SAISD names 2019 Athletic Hall of Fame Honorees
San Antonio ISD has announced the inductees for the Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2019. They will be honored at a ceremony scheduled for Aug. 17 at the Alamo Convocation Center. Established in 2014, the SAISD Athletic Hall of Fame recognizes alumni who have made a positive impact in sports, either through excellent athletic achievements or excellent athletic program contributions.
The 2019 honorees are:
Rudy Bernal – a champion basketball coach at Lanier HS. Bernal served as the Lanier boys basketball head coach for 31 years (1983-2014), which included two back-to-back appearances in the UIL’s version of the Final Four or the state tournament in 2000 and 2001. His teams were nicknamed the “Blonde Bombers,” due to the fact that his players would dye their hair blonde during their playoff runs. Bernal was a defensive mastermind, who schemed his players to be aggressive and feisty when defending the court. He compiled 567 wins and 442 losses for the Voks basketball team. He won four district championships, made 15 state playoff appearances and won 27 playoff games. His father, Ramiro Bernal, was a player for the legendary Coach Nemo Herrera’s 1943 Lanier basketball team that won the state championship. In 2019, Bernal won a private school state basketball championship for Antonian in TAPPS 6A.
Larry Collins – a 1974 Edison HS alum, known as a sizzling speedster running back with great peripheral vision. Collins rushed for back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons his junior and senior year in high school. During his high school playing days, he was regarded as one of the top two running backs in San Antonio for most yards rushed. Collins was a four-year letterman on the Golden Bears football team and he was named to the All City team three times. He finished third in the 100-yard dash and fifth in the 220-yard dash his senior year at the UIL state track meet. His career best in the 100-yard dash was 9.36 seconds. At Texas A&I, now Texas A&M Kingsville, Collins was a two-time Little All-American football player. He rushed for 4,511 total yards and became the state’s top rusher while playing football for the Javelinas, and he held the top spot for more than a decade. Collins played in 1974-1977 and during that period the Javelinas compiled a 46-1-1 record, won three NAIA national championships and took four Lone Star Conference titles. After his college career, Collins was drafted by the Cleveland Browns and also played with the New Orleans Saints in the NFL.
Rudy Davalos – a 1956 graduate of Edison HS and a highly regarded coach and athletic director in collegiate circles. Davalos was an All-State basketball player for the Golden Bears and he was the team’s all-time leading scorer during his four years on the varsity team. He received a college scholarship to play basketball at Wharton Junior College and Southwest Texas State, now Texas State University. In 1960, Davalos led his Bobcats team to an NAIA national basketball championship over Westminster College in Pennsylvania. He worked as an assistant and head college basketball coach before serving as the San Antonio Spurs assistant basketball coach between 1973 -1976. Davalos has the distinction of being named the first-ever athletic director at the University of Texas at San Antonio. He spent eight years at UTSA, where he helped select the school’s fight song and create the Roadrunner Club, an organization that raises funds for the athletic program. He left UTSA in 1986 to become the associate athletic director at the University of Houston. In 1992, he was hired as the athletic director at the University of New Mexico, a position he held until he retired in 2006.
Adriane Lapsley Butler – a three time NCAA All-American in track. The 2002 Brackenridge HS graduate was a four-year star on the track team and is regarded as one of the fastest short hurdlers in school history. In her junior year in 2001, Lapsley Butler finished fifth in the 100-meter hurdles at the UIL state track meet. Her career-best time in the short hurdles was a sizzling 14.17 seconds in high school. While in high school, she also lettered twice in basketball and volleyball. She helped lead her Lady Eagles basketball team to the state playoffs. She was recruited by Georgia Tech University where she soared and earned NCAA All-America honors three times, once in the 60-meter indoors and twice in the 4x100-meter relay. One of her favorite running events in college was the 100-meter dash where she ran a career-best 11.30 seconds. The 2006 Georgia Tech graduate currently holds the school record in the 55-meter indoors, as well as the 4x100-meter and 4x200-meter relays. In 2007, she was named the assistant women’s track and field coach at Georgia Tech, a position she still holds today.
Diz Reeves - a long-time SAISD coach and athletic director, who was instrumental in building the SAISD Sports Complex. Reeves was a teacher, coach and administrator for 21 years in SAISD. He worked in the field of education for 39 years, including 25 years as a head baseball coach. He was a football coach at Connell MS and Brackenridge HS and a baseball coach at Highlands HS. He won district championships at each school. The West Texas native became the District athletic director in 1995. He was the mastermind in building a state of the art baseball, softball and soccer sports complex on the southwest side of San Antonio. The $7.9 million facility opened January 29, 2000, and features three softball fields, two soccer/football fields and one indoor hitting facility. The primary baseball field at the SAISD sports complex was renamed the Diz Reeves Diamond in 2018.
Gilbert Salinas - a 1977 Burbank HS alum, known as a dominating giant on the basketball court who shattered city and national scoring records. At a towering 6-feet and 11-inches tall, Salinas was an All-American and All-State basketball player for the Burbank Bulldogs. The center-forward was the cornerstone on the 1977 Burbank team that powered its way through the UIL playoffs before bowing to Dallas South Oak Cliff in the Class 4A state championship game. He was a four-year starter on the varsity basketball team and once blocked 18 shots in one game, a city record that stood for nearly two decades. Salinas was heavily recruited by more than 350 colleges. In the end, he chose the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, where they ranked as one of the country’s Top 10 basketball teams all four years of Salinas collegiate playing career. In 1978, Salinas helped Notre Dame make it to the Final Four, the only Fighting Irish basketball team to ever make it that far in school history. Some of his college teammates included NBA stars Bill Laimbeer, Orlando Woolridge, Kelly Tripucka, John Paxson and Bill Hanzlik. He was drafted into the NBA by the Atlanta Hawks in 1981 and was a free agent for the San Antonio Spurs in 1982. He also played two years for Mexico’s professional national team. After basketball, he became a highly successful business owner in the medical sales industry in Arizona.
Tickets are $30 or a table of 8 seats costs $240. Tickets may be purchased online. Sponsorships are also available.
View nomination criteria and listing of past honorees on the SAISD Athletic Hall of Fame website. For more information, call (210) 554-2655.