Athletics News

Eight to be Inducted to the M Club Hall of Fame Friday

Tickets remain until Tuesday (Sept. 2nd) for the M Club Hall of Fame Banquet. Tickets are available by calling 901-678-4878.
Tickets remain until Tuesday (Sept. 2nd) for the M Club Hall of Fame Banquet. Tickets are available by calling 901-678-4878.

Sept. 1, 2008

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - - Eight more Tigers will be inducted in to the M Club Hall of Fame on Friday night at the Holiday Inn on the University of Memphis campus.

Included in the class are football players Don Coffey (1958-1961) and Tim Harris (1982-1985), men's basketball's Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway (1991-1993) and Cedric Henderson (1993-1997), women's basketball player LaTonya Johnson (1994-1998), men's track and field athlete Victor Lacey (1982-1985), men's soccer player Rogerio Lima (1996-1997) and baseball player Jeff Robinson (1977-78). Four special awards will also be awarded as part of Friday night's festivities. Mrs. Elaine Springer will receive the Dr. C. C. Humphreys Golden Tiger Award, while former football player Billy Ray Farmer will receive the Billy J. Murphy Award. Dr. Barney Freeman will receive the Ralph Hatley Silver M Award and Murray Armstrong will become the first recipient of an award to be named after himself, the Murray Armstrong Award.

Limited tickets are still available by calling the M Club Office at 901-678-4878. Tickets are $50 per ticket or $500 for a table of 10. All tickets must be purchased by 3 p.m. Tuesday (Sept. 2nd).

Complete bios are located below for the 2008 M Club Hall of Fame Class and the four special award winners:

Don Coffey, Football (1985-1961)
Don Coffey was a four-year letterwinner for the Tiger football team from 1958-1961, capping his career with 10 TD catches, including three touchdown catches in a single game against Tulsa his senior season. A 6-3 receiver from Morristown, Tenn., Coffey came to then-Memphis State after a prep career under Jerry Morris at Morristown High School. A business major, Coffey was all-business on the field, breaking in to the Tiger offense right away in his freshman campaign by grabbing eight passes for 192 yards and two touchdowns.

Coffey followed his freshman campaign with 10 catches for 188 yards and one touchdown his sophomore season, adding two more scores in his junior season.

He then led the team as a senior with 18 catches for 312 yards and a team-high five touchdowns, finishing fourth on the squad in points scored with 30 on a team that posted an 8-2 mark. He and teammate Bill Hudson were selected to the Blue-Gray football game following their senior season and Coffey was drafted by both the San Francisco 49ers in the 12th round of the NFL draft and by the San Diego Chargers of then then-AFL in the 25th round. He played one year for Denver in 1963 before returning to Memphis to get his MBA.

Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway, Men's Basketball (1991-1993)
The most electrifying player in Tiger history, Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway dazzled the Memphis faithful 1991-93. Hardaway's career also ushered in a new era of Tiger basketball as Memphis made the move from the Mid-South Coliseum to The Pyramid, which opened in November 1991.

As a junior in 1992-93, Hardaway was the second consensus All-America first team pick in school history. He also swept every Great Midwest Conference (GMC) award possible. He was the Great Midwest Conference MVP in both 1992 and 1993 and also was named to the All-GMC first team both years. Hardaway received the GMC Newcomer of the Year award in 1992 and was named to the 1992 and 1993 GMC All-Tournament Teams.

Hardaway - who recorded the school's first-ever and only triple-doubles - led the Tigers in scoring, assists and steals both seasons and led the squad in rebounding in 1992-93. He is in the number 14 spot on the Tiger career scoring chart and is ranked among the top 10 on the all-time assists and steals lists. In his two seasons, Hardaway helped guide the Tigers to a 43-23 record and two NCAA Tournament appearances, including a magical trip to the 1992 Elite Eight.

Following the 1992-93 campaign, Hardaway declared and was the third overall pick by the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Draft, but later on draft night, was traded to the Orlando Magic. He also had playing stints with the Phoenix Suns, New York Knicks and Miami Heat.

In the 1993-94 season, Hardaway was invited back home to the Bluff City, where on Jan. 23, 1994, his number 25 became the seventh basketball jersey retired by the Tigers.

He earned his bachelor's degree in Individual Studies in 2003.

Tim Harris, Football (1981-1985)
Tim Harris was a four-year letterwinner for the Tiger football team, earning All-Metro Conference honors for three straight seasons. On completing his eligibility, Harris held records for tackles for loss in a game, season and a career and continues to rank among the top 10 in the Tiger record book in solo and assisted tackles, and quarterback sacks. His 49 career tackles for loss remains atop the record book heading in to the 2008 season.

