been one of the biggest things in my life.”

If Roditi was the youngest, then Paschal might have been the oldest, but when asked of his age, he said he was “12 (years old).” Paschal’s time with TCU baseball spanned from 1954 to 1956, and is still the only TCU shortstop to be honored as an All-American.

He said being honored as a Hall of Famer at his age – whatever it may be – is something he does not take lightly.

“It’s surreal,” Paschal said. “It’s like a dream. If this happened to me when I was 25, 30 or 40, I don’t know if I would have deserved it, and it would not have meant nearly as much to me.