Five chosen for UAM Sports Hall of Fame
Making any Hall of Fame would highlight an athlete’s career. Five former University of Arkansas at Monticello athletes will be so honored when UAM inducts the 2013 class into the UAM Sports Hall of Fame on Oct. 24.
Roland Autry, M.L. Mann, Jeff Pope, Jodie Scott and Milton Williams will make up the this year’s Hall of Fame class. Four were All-Americans for either the Boll Weevils or Cotton Blossoms and the other was a two-way lineman who was part of a 1950s football dynasty. They will join 63 other athletes and coaches, and the 1956 Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference champion men’s basketball team, in the UAM Hall.
Also, Rob Leonard, the long-time director of the Missionary Baptist Student Fellowship and the current men’s and women’s cross country coach for UAM, will receive the UAM Spirit Award. Tickets to the Hall of Fame induction banquet will go on sale in mid-August. Tickets are $35 and may be purchased by calling the Department of Athletics at 870-460-1058.
Autrey was an undersized noseguard who became a three-year starter for UAM teams that went 19-9 from 1985 to 1987. Autrey was almost unblockable in 1986 when he became the school’s first underclassman to earn first team NAIA All-America honors for a Boll Weevil team that posted a 6-3 record and finished second in the AIC.
Autrey was the Arkansas Democrat’s AIC Defensive Player of the Year in 1986 and a first team All-AIC selection. He made 13 tackles despite being double-teamed in a 1986 homecoming win over Harding University and ended the season with 56 solo tackles, 38 assists, three sacks, and nine tackles for loss.
Mann was recruited by John Barnhill to play football for the University of Arkansas in 1949 and played for the Razorbacks as a sophomore defensive end in 1950 before being drafted. As part of the 101st Airborne, Mann parachuted into Korea in 1952 and later received a battlefield commission of second lieutenant from General Matthew Ridgway. For gallantry under fire, Mann received the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, Purple Heart, and Distinguished Service Cross.
After his discharge in 1954, he enrolled at what was then Arkansas A&M College and lettered two years for Boll Weevil teams that won the first of four consecutive AIC championships. Mann was a two-year starter at tackle in the one-platoon era when players played both ways, earning first team All-AIC honors in 1955 while leading the Weevils to a 7-2 record and the league title.
Pope was one of the state’s best distance runners in the 1980s. He earned NAIA All-America honors in 1986 in both the 10,000 meters and the marathon. He was a three-time All-AIC selection in cross country and earned all-conference honors in track at both 5,000 and 10,000 meters.
Pope was a four-time AIC champion in individual events and a 1988 UAM graduate. He is currently an award-winning teacher at Fort Morgan High School in Colorado.
Scott won multiple honors on the field and in the classroom as a star outfielder on the UAM softball team from 2003-06. She was named a second team All-American by the National Fast-pitch Coaches Association in 2003. She was named the 2003 Gulf South Conference West Division Freshman of the Year and made the first team All-South Region team that same year. Scott was second team All-South Region in 2004.
She was a four-time first team All-Gulf South Conference selection and was named to the GSC All-Decade Team for 2001-10. Scott was also named to the NFCA and GSC All-Academic Teams in 2005.
Williams is currently the head coach for both the men’s and women’s track and cross country teams at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and was a 2013 inductee into the Arkansas Track Hall of Fame in June. He has been named Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year three times for the men (2007, ’10, and ’12) and once for the women (2005) and led the men’s cross country team to the 2012 Sun Belt championship.
At UAM, Williams excelled in the shot put and discus, earning All-Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference and NAIA Indoor All-America honors in the shot. After graduating from UAM in 1982, Williams finished 14th in the 1984 Olympic Trials and set records for an Arkansas native in both the discus (201 feet, 9 inches) and shot (65-4).
Williams earned a master’s degree from Northeast Louisiana University (now the University of Louisiana at Monroe) in 1984 and spent four years as head strength and conditioning coach at Louisiana State University before returning to Arkansas as head track and cross country coach at Cabot High School. Williams joined the UALR coaching staff in 2001 as associate head coach in cross country and track.
Leonard has served as the campus minister for the Missionary Baptist Student Fellowship since 1983 and has served as a chaplain for the football team. Leonard was also a volunteer assistant football coach for the late Tommy Barnes.