Harris came to the Tigers after graduating from Memphis Catholic High School after transferring from Woodlawn High in Birmingham, Ala. In his freshman season, he recorded 52 tackles, had four pass break-ups and one quarterback sack. In 1983, in his sophomore year, Harris recorded 89 tackles, recovered three fumbles, had seven pass break-ups, six quarterback sacks and 13 tackles for 78 yards lost. His play at outside linebacker earned his All-Metro conference honors, All-South Independent second team honors and Associated Press honorable mention All-American honors.

He didn't slow down in his junior season, finishing with 120 tackles, including four sacks and 17 tackles for 83 yards lost. He earned first team honors on both All-Metro and All-South Independent teams and was tabbed as a second team All-America from Football News. His 17 tackles for loss still ranks as the third-best single season mark in the Tiger annals.

In his final year in the Blue and Gray, Harris recorded 83 tackles, including 14 tackles for loss and five pass break-ups. He earned All-Metro Conference honors, a second Highland Hundred MVP award and was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the fourth round.

Cedric Henderson, Men's Basketball (1993-1997)
One of the most consistent performers in Memphis basketball history, Cedric Henderson was a four-year letterwinner for the Tigers from 1993-97. During his four years in the Bluff City, Memphis won 75 games and advanced to the postseason three-consecutive years with two NCAA Tournament berths and one NIT appearance. Henderson's 1994-95 team won 24 games - the most for a single season in the decade of the 1990s - and took Tiger Nation on an exciting ride to the NCAA Sweet 16.

Henderson, a Memphis native, is the school's number six career scoring leader with 1,697 points. His name also appears on the career lists for field goals made and steals, and Henderson is just outside the top 10 on the Tiger all-time charts for three-pointers made and rebounds.

Named to the 1994 Great Midwest Conference All-Newcomer Team, Henderson was also an All-Conference USA second team selection as a senior in 1997. The 6-foot-7 forward posted 10 career double-doubles and had three 30-point performances, including two 31-point games versus Tulane and Houston. His career-high rebounding game was 13 boards versus UAB in January of the 1996-97 campaign.

Following his collegiate career for the Tigers, Henderson was taken in the second round of the 1997 NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers. He also had NBA stints with the Golden State Warriors and the Philadelphia 76ers.

Henderson returned to Memphis and earned his bachelor's degree in Interdisciplinary Studies in May.

LaTonya Johnson, Women's Basketball (1994-1998)
The women's basketball program's first-ever WNBA draftee, LaTonya Johnson still ranks among the Memphis career leaders in scoring, free-throws made, free-throws attempted, three-point field goals made and rebounds. She remains one of just two women's basketball players in school history to take a team to the NCAA tournament all four years of her career.

Johnson came to Memphis from Winchester, Tenn., and Franklin County High School. Johnson earned multiple honors from the Great Midwest Conference, being named the league Newcomer of the Year and earning All-newcomer team and all-conference honors after averaging 17.6 points and 6.1 rebounds as a freshman. She helped the Tigers to the finals of the Great Midwest Conference tournament and to the NCAA Second Round with a 74-72 win over Southern Cal in the first round. She was named a Basketball Times All-American honorable mention honoree the following season after averaging 20.7 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. She also connected on a then-school record 64 three-point field goals as a sophomore, earning C-USA first team honors after helping the Tigers to an exciting overtime victory in the C-USA champinonship gamefor the first of two league championships the team would win with Johnson in uniform.

The accolades continued in her junior year, as she garnered second team all-conference honors while helping Memphis to its third straight NCAA appearance. Johnson capped her outstanding career with a senior season that saw her earn C-USA first team and tournament MVP honors, as she helped Memphis to its second C-USA tournament title. She was also named a Basketball Times All-American honorable mention again following her senior season before becoming the team's first-ever WNBA draftee when she was drafted by the Utah Starzz in the third round.

Victor Lacey, Men's Track and Field (1982-1985)
Victory Lacey continues to hold three school records and shares one record as part of a relay team in track and field after running for the Tigers from 1982-85. He still holds the outdoor 400-meter record with a time of 45.92 and the indoor 400-meter record with a time of 45.90 seconds. He is also part of the 4x400 meter indoor relay record-holding squad from 1983 that set the mark of 3:15.50, an honor he shares with Glenn Hill, Keith Golden and Tyjuan Cowan. Lacey also holds the mark in the indoor 440 yard run, an event no longer held in college track and field.

