Inside this June 2009 edition of the L Club Newsletter:
- L Club Welcome
- All About You!
- Robert Williamson Takes Over as L Club Executive Director
- New associate athletic director for development selected
- Clement, Black, Mossbarger, Philyaw go into Hall
- Nominations for the 2010 ULM Sports Hall of Fame class
- EDITOR'S NOTEBOOK: Thoughts on College Football, The L Club, The Hall of Fame
- L Club Wrap-up
L Club Welcome
Dear L-Club Member,
Welcome to the June 2009 edition of our online newsletter! I am excited to be this year’s president of your L Club and look forward to working with all of you for the betterment of our university. Your L Club Board is working on some exciting ideas for our organization and I look forward to sharing that information with you soon.
I want to thank everyone who made this e-newsletter possible and also thank those of you who joined (paid your dues!) this last year. I look forward to another exciting year for ULM.
Thanks for your continuing support of ULM and the L-Club.
All About You!
39 Turn Out For Annual Track Reunion
Thirty-nine former track athletes turned out for the annual ULM Track Reunion held in conjunction with the Warhawk Classic April 25 on Bob Groseclose Track.
The reunion attracted male and female athletes from ULM teams ranging from the early 1960’s up to recent years.
Attending were Greg Adair, Angela Black Moon, David Bryant, Lisa Cooper Colvin, David Estes, Greg Estes, John Feaster, Jake Ford, Holly Forrester Saxby, Michael Gomila, Susan Gorman, Gregory Grace, Mark Hamiter;
Kevin James, Clarence Jones, Lea Langford, Jhonnette Lemon Smith, Marshall Malone, Russell Mangum, Jerme Marshall, Chuck McCullen, Charlie McDonald, David McDonald, Dwain McDuffie, Lisa Murphy Zujovic;
Bruce Navarre; Jody Norman, Freddie Philley, Drew Prisner, Derrick Robertson, Melissa Totten Prejean, Thomas and Alycia Varytimidis, Melissa Walpole Bennett, Greg White, Mark Wilson, Lauri Young Mondschein, former Coach Dennis Groll and present Coach J.D. Malone.
The former track athletes watched a great showing by Coach Malone’s current ULM team as the Warhawks won 18 first places in the meet. The next week the Warhawk men finished third in the Sun Belt Conference meet—the best ULM showing in a conference meet since the 1992 team finished second in the Southland Conference Championships.
Hal Steelman, a graduate assistant coach on ULM’s 1987 national championship football team, died May 15 at Lonoke, Ark. Steelman, football coach at Lonoke High, succumbed of complications from diabetes at the age of 50. The son of former ULM assistant coach Harold Steelman Sr., he was a graduate of ULM and received a master’s degree from Central Arkansas.
Former ULM football star Al Miller was the featured speaker at the annual Bayou Jamb Gridiron Coaches Clinic in Monroe May 30. Miller was an all-conference end at then-Northeast Louisiana State College in 1969 and is a member of the ULM Hall of Fame. He was a strength coach in the NFL for 21 years.
Back to Top
Robert Williamson Takes Over as L Club Executive Director
Robert Williamson, associated with ULM and its athletic program for more than 20 years, has been named Executive Director of the L Club.
Williamson was unanimously named to his new job at the May 7 meeting of the L Club Board. He fills a position last held by Billy Laird.
New officers and board members were also approved at the May 7 meeting. Lisa Colvin moves up to President from first vice president. Other new officers are E.J. Lee Ok as First Vice President, Larry McDonald Second Vice President, and Ronnie Dowling Secretary-Treasurer.
New members elected to the board are class of 2012 members Phil Trahan, Fay (T-Model) Thurman, Lynn Rivers, Lou St. Amant and Blair Michel, while Roger Johnston goes on the 2010 class for Vicki Howard, who said she would be unable to serve and asked to be replaced.
Going off the board are members of the class of 2009—Buddy Embanato, Mayor Jamie Mayo, Chuck McCullen, Cori Scroggins and Mike Vining.
Williamson has been an active member of the L Club for many years and just completed a term as president. His long association with ULM and the many contacts he made with Warhawk athletes in all sports during his service as assistant athletic trainer and a member of the faculty make him a natural for the position.
