John Hoover

Distinguished Alumni

Class of 1956

John Hoover earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University when he graduated in 1960.

He began his engineering career with the Federal Aviation Agency and in 1964 moved to NASA at Houston. He was assigned to Flight Operations and supported the Gemini and Apollo flights at the Houston Mission Control Center.

John was active in the Skylab program and served as Payload Officer on four of the early Shuttle Flights. At the time of his retirement in 2001, he was working in International Space Stations operations.

Many awards and special recognition have been presented to John, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom awarded to the Apollo 13 Flight Operations Team.

He and his wife, Julie Ann, have two children, Joan of Houston, and Jason of Los Angeles. They also have two grandchildren.

Tom R. Murray

Distinguished Alumni

Class of 1957

Tom Murray attended the U.S. Naval Academy after graduating from Denison High School in 1957, then went on to graduate from Annapolis. He served as a Naval officer for 26 years, including the time he was commanding officer of the U.S.S. Lapon submarine and as Chief, Navy Section of Joint U.S. Military Mission for aid to Turkey.

He retired from the Navy as a captain in 1988 and has continued to serve through his technical and leadership talents in the communication field.

Tom was president of his Senior Class at Denison High School and was active in Hi-Y, Scholarship Club, JCL (Latin) Club, and the Yellow Jacket Band.

He and his wife, Karen, have two children, Commander Kelly Murray Oakeley and Tom R. Murray III. They also have three grandchildren. Tom’s brother, Tim Murray, was a 1959 graduate of Denison High School.

Dr. C. J. Ransom

Distinguished Alumni

Class of 1958

Dr. C.J. Ransom received a doctorate in Plasma Physics at the University of Texas in Austin after graduating from Denison High School in 1958.

He conducted research and managed technical computing in the aerospace industry for more than 20 years and has traveled and lectured in Europe, Canada and the United States.

Dr. Ransom was an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas, where he taught physics, served as Chief, Electrical Manufacturing Systems, General Dynamics in Fort Worth and Enterprise Program Manager for Bell Helicopter, Textron, in Fort Worth.

In 1976 he wrote a book, “The Age of Velikovsky,” regarding Dr. Immanuel Velikovsky’s theory developed in the 1940s for the history of the solar system.

He has served as Executive Director of Cosmos and Chronos, a non-profit researched organization that performs research into the basic concepts about plasma and its involvement in the different ancient sky.

He resides in Colleyville with his wife, Anita. They have two daughters, Michelle and Tiffany and six grandchildren.

Marty Criswell

Sports Hall of Fame

Coach 1981-1991

When Marty Criswell came to Denison to coach the Denison Yellow Jacket football team it had been 17 years since the team had won a district championship. Marty was hungry to become a head coach and the 31 year old was the youngest 5A head coach in Texas.

Before the 1984 season began, coaches voted Denison to finish next to last in the district. Denison also was dropped to 4A. But with that grin on his face, Coach Criswell returned from the meeting and told his team what their opposing coaches had said about them. This was the first challenge thrown at the “new” Yellow Jackets and they responded with an opening win over R.L. Turner, 24-16. The gauntlet was thrown at the Jackets 15 more times and each week the results were the same.

The Jackets won their 16th straight game and became the state champions of Class 4A. Coach Criswell and his staff became the first Denison team to go undefeated in District play since 1942 and the first team to go undefeated in a season in Denison’s history.

The team went on to a 13 and 1 season in 1985, giving them a 29 game winning streak, the best in school history.

Tony Brown

Sports Hall of Fame

Dec. 7, 1956 – Jan. 7, 2003

Tony Brown was born in 1956 and died in 2003. His award will be accepted by his wife, Charlette, and children, Tony Jr., and Charmeca.

Tony began playing football in Boys Club of Denison when he was eight years old, then the game became more than a sand-lot activity to him when he attended B. McDaniel Junior High, where he started honing his skills on offense and defense and the weight room became an obsession that would propel him to stardom in the annals of DHS football.

Tony was leader of the 1984 Jackets and led the team in scoring 122 points, 25 pass receptions. He gained 814 yards. He was selected on the first team for both offense and defense.

After graduating he accepted a scholarship at the University of Texas at Arlington, then transferred to SMU at the end of his freshman year. He transferred one more time as a junior, to Bowling Green University, where he met his wife. Mrs. Brown and the children now reside in McKinney.

Erick Harper

Sports Hall of Fame

Class of 1986

Erick Harper, the youngest of 11 children, was active in all sports all through elementary school and excelled in football, basketball and baseball. His father, Frank Harper, was his coach during these growing up years.

Denison had just hired a new head coach when Erick enrolled at B. McDaniel and Marty Criswell had just organized programs that would lead the Jackets to the state championship in high school. Erick learned the true meaning of “dedication, teamwork, loyalty and pride.”

At Denison High he was introduced to the weight room and he began growing, gaining weight and getting stronger immediately.

Erick was the starting quarterback for that 1984-85 Yellow Jacket state championship team. He was picked on the first team all-district team in both football and basketball and the Most Valuable Player in 1985. He also was first team all-district in both sports and first team all-state football as a place kicker by the Associated Press (AP).

Erick chose a scholarship to Kansas State where he earned other honors. He began his career at Kansas State as a marketing intern in 1990 and later was promoted to director of compliance.

In 2003 Erick moved to Arizona where he became director of football operation for the Arizona Wildcats. He is the consultant of XOS technologies and the leader of college sports video scouting and recruiting.

Elmar Perry Jr.

Sports Hall of Fame

Class of 1986

Elmar Perry also got his start in football at the Denison Boys Club with Bill Malvern as his coach. He had a dream to become a Denison Yellow Jacket and that dream came true in 1982 when he began high school.

As a tight end, Elmar helped lead the Jackets to the state championship in 1984. As a team starter, he was all-district in 1984 and again in 1985 when he was named the Defensive Player of the Year and selected by AP as first string all-state defensive end.

Elmar played college football for the Savages at Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant, where he was picked on the first string all-conference team by the NAIA in 1987 and 1988 as their All American Defensive End.

Elmar was inducted into the SOSU Hall of Fame in 2000.

He has two sons and one daughter and is the defensive line coach for Ardmore High School and varsity track coach there, where his team has won the state championship for the past two years.