Hall of Fame Class 0f 2009: Vince Young and Others

Michael GonzalezCorrespondent IJuly 23, 2008

AUSTIN, Texas—The jersey numbers of nine former Longhorn greats spanning 60 years of Texas athletics, including former Texas football greats Bobby Layne, Tommy Nobis, and Vince Young, will be retired in ceremonies during the 2008-09 school year, The University of Texas Men's Athletics Department announced Friday.

The group also includes basketball greats Kevin Durant and Slater Martin, and baseball greats Burt Hooton, Greg Swindell, Scott Bryant, and Brooks Kieschnick.

Each of the three sports will conduct appropriate individual ceremonies honoring the players and their jersey numbers during their 2008-09 seasons.

The jersey numbers that will be honored are No. 10 (Young), No. 22 (Layne), and No. 60 (Nobis) in football, No. 15 (Martin) and No. 35 (Durant) in basketball, and No. 20 (Hooton), No. 21 (Swindell), No. 23 (Kieschnick), and No. 25 (Bryant) in baseball. The number "21" will receive dual recognition, since it was also the number worn by Roger Clemens and hasn't been issued since it was retired in the 1993.

Previously, only four Longhorn players—football Heisman Trophy winners Earl Campbell (20) and Ricky Williams (34), basketball's 2003 Naismith and Wooden Award winner T. J. Ford (11), and baseball's seven-time Cy Young award winner Clemens—had been honored with the retirement of their jersey number.

"We have given this a lot of thought over a number of years," said Dodds. "With the completion of renovations at our football and baseball stadiums, as well as Kevin's joining T.J. as a National Player of the Year in basketball in 2007, we feel now is the right time to appropriately honor some of the greatest of our many great players.

"As our staff, working with the T-Association, considered the individuals who should be eligible, our first criteria was that a player should have earned recognition as a National Player of the Year in his sport. An exception was made in the case of Layne, Martin, and Hooton, who were legends in their sports but competed before many of the current awards were established."

Young, who led the Longhorns to the 2005 National Championship, and Nobis, who was a star linebacker for the 1963 National Championship team, both were winners of the Maxwell Award, presented by the Maxwell Memorial Football Club of Philadelphia.

The honor, which recognizes the nation's Outstanding College Football Player, has been presented annually since 1937. Layne was a consensus All-American who has been inducted into both the College Football and the NFL halls of fame.

"We're really excited that DeLoss and The University have seen it fit to retire Bobby, Tommy, and Vince's jerseys," football head coach Mack Brown said. "They all certainly are deserving and what a great opportunity to recognize some of the greatest players from so many outstanding eras in Texas Football. We're looking forward to honoring them at a game this fall."

"Man, I'm speechless," Young said. "This is such an unbelievable honor, having my jersey retired along with a group of Longhorn football legends like Earl (Campbell), Ricky (Williams), Bobby Layne, and Tommy Nobis. I want to congratulate all of the UT legends who are having their jerseys retired in all of the sports. It's humbling to be among that group.

"UT has been great to me. I have so many wonderful memories and I can't thank Coach Brown, the coaches and staff, Delius's (Dodds), and everyone enough for this great honor. Wow, it's just really something special that I could never have dreamed of—seeing my jersey hanging in the stadium at a place I love so much. That's something my family can enjoy and be proud of forever."

"The University of Texas stands for a lot more than just football, but I know how important football is there, and we have had a lot of great teams and great players," Nobis said. "When I think of all of the people who have walked onto that field, to be pulled out and recognized as one of the best is really special for me and my family."

Martin, a star of the golden era of Longhorn basketball in the late 1940s, led the Longhorns to their highest NCAA finish ever (third place) in 1947. He capped an 11-year career in the NBA by being named the first and only Longhorn selected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.

Durant was a unanimous choice as the nation's most outstanding basketball player during the 2006-07 season, when he earned both the Naismith and Wooden Awards as National Player of the Year.

