Red Shirt Athletic Hall of Famers

It should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with Ouachita athletics that Red Shirts have placed more members than any other fraternity in the Ouachita Hall of Fame. Red Shirt inductees to date include:

Buddy Bob Benson

Buddy Benson walked the sidelines as the Ouachita head football coach from 1965 to 1995 and compiled an overall record of 161-140-9 during his tenure that included conference championships in 1966, 1970, 1975, and 1982. Benson’s teams won four conference championships, he coached 16 All-Americans and 308 All-Conference selections. Benson was the coach during the program’s 300th and 400th victories and is the program’s winningest coach. The Ouachita job was Benson’s first college head coaching job and it would become his last head coaching job 31 years later. After retiring from coaching in 1995, Benson became the school’s athletic director until 1998. Benson was named to both the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame. Although not a Red Shirt, Coach Benson was Rho Sigma faculty advisor in 1965 and a mentor to numerous Red Shirt football players. His son, son-in-law, and grandson are all Red Shirts.

Cliff Harris

Quite possibly, this inductee has given more nation-wide name recognition to the university that anyone else. Cliff Harris not only excelled at Ouachita but went on to see greater success as a member of the Dallas Cowboys. Harris played defensive back for Ouachita from 1966-69 under head coach Buddy Benson and was a two-time All-AIC selection. He was a part of the 1966 AIC Championship team during his freshman season and was team captain his senior year. The Des Arc, Arkansas, native earned two Super Bowl rings, played in five Super Bowls with Tom Landry’s Cowboys, and played in six Pro Bowls. “Captain Crash,” as he came to be known, is also a member of the NAIA Hall of Fame and a member of the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame. He and former teammate and best friend Charlie Waters collaborated on Tales from the Dallas Cowboys: A Collection of the Greatest Stories Ever Told, and Harris wrote Captain Crash and the Dallas Cowboys, a second book of recollections. Each year he sponsors a golf tournament at Hot Springs Village which benefits the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Cliff Harris is a member of the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor and was nominated for the Professional Football Hall of Fame.

Otis Turner

Otis "Magic Toe" Turner came to Ouachita in 1945, playing both football and basketball. As a freshman in 1945, he was selected All-State end and starred on the basketball team. His college athletic career was interrupted by World War II. When he returned to Ouachita, he continued where he had left off, earning second-team All-State honors on both offense and defense as an end. Turner was also the Tiger field goal and extra-point kicker. In the 1949 Battle of the Ravine, Turner led the Tigers in a comeback from a 14-0 deficit with seven minutes left in the game by adding two extra points and a game-winning field goal. After graduation, Turner finished law school. He later served as a justice on the Arkansas Supreme Court.

Bill Arrington

The diminuitive Arrington earned an amazing 12 letters during his time at Ouachita, playing four sports -- football, track, baseball, and basketball. He was a stand-out halfback for the Tigers during his collegiate career, including the 1953 season in which he scored nine touchdowns to help the Tigers to a 7-1 record. He remains a staunch supporter of Ouachita and the Tigers.

J.L. "Nick" Carter

Jewel Larkin "Nick" Carter -- nicknamed after the famous pulp detective -- was the catalyst for one of the greatest football teams in Ouachita history. Lured to Ouachita after playing one season at the University of Arkansas, Carter quarterbacked the 1914 Tigers to a 9-0-1 season -- defeating the University of Arkansas, Ole Miss, and Arkansas State in the process. He was a three-year All-State selection at Ouachita and lettered in both baseball and track as well. A member of the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, Carter continued his association with Ouachita after graduation as business manager and golf coach. He was also one of Arkansas' best senior golfers. J. L. Carter was the owner of the men's store that sold the Red Shirts the original red shirts and was later one of the longest-serving faculty advisors in Rho Sigma history. He was probably the source of the original red blazers, as well.

Jim Hamilton

A two-sport star for Ouachita, Jim Hamilton lettered in both baseball and basketball during his time at Ouachita from 1970-74. He was All-AIC honorable mention in basketball and baseball his freshman year, and All-AIC first team in both sports his sophomore, junior, and senior years -- leading his team to two AIC championships and the national NAIA tournament twice, as well. Hamilton is the second-highest scorer in Tiger basketball history with 1,667 career points and holds two of the top ten single-season point totals for Tiger basketball. He is currently an administrator with Mulberry (Ark.) Public Schools.

Johnnie Johnson

The sixth-leading rusher in Ouachita Tiger football history, Johnnie Johnson rushed for 2,403 yards while playing for Ouachita from1964-67. Johnson’s 27 rushing touchdowns puts him fourth on the all-time touchdown rankings. Johnson had a career-high 12 rushing touchdowns in 1966 -- third in the Tiger football record books. He was honorable mention All-AIC as a sophomore and junior and All-AIC first team during his senior season. Johnson is a former superintendent of schools for Gillett (AR) Public Schools.

Cecil Kemp

An All-State center for Ouachita, Cecil Kemp was captain of the 1942 team that finished with an 8-1 record under head coach and fellow 2007 inductee W.I. “Bill” Walton. Kemp was honored at the end of the season by being named to the national Little All-American team. World War II service interrupted his college career. After the war, Kemp returned to Ouachita, playing football and basketball and running track. Although courted by several professional football teams, Kemp ended his playing career at Ouachita.

Robert "Red" Nelson

A 1948 graduate of Ouachita, Nelson was a stand-out in football and basketball while a Tiger. Nelson played back and end for the Tiger football team during his time and on the basketball court, Nelson was an honorable mention All-State selection during his senior season of 1947-48. For many years, he and his brother owned and operated Southwest Sporting Goods in Arkadelphia, a regional institution. Nelson’s son, Rex, has been the play-by-play voice for Ouachita football for 26 years.

Walter “Jigger” Ramsey Jr.

A member of the Tiger football team from 1963-66, Ramsey was the team captain of the AIC champion Tiger football team in 1966. Ramsey was a linebacker for three years before moving to nose guard before his senior season, when he was selected All-AIC first team. After graduation, Ramsey played professional football with the Minnesota Vikings before a knee injury ended his career. He is now a successful businessman.

C.W. "John" Floyd

Floyd was a two-sport athlete in the 1930s, playing on both the Ouachita football and track and field teams. The Nashville, Ark. native started and lettered in football all four years and was also named to the All-State first team all four years he played. He captained both the Ouachita and All-State teams in 1935, playing fullback. Floyd played under three of Ouachita's most successful head coaches -- J.H. “Bo” Rowland, Otis Galloway and W.I. “Bill” Walton. Floyd's number, 42, was retired at the end of his senior season and he was given a gold watch. In track and field, Floyd guided Ouachita to first place at the 1935 state meet, taking first in both shot put and discus. He also earned a state record of 144 feet in the discus and placed fourth at the regional Amateur Athletic Union tournament in Memphis. After graduation, he was selected by the Boston Redskins (now Washington Redskins) of the NFL but soon returned to Arkansas, supposedly because "Northerners didn't know how to cook greens and black-eyed peas." John Floyd is one of the two Founders of Record and a charter member of Rho Sigma.

Others ...

Several other Red Shirts were inducted as part of teams named to the Ouachita Athletic Hall of Fame. These include members of the 1964 basketball team and the 1975 football team.

cliffharris-headshot

Red Shirt Cliff Harris was a multiple All-Pro player for the Dallas Cowboys. He played in five Super Bowls and was nominated to the NFL Hall of Fame.