Two of Greenville’s top sprinters of all time, plus a former football player-coach and a standout from Carver will be inducted today into the Greenville Athletic Hall of Honor.
The formal ceremony is planned for 11:30 a.m. at the high school. The new inductees will be recognized at the Greenville Lions’ home football game against North Forney that starts at 7:30 p.m. at T.A. “Cotton” Ford Stadium.
To be inducted are ex-Greenville sprinters Brandon Couts and LaToya Phelps, former Lion football player-coach Jim Coker and Thurman “Skeeter” Brigham, who competed for Greenville Carver.
Couts was a Class 4A (now 5A) state champion in the 400-meter dash for the Lions in 1996, clocking a time of 46.4 seconds that still stands as a school record. Couts also ran on the Lions’ school-record setting 4x100-meter relay team that clocked a 40.93 in 1996.
Couts went on to win a record 15 Big 12 track and field titles while competing at Baylor. He ran on four NCAA national championship 4x400-meter relay teams at Baylor and won the NCAA indoor national 400-meter title in 2000.
Couts ran some blazing times at Baylor with bests of 44.72 in the 400, 20.40 in the 200 and 10.09 in the 100.
Couts was also a two-time all-district cornerback in football and was a two-time regional qualifier in powerlifting.
He later went on to coach track and field for five seasons as an assistant coach at Colorado, plus at Texas A&M University-Commerce, Tarleton State and at Greenville High School.
Phelps won a school-record seven state titles while competing for the Lady Lions in track and field. She won the Class 4A (now 5A) 100-meter dash twice in the times of 11.55 and 11.44, setting a 4A record with the 11.44. She claimed the 4A 200-meter dash three times with times of 24.08, 23.8 and 23.75, which was a 4A record. She also captured the triple jump with leaps of 42-8 and 42-5. The 42-8 stood as the 4A record for many years.
As a guard, Phelps helped the Lady Lions’ basketball team advance three rounds in the playoffs.
She went on to compete at the University of Texas in track and field, placing third with the Lady Longhorns’ 4x100-meter relay at the NCAA national championships in 2003.
Phelps still holds school records in the triple jump, 100, 200 and 4x200 relays.
Coker was a standout linebacker for the Greenville Lions’ football team from 1966-68, earning all-East Texas and all-area honors. He also competed in basketball, baseball and track and field.
Coker went on to letter from 1968-1971 as a football player at East Texas State.
Coker began a 46-year career in coaching at East Texas State as a graduate assistant, helping the Lions win the NAIA national football championship in 1972.
Coker went on to coach as an assistant or head coach at 11 high schools including Longview Pine Tree, Kilgore, Greenville, McKinney, Lone Oak, Prosper, Terrell, Edgewood, Rains, Boles and Quinlan Ford. He officially retired from coaching this summer.
Brigham was a standout running back for the Carver Golden Tigers from 1953-57. The Golden Tigers reached the state football finals in 1954.
He was also a district champion for Carver in the discus and took third at state.
He played semi-pro football for the Sherman-Denison Jets.
He was named to Carver’s all-time offensive and defensive teams by former Carver coach Clell Davidson, who is in the Greenville Athletic Hall of Honor.