A native of Memphis, Lacey came to the Tigers from East High School. One of the team's top sprinters, he initially set both of his 400-meter records (indoor and outdoor) as a freshman in 1982. He also competed on two relay teams that set school records, in the 400 and 1600-meter relays.

A Metro Conference indoor champ in the 400-meter run and a Metro Conference record holder in the 400 meters outdoors, Lacey also finished second in the 1984 Metro Conference 200-meter championships. In his Tiger career, he competed three different times in the NCAA championships, qualifying in the 440-yard run and the 400-meter run in 1982 and in the 440 yard run in both 1982 and 1984.

Lacey is the 15th honoree from track and field to be voted in to the M Club Hall of Fame. He joins former teammate Colin Hume as the only two representatives in the Hall of Fame from the track and field program during the 1980's.

Rogerio Lima, Men's Soccer (1996-1997)
Rogerio Lima was a two-year letterwinner for the Tiger soccer team in 1996 and 1997 under former head coach Chris Bartels. But despite playing just two seasons for Memphis after transferring from Centenary, Lima still ranks second in Memphis career assists with 22. He also remains one of just three Tiger players in the program's history to score over 20 goals and 20 assists.

A two-time All-Conference USA first team honoree, Lima had 12 assists in his senior season and was named to the All-South Region team in both his junior and senior seasons. He also led the Midwest Region in scoring during his freshman campaign at Centenary, finishing with 13 goals and 12 assists for 38 points, including three game-winners. He added 23 goals and 22 assists while donning the blue and gray, which made him just the second Tiger at the time to have over 20 goals and 20 assists, following Donal McDonagh. Dayton O'Brien would accomplish the same feat five seasons later, but over a four-year playing career.

A native of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Lima graduated from the University of Memphis in 2001 with his master's degree in education. He is currently coaching and teaching at Christian Brothers High School in Memphis.

Jeff Robinson, Baseball (1977-78)
Jeff Robinson was a two-year letterwinner at shortstop on a Tiger baseball team that ranked in the top 10 in the country, that still holds the school single season mark with a .556 slugging percentage. That same Tiger team led the NCAA for an entire season in hitting and runs scored and fell just one game shy of the College World Series.

A native of Clute, Texas, Robinson came to the Tigers before the 1977 season. In his first season at Memphis, he broke three school records, setting new marks in at-bats (170), runs scored (50) and triples (6). He also led the team with 16 stolen bases on 18 attempts and had 133 assists from the shortstop position. He hit .335 in his junior season, ranking third on the team behind teammate and former M Club Hall of Fame inductee Alan Robinson, and Phil Smith. That team won a then-school record 34 games, scoring a record 316 runs in the process.

In his senior season, Robinson added the school record for walks (39), moving him to 42 walks for his career, a mark that still ranks in the Tiger top 10. His senior squad broke the school record again for wins in a season with 40 and advanced to the NCAA tournament after winning the Tigers' second Metro Conference Championship. Robinson was named to the NCAA All-Regional Team with teammates James Davis, Blair Gilbert, Dave Parks and Alan Robinson as the Tigers advanced all the way to the South Region championship game with wins over East Tennessee State and Auburn before dropping the second game against North Carolina in the double-elimination tournament to finish the season with a 40-9 mark.

Robinson, who remains in the single season and career top 10 in triples, graduated from then-Memphis State in 1980 with a degree in education.

Dr. C.C. Humphreys Golden Tiger Award - Mrs. Elaine Springer
Elaine Springer is a fixture on Tiger sidelines for both football and basketball and is an Ambassador with the Athletic Department at Memphis.

Springer, the widow of Clyde H. Springer, worked with her husband and brother-in-law James Watson in the startup of the family business, Armstrong Relocation. Outside of her business work, she has been a fixture in the community for various organizations for many years. In earlier years, she was the Charter President of the Whitehaven Jaycettes, serving as Chairman of the local judges and a chaperone for the Junior Miss and Miss Whitehaven Pageants. She also headed drives for the Heart Association and other local charities. In more recent times, she has been a volunteer and donor in election campaigns, and currently serves on her neighborhood Board of Directors of the Forrest Hill Civic Club and the Board of Regents of Southwestern Christian University in Oklahoma City.

