• Kale Steed

Texas Panhandle greats highlight Texas Tech’s 2019 SWC Hall of Fame Class

Nazareth graduate and former Texas Tech Lady Raiders guard Noel Johnson was inducted into the 2019 Southwest Conference Hall of Fame on Saturday. [Provided photo]

LUBBOCK—The Southwest Conference Hall of Fame inducted eight Texas Tech greats as part of the 2019 induction class during the Texas Tech football season opener on Saturday against Montana State at Jones AT&T Stadium.

Three of those inducted were former Texas Panhandle football players in Phil Tucker (1965-1967) of Tulia; the late Denton Fox (1965 to 1969) and former Lady Raiders basketball standout Noel Johnson (1991-1995) of Nazareth.

“I about fell on the floor when coach (Gerald) Myers called and told me,” said Johnson, who was inducted into the Texas Tech Hall of Fame in 2005. “Texas Tech has a lot of great athletes. Texas has a lot pride in this class, and to be a part of if it is unbelievable.”

Johnson helped put the Texas Tech athletic department on the map as a key piece of the schools first ever national title, when the Lady Raiders basketball team won the 1993 national championship under coach Marsha Sharp.

Johnson was among the most lethal shooters from deep draining 256-of-623 attempts from behind the arc (.411 percentage), and remains among the school's all-time career leaders in assists, steals, 3-pointers made and 3-point field goal percentage.

Former Texas Tech Lady Raider guard Noel Johnson shows off her SWC Hall of Fame ring Saturday. [Kale Steed/ Press Pass Sports]

Johnson has spent the last 11 years as the head basketball coach at MSU-Texas, where she’s become the all-time winningest coach in program history with 151 wins.

However, before year 12 rolls around Johnson has an off the court challenge she’s dealing with.

In early April, Johnson received the news that she was diagnosed Stage 4 ovarian cancer.

Ever since, each day has been a battle but her strong will has kept her fighting back against the disease.

“The fight is going great,” Johnson said. “We’re winning it everyday, or in better terms, wrecking it.”

Johnson has five more treatments left before the doctors will reevaluate her situation.

Phil Tucker, (1965-1967)

Tucker remains regarded as one of the top offensive linemen in school history. The three-year starter and Tulia graduate was a first team All-American as a senior, becoming only the eighth Red Raider all-time to earn the honor at the time.

Denton Fox (1965-1969)

Fox starred at Texas Tech before freshmen could play varsity sports. The Claude graduate earned first team All-America honors by the Football Writers Association of America as a senior, becoming the first defensive back in school history to receive the prestigious accolade.

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