On Nov. 17, a Caddo Native-American, a coach and a basketball player will walk into a bar.
The bar is the University of Dallas Rathskeller, which will host the 23rd induction to the UD Hall of Fame. This year’s class, Fait Elkins, Brian Stanfield and Kylie Yoshimura, contribute a diverse selection of talent to the roster, increasing its numbers to 74.
Although Elkins is now most notably recognized for his time with the NFL, he was known around campus as a man of all sports. Joining UD in 1925, Elkins was a key player on the baseball, football, basketball and track teams, according to UD athletics. A Sports Illustrated story in 1991 once praised Elkins as ranking “among the greatest athletes ever in this country.” Although not living today, Elkins will join the ranks of UD’s best.
The 1999-2008 men’s basketball coaching career of Stanfield saw a number of dramatic successes: 111 career wins, a 15-game winning streak, and seven all-americans. His legacy lives on at UD, as one of his own players, Jarred Samples, now serves as the men’s basketball head coach.
In her four-year basketball career, Yoshimura boasts seven school records and claimed the women’s basketball MVP distinction every year. She graduated in 2013 and will join three other members of the women’s basketball team in the Hall of Fame.
Dick Strockbine, the UD athletics director for 24 years and counting, explained how people are chosen for the accolade. The UD alumni community are asked for nominations, to which he adds selected nominees based primarily on school records and those who placed on championship teams. Strockbine’s nominations are made in an effort to represent the diversity of the talent that has graced UD’s fields, courts and trails.
“We found that what we were having was an all boys’ club,” Strockbine said of the Hall of Fame before he suggested additional nominees to those put forward by alumni.
Once the list of nominees is established, it is sent out to a group of people who are intimately familiar with UD’s athletics program, including professors, coaches and administrators. Anyone who earns 75 percent of the vote will be inducted, Strockbine explained.
One of those who garnered a vote due to his long-time involvement with the UD athletics program, history professor Dr. Thomas Jodziewicz, said that the Hall of Fame fosters a sense of gratitude for the UD athletics program.
“It’s the sense of community, because you get to hear people in person, being grateful for the people who helped them,” said Jodziewicz. “But that’s what I really like, that sense of gratitude.”
Out of the three people joining the Hall of Fame this year, only Stanfield will be present, as Elkins is deceased and Yoshimura cannot attend. Stanfield will be given a chance to speak to the current men’s basketball team, who are required to attend the event, and to all of those present. The presence of the current Hall of Fame members creates a “sense of continuity,” said Jodziewicz.
At its core, the Hall of Fame provides for a deeply coherent athletics program—it unites UD’s greats with the talent that graces the campus today.
“I think the history of athletics at the University of Dallas is undervalued, and I think it’s an opportunity for people, the current athletes for sure, to have some knowledge of those who have gone before them,” said Strockbine. “They’ve paved the way for what we have now.”