Tulsa to Induct Three Former Athletes and First 20-Win Basketball Team into Athletic Hall of Fame
Nov. 12, 2002
Tulsa, Okla. - The University of Tulsa's first 20-win basketball team and three former Golden Hurricane student-athletes will be inducted into The University of Tulsa Athletic Hall of Fame on Friday, November 15, 2002, at 6:30 p.m., in ceremonies at the Allen Chapman Activity Center on the TU campus.
The list of inductees include former football standouts N.A. Keithley (Miami, Okla.) and Bob Brumble (Tulsa, Okla.) and legendary baseball coach Gene Shell (Tulsa, Okla.) The 1954-55 Basketball Team, which was the first team to reach 20 wins in school history as well as the school's first NCAA Tournament participant, is the 10th team to be recognized by the Hall of Fame in the special Honor Team category.
A three-year letterwinner, Bob Brumble (Football, 1957-58) was a powerful fullback who was nicknamed "Bustin'" Bob Brumble by the Tulsa World for his ability to break tackles despite his small size. He was a two-time all-Missouri Valley Conference first team selection, earning the honor as a junior and senior. Brumble led Tulsa in scoring as a junior with 48 points on eight touchdowns, and was the team-leader in rushing in 1959 with 599 yards. He established school records for most rushes in a game (36), season (173) and career (399). He completed his career with 1,421 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns. Brumble was honored with the team's Best Blocking Back Award for the 1957 and 1958 seasons.
Known as one of the school's greatest open-field runners ever, N.A. Keithley (Football, 1940-42) led the Golden Hurricane in rushing in 1941 with 297 yards, and in 1942 with 497 yards for a 5.2 average. He played on teams that registered a three-year record of 25-6 and went to two Bowl games, the Sun Bowl and Sugar Bowl. Keithley earned first-team all-Missouri Valley Conference honors twice. He was an honorable mention selection to the All-Time University of Tulsa Football Team by the Tulsa World in 1945.
In 15 years as Tulsa's baseball coach, Gene Shell (Baseball Coach, 1965-80) compiled a 478-199 record for a .706 winning percentage. He led his teams to seven Missouri Valley Conference titles, five second-place league finishes and seven District V playoff appearances. Shell guided the Golden Hurricane to the College World Series twice, finishing as the national runners-up in 1969 and in third-place for the 1971 season. He was named the MVC Coach of the Year three times and earned District V Coach of the Year honors twice.
Shell's teams were nationally ranked a number of times, and reached No. 1 during the 1972 season. He coached Tulsa to the school's two best seasons ever -- the 1969 team finished 39-5 for an .886 winning percentage, while the 1972 team posted a 44-6 record for an .880 winning percentage. He completed the 1980 season as the fourth winningest coach in college baseball. As a collegiate head coach, he coached 16 All-Americans and had 73 players sign professional contracts.
The 1954-55 Basketball Team compiled an overall 21-7 record, posted the school's first 20-win season, won the school's first Missouri Valley Conference title and made the school's first appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The Tulsa World called the team "the finest in school history." Tulsa was ranked ninth nationally in team defense, holding opponents to 60.1 points per game.
Head Coach Clarence Iba earned MVC Coach of the Year honors. Bob Patterson, who led the MVC and ranked sixth nationally with a 27.6 scoring average, became Tulsa's first All-America basketball player. A first-team all-MVC selection, Patterson was joined on the all-conference teams by teammates Dick Courter (second-team), Junior Born, J.C. Duncan, Jerry Hacker and Ernie Stewart (honorable mention).
Other team members were: Richard Bischoff, Don Buenzow, Don Denton, Duane Downer, William Elliott, Jerry Evans, John Jobe, Mel Johnston, Jim Krause, Ken Leatherman, John Stob, John Wenzel and John Yates. Tulsa's season record of 21-7 remained the best in school history for 26 years.
The Athletic Hall of Fame banquet will take place at the Great Hall in the Allen Chapman Activity Center on the TU campus, beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 15. The inductees will also be recognized at halftime of the Tulsa-San Jose State football game on Saturday. Banquet tickets are $25.00 per person and can be purchased by calling the Golden Hurricane Club at 918-631-2342.
2002 TULSA HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES
Gene Shell * Baseball Coach, 1965-1980
N. A. Keithley * Football, 1940-1942
Bob Brumble * Football, 1957-1959
TULSA HALL OF FAME HONOR TEAM
1954-1955 Basketball Team