Murray State Athletics revealed its MSU Hall of Fame class of 2018. Highlights of the 2018 group includes 17 combined All-Ohio Valley Conference selections, four OVC MVP awards, 10 OVC team championships and one OVC and national coach of the year honor.
The group of seven includes six former student-athletes including Frank Allen (basketball, 1989-93), Rebecca Clay (soccer, 2005-08), Isaiah Canaan (basketball, 2009-13), Sarah Dearworth (volleyball, 1991-94), Amber Guffey (basketball, 2005-09), Danny Lee Johnson (football, 1977-81) and one former coach, Houston Nutt (football, 1993-96).
Additionally, the MSU Hall of Fame will see four Racer supporters inducted under the Hall of Distinction category including athletics staff veteran Saundra Edwards, MSU radio voice Neal Bradley and longtime supporters Jan and Dick Weaver.
Induction weekend will be February 16-17 with a banquet at the CFSB Center on Friday and special recognition at the Saturday basketball games when the Racers host Tennessee Tech.
Danny Lee Johnson, Football (1977-81)
A team captain for three seasons, Danny Lee Johnson is still today the second all-time rusher in Racer history with 2,522 yards. Johnson played for three of the greatest coaches in Murray State football, Bill Furgerson, Mike Gottfried and Frank Beamer. Johnson played on the Racers’ 1979 OVC Championship team that was 9-2-1 (6-0 OVC), but only appeared in the first five games before being sidelined with a knee injury.
A combination of power and speed, Johnson was named All-OVC in 1978 and 1979 and was OVC Offensive Player of the Year in 1978 and an Honorable Mention All-America selection. In 1978, he rushed for 1,217 yards, fourth on the all-time list at MSU. He was the top rusher in the OVC and sixth in NCAA 1-AA.
His 12 touchdowns in 1978 is fourth at MSU for a single season and his 17 touchdowns is 10th all-time. In 1978, he had 10 games of 100 yard rushing games. Johnson had a career-high 203 yards rushing on 27 carries against East Tennessee State at home also in 1978. Johnson is the 44th from football to be inducted into the MSU Hall of Fame.
Houston Nutt, Football (1993-96)
Houston Nutt coached the Racers for four seasons and ended with a record of 31-16 (.660) with back-to-back OVC championships and 1-AA playoff appearances in 1995 and 1996. Nutt’s teams still have two of the best seasons in program history in 1995 and 1996 when MSU won a total of 22 games and twice won back-to-back undefeated OVC championships. MSU was 22-3 overall and 16-0 in OVC play. Nutt is the only MSU coach to have two double-digit winning streaks. They started the 1995 season 11-0 and won 11 in a row in 1996 after losing the season opener. MSU’s 34-6 win at home over Western Illinois (11-30-1996) is still the only postseason win in program history.
In 1995 and 1996, Nutt was OVC Coach of the Year and in 1995, he was the Eddie Robinson National Division I-AA Coach of the Year.
During the Nutt era, the Racers had three OVC Player of the Year picks with 31 All-OVC selections and seven All-America selections.
Coach Nutt went on to successful coaching stints at Boise State (1997), Arkansas (1998-07) and Ole Miss (2008-11). He is the 45th from football to be inducted into the MSU Hall of Fame and the fourth head coach.
Courtesy of GoRacers.com