The Tyler-Smith County Chapter of the Texas Exes honored three local members, awarded scholarships to five area Longhorns and got an update on “Is Texas Back?” from five former football standouts during the organization’s annual Scholarship Dinner on Thursday at Hollytree Country Club.

Angie and Mike Russell were presented the 2019 Outstanding Texas Exes award, while Billy Perdue was named the Most Valuable Longhorn.

The scholarship recipients were Rob Garrity, Nicole Grayson, Beau Lytle, Abigail Robertson and Annie Thompson.

Football players on hand were quarterback James Brown (1994-97), Chris Carter (1993-96), quarterback Donnie Little (1978-81) and quarterback Chance Mock (2001-04).

The Russells grew up in Paris. Angie attend UT from 1986 to 1989 and finished her undergraduate degree at the University of North Texas and received her master’s in education from TCU (1993). She is involved in many charitable organizations in Tyler.

Mike finished his undergraduate degree in chemical engineering at Texas in 1987. He then got his medical degree from UT Southwestern Medical School in 1991. He finished his orthopedic surgery residence at UT Southwestern in 1996 and a Spine Surgery Fellowship in 1997. Russell has been practicing spinal surgery with Azalea Orthopedics in Tyler since 1997, where he is the current president. He is past Chairman of the Board of Texas Spine and Joint Hospital, past President of Physician Hospitals of America, past Chairman of the Mentoring Alliance, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the GRACE Emmaus Community. He is the current teacher for the Trinity Sunday School Class at Marvin United Methodist Church.

Dr. Russell enjoys golf and Mrs. Russell enjoys tennis. Both attend as many Longhorn sporting events as possible.

Perdue is a Tyler native and graduate from UT Austin in 1975 with a BBA in management. He worked many years for The Trane Company and is currently employed as a buyer at UT Heath East Texas in Tyler.

Little was the first African American starting quarterback for the Longhorns, while Brown was the second.

Brown started at QB from 1994-97 and led the Longhorns to the 1995 Southwest Conference championship, the final year of the league, and to the first Big 12 Conference championship in the inaugural season, 1996.

Carter was a former John Tyler All-East Texas Most Valuable Player and was a four-year starter at free safety for the Longhorns. He helped Texas to three straight conference championships (2 SWC, 1 Big 12). He played six years in the NFL with the New England Patriots, Cincinnati Bengals and Houston Texans.

Little was credited for opening the doors for future black quarterbacks such as Brown and Vince Young. He also played wide receiver at UT. He was inducted into the Texas High School Football Hall of Fame in 2013. Little is now the Tyler ISD assistant athletic director.

Mock played QB when Chris Simms, Major Applewhite and Young were on the 40 Acres. He started the first six games of the 2003 season, leading the Longhorns to a 4-2 record. Late in the season, he came off the bench with two minutes left to engineer an 86-yard game-winning touchdown drive against Texas Tech, a 43-40 victory.

Mock is the founder of the community-based radio station, commentating for Woodlands Online Sports, and Partner in Action Sports, a sporting goods company.

Brown was involved in “Roll Left” in the 1996 Big 12 Championship Game in St. Louis. Texas won the contest 37–27 over Nebraska, keyed by a daring fourth down conversion when Brown hit Derek Lewis from Texas’ own 28-yard line with slightly more than two minutes left in the fourth quarter with the Longhorns leading 30-27.

The play called for Brown to fake to running back Priest Holmes and roll to his left. Brown took the snap, but as he rolled out, he saw Lewis behind Nebraska’s defense. He stopped and threw the ball to the wide-open Lewis, who ran down the sideline for a 61-yard gain to the Cornhuskers’ 10-yard line. The Longhorns sealed the win and Big 12 title when Holmes ran for a touchdown on the next play.

For more information about Tyler-Smith County Chapter, email SmithCtyTex



Sports Editor

I am a native Tylerite and I grew up reading the Tyler Morning Telegraph and The Tyler Courier-Times. My parents took both the morning and afternoon papers. I came to work here 35 years ago at the age of 23, right after college.

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