• Back to Membership

  • Raymond Bonner

    Inducted: 2011
    Sports: Football, Track and Field

    Raymond Bonner, a product of Franklin County High School in Winchester, Tenn., was one of the first two African-Americans that Coach Bubber Murphy signed to football scholarships in 1969. Bonner started at cornerback for four years, and was part of Middle Tennessee's memorable "Mod Squad" defensive backfield that gave opponents fits around the Ohio Valley Conference.

    In his junior season, Bonner was given the added duty of returning punts full-time. In 1971, Bonner returned 31 punts for 219 yards and two touchdowns. His 7.1 yds/return average ranked third in the nation, and his pair of TD returns is the school record for both a single season and a career.

    Because of his blazing speed and athletic ability, Bonner was never beaten deep on a pass play during his career. He was named All-OVC in 1972 and an Outstanding College Athlete of America in 1973. His 4.45 time in the 40-yard dash, and his ability to return punts got Bonner drafted in the 10th round of the 1973 draft by the Detroit Lions, but a suspected heart murmur ended his football-playing career.

    Class of 2013

    Dewon Brazelton

    Roger Carroll

    Dwone Hicks

    Priscilla Robinson Murray
    Basketball, Volleyball

    James "Doug" Shrader
    Basketball, Baseball

    History of the Hall of Fame

    In the early spring of 1975, a pair of long-time supporters of Middle Tennessee State University's athletic program decided that the University should honor its greatest athletes. Homer Pittard, alumni director, and Gene Sloan, public relations director, came up with the idea and asked sports information director Jim Freeman to join them in setting up an athletic hall of fame.

    After getting approval for the Hall of Fame from President M. G. Scarlett, the trio began laying the groundwork to select the first inductees. Others, including Bob Womack and Joe Nunley, were also involved.

    "We decided not to have categories but to put all candidates in one group," said Freeman. "We also decided against inducting a large group to start with and felt that three per year was the ideal number. That way, everyone got a good share of the spotlight."

    The nominating and voting for the first several years was done by members of the old "T" Club, now reorganized and called the Varsity Club. Nominations were solicited, and the the list of candidates was mailed to the voters. They selected Horace Jones, Charles "Bubber" Murphy and Teddy Morris as the initial inductees in 1976.

    The Blue Raider Hall of Fame was originally housed in the old Blue Raider Room under the west side of the football stadium. It had to be torn down when then stadium was expanded in 1998. After several years without a home, the Hall of Fame moved into the new Rose and Emmett Kennon Sports Hall of Fame building in 2004.