Bethel University honored three former athletic greats and two athletic contributors with inductions into the prestigious Bethel Athletic Hall-of-Fame Friday night at the 2014 Alumni Awards and Athletic Hall-of-Fame Dinner which was held in the Board Room at the Vera Low Center for Student Enrichment, Crisp Wing.
The 2014 inductees are:
Dewey Chism (64) Men’s Basketball
Dr. Ernie Owen (64) Men’s Basketball
Bruce Herrin (70) Men’s Basketball & Baseball
JT & Robye Lindsey -Contributors
Prior to this year, seventy three people and one team had been enshrined into the hall. The 2008 soccer team was the first team to be inducted at the 2013 ceremonies.
Here is a look at the 2014 Hall-of Fame Class:
Bruce Herrin was a two-sport student athlete at Bethel and a very good one in both sports. Herrin graduated from Somerset High School in Somerset, Kentucky in 1966. After his high school graduation he enrolled in Bethel and played basketball and baseball under Bethel Hall-of-Fame coach Doug Hines.
He played both sports at Bethel from 1966-1970 and graduated from Bethel in 1970. He was voted Best Defensive player in 1967. He held the Wildcats best free throw shooting percentage in 1967, 1968 and 1970. The 1970 Wildcat squad captured first place in the 1970 VSAC Western Division. He was named as an Outstanding Athlete in the College Athletics of America in 1969. He had the best ERA of all pitchers on the Wildcat baseball team in 1968.
After graduating from Bethel he coached baseball and taught science in the McKenzie School system from 1970-73.
He became a graduate assistant coach in 1974 at Mississippi College in Clinton, Mississippi under new head basketball coach Doug Hines.
In 1975 he returned to Bethel as an assistant baseball coach under Coach Lionel Sinn.
In 1976 he returned to the McKenzie School system to coach and teach. He was in the system until he retired 27 years later. He impacted hundreds of lives with his dedication and talents he offered to the system, the city of McKenzie and surrounding area.
In November, 1975, Bruce married Donna Barnett. They have two children, Brad Herrin and Holly Herrin Porter. They feel blessed with three grandchildren, Ryleigh Herrin (12), Brycen Herrin (7), and William “Will” Porter (4).
Dr. Ernie Owen attended high school at Lone Oak High in Paducah, Kentucky. After graduating from there he attended Paducah Junior College for two years and was named to the All-Regional Tournament team in basketball.
He began a very successful basketball career as a student-athlete at Bethel in 1962. He averaged 17.7 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. He scored a career high 31 points against Florence State in 1964 and was voted Most Athletic that same year. He was a Co-Captain both years with the Wildcats.
He is a Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Western Kentucky University where he taught for over thirty years. He was a teacher, coach and counselor in every grade from kindergarten through graduate school. He obtained his M.A. in Guidance Counseling from Murray State University and his Ed. D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Florida.
He is known for his numerous in-service workshops for teachers, coaches and principals on such topics as motivation, discipline and stress reduction. He is noted for his teachings at the high school and university levels in the fields of relaxation techniques, mental imagery and yoga to athletics teams.
Dr. Owen has also raised, trained and showed champion, pure –bred Arabian horses for over twenty years.
Since his retirement, he has been actively involved in the study of the effects of lifestyle and nutritional choices on mental and physical health, aging and longevity.
Dr. Owen is married to Judy Trevathan Owen and they have a daughter Jill Owen Norris and a granddaughter Dr. Jordan Norris.
Ernie Owen has been recognized prior to this year as an Outstanding Alumni of Bethel.
Dewey Chism is a native of Baldwin, Mississippi. After graduating from high school where he was all-state in basketball and football he enrolled at Northeast Mississippi Junior College in Booneville, Mississippi and was a standout basketball player there for two years. While at Northeast he was seen by Coach Vincent and the rest is part of Bethel history. He attended Bethel and played basketball from 1962 -64. As a forward and guard he was a key member of the Wildcats during his two years at the school. He was also Vice-President of the PE Club while at Bethel. He is a 1964 graduate of Bethel College.
After graduating from Bethel he obtained his Master’s degree from Murray State University. He was certified as a Career Level III teacher by the state of Tennessee and was a very popular and respected teacher, coach and mentor in the McKenzie School system. He served the system well teaching mathematics, PE and Driver’s Education. He was also principal of the middle and high schools. He coached football, girls and boys basketball and affected many young people’s lives in a positive and constructive way.
Former McKenzie head football coach and Principal Jerry Escue worked with Dewey for four years. Dewey was on Coach Escue’s football staff. Escue had this to say about Dewey. “I don’t know of any more loyal and committed person to his fellow workers and students than Dewey Chism. Our first summer in McKenzie we had no lockers for our football team. He worked tirelessly all summer to help build them and never asked or received pay for his work. There are countless other things just like that he was a part of because of his loyalty and dedication. His students loved him and he was a friend to them but they also knew where he would draw the line. He was a consummate professional in all he did. He understood, appreciated and accepted the mission for what it took to serve.”
Prior to joining the McKenzie system he coached and taught at Rosedale High School in Rosedale. Mississippi.
He is a former member of the McKenzie Rotary Club and former deacon at the McKenzie Church of Christ.
Mr. Chism has been married to Keitha Hatley Chism for fifty years and they have two children, Randy and the late Ricky Chism. They also have two grandchildren, Ashlyn and Caroline Chism.
JT and Robye Lindsey have been long-time supporters of Bethel College, Bethel University, and Bethel athletics.
JT grew up in Decatur, Alabama and graduated from Pharmacy school from Samford University in 1957. Miss Robye grew up in Brighton, Tennessee. She played high school basketball and collegiate tennis at Erskine College.
They married in 1954.
They moved to McKenzie in 1958, joined the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, purchased the old Cannon Drugstore in downtown and operated it as Lindsey’s Rexall from that time until it was sold in 1980. It was there the Bethel connection was formed as the ‘old soda fountain” was a major gathering place for Bethel students and faculty. The Lindsey’s became mentors to most all they came in contact with. Lifelong relationships were formed that exists until today.
JT and Robye have “adopted” Bethel students and coaches from all sports through the years and have always been passionate supporters at home and on the road. They have taken students into their home and been stand-in parents for many international students. Their services have been varied. They have greeted and sold tickets for various sporting events. Whether it was old Dishman and Baker Fieldhouse, the old McKenzie High School, the new Dishman and now the new Crisp Arena, the Lindsey’s have always been there. It hasn’t mattered what conference or who they opponent has been, they have always supported their beloved Bethel student athletes.
They are the proud parents of sons, Keith and Tim and also seven grandchildren and two great grandchildren.