Five to be Inducted Into TCU Lettermen's Hall of Fame
Aug. 17, 2005
The TCU Lettermen's Association Hall of Fame induction banquet will be held on Friday, Sept. 16, 2005, in the D.J. Kelly Alumni and Visitors Center. The annual event, recognizing former Horned Frog student-athletes for their achievements in competition and in the community, will begin at 7 p.m. with a cocktail reception. The dinner will begin at 8 p.m. and the program shortly thereafter. The inductees will also be honored at halftime of TCU's football home opener against Utah on Thursday, Sept. 15.
This year's TCU Lettermen's Association Hall of Fame class contains the following members: Kurt Thomas '95 (men's basketball); Tim Mauser '89 (baseball); Dan Sharp '85 (football); John Nikkel '58 (football); and James Lucas '48 (football). Lettermen's Association President Ed Laswell '86 (football) will welcome the guests. Horned Frog play-by-play voice Brian Estridge will team up with TCU color analyst John Denton to be the Masters of Ceremonies.
During the 1994-95 season, current NBA star Kurt Thomas '95 became just the third player in NCAA history to lead the nation in both scoring and rebounding in the same year. Recovering from injuries in his first three seasons, Thomas shattered records during his senior year. Thomas led the nation by averaging 28.9 points and 14.6 rebounds per game. He was the Southwest Conference Player of the Year in 1995 and had four 40+ scoring games. He currently ranks sixth on the Frogs' all-time scoring list (1,512), eighth in rebounds (782) and third in blocked shots (166).
After graduating with a degree in psychology, Thomas was drafted by the Miami Heat, where he played for one and half seasons. He then joined the Dallas Mavericks in 1997, but ankle injuries kept him on the injured list. In 1998, Thomas was signed as a free agent by the New York Knicks. During both the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons, Thomas started at center in over 80 games per season. He recorded a team-high 31 double-doubles during the 2001-02 season and had 16 20-point games during 2002-03. Thomas has recently changed jerseys and will start the 2005-06 season as a Phoenix Sun.
Thomas was the recipient of the NBA Community Assist award in June 2004 as well as the "Beyond The Game" Award from the World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame in December 2001. "It's very important to give back to the community," Thomas said. "Because without the kids and without the fans our league wouldn't exist." Thomas has three girls: Gabriella, Abigayl and Isabella.
After graduating from local Arlington Heights High School, Tim Mauser `89 was recruited to play baseball for TCU in 1985. A three-year letterman pitcher, Mauser held the TCU record for most strikeouts in a season (120) for 17 years until it was broken this year. He was named all-Southwest Conference in 1988. Upon graduation, Mauser was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies and invited to the Olympic Tryouts. From 1989-91, he played professionally with the Phillies' Double-A squad. After a brief stint in the Major Leagues in 1991, Mauser was optioned back to AAA as a closer until 1993. After another eight appearances with the Major Leagues, he was traded to the San Diego Padres, for whom he played until 1995. Career highlights include throwing a no-hitter in AA, a 27-inning scoreless streak in AAA and being named to the A and AA All-Star teams in 1989 and 1990.
Mauser is currently the President and partner in Lone Star Land Company in Aledo, a real estate brokerage for Ranch Sales.
Playing under the late Jim Wacker, current TCU assistant football coach Dan Sharp `85 is also among the 2005 Hall of Fame class. Lettering as a tight end in 1983 and 1984, Sharp was team captain and all-SWC in '84. After playing in the 1984 Bluebonnet Bowl, Sharp also received multiple awards for leadership. He earned his degree in Education and completed his Master's in 1986. He spent two seasons playing for the National Football League's Atlanta Falcons before returning to his alma mater to coach for eight seasons. He left for two years to coach at the University of Tulsa, but returned to TCU in 2001 and is now in his fifth season.
Sharp has been married for 21 years to the former Cindy Marfin and they have two girls, Alex and Andie. He is a member of both the TCU Frog Club and Lettermen's Association.
As a member of Coach Abe Martin's first freshman class, John Nikkel `58 participated in two Cotton Bowl games (1956 and 1957). He was also an Academic All-American each of those two seasons. While at TCU, Nikkel, a three-year letterman, was elected to the Alpha Chi Honor Society and named to the Who's Who list. He graduated summa cum laude in 1958 with a double major in mathematics and geology. From 1958-76, Nikkel was employed as a geologist for AMOCO. He then joined Cotton Petroleum and ascended to President until 1983. Nikkel worked for the Unit Corporation from 1983-2005 when he retired as Chairman and CEO. He was referred to as "The Finest Oil Finder In The World" by the Champlin Oil Company.
Nikkel now resides in Tulsa, Okla., and serves on the Boards of the Tulsa County Community College and the Baptist Foundation of Oklahoma. He has been married for 48 years to his high school sweetheart and has two children and six grandchildren.
Recruited by Coach Dutch Meyer, James Lucas `48 became one of only a few quarterbacks to rush for 100 yards in a game three times. After his first two years, his play was interrupted by two years of Naval Service in the South Pacific during World War II. Upon his return to TCU, he received the team's MVP award as well as "The Pecos Peach" award from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. He was drafted by the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles, but chose to become a high school coach. He switched careers and joined the insurance business for 42 years before retirement.
Lucas remains involved with local high school teams, having served as an official for more than 20 years. He is currently highly involved with the TCU community, representing the Clark Society, Chancellor's Regional Board as well as organizing a TCU alumni group in West Texas.
For contact information on this year's inductees, or to request interview time with them before or after the banquet, please call Marisa Schenke in the TCU Frog Club office at 817 257-5471.