2004 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Michel, Butler, Chaney, Dearing, Frazier, Gordon, Harden, Harvey, Jackson (11th), Jackson (32nd), Little, Thames
A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION COMMENDING THE POSTHUMOUS INDUCTION OF DON OWENS, ALL-AMERICAN TACKLE FOR SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI AND THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE'S WASHINGTON REDSKINS, INTO THE MISSISSIPPI SPORTS HALL OF FAME, CLASS OF 2004.
WHEREAS, the Jackson Touchdown Club and Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame has unveiled the Class of 2004 of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame, which features the posthumous induction of Don Owens, All-American tackle for the University of Southern Mississippi and the National Football League's Washington Redskins; and
WHEREAS, a native of St. Louis, Missouri, who played several sports at Southside Catholic High School, Don Owens fought in the Korean War with the U.S. Marine Corps and played football in the armed services league prior to his college football career; and
WHEREAS, a two way tackle who played at 6'6", 248 lbs. and lettered at the University of Southern Mississippi from 1953-1956 where he was coached by Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame member Thad "Pie" Vann; and
WHEREAS, he helped the Southerners compile a record of 31-9-1 with two bowl appearances and big wins over teams such as Alabama, Florida State and Georgia, he was named sophomore All-American after the 1954 season and was named First Team All-America by Associated Press, Williamson Rating System, and Helms Foundation in 1955 and his Senior season in 1956, he played in the 1956 East-West Shrine All-Star Game and was named the South's Outstanding Lineman in the 1957 Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, he also played in the 1957 Chicago College All-Star Game against the defending National Football League Champion New York Giants; and
WHEREAS, Don Wells, 3rd Round draft choice, 30th pick overall, in the 1957 National Football League draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers who traded him to the Washington Redskins, he played defensive tackle in the National Football League for 7 seasons from 1957-1963 with the Washington Redskins, the Philadelphia Eagles and his hometown, St. Louis Cardinals; and
WHEREAS, he helped organize the National Football League Players Association Union, returned to the University of Southern Mississippi to serve as defensive line coach and defensive coordinator in 1967 and 1968 and served as Executive Director for the Missouri-AFL-CIO for 15 years; and
WHEREAS, Don Owens passed away on August 17, 1997 and was inducted into the University of Southern Mississippi Athletic Hall of Fame in 1966 and was selected as a member of the University of Southern Mississippi Team of the Century in 2002; and
WHEREAS, it is with great pride that we recognize this legend of the gridiron who has brought honor to his university and to the State of Mississippi:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby commend the posthumous induction of Don Owens, All-American tackle for Southern Mississippi and the National Football League's Washington Redskins, into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame, Class of 2004, and we extend the best wishes of the Legislature to his family on this occasion.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to the family of Don Owens at induction ceremonies and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.