Hooton was recognized as the greatest college pitcher of the era spanning the late 1960s and early 1970s, earning unanimous All-America honors during his time at Texas.

Swindell, a left-handed pitcher, was named Collegiate Baseball's National Player of the Year in 1986, while Bryant received several player of the year awards as an outfielder in 1989. Kieschnick won player of the year awards in both 1992 and 1993 as a pitcher and outfielder.


No. 22
Football (1944-47)

A two-sport star at Texas, Bobby Layne finished his UT career with then school records 3,145 yards passing, 25 TD passes on 210 completions and 400 attempts, while also pitching for the baseball team. Layne finished sixth in the Heisman voting in 1947 and eighth in 1946.

Layne's career passing yards and passing TD marks stood as the UT record for nearly 40 years, while his 28-6 record as a starter was the best in school history until Vince Young surpassed it with his 30-2 mark from 2003-05.

He was the Outstanding Back of the Longhorns' 1948 Sugar Bowl victory against number six Alabama as a senior and was one of the first inductees into the Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame based on his incredible performance in the 1946 Classic win against Missouri. In the 40-27 victory, Layne accounted for every point, scoring four touchdowns, kicking four extra points, and passing for the other two touchdowns.

Layne's 28 points scored in that game stood as the Longhorn record for more than 30 years before Ricky Williams broke it in 1997.

As a pitcher in baseball, Layne posted a 40-7 career record (tied for fourth on the UT all-time wins list), including a 28-0 mark in Southwest Conference play. His 10.78 strikeouts per nine innings rank third on the UT all-time list while his 386 career strikeouts are tied for fourth.

The third overall pick of the 1948 pro football draft, his 15-year professional career included leading the Detroit Lions to three league titles and twice being named the all-league quarterback (Detroit and Pittsburgh). The Lions won divisional crowns in 1952, 1953, and 1954, and NFL titles in 1952 and 1953.

In both title game victories, Layne and the Lions defeated the Cleveland Browns. In the 1953 game, Layne enjoyed his greatest and most famous contest. The Browns held a 16-10 advantage with 4:10 left to play. Layne coolly directed the team on an 80-yard TD drive that, combined with Doak Walker's extra point kick, gave the Lions a 17-16 win.

Layne, who also played in six Pro Bowls, led the league in passing in 1950 and 1951. He finished his career with 26,768 passing yards and 196 TDs while rushing for 2,451 yards and 25 scores. Inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1967 and elected to the Longhorn Hall of Honor in 1963, Sports Illustrated named Layne the "Toughest Quarterback who ever lived" in 1995.


No. 60
Football (1963-65)

Tommy Nobis was the Outland Trophy and Maxwell Award winner as a senior, a two-time All-American, made the All-Southwest Conference team three years, and was the only sophomore starter on the Longhorns' 1963 National Championship team. He also finished seventh in the Heisman voting in 1965, the only defensive player ranked among the top 10.

As a junior, he registered one of the most famous tackles in Orange Bowl history, when he led his teammates on a fourth-and-inches stop of Joe Namath at the goal line to preserve UT's 21-17 victory against number one Alabama.

Incredibly, Nobis played a part in Longhorn victories over two of college football's greatest players and future NFL Hall of Fame quarterbacks, as he also helped UT's defense defeat Heisman Trophy winner Roger Staubach and number two Navy (28-6) in the 1964 Cotton Bowl to secure the 1963 title.

Nobis, who appeared on the covers of Life, Sports Illustrated, and Time magazines during his Longhorn career, averaged nearly 20 tackles per game at UT and was often the primary blocker for TD runs on teams that were ranked number one in the nation at some point during each of his three years.

He also is tied for the UT single-season interceptions by a linebacker record with four (1965) and is third on the career list with eight. Nobis went on to a successful 10-year career with the Atlanta Falcons, earning Pro Bowl honors five times and NFL Rookie of the Year in 1966. He was named to the NFL's All-1960s team and was selected to the Football News' all-time All-America team.

