The Irving ISD Athletic Hall of Fame Committee recently announced the Class of 2017, which includes a standout wrestler, triple threat athlete and two beloved coaches. The inductees are (in alphabetical order): Brad Knouse; Hobert Lytal; Duane Miller; and Thomas Uhr.
Now in its sixth year, the Irving ISD Hall of Fame is designed to honor those who have contributed to athletic excellence throughout the history of Irving ISD.
As standout wrestler and football player at MacArthur High School from 1984 to 1988, Brad Knousegarnered a plethora of accolades. He was a three-time undefeated state wrestling champion, winning the title in 1986, 1987 and 1988. He also earned Texas Wrestler of the Year titles each of those years.
Knouse placed fifth in the Under 18 World Championships in 1986 and 1988. At the national level, he won the Greco Roman National Championship title in the under 18 age division in 1987 and was runner up for the same title in 1988. He won National Championships in the under 16 age division in both freestyle and Greco Roman in 1985 and 1986. He was the 1985 Pan Am Games Champion in the under 16 age division in freestyle and was featured as a Sports Illustrated Face in the Crowd that same year.
Knouse was named the Irving Daily News Male Athlete of the Year in 1987 and 1988 and was the Asics Team USA Wrestler of the Year in the 177-pound class in 1987 and the 189-pound class in 1988. Throughout high school, he also earned honors in football as a fullback, being named to the first team all-district in 1987 and first team all-offense in 1988.
Graduating as valedictorian of the MacArthur class of 1988, Knouse attended Iowa State University on a full scholarship for wrestling. During his collegiate years, he competed in the U.S. Open Wrestling Tournament, taking 5th in 1989 and 4th in 1990. That same year, he won the championship in the 20 and under age division in Greco Roman and freestyle wrestling in the United States Olympic Sports Festival. He also placed third in the 20 and under World Championships.
He earned a Bachelor of Science in aerospace engineering from Iowa State and has worked as an aerospace engineer for 22 years, most notably working on the GPS satellite system and the space shuttle program for the last 12 years that it flew. He is currently working on NASA’s crew exploration vehicle.
He and his wife of 22 years, Trish, reside in Pearland with their three dogs and two cats.
Hobert Lytal worked in Irving ISD for 22 years, 13 of those years as athletic director. He started with the district as an assistant coach and taught world history at MacArthur High School for eight years before serving as the school’s head coach for one year. He was then named athletic director for Irving ISD in 1980, serving in that capacity until his retirement in 1993.
Coach Lytal was instrumental in implementing the athletic program at all of the district’s middle schools and each high school. He’s credited with having the vision to bring baseball fields to each high school campus. He also worked diligently to ensure the district complied with Title IX, a law passed in 1972 that requires that equal opportunities in education programs and activities be made available among boys and girls.
“I enjoyed being able to teach young people, be it football or in the classroom,” Coach Lytal said. “I feel like I had the opportunity to make young people better.”
Coach Lytal and his wife of 31 years, Peggy, live in Irving. They have a daughter, Lori; four sons – James, Matt, Todd and Grant; 13 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
A native of Quinlan, Texas, Coach Lytal studied at Austin College in Sherman. He coached in Celeste, Archer City, Leonard, Greenville and Tarleton State College before his stint in Irving.
Duane Miller was a triple threat athletic standout during his years at Irving High School, 1982 to 1986. The Irving native competed in football, basketball and track and field. He earned seven varsity letters and was named Outstanding Athlete of the Year his senior year. Miller was named to the All-District football team his junior and senior years and to the second team All-Metroplex his senior year. In track, he was a regional qualifier in the shotput.
Miller attended the University of Texas at Austin on a football scholarship. He was a starter and letterman for the team from 1987 to 1990 and served as the co-captain of the 1990 Southwest Conference Championship team. He appeared in 42 games, starting in 34 of those including the Bluebonnet Bowl and Cotton Bowl. He was named to the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll four semesters and to the Texas Football preseason second team All Southwest Conference in 1990.
He was a Dallas Cowboys free agent signee in 1991. Miller attended Texas Wesleyan School of Lawin 2003. He is a defense attorney based in Belton. He and his wife, Lori, have been married 24 years. They reside in Salado.
Thomas Uhr began his coaching career in Irving ISD in 1958, coaching track, football and basketball at Bowie Middle School until 1964, winning many city championships in all three sports. He then moved to Irving High School, where he served for four years as the head track coach, assistant B team football coach and freshman basketball coach. He had regional qualifiers in the 800 and 440 relays and discus in his first year at Irving High School. He coached football alongside Jack Rucker and Don McDonald, and the trio were known as the “B Bombers.”
Among the notable athletes he coached during his tenure at Irving are national discus champion Kelvin Korver (a member of the Irving ISD Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2016).
Prior to his time at Irving, Uhr coached track at San Marcos Baptist Academy in San Marcos, where his team won state in 1958.
Uhr also spent more than two decades in the classroom teaching science and vocational courses.
As an athlete himself, Uhr set the record in the high jump at the Border Olympics and won the pole vault at the Fort Worth Rec Meet. He made the All-District teams in football, basketball, baseball and track, attending Edison and Northeast (now MacArthur) high schools in San Antonio.
Uhr and his wife, Anne (a member of the Athletic Hall of Fame class of 2013) have a daughter, Laura.
The 2017 Hall of Fame inductees will be honored at a banquet on Saturday, June 17, at the Sheraton DFW Airport Hotel. Tickets are $20. For information, please contact the Irving ISD Athletic Department at 972-600-5215.
SOURCE Irving ISD