He came to ULM as a student trainer and later served as a graduate assistant trainer. He joined the staff as a full-time member in 1983, serving as assistant trainer to the legendary Charlie Martin and also began teaching in the Health and Physical Education Department in 1988. He’s been on the job ever since. Last year he gave up his post as assistant trainer and became a full-time faculty member.
Because of the financial situation of the L Club, Robert will serve as executive director without compensation and did not request a salary. But when our financial situation improves, the board indicated we would offer to cover his expenses and pay a small salary, if possible.
Williamson will utilize the office in the Alumni Center used by Laird. His term of office will be one year, renewable each May 1.
The new director said his top priorities are to increase membership and build up the club treasury.
“There are a lot of ex-Northeast and ULM athletes who should be members of the club,” Williamson said. “We must get them involved in ULM athletics. Whether we were Indians or Warhawks, we all have the same goal of supporting this university and our sports program. We have a pretty good representation of ex-athletes in their 50’s and 60’s but we need more young members. We don’t have the number of former players in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s that we should have.”
The new director said he planned to organize phone groups to contact former athletes in the various sports and try to get them involved in the L Club.
“We’re also planning an All Athletes Reunion to be held in conjunction with the home football opening game Sept. 12 against Texas Southern,” he said. “We’re working on a golf outing on Friday, Sept. 11, to raise money for the Charlie Martin Golf Scholarship and the L Club. We will also have the Alumni Shrimp Boil that weekend and we’re planning some other activities. So it should be a fun weekend and we hope to see a large turnout of former athletes.”
In other action, the board approved the appointment of former assistant AD and SID Bob Anderson as an ex-officio member of the L Club board and a permanent member of the Hall of Fame selection committee. He will serve as one of the two members of the Hall of Fame on the selection committee as specified by the by-laws.
Back to Top
New associate athletic director for development selected
A Georgia Southern University campaign director has accepted the position of associate athletic director for development at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, according to Don Skelton, vice president of university advancement and external affairs.
Daniel (Dan) O’Dowd will assume his new role at ULM on July 6, pending approval by the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors. In addition to serving as the university’s chief athletic fundraiser, O’Dowd will also serve as the executive director for the ULM Athletic Foundation.
O’Dowd comes to ULM from Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Ga., where he was responsible for all campaign activities for the Southern Athletic Boosters, Inc. Prior to coming to Georgia Southern in 2001, O’Dowd was Director of Athletic Development at Marshall University in Huntington, W.V.
Back to Top
Clement, Black, Mossbarger, Philyaw go into Hall
A lineman who cleared the road to a national championship, a quarterback who proved ULM belonged in college football’s top division and two high-scoring ladies who left behind some amazing records in basketball and track were inducted into ULM’s Hall of Fame April 25.
John Clement, Angela Black Moon, Marlena Mossbarger and Raymond Philyaw entered the Hall of Fame in ceremonies at the ULM Conference Center, increasing membership in the hall to 117.
The Hall of Fame was originated by and is sponsored by the ULM L Club.
John Clement of Lake Charles was the biggest (6-4, 271) and best member of a great offensive line that made the blocks in powering ULM to the national 1-AA championship in 1987 and national rankings of No. 5 in passing yards and No. 9 in total offense. A graduate of St. Louis High School, he was a consensus first team all-America selection, making the Associated Press, Walter Camp, Football News and Sports Network teams, and signed a contract with the Arizona Cardinals of the NFL following his senior year.
Now the executive vice president and chief financial officer of Evolve Financial Group in Memphis, Tenn., Clement started some games as a freshman at what was then Northeast Louisiana University, before being an every-game regular in his final three seasons. He was not only a pacesetter on the field, where he had the offensive line’s top grades both as a junior and senior, but also a leader in the classroom and locker room. He was co-captain of the 1987 team.
Clement was presented for membership in the Hall of Fame by former ULM head coach and player Mike Collins, who substituted for his father, Coach Pat Collins, unable to attend because of youngest daughter Katie’s liver transplant surgery.
Collins called Clement “the most decorated offensive lineman in ULM history.” Clement in his acceptance remarks paid tribute to his mother and wife and to his teammates, “it’s the whole team that gets you here.” He said the 1987 team’s mental toughness and confidence (“We knew we could win every game”) were major factors in winning the national championship.
Clement is married to the former Diane Mathevosian, also a ULM graduate. They are parents of Grace Rachelle, age 7.