Nobis posted 294 tackles as a rookie in 1966, a Falcon season record that still stands today. Now a member of the front office of the Falcons, Nobis was a first-round draft choice of the team in 1966 (the first player ever drafted by the expansion Falcons) and was elected to the Longhorn Hall of Honor in 1976 and the National Football Foundation College Hall of Fame in 1981.

A member of the Texas and Georgia State High School Halls of Fame, he joined fellow Longhorn Ricky Williams on the Walter Camp Football Foundation All-Century Team in 2000 and was selected to Sports Illustrated's All Century Team (1869-1969). Nobis is a member of the Falcons' Ring of Honor and his number 60 was the first number retired by the team.

No. 10
Football (2003-05)

Vince Young led Texas to a 41-38 victory over number one USC in the Rose Bowl, a school-best 13-0 record and the 2005 National Championship in what was one of the most memorable seasons in Texas Football history.

Just the fourth player in Rose Bowl history to earn two MVP Awards after being tabbed the Offensive MVP in the 2005 and 2006 games following the 2004 and 2005 seasons, Young's star shown brightest in "The Granddaddy of Them All." He passed for 267 yards, ran for 200 yards, and scored three TDs as number two Texas knocked off undefeated, defending National Champion and number one USC, 41-38, in the BCS Championship Game.

In the previous Rose Bowl against Michigan, Young, a sophomore, rushed for 192 yards to go along with 180 passing yards and accounted for five TDs (one passing/four rushing) to help Texas to a come-from-behind 38-37 victory over the Wolverines. In addition to the National Championship and two Rose Bowl victories, Young led Texas to its second Big 12 Championship in defeating Colorado 70-3 in 2005.

As the quarterback of arguably the most potent offense in NCAA history, Young led the 2005 Longhorns to a NCAA-record 652 points and helped the Horns become one of only four teams in NCAA history to average at least 50 points and 500 yards per game. Individually, he became the first player in NCAA history to pass for 3,000 yards and rush for 1,000 in a single season.

As a result, Young was named the recipient of the Maxwell Award (nation's outstanding player), Davey O'Brien Award (nation's top QB), and Manning Award (nation's best player, voted on after the bowl games). He also was named Cingular/ABC Player of the Year, runner-up for the Heisman Trophy and consensus first-team All-American that year.

Young left Texas as the winningest quarterback in school history, compiling a 30-2 record (.938) as a starter, including victories in the final 20 games of his career. His .938 winning percentage is sixth-best in NCAA history.

During his career, Young built a reputation as a clutch performer, leading the Horns to eight second half and six fourth quarter comebacks, most notably bringing the Horns back from a 12-point deficit with six minutes to go in the 2005 National Championship Game.

After just three seasons, Young became just the third quarterback in NCAA history to rush for more than 3,000 yards while passing for at least 6,000. He completed 61.8 percent of his passes for 6,040 yards (Number five on UT's career list) and 44 TDs (Number four on UT's career list). He also posted 3,127 rushing yards and 37 TDs, while notching 21 plays of at least 50 yards.

Both his rushing yards and TDs are UT quarterback records, and stand fifth and fourth, respectively, among all Longhorn rushers. He is also the Texas career leader in total offense (9,167 yards) and TDs responsible for with 81.

Young went on to be drafted third overall by the Tennessee Titans in 2006. He claimed NFL Rookie of the Year Honors after taking over as the starting quarterback in week four and leading the Titans to an 8-5 record. He earned a spot in the Pro Bowl, becoming the first rookie quarterback ever to play in that game. Young followed up his rookie year by leading the Titans to a playoff berth in 2007.

No. 25
Baseball (1987-89)

Scott Bryant enjoyed an outstanding playing career at Texas, including being named the nation's top collegiate baseball player in 1989. Bryant earned the Dick Howser Trophy as the nation's top collegiate baseball player during a season in which he hit .386 with 32 doubles, 18 home runs and 112 RBI. His doubles and RBI marks in 1989 still stand as school single-season records.

