We asked for your nominations for Texas State's Mount Rushmore, and boy did we get some. Thanks to everyone who sent in their nominations via comment, Twitter, and e-mail.
Quick housekeeping note: Real life things got in the way of me posting this on Friday, so voting will be extended until next Saturday.
Here's what y'all answered:
@THETXSTUniv Mount Chautauqua (the hill Texas State sits on) Jim Wacker & Jerry Fields the rest is going to be tough so many great players— Tom Madden (@madden_g) May 1, 2015
Ok, first of all, Mount Chautauqua wins as the official Mount Rushmore name. Nice one, Tom.
There were plenty of votes for Jim Wacker, and for good reason. His stint as head coach from 1979 to 1982 was incredibly successful as the Bobcats won three conference titles and two Division 2 national titles before Wacker eventually moved on to TCU. Many SWT legends came through Texas State on his watch, and Wacker cemented his legacy and his love for SWT/Texas State by eventually returning as the athletic director.
While as athletic director, Wacker helped spur the initial process for SWT to move up to then-Division 1-A in 2000, but those plans were blunted after the NCAA changed the move-up requirements later that year. Momentum for the move-up was further halted after Wacker succumbed to cancer in 2003, but he definitely put events in motion for the student-led movement to Division 1-A/FBS a few years later.
I'm also going to throw in a nomination of my own: Milton Jowers
Jowers, whose name adorns the building attached to Strahan Coliseum, was known more for his basketball prowess as he helped the Bobcats win the 1960 NAIA national championship. However, football floundered in the late 1950's, so Jowers told basketball head coach successor Vernon McDonald "hold my drink and watch this!", and took over coaching football.
He immediately rebuilt the program and went 26-2 during the 1962 and 1963 seasons, including an undefeated 1963 season with a Lone Star Conference title to boot.
Jowers then retired and served as Athletic Director from 1964 until his death in 1972. The foundation he set in the football program also helped his successor Bill Miller to go 25-5 during the next three seasons.
David Bailiff was also nominated, which should cause all sorts of debate. He played a big role in putting the 2005 run together and helping improve the play of Barrick Nealy, but...there's The Knee. We'll never forget The Knee.
Fred Evans and Barrick Nealy will be popular choices for the graduating classes who were around for the 2005 playoff run or were at Texas State to hear about their exploits shortly afterwards.
Nealy helped lead Texas State to a Southland Conference title, almost led Texas State to a massive upset over Dennis Franchione's Texas A&M team, and brought Texas State into the 1-AA playoffs for the first time in over two decades. Against Georgia Southern, he was responsible for 526 total yards and five touchdowns by himself.
Evans was a dominant defensive tackle who lit up the Southland Conference by dominating overmatched offensive linemen. His senior season with 55 tackles, 5 sacks, and 18 tackles for loss led the Southland Conference and provided an anchor for the Bobcat defense during the run to the 1-AA semifinals. Evans would then go on to play 8 seasons in the NFL after being drafted by Miami in 2006.
A few of the players from older teams did get nominated. We'll start with Ricky Sanders.
Sanders was the starting running back for the 1981 and 1982 championship squads, and once his career ended at SWT he was third on the all-time rushing list. He won two world championship rings in Super Bowls XXII and XXVI, the former of which saw him explode for 193 receiving yards and two touchdowns. He also had back to back 1,000 yard receiving seasons in 1988 and 1989 as part of "The Posse" with equally decorated Washington receivers Art Monk and Gary Clark.
Reggie Rivers, Jim Steinke, and Wade Key were also nominated. Stienke, a defensive back from SWT's 70's squads played on the Browns, Giants, and Falcons and was one of the higher draft picks in Bobcat history (21st, 2nd round).
Rivers rushed for 1,145 yards and was named an All-American his senior season in 1990 in Coach Fran's first tenure at Texas State. He would go on to play running back for the Denver Broncos for six seasons, and excelled especially on special teams.
Wade Key also played in the pros for an extended period as offensive tackle and guard for Philadelphia, and while at SWT he was an outstanding tight end as well as an excellent track and field athlete.
@THETXSTUniv TXST Mt. RUSHMORE: Ricky Sanders Barrick Nealy Claude Mathis David Mayo— jiminytriskit (@jiminytriskit) May 3, 2015
Yeah, we can put David Mayo in. Dude was 2nd in the NCAA in total tackles and was the anchor of the 2014 defense. Plus he looks like Thor and Clay Matthews put together, and he just got drafted by the Panthers.
If you dive through the record books and Texas State media guides, you'll see Claude Mathis's name everywhere. The numbers he put up were utterly staggering. He holds the school records for something like 15 categories, including 49 touchdowns and 7264 career all purpose yards.
Another way to look at his career yardage is that Mathis ran 4.12 miles with eleven guys trying to knock his damn brains out.
Mathis was essentially the prototype of an elite player on a bad team. SWT never got above .500 in his four years in San Marcos partly due to an inconsistent defense and quarterback.
We also had a nomination for former running back Marcus Curry, albeit for the Houston game only.
I'll allow it.
Jerry Fields is a solid choice as he is by far the biggest donor to Texas State Bobcats athletics. His name's on the stadium's west side complex, and it was through his generosity that much of the facility upgrades at Texas State were made possible.
Boko hopefully needs no introduction to any Bobcat out there. In addition to being the Texas State mascot, he has eyes that are a perfect anthropomorphic representation of the thousand yard stare I have whenever I drink too many Lone Stars at a tailgate, or whenever the Bobcats lose.
Real life got in the way of me putting this post up on Friday, so we'll extend the voting until next Saturday. Our poll system only allows you to pick one option, so maybe start by picking the one person you'd be most likely to vote for. Then feel free to go to the library or borrow a friend's computer and pick your other three choices. The four people who get the most votes will be enshrined on Mount Chautauqua for as long as the internet exists.
Let the games begin! Feel free to add to the debate by adding a comment below or make your case on our Facebook and Twitter pages.