TJC inducting six into circle of honor


Six standouts who starred or contributed to Tyler Junior College and later excelled at other universities — and have made an impact on the lives of others — will be honored today.

TJC will recognize a new group of inductees into the TJC Sports Circle of Honor during an awards luncheon.

The awards ceremony will begin at 11:30 a.m. in Gentry Gym, inside the Ornelas Health & Physical Education Center. Following the ceremony, a reception will be held for inductees, their guests and members of the TJC Alumni Association. The reception will take place in the Floyd Wagstaff Museum, located inside Wagstaff Gymnasium.

Inductees will also be introduced to the crowd during halftime of today’s men’s basketball game against Panola College. The ladies’ game against Panola begins at 2 p.m. and the men’s teams play at 4 p.m.

This year’s inductees are:

Ivory Lee Brown, football, 1988-89

Ike Forte, football, 1973-74

Mandy Nall, tennis, 1987-89

Scott Stewart, tennis, 1987-89

Terry Stillabower, basketball, 1964-66

Delton Wright, football coach, 1981-95

“One of the great pleasures of serving as athletic director at TJC is to welcome back and recognize the accomplishments of our many former athletes and coaches,” said Dr. Tim Drain, TJC director of intercollegiate athletics. “This year’s class of inductees to the Sports Circle of Honor have achieved great success in sports and in life. We are honored to welcome them to the fold.”

The Circle of Honor was established in 1995 to honor former TJC student-athletes, coaches and special contributors to the athletic program who have excelled in athletics and made an impact on the lives of others.

The day has also been proclaimed Alumni Day at Wagstaff Gym. Members of the TJC Alumni Association will be admitted at no charge to the basketball doubleheader.

Some of the highlights of the inductees include:

Ivory Lee Brown — All-state tailback at Palestine High School, where his nephew and 2012 NFL Most Valuable Player Adrian Peterson would later break his records. … All-American running back at TJC. … Led the NAIA in rushing while at Arkansas-Pine Bluff. … Played three seasons with Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals of the NFL and a season with the San Antonio Riders of the World League of American Football. … His son, Ivory Lee Brown Jr., has signed to play defensive back at TJC.

Ike Forte — A three-sport star at Texas High School. … An All-American running back his sophomore season at TJC. … Played at Arkansas where he was the 1976 Cotton Bowl Offensive Player of the Game. … Played six seasons in the NFL with the New England Patriots, Washington Redskins and New York Giants. … Has contributed to the NFL Hometown Weekend, a charitable event for underprivileged children in Texarkana, for 15 years

Mandy Nall — The third-ranked women’s amateur tennis player in Great Britain before coming to TJC. … Top-seeded player on TJC women’s teams her freshman and sophomore years. Contributed to TJC’s 1989 national championship team with singles and doubles victories. … All-Metro Conference selection at South Carolina State University. … Now teaches tennis at a club outside London.

Scott Stewart — Star tennis player at Beaumont Westbrook High School. … Ranked third in the nation his freshman year at TJC. Had singles victories against players from Rice, Oklahoma and Arkansas his freshman year. Led Apaches to national championship in sophomore year. Had a dual record of 41-11 at TJC. … Transferred to the University of Texas, where he starred for the Longhorns. Was undefeated his senior season at Texas. … Named to the NJCAA Men’s Tennis Team of the Century in 2001.

Terry Stillabower — A three-sport star at Jefferson High School in Lafayette, Ind. Led his team to state title in 1964. … Recruited by TJC head coach Floyd Wagstaff and averaged nearly 20 points per game as a freshman. Was a member of the “Iron 8” Apaches team that advanced to the 1966 national tournament. … Starred at Ball State University after TJC. Scored 40 points on 20 of 24 field goal attempts for Ball State against Indiana State. … Invited to rookie camp for the ABA’s Indiana Pacers. … Coached high school teams to three straight district titles at Knox City. … Had a successful business career and now serves as general manager with Englobal Engineering in Houston.

Delton Wright — After graduating from Brownsboro High School, earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from East Texas State University. … Was in Tyler Independent School District for 15 years, including six years as defensive coordinator for Robert E. Lee High School. … Served TJC as secondary coach, defensive coordinator and head coach for a combined 16 years. Led teams to Southwest Junior College Football Conference championships his first three seasons as head coach. Coached TJC teams in six postseason bowl games, including as an assistant. Career head coaching record of 35-17 at TJC. Named SWJCFC Coach of the Year three times.