Three alumni with deep basketball roots and one former track and field star make up the 20th class of Wayland Baptist University's Athletic Hall of Honor.
Cathy Wilson and Rick Cooper, both of whom played for and then coached basketball at WBU, former Flying Queen great Marie Kocurek-Montgomery and ex-track and field standout Vivian Bell-McAdoo will be inducted into Wayland's Athletic Hall of Honor as part of the school's homecoming festivities at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 20 in McClung Center.
Wilson, Cooper, Kocurek-Montgomery and Bell-McAdoo will become the 71st, 72nd, 73rd and 74th members of the WBU Athletic Hall of Honor, which was founded in 1992.
For more information, visit www.wbuathletics.com/f/Athletic_Hall_of_Honor.php .
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Born in Stamford and raised in Petersburg, Cathy Wilson played for the Flying Queens for four seasons from 1971-75. Those teams compiled a win-loss record of 113-16, including an AAU national championship her junior season under then rookie coach Dean Weese. The 5-foot-10 Wilson, described by Weese as the team's "most aggressive player," was named team MVP her senior year when the Flying Queens went 34-1.
Immediately after graduating with a bachelor of science degree in education, Wilson was hired as head girls basketball coach at Nazareth and later Slaton high schools, winning three state championships in four years at those schools prior to being named head coach of the Flying Queens in 1979. Her four-year record at Wayland was 80-50 and included a fourth-place national finish in the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW), a predecessor to the NCAA. Her 1982-83 team was the last Wayland squad to play and defeat numerous NCAA Division I programs, including Texas Tech University.
Wilson left the coaching profession in 1983 and has spent almost 30 years working as a financial advisor in Amarillo, where she owns her own firm. She lives in Canyon.
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Marie Kocurek-Montgomery played for the Flying Queens for three seasons from 1975-78. A native of Corpus Christi, she played her freshman season for the Queen Bees before helping Weese's Flying Queens compile a record of 98-15, finishing second in the AAU in 1976 and fourth in the AIAW in 1978.
The 6-foot-1 inside player was a four-time all-American, being honored by the NWIT, Street & Smith and Hanes Underalls twice. She ended her career with 1,417 points, which at the time was ranked fourth in Flying Queens history and today is 13th. She was voted team MVP in 1977.
After briefly serving as an assistant coach at the University of South Carolina, she was drafted in the Women's Professional Basketball League, earning all-pro honors all three of her seasons while playing with the Minnesota Fillies and Nebraska Wranglers.
Kocurek-Montgomery, who lives in Rockport, earned a bachelor's degree in physical education from WBU. She recently married Charlie Montgomery and has worked for Valero Oil Refinery for the past 30 years.
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Rick Cooper arrived at Wayland in 1977 and spent 15 of the next 16 years playing or coaching at the university. A native of Bridgeport, W. Va., he suited up for the Pioneers for four seasons from 1977-81, helping turn around a program his senior season under new coach Ron Mayberry that had seen nine straight sub-.500 campaigns. A 6-foot-5 NAIA All-District 8 forward, he averaged 13.4 points and 5.3 boards as a senior, and his 65.1 field goal percentage ranked seventh in the nation. Cooper ended his career with 1,209 points, making him 14th at the time in program history. Today, that total ranks 21st.
After serving as an assistant coach for one year at Idalou High School, Cooper returned to Wayland in 1981 as an assistant under Mayberry and later Mark Adams. The Pioneers finished as NAIA runners-up in 1985, and three years later Cooper took over as head coach. He was at the helm for six years, compiling a record of 152-47. His .764 winning percentage remains a program best. The Pioneers reached at least the district semifinal round all six years under Cooper and advanced to the NAIA national tournament three times. In 1989 the Pioneers reached the second round at nationals and finished with a 30-6 record, only the second 30-win season in team history.
Cooper left Wayland for West Texas A&M University in Canyon. He will begin his 20th season as head men's basketball coach for the Buffaloes this fall, having compiled a record of 369-181 with appearances in 10 NCAA regional tournaments. His overall coaching mark is 521-228, and in 25 years Cooper has never coached a team with a sub.-500 record.
In 2002 he became only the third coach to receive the Harley Redin Coaches Award, presented to Wayland alumni who have excelled in the coaching profession. Cooper and his wife, former Flying Queen Janie Denton, a retired school administrator, have two children, Tyler, who played basketball for his dad at WTAMU and is a first-year orthopedic surgery resident at Scott & White Memorial Hospital in Temple, and Kori, who played volleyball at the University of Nebraska and is starting her first season as assistant volleyball coach at Amarillo High School.
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One of the most decorated track and field athletes in Wayland's illustrious history, Vivian Bell-McAdoo racked up 18 all-American designations – tied for second most all-time at WBU -- from 1990-94. A native of Chandler, she chose Wayland over numerous other schools, in part because she was offered the opportunity to play basketball. She ended up concentrating on track and field, and also running cross country.
Bell-McAdoo earned all-American status in the 400-meter hurdles (4 times), 440-yard dash (3), mile relay (2), 100-meter hurdles (2), sprint medley relay (2), 4x400-meter relay (2), 60-yard hurdles (1), 600 meters (1 ) and 4x100 relay (1). She finished second at nationals in the mile relay, 60-yard hurdles and 100-meter hurdles and had three third-place finishes, seven fourths, three fifths and two sixths.
Bell-McAdoo continues to hold the school record in the indoor 400-meter hurdles with a time of 59.14 seconds, established at the NAIA Championships in 1993. In fact, she holds nine of the 10 best times in that race in school history and owns three of the top 10 times in the 100-meter hurdles. Her best time, 13.83, ranks fourth. As a senior in 1994, Bell-McAdoo helped Wayland win an NAIA national indoor team title after a runner-up finish in 1993 and a third-place showing in 1992. Wayland's best outdoor team finishes during her tenure were third places in 1992 and '94 and fourth place in '93.
Bell-McAdoo received the Roscoe Snyder Award her senior year, honoring her as the most outstanding female athlete at Wayland. She received a bachelor's degree in accounting and today lives in Tyler where she works as a general ledger specialist with HealthFirst. She and her husband Chet have two daughters, Zakarra, age 10, and Zataevia, 8.