Tulsa Hall of Fame to Induct Nolan Richardson, Three Others
Nolan Richardson, who turned Tulsa basketball fortunes around in the 1980-81 season, and three former Golden Hurricane student-athletes will be inducted into The University of Tulsa Athletic Hall of Fame on Saturday, January 27, 2007. The banquet will take place on the TU campus at 5:00 p.m., prior to the Tulsa-SMU men’s basketball game. The inductees will also be recognized at halftime of the game.
Nolan Richardson (El Paso, Texas) will be joined in the Hall of Fame Class of 2006 by former football standouts Sid Abramowitz (Fort Leavenworth, Kansas) and Doug Wyatt (Tyler, Texas) and two-sport athlete Mike Marrs (Tulsa, ), who played baseball and basketball.
Polka dot shirts and genuine cowboy boots were Nolan Richardson’s (1980-85) trademark during his five seasons at Tulsa. He was hired by Tulsa after leading his Western Texas Junior College team to a 37-0 record and the NJCAA National Championship in 1980. Richardson wasted little time in turning around the Tulsa basketball fortunes.
Under Richardson, Tulsa teams had a 119-37 record for a .763 winning percentage. He averaged nearly 24 wins per season, giving him the second-most victories in school history.
In just his third game as head coach, Richardson’s Hurricane team upset the defending national champion Louisville Cardinals, 68-60. He became the first coach in NCAA history to win 50 games in his first two seasons.
Richardson led Tulsa to five post-season tournament appearances, including three NCAA and two NIT appearances. His first team claimed the NIT Championship in 1981, distinguishing him as only the second coach in NCAA history to win either an NCAA or NIT title in his first season as head coach.
His teams won two Missouri Valley Conference regular season crowns, sharing the title in 1983-84 and winning it outright in 1984-85. Richardson went on to coach at the University of Arkansas where he won the 1994 NCAA Championship.
An outstanding shortstop for the Tulsa baseball team, Mike Marrs (1965-68) started for the Hurricane for three consecutive years and earned all-Missouri Valley Conference honors for three seasons (1966, ‘67 and ‘68). In those three seasons, the Hurricane finished each year in second-place in the MVC, compiling a three-year overall record of 58-18.
In 1966, Marrs led the Hurricane in hitting with a .400 batting average and completed his career with a batting average of .362.
In addition to playing baseball, Marrs also lettered in basketball for three years. As a senior, Marrs averaged 7.8 points while shooting 43-percent from the field and 89-percent from the free throw line in 23 games.
Doug Wyatt (1966-69) was a three-time all-Missouri Valley Conference selection as a defensive back (1967, ‘68, ‘69) for the Hurricane football team. As a junior in 1968, he tallied a team-high eight pass breakups and was second in tackles with 72 stops. Wyatt underwent knee surgery in the spring before his senior season, and in 1969 he still managed to lead Tulsa in interceptions and pass breakups with five pickoffs for 41 yards and 10 pass breakups.
In addition to his duties in the defensive secondary, Wyatt also handled field goal kicking and PATs as a sophomore and junior. He scored 53 points as a sophomore and 25 points his junior season.
Sid Abramowitz (1980-82) was a superb offensive tackle who combined strength with agility. He was twice selected to the all-Missouri Valley Conference team from his offensive line position. Abramowitz was also an honorable mention Associated Press All-America selection his junior campaign and earned third-team All-America accolades as a senior while helping the Hurricane post a 10-1 record in 1982.
Ticket information regarding Hall of Fame Banquet will be announced at a later date. For questions, contact the Golden Hurricane Club at (918) 631-2570.
The honorees will be recognized again in a special halftime ceremony of the Tulsa-SMU game that night. Game tickets for that contest will go on sale November 6, as will single-game tickets for all TU regular season contests.