Compiled by Dave Campbell
An in-depth story on Baylor's 1974 Miracle on the Brazos championship football team is featured in the September edition of Baylor Magazine. As an addendum to that story, a report on where those players and coaches are now, and what they are doing, seems appropriate.
A letter was sent to each of those players in mid-May (using the addresses that were available). Not all of them replied, but a number did. Here are the responses that we received:
The 1974 football coaching staff
Head coach Grant Teaff
is now the executive director of the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), which is based in Waco. And Grant reports he has just signed a new five-year contract to remain in his current position with AFCA.
Offensive coordinator Bill Yung
reportedly is a volunteer for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), having retired as president of a large insurance company based in El Paso. He still calls El Paso home.
Defensive coordinator Corky Nelson
only recently retired as chief of defense for the non-scholarship football team at Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton. The head coach of that team, incidently, is Pete Fredenburg, formerly a key assistant coach himself at Baylor (but not on the 1974 staff). Nelson lives in Belton.
assistant head coach and tutor of offensive backs on the Teaff staff in 1974, is president of the Kansas City-based Fellowship of Christian Athletes, a position he has held for the past 12 years.
coach of quarterbacks and receivers in 1974, lives in retirement on his ranch near Gatesville, and he also is prominently involved in the operation of a funeral home there.
coach of defensive ends in 1974 and a member of the Baylor staff from 1972-1992, lives in retirement in Waco, and can often be found watching the Bears in one of their workouts, especially one involving a scrimmage.
coach of the defensive line interior in 1974 (and a star for the Bears as a center and linebacker in 1959-1961), now teaches world history at a school in Amarillo and also coaches the ninth grade football team.
tutor of Baylor tight ends in 1974, moved on to become head coach at Southwest Texas State (now Texas State) in San Marcos, and then joined Hayden Fry's coaching staff at the University of Iowa before succumbing to a head attack several years ago.
one of the original members of Teaff's staff who coached at Baylor from 1972-1989 and tutored the defensive secondary in 1974, basically lives in retirement in Waco although he does handle some substitute teaching assignments.
who helped coach the defensive line in 1974, has a teaching position in the San Angelo ISD.
who was recruiting coordinator for the Bears in 1974 (and Baylor's long-time and frequently big-winning baseball coach), lives in retirement in Waco.
who was director of athletics at Baylor in 1974, is deceased. His final years were spent as a resident of Waco.
Senior linebacker Derrel Luce,
All-Southwest Conference and All-America, is now a prominent Waco attorney.
Junior kicker David (Bubba) Hicks
is president of Compass Bank in Waco.
Senior tailback Steve Beaird,
All-SWC and Baylor's first 1,000-yard runner who won recognition by the Houston Post as the league's Most Valuable Player in 1974, is a foundation drilling contractor who makes his home at New Ulm just outside Brenham.
Senior center Aubrey Schulz,
All-SWC and All-America, is head football coach at Clear Creek High School (District 24-5A).
Senior quarterback Neal Jeffrey,
All-SWC, winner of the prestigious Kern Tips Award presented annually in those days to the conference's outstanding senior football player, also winner of the 1974 SWC Sportsmanship Award, is associate pastor of the Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano.
Sophomore quarterback Mark Jackson
is a financial services specialist in Chicago.
Junior wide receiver Ricky Thompson
is vice president of First National Bank of Central Texas.
Sophomore offensive guard Rell Tipton
is a member of a large law firm (Vinson and Elkins) in Houston, specializing in business/corporate law. He lives in Houston.
Junior defensive end Jim Arnold,
who lives in Austin, is an executive with an auto parts company that has outlets all over the state. It is a company started by his grandfather in 1939 in Corpus Christi and expanded by Arnold ("working out of a panel van and a pickup") in 1977.
Sophomore offensive lineman Billy Clements
lives in Amarillo and is associated with a major insurance company there. "Where I played (in the 1974 season)," writes Clements, "depended on how mad he (Teaff) was at Napoleon Tyler and Jon Kramer at the time."
