SPORTS HALL OF FAME
Roy Sims "Butch" Goodman Jr.
Sports Hall of Fame
Class of 1957
Roy Sims Goodman Jr., better known as "Butch" began what was to become an outstanding athletic career at Denison High School when the Denison Little League program began in 1951.
At DHS he excelled in football, basketball and baseball, lettering three years in each sport. During his senior season he was selected to first team All-District for 7-AAAA and achieved All State Honorable Mention for 4A schools. He was selected to play in the Oil Bowl game, an all-star game between Texas and Oklahoma high school seniors.
When football season was over he headed for the basketball court as a 6’4" player. He earned an Honorable Mention berth on the All-District Team for 7-AAAA his junior and senior seasons.
When spring came he put on his spikes and headed for first base on the baseball diamond. A southpaw, he hit from the right side and his senior season he was one of the top hitters in the district with a .364 batting average. That year he was named to the All District second team.
As a result of his career as a Yellow Jacket he was offered a football scholarship to the University of Texas as a member of Coach Darrell Royal’s first recruiting class there, playing for the Texas Longhorns and also on the freshman baseball team.
He returned to Denison to work for his father’s company, R.S. Goodman Construction and later spent several years with the City of Denison as Athletics Superintendent, retiring at the end of 2003.
Class of 1969
Leading the list of Distinguished Alumni, David Bryant grew up in Denison and attended Austin College and the University of North Texas, graduating with a BA in Political Science in 1972. He graduated from the Harvard Law School magna cum laude in 1975 after serving as an officer of the Harvard Law Review and finishing in the top five percent of his class.
He was a law clerk for Judge Homer Thornberry of Austin on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He has practiced law in both Texas and California and regularly appears in courtrooms from coast to coast, winning over $50 million in verdicts and settlements for his clients in business and corporate cases. More than 40 of his cases appear in the lawbooks.
Among cases he has won is a major trial and judgment against the Government of Iran for Ross Perot’s Electronic Data Systems Corp. He also recovered $26 million in 2004-05 for creditors from former officers and professionals for a Las Vegas Company that was the largest producer of turf and forage grass seed in the United States.
Bryant has long been associated with Ross Perot, serving as his lawyer and an officer in Perot Systems Corp, working closely with Perot in his ventures in public life, including advising him at the Presidential Debates in 1992.
Bryant has served on the Austin College Board of Trustees for more than 12 years and is a director and chairman of the Loan Committee at Landmark Bank as well as an active investor in ventures that create jobs in Denison and Grayson County.
Class of 1947
Jack Hicks of Mesquite began his 33-year career with Mesquite Independent School District when he joined the coaching staff of Dr. Ralph H. Poteet at Mesquite High School in 1957. He became head coach when Poteet moved to administration. And four years later was appointed Assistant Superintendent of Business and Finance.
During the 31 years Hicks spent in the business office, the operating budget grew from $5 million to $100 million and many new schools and facilities were built throughout the community.
Hicks attended Baylor University on a football scholarship in 1947 and graduated from Austin College with a BS degree in 1952. He then received his Master’s degree in School Administration from East Texas State University in Commerce.
Before going to Mesquite he taught biology at Paris Junior College and coached at Cooper and Honey Grove high schools.
At Mesquite Hicks was instrumental in the planning, building and financing of all the schools built there from 1970 to 1990, including four high schools, 12 middle schools and 32 elementary schools. Neighboring school districts sent their entire business staffs to study the financial operations of Mesquite school district.
Hicks is a lifetime member of the Mesquite Chamber of Commerce and in 2001 was recognized as one of 100 Heroes of Mesquite ISD at the district’s Centennial Celebration.
After retirement in 1990, with a total of 38 years in education, Hicks was hired as a special consultant to train the new Assistant Superintendent. In 1991 he was asked to develop a worker’s compensation plan for the Mesquite ISC that still is being used. In 1993 he was hired by the Garland Board of Trustees to develop a worker’s compensation program for that school district.
Class of 1948
Jack Lilley has served thousands of Denisonians during his tenure in the insurance business, which borders on a half-century. He admits that it has been a good way to make a living, but he feels he has given his friends and neighbors the peace of mind that comes with knowing their families and loved ones would be taken care of when they are gone.
He is a graduate of Southeastern Oklahoma State University and served in the Army from 1952 to 1953, returning to Denison to work with his dad in Lilley’s Department Store until 1957. He entered the Life Insurance business in 1962.
Lilley is a 40-year lifetime member of the industry’s highest honor club, the Million Dollar Club.