Springer is also very active in her church, having served as the National Home and Family Life Board, having served multiple positions in the Youth Department, teaching Sunday School, singing in the choir and serving as the charter President of Women's Ministries group. She has served as a teacher in churches of several denominations and numerous intredenominational home Bible study groups. She and her husband have endowed scholarships for ministers, missionaries and military chaplains.

Springer has two daughters, Karen Fields Isaacman, and Lauren Pickens. She also has four grandchildren and one great grandchild.

Billy J. Murphy Award - Billy Raymond Farmer
Ray Farmer was a member of the Tiger football team from 1962-1964, leading the Tigers in receiving in 1963 and 1964 and finishing third on the team in receptions in 1962. A native of Ashville, Ala., Farmer capped his Tiger career with 38 catches for 516 yards, averaging 13.6 yards per catch. He also suited up with the Tiger baseball team in the spring of 1965 before becoming a graduate assistant coach with football in charge of offensive and defensive backs in the fall of 1965. He spent one season on the Tiger football staff, graduating with a degree in marketing in 1966, then moved to the high school prep coaching ranks with his first coaching job at Hewitt Trussville. Further stops on his coaching path included Walker County High School and Ashville High School in Alabama and Druid Hills and Tucker High Schools in Atlanta, Ga. Farmer returned to Alabama in 1975, coaching at Springville High School before moving to Etowah High School in Attalla. After spending time on staff as an assistant coach, Farmer was named the football team head coach in 1992. There, he guided the Blue Devils to five regional championships between 1992 and 2001, earning the regional football coach of the year honor four different times. In 1999, Farmer led Etowah to a 5A State Championship after two 5A State Runner-up Titles in 1997 and 1998. He was named the Alabama Coach of the Year in 1999 and coached in the Alabama North-South game. The following season, he coached in the Alabama/Mississippi All-Star game. Farmer recently retired after 42 years of high school coaching after coaching such players as Patrick and Derrick Nix, Freddie Kitchens, Toderick Malone, Reggie Worthy and Carnell "Cadillac" Williams and finishing with a football head coaching record of 184-131-1.

Ralph Hatley Silver M Award - Dr. Barney Freeman
Dr. Barney Freeman has served as one of the Tigers' team doctors since 1975. A member of Campbell Clinic Orthopaedics, Freeman oversees the health and rehabilitation needs of over 300 Tiger student-athletes annually, from pre-season physicals to in-season injuries and rehab needs.

A graduate of Duke University and the University of South Carolina Medical School, Freeman is a board-certified member of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and is an associate professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery through UT-Campbell Clinic. Also a team physician for Rhodes College here in Memphis, Freeman is a member of various professional societies, including the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the Tennessee Medical Association, the Arthroscopy Association of North America, the Scoliosis Research Society and the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine.

Freeman also served a fellowship in Spine Surgery at Rancho Los Amigos Hospital in California.

Murray Armstrong Award - Murray Armstrong
A new award has been created for the M Club this year honoring University of Memphis Athletic Department coaches and staff members for their years of service. The award will be administered periodically and the first award winner is the man for whom the award has been named, Murray Armstrong.

Armstrong is the facilities coordinator of the Billy J. Murphy Athletic Complex. He has served under eight different football coaches during his time at Memphis after being hired by former head coach and athletic director Billy J. Murphy in 1962.

Armstrong has been involved with every facet of college football at Memphis. He has been an assistant freshman coach, head freshman coach, varsity defensive end coach, kicking coach, special teams coach, academic advisor and administrative aide during his tenure with the Tigers. For 33 yars, he and wife, Joan, managed the U of M athletic dorm which housed more than 160 male athletes.

A 1961 graduate of the University of Tennessee, Armstrong lettered three years on offense and defense for the Volunteers under form coach Bowden Wyatt. He wa a first-team All-SEC academic selection in 1958, and was recognized as SEC Player of the Week on Oct. 4, 1958, following the UT-Mississippi State contest at Crump Stadium in Memphis. In that game, Armstrong became the first Vol to score on both offense and defense in a single meeting.

Armstrong received his degree in sociology and biology from UT and later earned his master's degree at the University of Memphis. In May 1998, Armstrong was recognized by the Memphis Chapter of the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame for his outstanding contribution to the Memphis football program. In September 1999, he was inducted into the M Club Hall of Fame, and one year later earned recognition into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.

The Armstrongs have two sons: Sterritt, a 1990 West Point graduate, and Brence, a 1997 graduate of Memphis.

Rotating image
Twitter Facebook YouTube Instagram Tumblr FourSquare Pintrist