JACKSON, Tenn. – Oct. 30, 2007 – Union University will induct five sports legends and the entire 1967-68 Bulldogs basketball team into its Sports Hall of Fame during a dinner Nov. 1 as part of Union’s Homecoming festivities.
The dinner will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Coburn Dining Room in the Barefoot Student Union Building. Tickets are $15 and may be reserved by calling (800) 338-6644.
-- M.C. Joyner Jr., 1936 (posthumously). Joyner competed in football, basketball and boxing during his time at Union. He was the MVP and captain of the 1934 and 1935 football teams and was drafted by the NFL’s New York Giants, but was unable to play because of a shoulder injury.
In 1936, Joyner became director of athletics, principal and head football coach at Peabody High School in Trenton, Tenn. He entered the U.S. Army in 1942 and coached football at Christian Brothers College before returning to Trenton in 1950, where he operated his own hardware business until his death in 1972.
He and his wife Frances Blecher had three children – Edward, Beverly and William.
-- Michelle Street-Czapp, 1997. A product of Bradford (Tenn.) High School, Street-Czapp was a standout on the Lady Bulldogs basketball team. She led the team in scoring for three years and amassed 2,359 points in her career, the second highest total in team history.
Her senior year, Street-Czapp was named the TranSouth Player of the Year, a Kodak All-American and to the NAIA All-Tournament Team. Her junior year she was named NAIA Player of the Year and Player of the Year by College Sports Magazine.
She lives in LaVergne, Tenn., with her husband Jerry and 3-year-old son Anderson. She was inducted into the Gibson County Sports Hall of Fame in 1999.
-- Buford Matlock, 1950. A native of Jackson, Tenn., Matlock served a term of duty in the U.S. Army, playing football as a starting end and running track for the U.S. team in Germany. After World War II, he returned home to pursue his education at Union.
He played varsity football from 1946-1949, starting every game but one in his four-year career. Matlock is the only player in Union football history to be elected captain of the team for three straight years.
Beginning in 1950, Matlock served a long and distinguished career as an educator and coach in the Jackson and Madison County school system. He served at North Side High School, South Side High School and Tigrett Junior High School, before becoming principal at Alexander Elementary School, a position he held for 24 years.
He was inducted into the Jackson-Madison County Sports Hall of Fame in 2000. Matlock and his wife Bernice have been married for 60 years and have two children and six grandchildren.
-- Luis Ortiz, 2004. A native of the Dominican Republic, Ortiz was one of Union’s most outstanding baseball athletes. He was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the eighth round after his junior year, and made his major league debut with the team in 1993.
His major league career covered parts of four seasons with the Red Sox and Texas Rangers. All told, Ortiz spent 14 years in professional baseball before retiring in 2004.
After his retirement, Ortiz fulfilled a promise to his parents by returning to Union to finish his degree. He owns Swing City at the Athletic Village, a baseball instructional facility in Keller, Texas. He lives in North Richland Hills, Texas, with his wife Susan and their four daughters: Gabriela, Naomi, Samantha and Moriah.
-- Jeff Richey, 1966. Richey led the Union basketball team to its first conference title in 1964-65. He earned all-conference honors for three straight years and was the conference MVP for two years. He led the Bulldogs in scoring, rebounding and assists for three seasons.
During the 1964-65 season, Richey set a school record for field goal percentage (58.6 percent). He still holds the school’s record for most free throws made in a season (231).
After graduation, Richey was drafted by the Oakland Oaks of the American Basketball Association, the only Union University player ever drafted by the ABA. He joined the Gulf Oil Touring All-Stars in 1967-68 and toured internationally.
He and his wife of 28 years, Carol, make their home in Carrier Mills, Ill.
-- the 1967-68 Bulldogs basketball team. The Bulldogs went 22-3 in the 1967-68 season under Coach Billy Henry, the best record of any college team in Tennessee and one of the best in the nation. Union won the Western Division of the Volunteer State Athletic Conference and the VSAC tournament, the first VSAC tournament title in school history.
The team was ranked in the top 20 small colleges in the nation several times during the season.
The team’s roster included Ron Bradley, Ed Braley, Bob Crum, Dave Gray, Ken Hane, Hank Kennedy, Gary Knupp, David Lewis, David Marsh, Dan Rudesill, Lonnie Searcy, Bob Snyder and Dennis Wilson. Bob Carter was the team’s assistant coach.