Five named to MSU Sports Hall of Fame class of 2018

The five-member Class of 2018 includes former football and baseball standout L.M. “Molly” Halbert (posthumously), standout Diamond Dawg pitcher Paul Maholm, women’s basketball guard Alexis Rack, former Bulldog Director of Athletics Larry Templeton and former men’s basketball guard Tony Watts.

Posted: Sep 10, 2018 5:53 PM
Updated: Sep 10, 2018 10:00 PM

STARKVILLE, Miss. (MSU Athletics/WTVA) - Five outstanding contributors to Mississippi State athletics will be inducted into the MSU Sports Hall of Fame at halftime of the Bulldogs’ Sept. 29 football game against Florida.

The five-member Class of 2018 includes former football and baseball standout L.M. “Molly” Halbert (posthumously), standout Diamond Dawg pitcher Paul Maholm, women’s basketball guard Alexis Rack, former Bulldog Director of Athletics Larry Templeton and former men’s basketball guard Tony Watts.

Prior to Saturday’s induction, the annual MSU Sports Hall of Fame Gala will be held Friday, Sept. 28, at The Mill Conference Center beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at msumclub.org for $100 per person, with proceeds benefitting the MSU M-Club Alumni Association.

Halbert was a three-year letterman in baseball and football at MSU from 1956-58. After leading the Bulldogs in 1957 with 60 at-bats, four home runs and 16 RBIs, he was selected to play in the 1957 Blue-Gray All-Star Game before signing a professional contract with the New York Yankees.

Halbert, who passed away in 2000 at the age of 64, was eventually traded to the Cincinnati Reds, where he played catcher for three seasons in their organization. He returned to MSU in 1967 as field secretary for the Alumni Association, and from 1969-75 served as an assistant football coach and recruiting coordinator.

He founded Mississippi State’s Bulldog Club and served as executive director for 15 years.

Maholm was an All-SEC and All-American pitcher for the Bulldogs from 2001-03. Maholm finished his three-year Bulldog career tied for fifth in wins with 27. His 273-career strikeouts at MSU ranked third at the time and currently rate fourth.

Maholm led the Bulldogs in wins and strikeouts each of his three seasons, including going a combined 19-5 his final two seasons. In 2001, he was named a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American after helping MSU to the SEC Tournament title.

He was named All-SEC and an All-American each of his final two seasons in Maroon & White before being drafted eighth overall by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2003 Major League Baseball Draft. He spent 10 years in MLB, winning 77 games and compiling 984 strikeouts with the Pirates, Chicago Cubs, Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers.

Rack, the first two-time winner of the CSpire Gillom Trophy, lit up the basket at a record rate for the Bulldogs’ women’s basketball team from 2007-10. A two-time First Team All-SEC selection, Rack made an impressive 340 3-pointers in her career, a total that still tops the SEC record books.

She averaged 14.9 ppg as a junior, earning All-SEC laurels while leading the Bulldogs to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. In her final campaign, she scored at a 17.5 clip and made 108 3-pointers, second-most in SEC history, to earn WBCA All-America Honorable Mention honors and guide Mississippi State to the program’s first Sweet 16 appearance.

Rack ended her career third at MSU in career scoring with 1,756 points and posted three of the Top 4 3-point shooting seasons in school annals. She went on to be drafted 29th overall by the San Antonio Stars in the 2010 WNBA Draft.

Templeton served as Mississippi State’s Director of Athletics for 21 years. In that time, the Bulldogs’ current Athletics Director Emeritus helped MSU be an innovator in equality in sports for women, and he oversaw the additions of new and renovated facilities while focusing on keen fiscal management.

A 1969 MSU graduate, Templeton was named the Bulldogs’ Director of Athletics in 1987. In his tenure, State had some of its most successful athletics seasons despite having the smallest budget in the conference. Under his guidance, MSU teams won seven SEC regular-season championships and seven conference tournament titles. Baseball went to the College World Series four times, while men’s basketball made the program’s only appearance in the Final Four.