Angela Black Moon was one of the most versatile athletes in ULM track history. She also won more conference championships than any ULM woman athlete, winning 15 titles in her four years in six outdoor and four indoor events—the 100-meter dash, the 100 hurdles, the 400 relay, the 1600 relay, the long jump, the triple jump outdoors and the 55 hurdles, the mile relay and the long and triple jump indoors.
She was an NCAA all-American in the long jump in 1991 and won numerous Southland Conference awards—High Point Scorer in 1989 and 1990 and Outstanding Track Performer in 1990, all outdoors, and High Point Scorer indoors in 1989 and 1991.
Her ULM coach, Dennis Groll, presented Black at the ceremonies and called her “a special athlete.” Black was the subject of a hot recruiting battle after her senior year at Jacksonville, TX, High School and Coach Groll had to track her down at the local laundry mart to sign her.
Black said “I did want to come to Northeast and I’m glad Coach Groll found me.”
The Hall of Famer is now coach at Jacksonville High and is married to former ULM star linebacker Rod Moon.
Marlena Mossbarger was the first superstar in women’s basketball at ULM. A 6-3 star in old-style half-court basketball at Kennedy High School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, she averaged 23.2 points as a freshman in 1977-78 for a then-school record that today, more than 30 years later, ranks as the second highest in Warhawk annals. Although she played only three years at ULM since she had to drop the sport after her junior year to concentrate on gaining her nursing degree, she is still the university’s No. 3 all-time career scoring leader behind all-Americans Lisa Ingram and Eun Jung Lee with 1,557 points.
Mossbarger was recruited to ULM by then-women’s athletics director Betty Faught after she saw the young athlete play on television on the Iowa state championship game. She played under head coaches Brenda Brooks and then Linda Harper during her college career.
After leaving basketball with most of the school’s scoring records, Mossbarger today still ranks third in field goals made (680) and field goal accuracy (55.3%) in addition to points scored. She is also No. 4 all-time in blocked shots with 133.
Mossbarger had eight 30-point games during her career with a high of 38 points against Louisiana Tech as a freshman. Her single game rebound high was 26—still the ULM record-- against Louisiana-Lafayette in 1977-78. Her season-high rebound average was 11.1 her top field goal percentage for a year was 57.6%.
The new Hall of Fame member now lives in Dallas where she is employed by Preference Group, a hospital consulting company.
She was presented at the Hall of Fame ceremonies by her long-time friend and teammate, Linda Kinard.
At a university with a rich quarterback tradition, Raymond Philyaw has sometimes been overshadowed by highly-publicized stars like former National Football League standouts like Stan Humphries, Bubby Brister and Doug Pederson. But Philyaw gained more yards (7,019) during his ULM career than any of those players and accounted for more touchdowns (57).
The main reason, however, that Philyaw is remembered as one of the greatest Warhawk players of all time is that he compiled his records against the strongest schedules any ULM teams have ever faced. The three years Philyaw was ULM’s starting quarterback (1994-96) were the school’s first three seasons as a Division 1-A independent and the schedules were brutal. Some of the teams Philyaw and his mates faced were Colorado (twice), Auburn (three times), Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi State (twice), Minnesota, UCLA and Arkansas. Five of these opponents were nationally ranked at the time.
Philyaw not only played against these teams, he led ULM to victories or near-victories against some of them. Against Kentucky in 1994, he threw a 54-yard touchdown pass to Stepfret Williams in the fourth quarter for a 21-14 victory—ULM’s first against a Southeastern Conference team. The following year against Mississippi State, he threw for 334 yards and four touchdowns to lead the then-Indians to a 34-32 triumph at Mississippi State. In 1996, he completed 18 of 33 passes for 308 yards as ULM led for most of the game until No. 22 Auburn scored with 1:44 left for a narrow 28-24 win.
Today, more than 12 years after his final college game, Philyaw ranks No. 2 among ULM QBs in touchdown passes (52) and third in total offense (7,019) and passing yards (7,061). He went on to play professional football in Canada and the Arena Football League and still holds the AFL all-time record for best TD pass-interception ratio.
A former star at Southwood High, he lives in his hometown of Shreveport. He and wife Christine have a two-year-old son, Lincoln. Philyaw was presented at the Hall of Fame ceremonies by former ULM assistant coach Pat Lambert.
Back to Top
Nominations for the 2010 ULM Sports Hall of Fame class
The L Club is currently accepting nominations for the 2010 ULM Sports Hall of Fame class. Nominations for the 2010 ULM Sports Hall of Fame class must be submitted by December 31, 2009.