In addition to winning the Dick Howser Trophy, he was also a Golden Spikes Award finalist and earned All-America accolades in 1989. A two-time All-Southwest Conference selection, he ended his three-year career with a .353 batting average, 10th on UT's all-time list.

He also ranks in the top 10 all-time in doubles (55/Sixth), home runs (33/Fourth), extra-base hits (93/Fifth), and RBI (181/Ninth). Bryant was selected in the first round of the 1989 MLB amateur entry draft by the Cincinnati Reds with the 20th overall pick. He played eight years of professional baseball, including five at the Triple-A level.

No. 35
Basketball (2007)

Despite playing just one season of college basketball (2006-07), Kevin Durant established himself as one of the top players in school history. He earned consensus National Player of the Year honors in his freshman season, becoming the first freshman in NCAA history to win any of the major National Player of the Year awards.

He captured the Wooden Award, Naismith Trophy, and Adolph Rupp Trophy, and was named Player of the Year by The Associated Press, the NABC, the USBWA, CBS/Chevrolet, ESPN.com, SI.com, and The Sporting News. Durant garnered unanimous consensus first-team All-America honors, becoming just the third freshman in NCAA history to earn that honor.

The Big 12 Conference Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year, he was the only player in the nation to rank in the Top 10 nationally in both scoring (25.8 ppg/Fourth) and rebounding (11.1/Fourth). Durant led the Big 12 in scoring, rebounding, and blocked shots and paced the team in scoring, rebounding, blocked shots (67), steals (66), double-doubles (20), and minutes played (35.9 mpg).

He reached the 30-point mark 11 times, the 20-point plateau in 30 games, and posted double digits in scoring in all 35 contests. Durant turned professional following his freshman season and was selected by the Seattle Sonics as the second overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft. He was named the 2007-08 T-Mobile NBA Rookie of the Year in May, 2008.

No. 20
Baseball (1969-71)

Burt Hooton is regarded by many as the best college pitcher of his era and possibly ever. He logged a 35-3 mark for Texas from 1969-71. He still owns UT's career records for ERA (1.14), opponent batting average (.158), and strikeouts per nine innings (11.94). Hooton earned first-team All-Southwest Conference and All-America honors all three years in Austin.

He made two College World Series appearances with a fourth-place result in 1969 and a third-place finish in 1970. His four career wins at the CWS are tied for the tournament record.

Hooton is responsible for two of Texas' most memorable pitching performances, crafting a seven-inning no-hitter in an 8-0 win over Sam Houston State on Feb. 26, 1971, and a 13-inning, one hitter in a 1-0 win over Texas Tech on March 19, 1971. In the shutout over the Red Raiders, he fanned 19 batters.

Known for his knuckle-curve, Hooton enjoyed a 15-year major league career, playing for three teams, including the Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Texas Rangers. He is one of just 20 players to go straight to the major leagues without playing in the minors since MLB started its draft in 1965.

He logged a 151-136 career major league record with 1,491 strikeouts and a 3.65 ERA. Among his career major league highlights were pitching a no-hitter for the Chicago Cubs against the Philadelphia Phillies on April 16, 1972, and earning National League Championship Series Most Valuable Player honors in 1981 en route to helping the Los Angeles Dodgers win the World Series.

No. 23
Baseball (1991-93)
The only two-time winner of the Dick Howser Trophy, issued to the best player in collegiate baseball, Brooks Kieschnick is regarded as one of the best two-way college players ever and is already a member of the three-year old College Baseball Hall of Fame. A three-time All-American, he still ranks in the Top 10 in 11 different hitting and pitching categories for the Longhorns.

The three-time Southwest Conference Player of the Year as a pitcher and designated hitter ranks second on UT's career slugging percentage chart (.676), doubles (67), and extra-base hits (116), as well as third in home runs (43) and RBI (215).