His work extended outside Starkville also. In 1990, Templeton, who currently serves as a consultant for the league office, was tabbed chairman of the SEC athletic directors by his colleagues, a title he held longer than anyone. He also served on the NCAA Baseball Committee, the NCAA Championship Committee, the NCAA Management Council and the NCAA Bowl Certification Committee.

Aside from the accomplishments MSU made in competition under his watch, the Bulldogs also excelled in the classroom during his time leading the department. Because of that success, Mississippi State’s Templeton Athletic Academic Center was named in his honor.

Watts was a four-year standout guard for the Bulldog men’s basketball team and member of the Mississippi State 1990-91 edition that went 20-9 overall, 13-5 in the SEC, to win the SEC championship and advance to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1963.

In his final season with the Bulldogs, Watts earned All-SEC honors from the Coaches and Associated Press after averaging 19.2 ppg and shooting a league-best 84.8 percent from the free-throw line.

Watts wrapped his career with 1,491-career points, which currently rates 12th in program history. In the Bulldog career record books, he also owns the ninth-most made fields (1,217), sixth-most 3-pointers made (166), seventh-best free-throw percentage (80.9%) and eighth-most steals (154).

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 313166

Reported Deaths: 7228
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21496257
Hinds20294414
Harrison17814309
Rankin13573278
Jackson13411246
Madison10066217
Lee9962173
Jones8364163
Forrest7649152
Lauderdale7181240
Lowndes6370145
Lamar621686
Lafayette6171118
Washington5323133
Bolivar4797132
Oktibbeha461498
Panola4561105
Pearl River4499145
Marshall4397103
Warren4380121
Pontotoc419572
Monroe4100133
Union409076
Neshoba4026176
Lincoln3950110
Hancock377786
Leflore3487125
Sunflower335790
Tate332484
Pike3301105
Scott315373
Alcorn311968
Yazoo310769
Itawamba299477
Copiah296465
Simpson294788
Coahoma294379
Tippah287768
Prentiss279560
Adams269582
Marion268880
Leake266273
Wayne262341
Grenada260386
Covington256381
George246848
Newton246061
Winston226881
Tishomingo225967
Jasper220848
Attala214173
Chickasaw207157
Holmes188673
Clay184754
Stone182033
Tallahatchie178140
Clarke177879
Calhoun170132
Yalobusha163337
Smith162234
Walthall133845
Greene130333
Lawrence128323
Montgomery126742
Noxubee126734
Perry125938
Amite122842
Carroll121728
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis106932
Tunica104826
Claiborne102230
Benton99125
Humphreys96133
Kemper95428
Franklin83623
Quitman80216
Choctaw76118
Wilkinson66930
Jefferson65428
Sharkey50317
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 530988

Reported Deaths: 10978
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson765291522
Mobile40971804
Madison34751503
Tuscaloosa25775452
Montgomery24329589
Shelby23431249
Baldwin21131308
Lee15884171
Calhoun14501314
Morgan14293279
Etowah13831353
Marshall12222223
Houston10567281
Elmore10061205
Limestone9960151
Cullman9664193
St. Clair9655243
Lauderdale9424241
DeKalb8830186
Talladega8223176
Walker7235277
Autauga6920108
Jackson6810112
Blount6660137
Colbert6298134
Coffee5511119
Dale4831111
Russell441138
Chilton4290112
Franklin425782
Covington4121118
Tallapoosa4027152
Escambia393376
Chambers3563123
Dallas3551151
Clarke351061
Marion3118101
Pike310877
Lawrence300298
Winston274472
Bibb260764
Geneva249977
Marengo249764
Pickens234461
Barbour230857
Hale222977
Butler215969
Fayette212362
Henry188744
Cherokee184845
Randolph180241
Monroe177440
Washington167339
Macon159150
Clay156256
Crenshaw152257
Cleburne148941
Lamar142535
Lowndes138853
Wilcox127130
Bullock123041
Conecuh110529
Perry107726
Coosa107228
Sumter104532
Greene92334
Choctaw60624
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