New radio program updates listeners on former Baylor athletes
By Meg Cullar
Wondering what ever happened to that football or soccer player who was such a star at Baylor when you were in school? Well, wonder no more. The Baylor Alumni Association (BAA) is sponsoring a new radio segment on Waco’s ESPN 1660 that will clue you in. Titled “Where Are They Now?” the program runs Wednesdays between 5 and 5:30 p.m. during David Smoak’s show, “You Make the Call,” which also features Butch Henry.
According to Pete Rowe ’73, development officer for the BAA, the inspiration for the series came from the Baylor Line, the quarterly magazine of the BAA, which runs a “Where Are They Now?” feature in the Sports Report section. That feature is a short update on a former athlete and includes “then” and “now” photos. The radio program features a live interview with the former sports star and lasts about ten minutes.
“We thought it would be great for the listeners of 1660 to hear from some of our ex-athletes about their experience at Baylor and what they’ve been doing since then,” Rowe said. The first several shows feature former football players in anticipation of the upcoming season, Rowe said, but the program will branch out and cover ex-athletes from every Baylor sport during the corresponding season. This fall, producers are planning to contact former soccer and volleyball players, Rowe said.
During the August 4 interview with receiver Lawrence Elkins (1962-64), radio listeners heard the former NFL player describe his most disappointing Baylor loss, explain why he opted for Baylor rather than take a pro baseball contract to play in the outfield with Hank Aaron, and what he predicts for this year’s Baylor team. Elkins also elaborated on his decades-long career working in Saudi Arabia and told about his friendship with actor Robert Duvall.
Elkins was a consensus All-American his last two years as a Bear—Baylor’s first-ever two-time consensus pick. He played in the 1965 East-West Shrine Game, the Coaches All-America Game, and was named the MVP of the Hula Bowl. Elkins was inducted into the Baylor Athletic Hall of Fame in 1976, into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1994, and into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame earlier this year.
For the second week of “Where Are They Now?” the ESPN anchors talked to the other half of the 1960s-era dynamic duo—All-American quarterback Don Trull, who connected with Elkins and other receivers for a total of 3,784 yards passing. In 1962 and 1963 he was an academic All-American, and in 1963 was the Houston Post’s Most Valuable Player for the Southwest Conference. He was a consensus all-SWC pick in 1963, and that year he was the leading passer in the nation and won the Sammy Baugh Award. Trull played professionally for the Houston Oilers, the Boston Patriots, and the Edmonton Eskimos.
During the radio program, a former Baylor classmate of Trull’s called the show with a personal story. Buck Harris said that after he was wounded in Vietnam forty-two years ago, he called the Houston Oilers for Trull, wanting to see some footage of the season while he and his buddies recovered in a hospital. Trull and the team sent several tapes and reels, Harris said, and enjoying some highlights made a big difference to the wounded veterans. “I just wanted to personally thank you,” Harris told Trull on the radio.
For more updates on former Baylor athletes, tune in to the ESPN 1660 on Wednesdays in Waco. If you’re not in Waco, you can listen to the show through podcasts on ESPN’s website. Individual podcasts will also be posted weekly on the BAA website.
If you have a suggestion for a former Baylor athlete who should be featured on the “Where Are They Now?” segment on 1660, please send an e-mail to Pete Rowe at [email protected].