Sophomore defensive lineman Flynn Bucy
lives in McLean, Va., and works for an international environmental non-profit group in Washington, D.C.
Sophomore guard Gary Gregory
is director of Human Resources/Safety for the Rodman Companies in Frisco, Texas, and lives in that city in North Texas. Speaking of the 1974 season, he says: "No doubt, that was one of the more magical eras in Baylor history. I feel honored to have been along for the ride. Of all the friendships I have developed in my lifetime, none are as close or as dear as those of my teammates and Baylor family."
Senior defensive back/rover Tommy Turnipseede,
an All-SWC selection, is general manager of Castle Metals in Dallas and he makes his home in Allen, Texas.
Sophomore linebacker Keavin McDonald
is an attorney with Wilsire Scott & Dyer, P.C. in Houston and lives in that city.
Junior defensive back Ken Quesenberry,
an All-SWC selection, is a business partner in All Star Inflatables and calls on schools and coaches, making available to them inflatables such as football helmets, tunnels, mascots, etc. He lives in Garland.
Sophomore defensive end Allen Stone,
who labels himself "a mere footnote on the 1974 team, if that," nevertheless cites incidents "that stand out in my memory going back these near 30 years (among them, "from the prior spring, the importance of Corky Nelson replacing Pat Culpepper as defensive coordinator)." He is now with the TV network ESPN and based in Bristol, Conn.
Junior tackle Chris Cariker
is chief executive officer of Kamo Power, which generates electricity to electric coops in eastern Oklahoma. He lives in Stigler, Okla.
Sophomore punter Bill Moore
is a real estate broker and lives in Sugar Land, Texas.
Junior offensive tackle Mike Hughes
is a real estate broker and lives in Sugar Land. "I settled in the Sugar Land area in 1978 after my short and unsuccessful effort to make it in the NFL. I have been a real estate broker since then and have been selling homes for what seems like ages. I might mention that Bill Moore and I have worked together for almost 30 years. We both worked with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes after Baylor and with three different builders here in Sugar Land. Our lives have mirrored each other since our football days," he writes.
Sophomore center Joe N. Johnson
is vice president of Triad Hospitals Inc., and lives in Plano. "Can it really be 30 years (since that 1974 season)? It seems like yesterday," he writes.
Senior wingback Phillip Kent
is the pastor of a large church in Houston.
Freshman offensive guard Jon Kramer
is director of secondary education for the New Caney Independent School District. He lives in Kingwood, Texas.
Tight end Sam Harper
worked for a while in the family business after graduating from Baylor, then moved to Oklahoma and decided to go back to school. He attended Oklahoma State University, took courses in criminal justice, and after graduating went to work for the Oklahoma State Prison System. He is now retired and makes his home both in Oklahoma and Waco.
Sophomore defensive back Johnny Greene
is a dentist (specializing in restorative dentistry) and lives in Mt. Pleasant.
Senior wingback Brian Kilgore,
looking forward "to this year and the 30th anniversary of the greatest season ever," is a dentist who lives in Houston.
Sophomore linebacker Johnny Slaughter
is vice president and general manager, western district, of Pool Company Texas Ltd, a Nabors Industries Company, and lives in Midland.
Sophomore offensive guard Victor Sobotik
has been coaching varsity football and jayvee soccer for the past 25 years at Klein High School, and he lives in Spring, Texas.
Freshman defensive lineman Gary Hutchison
is president/COO of WRS Group Ltd., in Waco, and lives in McGregor.
Split end Tommy Davidson
is a chiropractor who lives in Gatesville and has his practice there.
Freshman backup lineman Keith Jones
is a manufacturer's representative for the J.V. Folsom Company and lives in Oklahoma City. "I can remember during halftime of one of our home games that year that Baylor honored the members of the 1924 SWC championship team," Keith writes. "We came out of the tunnel and all of those old guys were trying to get back to their chairs. I remember thinking how long 50 years would take to go by. Well, I guess 30 have gone by in a heart beat."
Freshman center Robert Ingram
is sales manager for the WRS Group in Waco and lives in McGregor.
