Smile, Willis!

There’s a lot to like here but my favorite thing is the contrast between Willis Wilson’s (front left) tough guy expression in the first photo and his sweet smile in the second:

Men's BB Wilson Tudor nd 1

Men's BB Wilson smiling

They aren’t dated but he graduated in 1982. Currently the successful coach of A&M- Corpus Christi, he was an assistant coach at Rice for five years, then head coach for another sixteen. What I can testify to is that when I was cleaning stuff out of the gym before the big renovation I never saw anything but the smile.



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4 Responses to Smile, Willis!

  1. nburch2 says:

    These are my guys, I was the basketball SID then and traveled many a mile with them.

  2. E55 says:

    Glen Rieke (sp?) right side first pic. No Ricky Pierce.

  3. Byron Webb says:

    These guys matriculated with me, in 1978. I recognize all of them. I believe this was Mike Schuler’s 2nd recruiting class – and it was a very strong one. Made us all think he was going to put Rice basketball on the map. I may be mis-spelling/mis-stating some of the names, but from left to right the players were Brett Burkholder, Bobby Tudor, Willis Wilson, Larry Cage, Brian Burns, Joe Daniels and Glen Rieke. Larry Cage was in my Freshman group at Lovett. He was close friends with Brett Burkholder. Brett was a major “get” for us – he was a High School All American – I believe out of Chicago. Supposedly he and Larry became close friends during their recruiting trip to Rice. The rumor was that coach Schuler offered Larry a scholarship, hoping Larry would then entice Brett to come – it worked. Larry was not nearly the player Brett was – but always worked hard and was well-liked in Lovett. Unfortunately, Brett got homesick and transferred to DePaul after his Freshman year. When we arrived back on campus in 1979, we found out that Larry was gone as well. With Brett transferring, Schuler no longer needed Larry. We heard Schuler pressured him to transfer out as well – once Brett left. 1979 was also the year Ricky Pierce transferred in from Walla Walla Junior College.

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