News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Ramblin' Reck

October 5, 2010

RAMBLIN' RECK: ISU HOF welcoming new class

TERRE HAUTE — Five new members of the Indiana State Athletics Hall of Fame will be inducted Thursday at a dinner sponsored by Old National Bank in Tirey Hall.

John “Jay” Barrett, Mitch Hannahs, Steve Smith, Denise Sharps and Richard Dawson are the newest members of the Hall of Fame. We had the pleasure of covering all of the inductees at the school.

Jay was first on my list since he and I were classmates from 1955 to 1958. He was one of the leading rushers on the football team, and I covered all ISU sports as student sports information director.

Barrett is being inducted partly for his role on the football team but primarily as one of the winningest high school coaches in the Wabash Valley, compiling a record of 165-134-4 in 31 seasons before his death.

I and members of my staff at The Tribune-Star covered his games at Terre Haute Schulte, Rockville and West Vigo. I was in the office when we received word of his death at West Vigo and was stunned when I heard it — it was so unexpected — and was part of the large crowd at his funeral.

Two of his sons now are coaching teams in the greater Wabash Valley.

Smith and Hannahs both earned All-America honors in their sports at ISU, Hannahs in baseball and Smith in the high jump in track. Both are members of all-century teams in the Missouri Valley Conference and both hold school career records in their sports.

Mitch was a regular in the infield on the team that played in the College World Series in 1986, while Smith twice placed second and fifth once in NCAA action in addition to placing seventh in the 1995 World Indoor Championship action.

Dawson was a four-year starter on the line in football on teams that qualified for the NCAA I-AA playoffs. Sharps ranks first in career scoring average in women’s basketball and twice led the Sycamores in scoring.

In addition to being inducted Thursday night, all five will be recognized at the homecoming football game with Illinois State on Saturday.

Grid chat — ISU had moved up in the Sagarin football rankings after its second game, but dropped down to 219 last week in the list published in USA Today.

Alabama was first followed by Florida and Boise State. The Gators may slip some this week after losing to Alabama last week.

Some other teams and their rank: 6. Ohio State, 67. Illinois, 85. Indiana, 96. Purdue, 127. Illinois State, 142. Western Illinois, 204. Eastern Illinois.

Again, these were the numbers before last week’s games.

In prep football, Warren Central defeated Carmel 37-27 in a key Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference game.

Carmel was undefeated going into the game and WC has not lost to an Indiana team.

In the USA Today prep poll last week, WC was 22nd and second in the Midwest, with Carmel ranking sixth in the Midwest.

• Tom-Cattin’ It — IUPUI has named a new women’s basketball coach. He is Austin Parkinson, a former Purdue player who is the son of Bruce Parkinson, also a former Purdue player.

Parkinson had been serving as an assistant for the men’s team at IUPUI.

n Officers of the Terre Haute Golf Association have been re-elected. They are Ryan Roscoe, president; Mark Bird, vice president; and Chuck Adamson, secretary-treasurer.

• Former Indiana University basketball player Keith Smart has been named coach at Golden State following the retirement of Don Nelson.

Smart, of course, will always be known as the player who hit the game-winning shot against Syracuse to give the Hoosiers their last title in 1987. We were courtside for that one in New Orleans.

• Jerome Brown of Morgan Park says he will sign with Illinois-Chicago to play basketball. The 6-foot-4 guard had 18 points in the first half to help his team defeat Marshall for the city championship in Chicago last season.


Tom Reck may be contacted by telephone at (812) 232-3231, by email at or by mail at 4284 South 5th Street, Apt. 3, Terre Haute, IN 47802.

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