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Vaughan, Cooper headline 2019 West Texas A&M Hall of Champions Class


Former West Texas A&M quarterback Dustin Vaughan remains the Lone Star Conference‘s all-time leading passer with 13,525 passing yards. [Provided photo]


West Texas A&M will induct its 2019 Athletic Hall of Champions during a ceremony on Friday, Jan. 17, in Legacy Hall at the Jack B. Kelley Student Center.

 The WT Athletic Hall of Champions, established in 1987, recognizes outstanding student-athletes, coaches and administration for their achievements and support of WT Athletics.

The Class of 2019 includes the Lone Star Conference’s all-time leading passer Dustin Vaughan (Football, 2010-13), men’s all-time coaching wins leader Rick Cooper (Men’s Basketball, 1993-2013), Alyssa Lemos (Softball, 2011-14), Dylan James (Baseball, 2013-14), Holly Troth (Athletic Administration, (1986-2013) and Randy Matthews (Athletic Training, 1974-77).

 The Selection Committee also selects Legacy Award winners each year. The Legacy Award, established in 2008, recognizes individuals and organizations not eligible for the Hall of Champions, but have made significant lifetime contributions to the success and legacy of West Texas A&M Athletics. This may include fans, WT staff members, boosters or an organization that has provided distinguished support.

 This year’s recipients of the Legacy Award are Arthur and Lela Mae Stovall.

 The Class of 2019 will be inducted during the Hall of Champions Gala, scheduled for Friday, Jan. 17, at 5:30 p.m. Fans can purchase tickets online at www.gobuffsgo.com.

Single tickets are $75 and tables for eight are $500. Please RSVP by Jan. 10, at 806-651-1400.


Dustin Vaughan (2010-13)

Vaughan finished his playing career as the all-time leader in five offensive categories.

He led the Buffs to the NCAA Division II playoffs two times including the first-ever appearance in the semifinals in 2012. Vaughan was twice named the Lone Star Conference Offensive Player of the Year while finishing second in the Harlon Hill as a senior in 2013. The Buffs went 31-9 during his three-years as a starter where he completed an LSC-best 1,040 passes for 13,525 yards and 123 touchdowns.

Vaughan also took care of business in the classroom earning LSC Football Academic Player of the Year honors in 2012 and 2013 while also being named the conference’s Scholar Athlete of the Year. He was also named the CoSIDA Academic Player of the Year in 2012.

Vaughan spent time in the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent in 2014 while also spending time with the Buffalo Bills, Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens.


Alyssa Lemos (2011-14)

 Lemos finished her four-year career as one of the top softball players in the nation after leading the Lady Buffs to the 2014 NCAA DII National Championship. She owns the NCAA DII record for career walks after starting in a program record 245 games.

 The Grapevine native was a two-time All-American earning First Team All-Lone Star Conference and Golden Gloves as a junior and senior. She ranks second in career at-bats (764) and runs scored (251).  For her career, she hit .328 with 53 doubles, nine triples and 33 home runs driving in 166 runs while walking 179 times. She also recorded 241 putouts and 532 assists with only 45 errors for a .945 fielding percentage.


Dylan James (2013-14)

 James finished his two-year career on the diamond as one of the most influential players in program history. He still holds the program record for lowest ERA (2.10) while ranking in the Top 10 in strikeouts and innings pitched.

 The Las Cruces, N.M. native led the Buffs to their first NCAA postseason appearance in 2014 where he was named the Lone Star Conference Pitcher of the Year. He also earned First Team NCBWA and Daktronics All-Region and Third Team ABCA All-American honors after going 9-3 on the mound with an ERA of 2.30 with 126 strikeouts in 98 innings pitched.

 He signed with the Houston Astros as a free agent in 2014 where he spent two seasons in the minor leagues.


Rick Cooper (1993-2013)

Former West Texas A&M men’s coach Rick Cooper won a program-best 391 games from 1993-2013. [Provided photo]


Cooper spent 20 years as the head coach of Buff Basketball winning a program-record 391 games from 1993-2013.

During his tenure, he won four Lone Star Conference Tournament Championships, 10 NCAA Postseason appearances and was named the conference’s Coach of the Year six times.

 He led the Buffs to their first Elite Eight appearance in program history in 1997-98 where he was named the South Central Region Coach of the Year. In 2011, he was named a finalist for the Clarence Gaines National Division II Coach of the Year.

 Cooper currently serves as the Director of Athletics at Wayland Baptist in Plainview.

Cooper will join his son and former WT basketball stadout, Tyler (inducted in 2015) and daughter-in-law, and former Lady Buff great, Emily (Brister) Cooper (inducted in 2014) into the Hall of Champions.


Holly Troth (1986-2013)

 Troth began working at West Texas A&M in 1986 after earning her undergraduate and master’s degrees. She worked under five athletic directors and four university presidents during her 27-year tenure.

 She began her duties as the Administrative Assistant before getting promoted to the Senior Associate Athletic Director and Senior Woman Administrator. During her time as SWA, she participated on the senior management team, managed gender equity and Title IX plans and issues, advocated issues important to female and male student-athletes, coaches and helped student-athletes balance academics and athletics. 

 Troth retired from the university in 2013 and resides in Canyon.


Randy Matthews (1974-77)

Matthews graduated from West Texas State in 1977 with a Bachelor’s of Science after serving as a student athletic trainer for multiple sports. While at WTSU, he earned his Texas Athletic Training License, which included no less than 1,800 hours of documented care to student-athletes.

 Following graduation, he was the head athletic trainer for Angelo State for 20 years (1977-97) while serving as a part-time athletic trainer for the Houston Oilers for nine years. He was inducted into the Texas State Athletic Trainers’ Association Hall of Honor and ASU Hall of Honor in 2018 while also earning the West Texas A&M College of Nursing and Health Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award in 2017.


— Story compiled by WT athletics


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