The Grambling Legends Sports Hall of Fame has announced a 12-member class for 2013 that includes former NFL stand-outs Frank Cornish and Woodrow Peoples, basketball All-American Rex Tippit and record-breaking collegiate quarterback Bruce Eugene, among others.
Induction ceremonies will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday, July 13, 2013, at the Hobdy Assembly Center on the campus of Grambling State University.
Tippet and fellow inductee Robert Piper helped Grambling to the only men’s college basketball title in Louisiana history. Both Cornish and Peoples appeared in the Super Bowl. Additional biographical information on all 12 forthcoming Grambling Legends Sports Hall of Fame inductees follows …
2013 GRAMBLING LEGENDS HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES
HILLARY BOSSIER: Led the nation with a 0.53 ERA in 1961, as Grambling claimed its first-ever SWAC baseball title. Bossier and Co. then advanced for the first of four national NAIA tournament appearances through 1967 under R.W.E. Jones. Bossier later pitched for two seasons with the Midwest’s minor-league affiliate of the New York Mets – going 6-2 in 1962 with 71 innings pitched.
JAMIE CALEB: A do-anything player, Caleb completed half of his passes in 1958 - putting him in the Top 10 all-time at Grambling - even while leading the Tigers in rushing. Drafted in the 16th round, he played for both Cleveland and Minnesota between the 1960-65 NFL seasons, a stint that included the Vikings’ inaugural campaign. His final pro game was an NFL title game loss to the Packers.
FRANK CORNISH: A two-way player for Eddie Robinson, Cornish earned first-team all-SWAC honors at offensive tackle in 1965 as Grambling claimed the league crown. He later played seven NFL seasons for Chicago, Cincinnati, Miami and Bills, advancing to the 1972 Super Bowl with the Dolphins. Cornish also played one season for the World Football League’s Jacksonville Sharks.
BRUCE EUGENE: A three-time finalist for the Walter Payton Award, Eugene led Grambling to SWAC titles in 2002 and again in 2005, when the Tigers went undefeated for just the third in school history. He left Grambling having claimed every major passing record, many of which had stood since his coach Doug Williams played for the Tigers in the 1970s.
WILBERT FRAZIER: Frazier averaged 17 points a game between 1961-65 as Grambling claimed consecutive basketball titles, posting a career-high 29-point average as a senior. Though selected at 12th overall by San Francisco in the 1965 NBA Draft, Frazier elected to play in the ABA, joining Houston and then the New York Nets. He also played six seasons in the Continental Basketball Association.
MIKE HOWELL: A standout safety at Grambling, this eighth-round NFL draft pick played with Cleveland and Dolphins for eight seasons, making 27 pro interceptions including a career-high 8 in 1966 with the Browns. He joined the Dolphins in time to take part in the NFL’s only perfect season in 1972, ending his career with a Super Bowl title.
PAULA MAYO: A two-sport collegiate star, Mayo averaged 30 points and 15 rebounds per game at GSU before becoming part of history in 1979. The Houston Angels, behind 36 points by Mayo, claimed the first-ever women’s pro title championship. Mayo, known affectionately then as “Moose,” was named all-pro in two of the Women’s Professional Basketball League’s three seasons of existence.
JOHN MENDENHALL: A first-team 1971 All-SWAC defender as Grambling claimed a league title, Mendenhall was a Senior Bowl invitee before coming a third-round pick in the 1972 draft. He then played in116 games over nine NFL seasons for the New York Giants and Detroit Lions, posting a career-best 10 sacks and 7 forced fumbles in 1977.
WOODROW PEOPLES: A stand-out guard as Grambling claimed a second straight SWAC title in 1967, Peoples was twice named to the Pro Bowl during his 13-year stint in the pros - both times with San Francisco. He concluded his NFL career with Philadelphia in the 1980 Super Bowl. Peoples has already been named to the American Football Association’s Semi-Pro Football Hall of Fame.
ROBERT PIPER: A member of Grambling’s legendary NAIA-winning championship basketball squad in 1961, Piper would later serve as GSU’s athletics director from 1997-98 before he passed after a battle with cancer. Piper had previously served as basketball coach at Western High School in Washington, D.C., where he mentored future Grambling Legend Larry Wright Sr.
REX TIPPIT: Tippit was a team captain as the Tigers claimed the state of Louisiana’s lone national basketball championship, earning high praise from teammate and future NBA Hall of Famer Willis Reed, who called Tippit “the best player on the team.” Tippit claimed All-America honors in both 1960-61 before becoming a ninth-round pick in the 1961 NBA draft by the Syracuse Nationals.
RICHARD HARRIS: A first-team All-SWAC defender for Grambling in 1970, Harris played eight pro seasons after being picked fifth overall in the NFL draft by Philadelphia. He claimed all-rookie honors with the Eagles, then later played for Chicago and Seattle. Harris went on to serve 11 seasons as a coach with Canadian Football League, and also claimed a trio of semi-pro titles as a head coach.