Greater Tulsa Reporter
Twelve individuals with wide-ranging talents and a common cultural bond will be inducted into the Tulsa Public Schools Hall of Fame on Jan. 19.
In announcing the fifth class of honorees, TPS Director of Athletics Gil Cloud said that the Hall of Fame ceremony and dinner will be held at the Marriott Southern Hills. Individual plaques will be presented to the honorees. Identical plaques will be installed in the permanent home of the Hall of Fame within the TPS Department of Athletics in the Charles Mason Education Service Center, 3027 S. New Haven Ave
Over the last nine months, a selection committee has weighed the accomplishments of scores of athletes and coaches who made their marks within the Tulsa Public Schools system and beyond.
All nine TPS high schools are represented among the 12 new members of the Hall of Fame. The 2017 class will lift the total membership of the Hall of Fame, begun in 2013, to 62.
Reservations for tables or individual seating should be made through Lisa Norman in the TPS Athletics Department, at 918-746-6453. Individual tickets are $100 and tables are $1,000.
The following profiles are listed in alphabetical order. The photos shown were ones available.
Cathey Durbin Barkley
A trailblazer, she was making a big splash in the sports pages while still working toward her graduation in 1975. In the days before females in Tulsa Public Schools were permitted to compete in interscholastic athletics, Cathey Durbin earned a spot on Edison’s boys diving team. As a junior in 1974, she became the first female to qualify for the state diving championships on the coed level. As a senior, she again reached the state championship after losing only once (to a male) during the regular season. She qualified for three straight AAU national diving championships before accepting a scholarship to the University of Illinois. She later coached in the Tulsa area. Displaying her athletic skills, she quarterbacked the Tulsa entry in the National Women’s Football League in 1977.
Before graduating in 1984, having attended Tulsa Public Schools for 12 years, he lettered in baseball, basketball and football. Earning All-State honors as a quarterback, he accepted a scholarship to play football at the University of Minnesota. Transferring to Arizona State University (1985-88), he was a member of teams that made three straight bowl appearances, winning the Rose and Freedom bowls. He was selected MVP of the 1987 Freedom Bowl, passing for 272 yards and a touchdown in a 33-28 victory over Air Force. He joined the Tulsa Police Department in 1991, serving with distinction until his retirement in 2015, when he joined the City of Tulsa as a project manager. He also found time to coach quarterbacks and coordinate offenses at three Tulsa-area high schools, including his alma mater.
His contributions to Tulsa Public Schools were felt through parts of six decades. A native of Wakita, Oklahoma, he was a three-year football letterman at Oklahoma State University. His first coaching job (football, track) with TPS was at Thomas Edison in 1959. He later coached football at Nathan Hale, Memorial and East Central. While Principal at Hale and Booker T. Washington, he coached elementary and middle-school teams. In 1973, he led the development and implementation of a voluntary desegregation program at Washington. Later, he served four years (1987-91) as Executive Director of the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association. He returned to TPS as Deputy Superintendent (2008-10). He is a member of the Booker T. Washington Hall of Fame and earned two Tulsa Tribune football Coach of the Year awards at Hale.
Nathan (Nate) Harris
Booker T. Washington
An All-State basketball player in the Class of 1965, he went on to become one of the most acclaimed coaches in Oklahoma history. He played on Oral Roberts University’s first basketball team in 1965-66 before launching a Tulsa Public Schools coaching career that spanned 34 years. After leading programs at Thomas Edison and Charles Mason high schools, he returned to his alma mater in 1982. Under his direction, Washington won 10 state championships and finished runner-up twice before his retirement in 2007. His career record stands at 632-239 and he coached in the 1996 McDonald’s All-American game. He is a member of the halls of fame of the Oklahoma Coaches Association, Oklahoma Basketball Coaches Association, and Tournament of Champions. The gymnasium at Washington is Nathan E. Harris Field House.
She used her Central experience as a springboard to basketball fame at Baylor University. During her senior year at Central, 1987-88, she was selected Homecoming queen and was a member of the state’s Super Five girls basketball All-State team. Ultimately, she was singled out as Oklahoma’s Gatorade basketball Player of the Year. Accepting a scholarship to Baylor, she played four years (1988-92) and averaged 16.4 points and 8.3 rebounds. In 2010, she was inducted into the Baylor Athletic Hall of Fame. She was cited for her overall accomplishments and record-setting play, including a perfect 12-for-12 field-goal shooting performance for a game. Later, as the first in her family to graduate from college, she launched a business career that led her to the executive director’s position of the Waco, Texas, YMCA.