It is in service to his community that Lilley truly shines. His work with the Chamber of Commerce, Texoma Medical Center board, Planning and Zoning Commission, City Council, as Mayor of Denison, the GTUA board, numerous charitable foundation boards, lifelong volunteer and fundraiser speak for his devotion, dedication and commitment to a better Denison.
As a member of the Texoma Regional Planning Commission, which later became the Texoma Council of Governments, Lilley had an influence on the formation of the Grayson County Airport Board and served as the first president of GTUA.
Lilley takes care of his community of people – one person at a time. On an almost daily basis he visits people at home or in the hospital who have no one to care for them and is their quiet, unassuming hero.
Gil A "Sonny" Stricklin
Class of 1953
After working his way through college and graduating in 1957 from Baylor University, Gil Stricklin entered the Air Force through the Baylor ROTC program. He later returned to Texas and earned a Journalism degree from TCU in 1963, then attended the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and earned Bachelor and Master of Divinity degrees. He then moved to the Army as a Chaplain and served 22 years of a military career, six years in the Air Force (Reserve) Office of Information at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.
Between 1965 and 1970 he was a special assistant to Dr. Billy Graham, then coordinator of chaplain ministries for the Baptist General Convention of Texas until 1983.
After being called back into active Army duty during the Gulf War Operations, Stricklin founded Marketplace Ministries Inc., in 1984 in Dallas and now serves as its President and CEO.
Marketplace Ministries has grown from nearly 300 chaplains working in 155 cities in 1996 to more than 1,600 chaplains in 429 cities representing 77 Protestant denominations. He is known as the "Chaplain to American Business."
In addition to being a successful businessman, he is a well-known humorous speaker and ordained military clergyman as an Army Chaplain. He has entertained thousands of people, giving his audiences "laughter with a lift."
Stricklin has been keynote speaker at more than 3,000 banquets and conventions and has spoken to more than 100,000 school teachers in hundreds of corporations, along with preaching in pulpits across the nation and around the world.
He is a Distinguished Alumni of Baylor University and holds the Legion of Merit Award, sixth highest U.S. military award.
Dr. G. Don Taylor Jr.
Class of 1978
Dr. G. Don Taylor Jr., was the top male student in his 1978 graduating class at Denison High School. He presently is Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering and Department Head at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University in Blacksburg, VA.
Before going to Virginia Tech he held an endowed chair at the University of Louisville, where he founded the Mary Lee and George F. Duthie Chair in Engineering Logistics Research Center.
He is an expert on the logistical intricacies and potential economies of supply chain management from materials flow inside a factory to transportation dispatching and routing. In 1991 he founded his own company, G. Don Taylor Consulting Services.
Dr. Taylor was a visiting professor in 1996-96 at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and taught at the University of Massachusetts. He also worked for Texas Instruments in Lewisville and Digital Equipment Corp. in Enfield, Conn.
He received his Ph.D in industrial engineering from the University of Massachusetts in 1990 and the Bachelor and Master degrees in industrial engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington.
He presently is writing an Engineering Logistics Handbook and has edited numerous publications and journal articles. His honors are numerous and include being named Businessman of the Year in 2003 by the National Republican Congressional Committee and one of 2000 Outstanding Scientists of the 21st Century.
Dr. Frances Cornell Willis
Class of 1935
Dr. Frances C. Willis is a native of Denison and was fourth in her 1935 graduating class of 144 students. She also received the Girl Reserve Cup for Complete Girlhood at graduation.
She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Southeastern State University, where she was awarded a scholarship for a year’s graduate study at Oklahoma University. She received her Master’s degree from Texas State College for Women and her Ph.D. from Texas Woman’s University. In 1991 she was presented the one and only 50 year pin for a Denison educator.
She began her teaching career in 1940 at Caddo, OK, then came to Denison to teach English, then geometry at Denison High School. That same year she was assigned five home economics classes.
She was Girl Reserve sponsor for 12 years and senior class sponsor for 25 years. After teaching 33 years in the classroom, she became Vocational Counselor, then Vocational Administrator for 16 years. Her teaching career spanned 52 years.
She was elected DHS Teacher of the Year in 1971, Faculty Sweetheart in 1974 and was nominated for Texas Teacher of the Year in 1976. She was featured as an Educator of the Month in 1982 by the Texas School Business Magazine.
After retirement she was a director for the Denison Education Foundation for four years and served on the board for the Episcopal Day School for four years. She now travels extensively, having visited all seven continents.