In 1991, Kieschnick was named Baseball America's Freshman of the Year, hitting .358 with 20 doubles, 14 home runs, and 66 RBI while posting a 7-1 record with a 2.58 ERA, 61 strikeouts, and one save in 80.1 innings.

As a sophomore, he hit .345 with 20 doubles, 10 home runs, and 68 RBI and went 11-3 with a 3.13 ERA and 81 strikeouts in 115 innings to earn the Dick Howser Trophy, as well as being named a Golden Spikes Award finalist.

As a junior, Kieschnick closed out his UT career hitting .374 with 27 doubles, 19 home runs, and 81 RBI and posting a 16-4 record with three saves, 126 strikeouts, and a 3.25 ERA in 149.2 innings to earn his second Dick Howser Trophy as well as being named the Baseball America National Player of the Year.

He helped the Longhorns to back-to-back College World Series appearances in 1992 and 1993 and went on to a professional career that included six years in the Major Leagues. The 10th pick of the 1993 MLB draft by the Chicago Cubs, he spent time with Chicago, the Cincinnati Reds, Colorado Rockies, and Milwaukee Brewers.

No. 15
Basketball (1947-49)
The first and only Longhorn player to be inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., Slater Martin led Texas to a 63-14 record from 1947-49. He paced UT's famed "Mighty Mice" squad to a third-place finish at the NCAA Tournament during his sophomore season in 1946-47.

Martin went on to earn first-team All-America honors by the Helms Athletic Foundation as a senior in 1948-49. In his next-to-last game, he set a school single-game record (which he still shares today) with 49 points in an 81-60 victory over TCU on Feb. 26, 1948. During his career, he broke UT's all-time scoring mark with 984 points.

Following his collegiate days, Martin began an 11-year NBA career with the Minneapolis Lakers (1949-50 to 1955-56) and the St. Louis Hawks (1956-57 to 1959-60). The 5'10" guard established a reputation as one of the top defensive players in the league, while leading his teams to five World Championships and reaching the NBA Finals three additional times.

A seven-time NBA All-Star and five-time second-team All-NBA selection, he registered 7,337 points (9.8 pg), 3,160 assists (4.2 pg), and 2,302 rebounds (3.4 pg) in his 11 pro seasons. Martin was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1981.

No. 21
Baseball (1984-86)
Greg Swindell fashioned a career that could stake claim to the best ever for a collegiate pitcher. During his tenure on the Forty Acres, Swindell boasted a 43-8 record and a 1.92 ERA in 77 games. He made 50 starts for the Longhorns, pitching 32 complete games and notching school career records for shutouts (14) and strikeouts (501).

He still owns the NCAA Division I record for career shutouts and is one of only seven Division I pitchers to log over 500 career strikeouts. Swindell put together his best season in 1985, when he posted a 19-2 record and 1.67 ERA to go along with 15 complete games, six shutouts, and 204 strikeouts over 172 innings.

He was chosen as the Baseball America National Player of the Year that season as he set UT single-season records for wins, innings, strikeouts, complete games, and shutouts. The left-hander was selected as a first-team All-American and All-Southwest Conference performer all three seasons and received Freshman All-America honors, as well as Baseball America's Freshman of the Year Award in 1984.

He was also tabbed a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award three times. Swindell was selected second overall in the 1986 MLB First-Year Player Draft by the Cleveland Indians and embarked on a 17-year Major League career that included stints with Cleveland (1986-91 & 96), the Cincinnati Reds (1992), the Houston Astros (1993-96), the Minnesota Twins (1997-98), the Boston Red Sox (1998), and the Arizona Diamondbacks (1999-2002).

He earned a spot on the American League All-Star team in 1989 and made four appearances in post-season play. He helped the Diamondbacks win the 2001 World Series by making seven post-season relief appearances. He ended his career with 123 wins, 1,542 strikeouts, and a 3.86 ERA over 2,233 innings.


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