Wallace (Wally) Maurer
His name is synonymous with running, and coaching, throughout the state of Oklahoma. A native of Lima, Ohio, he received a track and cross country scholarship to Miami (Ohio) University and began coaching in 1962. Working in the pipeline field, he moved to Tulsa in 1971 and immediately set a course for excellence in competitive running. He coached and directed AAU teams and programs, and served as meet official and starter for hundreds of local, state and national road races, in addition to the Oklahoma high school championships. From 1998 until 2015, he coached boys and girls track and cross country teams at Memorial. In 1996, he received the Governor’s Award as an outstanding “Contributor to Youth Activities.” He served as president of the Oklahoma chapter of The Athletics Congress (1984-88).
He had attained “legend” status at Daniel Webster by the time he graduated in 1962. He played a starring role on the Tulsa team that won the 1959 national Babe Ruth League championship. He shared Oklahoma baseball Player of the Year honors with teammate and TPS Hall of Famer Richard Calmus in 1962 after helping Webster win back-to-back state championships. He was a standout in basketball and football and attended the University of Oklahoma on a baseball scholarship. He was drafted by the Montreal Expos in 1968 as an outfielder before converting to a pitcher. He was the National League 1970 Rookie of the Year, posting an 18-11 record with four shutouts, 10 complete games. He pitched for Atlanta (1973-76) and had three straight 15-plus win seasons. He died in 1983.
Booker T. Washington
In the days before integration, he helped guide Booker T. Washington to three straight Oklahoma high-school basketball state championships. He also played football for three years and was valedictorian of the Class of 1953. Although he did not receive an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Pittsburgh, he did earn the full grant just three games into his freshman year. He went on to become a three-year varsity starter and Pitt’s first African-American basketball player. He played in two NCAA basketball tournaments, was selected by the St. Louis Hawks in the NBA draft, and upon graduation in 1958, with a degree in aeronautical engineering, was Pitt’s fourth highest career scorer. He retired from McDonnell Douglas as principal engineer/scientist and is a member of the Tulsa Historical Society Hall of Fame.
He was the hometown product who made it big. As a high-school senior, he was the 1993 Oklahoma basketball Player of the Year following a season in which he averaged 24.4 points. Accepting a scholarship to the University of Tulsa, his impact was immediate. In his first collegiate game, he scored 33 points. He went on to earn Freshman All-American honors, averaging 16.8 points. Before he graduated in 1997, he had become the school’s all-time scoring leader and his jersey number, 21, has been retired. He played seven years of professional basketball. He returned to coach at McLain and at Booker T. Washington, where he won two state championships (2010, 2011). He joined TU’s basketball staff as an assistant in 2012. He is a member of the Tournament of Champions Hall of Fame.
A high-school star, a collegiate All-American, a major-league baseball pitcher. At 6-foot-2, the right-hander posted an 11-2 record as a Will Rogers senior in 1970. Over his final two seasons, his earned-run average was 1.01, en route to All-State recognition. Despite being drafted by the Chicago Cubs, he accepted a scholarship to the University of Oklahoma. While at OU, he pitched in the 1971 Pan American Games, in the 1972 College World Series and twice was named All-American. He established an OU record in 1973 with 13 complete games. After being selected in the second round (38th pick) of the 1973 major-league draft by the New York Mets, he pitched in four seasons (with Mets and Toronto) before retiring in 1985. He served as assistant coach at OU for three seasons.
From a three-year start as a player at Central, graduating in 1953, he followed up with a 42-year run as a basketball coach. Although he was head coach for 31 seasons at the NCAA level, he is best remembered for the 14 years he was at the University of Oklahoma. From 1980 through 1994, his teams won four Big Eight Conference championships and finished national runner-up in 1988. Twice he was selected National Coach of the Year and his OU record was 333-132, including three seasons with 30-plus wins. He served two stints as head coach at his alma mater, Lamar University (1976-80, 2003-06), and coached at TCU (1994-2002). He won more than 100 games at each school, the ninth coach in NCAA history to do so. His collegiate coaching record is 641-340.
He was a high-school football blue-chipper, Oklahoma Player of the Year, and that served as a prelude to a decorated college career. Graduating in 1983 as a three-year football and track letterman, he received a scholarship to the University of Oklahoma. He swapped his high-school quarterback role for a key spot in the OU defensive backfield and became a four-year letterman. Chief among his accomplishments: Three-time All-Big Eight Conference, two-time Academic All-Big Eight, two-time second-team All-American, recipient of OU’s Sooner Schooner Award for academic achievement. He was a 6-foot-4, 198-pound starter on OU’s 1985 national championship team that defeated Penn State University and a captain on the 1987 team. In his four seasons at OU, his teams compiled a record of 42-5-1, never finishing below No. 6 in the final rankings.