Click here to download the 2010 ULM Sports Hall of Fame nomination form [ as a Microsoft Word .doc ]
EDITOR'S NOTEBOOK: Thoughts on College Football, The L Club, The Hall of Fame
By Bob Anderson
I bought a copy of Lindy’s Southeastern Preview at a local bookstore (the Warhawks are picked sixth in the now-nine team Sun Belt Conference) May 27.
That’s May 27 now. As best I can figure, that’s 99 days until the first college football game of the 2009 season. Lindy’s is just about always the first of the dozen or so college football annuals that hit the newsstands and are promptly snatched up by die-hard football junkies like myself.
When I was a kid, there were only two or three of these preview magazines (Street and Smith was the best) and they didn’t make an appearance until late August. I know because I would haunt the few places that sold them in my small hometown until they showed up. Street and Smith is gone now, absorbed into the Sporting News edition, and the slick publications that herald the coming season come out a heck of a lot earlier. It’s just one of many signs that college football has never been better and interest in the sport has never been higher.
We’ll preview the ULM team and comment on what to expect in a later issue of The Letter. One of the reasons that football is king of college sports is that it has always has the stage to itself for so long—there are no collegiate sports in the summer and nothing for fans to do but read the preview magazines and talk and dream about football for three months. We have the football Playing Season, the Bowl Season, the Recruiting Season, the Spring Practice Season and now we have the Anticipation Season.
So dream on Warhawk fans! All things are possible in the Anticipation Season.
All ULM ex-athletes and fans, whether you call yourselves ex-Indians or ex-Warhawks, should be thanking our lucky stars that Robert Williamson has agreed to be the L Club’s new executive director.
Robert is uniquely qualified for this job. First of all, his job as trainer and his long service here gave him the opportunity to know our athletes from many sports and from many decades. Secondly, he is still on campus as a member of the faculty and close to all that goes on here. Finally and most importantly, Robert loves our university, which is why he was willing to take on this tough job with no assurance of extra pay.
The L Club has an important role to play in making our sports program the best it can be and capable of maintaining the proud tradition of success that ULM teams of the past have built. Robert, Lisa and our other officers have some good ideas for our organization. But the main things that are needed are more members and more participation from all of us.
The whistle is blowing—it’s time for all of us to get in the game.
Hall of Fame Weekend has always been a great time and the most recent one was no exception. Unfortunately, attendance was down for the April 25 ceremonies, especially among past Hall of Fame members. We’ll try to make sure next year that everyone, especially Hall of Famers, receive early and frequent notice of the ceremonies.
We also hope to have an interesting group of companion events that will help make the Hall of Fame Weekend a “can’t miss” attraction.
As for the new Hall of Fame members themselves, I was struck by the fact that all of the inductees—from three different sports and different eras—had one obvious thing in common. All were all-time great athletes but all were overshadowed or forced to share the limelight to a certain extent during their careers for various reasons.
John Clement was one of the greatest players at his position in ULM history but his position was offensive lineman. Offensive linemen are always overshadowed. There are five of them on every team for one thing but always only one man at the No. 1 glamour position, quarterback, and sometimes only one running back. The only time most offensive linemen get noticed is when they’re offside’s or whistled for holding. It’s a thankless job and short on glory for obvious reasons.
Clement managed to stand above the crowd because no ULM lineman, offensive or defensive—ever received more honors although a couple matched his. He made five all-America squads, four on the first team. Another member of the 1987 national championship team, Claude Brumfield, a defensive lineman and a 2008 Hall of Fame inductee—also made five all-A squads and so did center Vic Zordan in 1992. But nobody ever made more.
The other football inductee this year was a quarterback, Raymond Philyaw, and a great one. He came along at a time, however, when ULM fans were almost jaded about the quarterback position. Philyaw started at the position in 1994-96. Preceding him under center had been Bubby Brister in 1985, Stan Humphries in 1986-87 and Doug Pederson in 1988-90. All three had set passing records at the university that many fans believed would never be broken, all were tall, strong-armed and had “NFL Quarterback” written all over them. All did not only play in pro football’s premier league but starred.
Two of them, Brister and Humphries, were high school standouts in North Louisiana.
Philyaw also played prep ball nearby, at Humphries’ old school, Southwood of Shreveport, but did not throw nearly as many passes or attract nearly as much attention. And at 5-10, few envisioned him as a college star or future pro.
