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Irving ISD Athletic Hall of Fame Names Inductees

The Irving ISD Athletic Hall of Fame Committee is pleased to announce the Class of 2015, which includes a beloved football coach, a professional baseball player, a storied football player and a track star.

The inductees are (in alphabetical order):

  • Jim Bennett;

  • Mike Phillips;

  • Bill Rutherford; and

  • Kenny Walters.

The 2015 Hall of Fame inductees will be honored at a banquet on Saturday, June 20, at the Sheraton DFW Airport Hotel at 6 p.m.

Now in its fourth year, the Irving ISD Hall of Fame is designed to honor those who have contributed to athletic excellence throughout the history of Irving ISD. Read more about this year’s honorees below.

Jim Bennett

Jim Bennett served as the head football coach at Irving High School for 28 years – from January 1984 to June 2012. His 1990 team won the district title and advanced to the second round of the state playoffs, becoming the school’s first team in 20 years to qualify for the postseason. His 2003 team stomped notable powerhouses including Flower Mound Marcus, Keller and Abilene en route to the state quarterfinals.

However, greater than his athletic achievements was the impact he had on student athletes for more than three decades. He is described as a hard-working disciplinarian and a born

leader who guided young men and women and instilled in them the value of setting goals, hard work and competitiveness. Above all, he loved and cared about his players. He was known to give them rides to school, assist their families with food and clothes, attend their weddings and funerals, and was considered a father figure by many.

Mike Phillips

Standout baseball and football player at MacArthur High School, Mike Phillips took his baseball talents to the professional level as a first-round draft pick – 18th overall – by the San Francisco Giants in 1989. His 11-year major league career also included stints with the New York Mets, St. Louis Cardinals, San Diego Padres and Montreal Expos. After his playing career, Mike coached at Texas Christian University and worked in the front office of the Texas Rangers baseball team before retiring to Irving. His two sons graduated from MacArthur and played baseball at TCU.

Bill Rutherford

Bill Rutherford was a three-year letterman for the Irving High Tigers and was named to the All-State football team in 1968. At the collegiate level, he was a two-year starter at the University of Texas at Austin and was named to the All Southwest Conference first team in 1971 and second team in 1972.

Kenny Walters

Two-time state champion in the high hurdles, Kenny Walters also played football. He was named to the All-District football team in 1962, when the team won the district title with a 6-0 record. In 1963, Kenny tied the national record in high hurdles at the “Little State Meet” in Corpus Christi with a time of 14.1, and clinched the state championship in high hurdles in Austin. He maintained the state title the following year. Kenny earned a track scholarship to the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA), where he set a conference record in the 400-meter hurdles. Since his graduation from UTA, he has enjoyed a successful career in the carpet industry and is still working today.

The Irving ISD Athletic Hall of Fame also includes:

The 2014 Class:

  • Brandel Chamblee, MacArthur athlete

  • Ruthie Lobb Davis, Irving athlete

  • Aaron De La Torre, Irving athlete

  • Margie Stipes, community contributor

  • Randy Waldrum, MacArthur athlete

  • Murphy Webster, coach

The 2013 Class:

  • Michael Huff, Nimitz athlete

  • Kerry Cooks, Nimitz athlete

  • Joe Perryman, coach

  • Anne Uhr, coach

  • Joy and Ralph Ellis, community contributors

The 2012 Class:

  • Akin Ayodele, MacArthur athlete

  • Cedric Colby, MacArthur athlete

  • Alan Lowry, Irving athlete

  • David Rose, Irving athlete

  • Deeanna Williams, Nimitz athlete

  • Mike Farda, coach

  • Bob Harrell, coach and athletic director

  • Dick Lear, community contributor

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