Receivers in the old Southwest Conference didn’t need an introduction to make Thomas Everett’s acquaintance. You could say he left his imprint on them.
Everett will join eight other athletic greats in the latest induction class into the Southwest Conference Hall of Fame. The former Baylor safety was twice named the SWC MVP during his emphatic run with the Bears, and was enshrined into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006.
Among the other inductees are a pair of Waco residents — Tracy Saul, a former playmaking safety at Texas Tech, and Kyle O’Brien Stevens, a past national champion golfer at SMU.
The rest of the group includes Rice’s Ricky Pierce, Texas A&M’s Anjanette Kirkland, Texas’ Carlette Guidry White, TCU’s Darrell Browder, Houston’s Billy Ray Brown and Arkansas’ Norm DeBriyn. They’ll be honored at a banquet Oct. 5 at the Doubletree by Hilton in Dallas.
Almost 30 years after his last game for Baylor, Everett’s legacy as one of the school’s most rugged defenders remains intact. He ranks among Baylor’s top 10 in tackles (325), interceptions (12) and punt return yards (766). In his senior year of 1986-87, he was voted as the conference’s overall athlete of the year. Following Baylor, Everett played nine years in the NFL, twice winning Super Bowl rings with the Dallas Cowboys.
Saul picked off 25 passes for the Red Raiders from 1989-92, a school record and the No. 3 total all-time among FBS schools. He was one of only four players in the SWC’s 81-year history to garner consensus all-conference honors four straight years.
Stevens attended SMU from 1976-80, and piloted the Lady Mustang golf team to the AIAW national title as a senior. She was the top overall medalist at that tournament. The National Golf Coaches Association Hall of Fame inducted Stevens in 2003.
No SWC track athlete ever excelled in the hurdles any better than A&M’s Kirkland, who won three consecutive conference titles in the 55-meter hurdles. She also added two SWC titles in the 100-meter hurdles, and was an eight-time All-American.
UT’s White was also no stranger to greatness on the oval. The former Carlette Guidry won a total of 12 NCAA titles in indoor and outdoor track, and claimed 23 All-American honors. She dazzled in both the sprints and jumps on her way to being named the SWC Athlete of the Decade for track and field. White later added two Olympic gold medals in the sprint relay at Barcelona in 1992 and Atlanta in ’96.
Browder helped spur a rebirth of TCU basketball in the 1980s. A Fort Worth native, he scored a school-record 1,886 points, and also ranks among the program’s all-time leaders in starts (114), assists (459) and steals (129). The Houston Rockets selected Browder in the fourth round of the 1983 NBA draft.
Rice’s Pierce could fill up the nets at a rapid pace. He earned All-SWC recognition three times, setting the Owls’ school record for single-season scoring at 26.8 points per game. He went on to a successful 16-year career in the NBA, twice winning Sixth Man of the Year honors and scoring more than 14,000 points.
Brown was one of Houston’s all-time best golfers, making the All-America team all four years with the Cougars. He won the NCAA individual title as a freshman in 1982, and helped the Cougars win national titles in ’84 and ’85. After college, he won three PGA tournaments before moving on to broadcasting.
DeBriyn, the winningest baseball coach in Arkansas history, won the SWC Coach of the Year award six times during his 32-year run with the Hogs. He led the Razorbacks to two SWC titles and four College World Series appearances, including a second-place finish in 1985.
The SWC Hall of Fame is housed inside Waco’s Texas Sports Hall of Fame.