Freshman backup linebacker Rusty Slicker,
a resident of Allen, Texas, is an account representative at Hagemeyer NA, an industrial supplier.
Scout team member Lloyd Kitchen
is a developer of apartments and senior housing and lives in Addison, Texas (Dallas metroplex).
Freshman backup defensive lineman Gene Fears,
who works in business development for JV Industrial Companies (industrial construction), lives in The Woodlands just outside Houston but is in the process of building a home in Bentwater on Lake Conroe.
Freshman tight end Tim Purselley
lives in Memphis, Tenn., and is an investment banker specializing in mergers and acquisitions and he also owns a refrigerated trucking company based in Arkansas. He writes that he and his family lived in Saudi Arabia from 1987-1991 "where I developed Pizza Hut, Revlon Perfume and other American brands in 13 Arab countries."
Scout team lineman Bruce Peeler,
now a resident of Midland, is president and owner of Air Compressor Solutions Inc. and is the Ingersoll-Rand distributor for west Texas.
Reserve quarterback Charlie Parker
is a dentist who resides in Marshall, Texas.
Scout team back Steven Washington,
a resident of Selma, Ala., is a Lutheran minister and adjunct professor at Concordia College in Selma and is also the head baseball coach of the college.
Scout team back Brookes B. Worthinton
owns and operates a mortgage company in Weatherford, where he makes his home. "I was in the banking business for 23 years and I was the leading lender in the cutting horse industry for 18 years. I still wear my wranglers tucked into my cowboy boots every day. I can still remember like it was yesterday running the triple option in slow motion and then running it in reverse before practice," he writes.
Scout team back Karl Ray
is a real estate broker who owns Texas Star Realtors in Round Rock but he makes his home in Salado.
also a scout teamer in 1974, is a senior account manager for NBC 53 and Fox 30 TV in Nacogdoches and he lives in that city.
John Eddie Williams,
a member of the scout team, is a Houston resident and one of the state's most prominent trial lawyers.
Senior quarterback Robert Armstrong,
who had a sensational game quarterbacking his team to victory in the high school all-star game after graduating at Houston Sam Houston, wound up his college career by completing the only pass he attempted, a 51-yarder, in the Bears' final regular season game of 1974, a 24-3 victory over Rice. Armstrong now lives at The Woodlands outside Houston.
The key Bears in the drive for the championshipIn all, 96 players are listed on the roster of the 1974 championship team, and certainly all 96, from the team's Saturday standouts to the most obscure scout team members, had a role to play that season, and the record will show they played it well. But a number of Baylor fans might have forgotten the players who actually formed the core of the team, the Bears who did most of the playing when the final score was still in doubt. Here is a list of those players, and the positions they played:
Wide receivers/wingbacks: Ricky Thompson, Phillip Kent, Alcy Jackson, Brian Kilgore, Tommy Davidson
Tight end: Sam Harper
Tackles and guards: Mike Hughes, Gary Gregory, Rell Tipton, Jon Kramer, Napoleon Tyler, Billy Clements, Jeff Mund, Victor Sobotik, Chris Cariker
Centers: Aubrey Schulz, Doug Fertsch
Quarterbacks: Neal Jeffrey, Mark Jackson
Running backs: Steve Beaird, Cleveland Franklin
Fullbacks: Pat McNeil, Mike Ebow
Kicker: Bubba Hicks
Deep snapper: Joe N. Johnson
Ends: Dennis DeLoach, Jim Arnold, Tim Black, Chris Quinn, Allen Stone, Billy Tate
Tackles: Joe C. Johnson, Wharton Foster, Flynn Bucy, Jon Royal, Gary Hutchison
Nose guards: John Oliver, Leslie Benson
Linebackers: Derrel Luce, Don Bockhorn, Johnny Slaughter, Keavin McDonald, Mike Jumper
Rovers: Tommy Turnipseede, Johnny Greene
Cornerbacks and safeties: Ron Burns, Ken Quesenberry, Scooter Reed, Gary Green, Robert Weygandt, Charles McClanahan
Punter: Bill Moore