MARTIN, Tenn. – Former football members Lee Mayo, Ross Elder and Jack Beeler, former baseball player Mack Terry and former softball player Kristin Runyan will be inducted into the University of Tennessee at Martin Athletics Hall of Fame during the Letter Winner’s Breakfast on Saturday, Oct. 5 at 7:30 a.m. in the Kathleen and Tom Elam Center concourse.
Mayo played at UT Martin from 1965-68 under head coach Bob Carroll. A 5-11, 215-pound left-footed kicker from Yorktown, Va., Mayo was part of the UT Martin team that won the 1967 Tangerine Bowl, winning the Atlantic Coast College Division championship to cap off a 10-1 season. In 1967, he led the nation in scoring by a kicker for the majority of the season with 76 points (40 PAT’s, 12 field goals), which stood as the most points in a single season by a UT Martin kicker for 21 years. He also kicked a then-school record 52-yard field goal against rival Southeast Missouri.
“This is an honor I would have never imagined,” Mayo said of his Hall of Fame induction. “My fondest memories were the relationships and friendships I experienced at UT Martin. I met my wife there, played football with a great group of guys who were truly a ‘band of brothers’ to me and was able to play for a coaching staff that gave me an opportunity to be a part of a championship team. I will cherish these memories forever.”
Elder served as an assistant coach at UT Martin from 1959-73 under Carroll, tutoring the defensive line. A Knoxville, Tenn. native, Elder helped guide UT Martin to a pair of conference championships (1960, 1967) and the 1967 Atlantic Coast College Division national championship after a victory in the Tangerine Bowl. He presided over several All-Americans who were known as the “Wild Bunch” for their hard-hitting reputation. An all-conference player at the University of Wyoming, he passed away on Oct. 9, 1986.
“My family and I naturally feel honored and very grateful to have my husband posthumously inducted,” said Kathleen Elder, Ross’ widow. “I know his fondest memories would include his relationships with many of the football players, some of which lasted to the end of his life. His pride in the team they took to the Tangerine Bowl would no doubt be another of his fondest memories.”
Beeler served as an assistant coach at UT Martin from 1965-74 under Carroll, mentoring the defensive backs and quarterbacks. Also a native of Knoxville, Tenn., Beeler help coach the “Wild Bunch” unit who combined to yield only 15.9 points per game over a seven-season span at UT Martin. He also was part of the staff that generated a national championship with its 25-8 victory over West Chester State in the 1967 Tangerine Bowl. An All-American quarterback at Wofford College during his playing days, he passed away on June 15, 1981.
“Coach Beeler was a generous giver,” said Danny Walker, Beeler’s son-in-law. “He listened and shared life experiences with all those he came in contact. His door was always open to coaches, players and students. I think Coach Beeler’s fondest moments were the Tangerine Bowl year and being able to coach his son Mike while a few years later being able to coach me. We had so many good times and humorous conversations about football and life.”
Terry played at UT Martin from 1966-69 under head coach Jim Swope. The Camden, Tenn. native was one of the best pitchers in the nation during his senior year, posting a microscopic 0.83 ERA (five earned runs in 54 innings pitched). He tossed back-to-back no-hitters as a senior and posted a 14-1 record on the mound over his final two seasons. He was part of one of the most successful teams in program history, as the 1968 squad posted a 19-3 record and captured the Volunteer State Athletic Conference championship.
“It’s a big honor to be inducted into the Hall of Fame at UT Martin,” Terry said. “I think I am the sixth player off of the 1968 championship team to be inducted and that says a lot about our team that year. We had one of the best records any team at UT Martin have ever had and I am proud of that accomplishment.”
Runyan played at UT Martin from 2003-05 under head coach Donley Canary. A 5-4 infielder from Overland Park, Kan., she captured All-Ohio Valley Conference accolades in all three seasons as a Skyhawk, including a pair of first team mentions. She graduated UT Martin as the program’s all-time leader in runs scored (93), home runs (21) and walks (50) while ranking second on the list with 83 runs batted in and 239 total bases. She helped the Skyhawks tally 94 victories in three seasons, including a then-school record 40 wins in 2005.
“While I always demonstrated the drive and commitment to improve and succeed, the majority of my accomplishments in softball and life can be attributed to the support of others in my life,” Runyan said. “Being inducted into the Hall of Fame is a testament to all those who invested their time to teach me, pushed me beyond my limits and sacrificed to provide me the opportunity to play.”