But he turned out to be just as spectacular as his more famous predecessors. In fact, a good case could be made that Philyaw was the greatest ULM passer. He passed for more career yards than Brister, Humphries or Pederson, for example, and for more touchdowns. More importantly, he did it against stronger teams.
In its 1-AA years, NLU sometimes met big time football teams. Brister played against Texas A&M as a senior, Humphries passed NLU to victory over a Brett Favre-led Southern Mississippi team in 1987 and Pederson was tested against Mississippi State in 1989. But these were only occasional meetings and none of these teams were nationally ranked at the time. Philyaw had to throw against No. 8 Colorado and No.12 Auburn in his first two games. And later against Georgia, Wyoming, Brigham Young and Kentucky in the same season. He led NLU to victories over two SEC teams, Kentucky and Mississippi State. As a senior against No. 22 Auburn, he threw for more than 300 yards as the Indians led for most of the game until the Tigers finally pulled out a 28-24 victory with 1:44 to go.
Philyaw never got a chance to play in the NFL but he’s had a long and productive career in the Canadian Football and the Arena leagues. He still holds the AFL all-time record for best TD pass-interception ratio.
It’s hard to believe that a 6-3 center who averaged over 23 points a game as a freshman could be overlooked but Marlena Mossbarger played at ULM at a time (1977-80) when women’s basketball drew few fans and even less coverage from the media.
Women’s basketball began at NLU with club teams in the early 1970’s. The first official team was in 1974-75, only three years before Mossbarger arrived. Even with Mossbarger pouring in the points in 1977-78, the Lady Indians still created scant excitement, winning only six of 24 games. Hard-driving Linda Harper arrived as coach the next season and things got better, NLU enjoying a winning season at 16-12 and finishing third in the state tournament. But in 1979-80, Marlena’s final season, the team took a step back at 7-23.
In 1982, Eun Jung Lee and Lisa Ingram arrived at NLU to begin the university’s “golden era” in women’s basketball, a time that included overpowering teams, capacity crowds, national rankings, all-America recognition and a trip to the NCAA Final Four. The humble beginnings of women’s basketball and the record-breaking feats of Mossbarger were pushed far into the background until her selection to the Hall of Fame again focused attention on NLU’s first women’s basketball super star.
Angela Black was not exactly “overshadowed” at NLU. After all, it’s hard to be overlooked when you make all-America, are the high-point scorer in four conference meets (indoor and outdoor) and claim Outstanding Track Performer honors in another. She won 11 conference championships in four different individual events and ran legs on four winning relay teams.
But Black did have to share the spotlight. These were some of NLU’s greatest years in women’s track and there were numerous other stars including three-time all-American Pam Smith, Black’s teammate for three years. In all, other Lady Indians won a total of 21 conference titles during Black’s years in maroon and gold.
Back to Top
L Club Wrap Up
I would like to thank you for our support this past season while I served as your L-Club President. I know Dr. Lisa Colvin will do a great job and I look forward to working with her and all the board members on behalf of ULM and each of you.
As you read this letter and the material that Tommy Walpole and Mr. Anderson have put together you see we have made some changes for the upcoming year.
I have accepted the offer from the Board of Directors to become the Executive Director of the L-Club. I was approached with this offer last September by a couple of the board members and I said that I would consider it if the year went well and if they would still have me at the end of my presidency.
I feel I can bring some consistency with our meetings, our dealings with the Alumni Association, and the University in particular. It is a lot to learn as a single term president and I look to take some of that “learning curve” off of the President as the Executive Director. I will be able to handle some of the more mundane aspects of the organization and let the President be the President. The Alumni Center has provided me an office and my contact information is below.
Our primary goal for this upcoming year is to increase our rank and file membership. If you are a current dues paying member, I want to thank you for your support. If you are not, please come join us! I want you to come back. We need you to come back.
In our first meeting a couple of weeks ago, we had a very lively discussion on our future and some projects that can be very exciting for our group and our University. Lisa, a couple of board members and I have been working on a very ambitious project that could be coming together very nicely. We will be able to tell more details in the months to come.
I look forward to this upcoming year. I look forward to the challenges and I also look forward to our organization answering the call of the challenges. We can build this organization into something that we can all hang our hat on and be proud of.
L Club Executive Director
(318) 342-5428 /822-927-4295