Last Modified: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 9:25 PM
Former McNeese State tight end R.C. Slocum was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame on Tuesday for his accomplishments as the head coach at Texas A&M from 1989-2002, where he compiled a career record of 123-47-2, the winningest coach in school history.
The Aggies won three Southwest Conference titles and one Big 12 title during his tenure.
The 67-year-old Slocum is one of 17 members of this year’s class, who will be inducted on Dec. 4 at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City.
He joins former coaches Jimmy Johnson of Miami and Phillip Fulmer of Tennessee, quarterbacks Ty Detmer of Brigham Young, California’s Steve Bartkowski and Tommy Kramer of Rice; Syracuse receiver Art Monk; Notre Dame tight end Dave Casper; UCLA tackle Jonathan Ogden; running backs Otis Armstrong of Purdue and LSU’s Charles Alexander; defensive backs Scott Thomas of Air Force and Colorado State’s Greg Myers; split end Hal Bedsole of Southern California, defensive end Gabe of Texas Tech; linebacker Mark Simoneau of Kansas State; and guard John Wooten of Colorado.
Slocum is the only McNeese graduate in Hall of Fame history.
“It’s a meaningful award in so many ways. To join the guys I was looking up to when I was coaching at Lake Charles High School — Darrell Royal, Frank Broyles, Charlie McClendon, Bear Bryant — never imagining I’d someday be included with those guys,” Slocum said. “It’s been meaningful in terms of the great assistants and players I’ve had. Managers, trainers … it’s an award for all of them. They all had a hand in it. It’s fun for me to see all those people be a part of that deal.”
Slocum said he will always consider McNeese as a place that got him started on his road to the Hall of Fame, though at the time he had no idea he’d be embarking on such a journey.
Born in Oakdale and raised in Orange, Texas, Slocum played tight end for the Cowboys from 1964-67, and at one time owned all of the school’s receiving records. He finished his career with 74 catches for 945 yards and seven touchdowns.
He said McNeese coaches Les DeVall and Jim Clark were major influences on his own coaching style.
“People have asked many times why I chose coaching,” Slocum said. “I always said I coached because of the influence my coaches had on me. When I went to McNeese, Les DeVall, in addition to being a good coach, was a good man and a good mentor. He never treated me disrespectfully. He treated me like you’d like to treat your son.
“McNeese was really, really good for me. We had good, caring faculty. I have a great fondness for my experience at McNeese.”
After college, Slocum spent two years as an assistant at Lake Charles High, where he also taught history and civics.
“At the time, I probably knew more about history than football,” Slocum joked.
He moved on to Kansas State as a graduate assistant in 1970, then moved to Texas A&M in 1972. With the exception of a 1981 stint as Southern California’s defensive coordinator, the rest of his career was spent in College Station.
Slocum’s SWC winning percentage (.865) is the best in the defunct league’s history. In 1994, he led the Aggies to their first unbeaten record (10-0-1) since Bryant did so in 1956.