JONESBORO, Ark. (AStateRedWolves.com) – The Southland Conference has named 19 Arkansas State University football standouts to its All-Decade Team from the 1970s as part of the conference's current year-long 50th anniversary commemoration.
The Southland Conference, which announced its 1970's All-Decade Team this Wednesday (Sept. 18), has 67 former student-athletes comprising the team which includes stars from its member institutions from the 1970 campaign thru the 1979 season.
Arkansas State, which won a college division national championship title in 1970, was represented on the Southland Conference All-Decade team by offensive lineman Jerry Castor (1978-79), defensive lineman Dick Dixon (1974-75), offensive lineman Wayne Dorton (1971), kicker Joe Duren (1971), running back Calvin Harrell (1969-70-71), running back Leroy Harris (1975-76), quarterback David Hines (1975), offensive lineman T.J. Humphries (1975-76), offensive lineman Ken Jones (1972 & 1975), end Steve Lockhart (1970-71), offensive lineman Dough Lowrey (1971), linebacker Mike Malham (1974-75), defensive back Dennis Meyer (1970-71), defensive lineman Dave Muckensturm (1970-71-72), linebacker Jerry Muckensturm (1975), safety Roy Painter (1976), offensive lineman Bill Phillips (1969-70), defensive lineman Robert Speer (1975-76), and linebacker Wesley Williams (1978).
Those A-State players who were either drafted and/or played for a National Football League (NFL) team include Wayne Dorton (New Orleans), Calvin Harrell (Miami), Leroy Harris (Miami and Philadelphia), T.J. Humphries (Philadelphia), Steve Lockhart (New Orleans), Doug Lowrey (New York Jets), Mike Malham (Chicago), Dennis Meyer (Pittsburgh), Jerry Muckensturm (Chicago), Bill Phillips (Denver), and Robert Speer (Atlanta).
The SLC's 1970s All-Decade Team consists of 19 former student-athletes from both Arkansas State and Louisiana Tech, 10 from UT-Arlington, six from Lamar, five apiece from McNeese State and Louisiana-Lafayette two from Trinity, and one from Abilene Christian. Louisiana Tech defensive lineman Fred Dean (1971-74) was selected as the 1970s Player of the Decade and his head coach, Maxie Lambright (1971-78) earned 1970s Coach of the Decade recognition.
Among the many storylines for Southland Conference football in the 1970s was the league's attainment of Division I football status in 1975 (and I-A status in 1978). Following Arkansas State's undefeated 11-0 record in 1975 when no bowl was available for the team, the Conference and officials from Shreveport petitioned the NCAA for a new postseason bowl game following the 1976 season. The Independence Bowl, named for the commemoration of the nation's Bicentennial that year, was the home of the Southland Conference champion through the 1980 season.
To best assess the candidate pool for the all-decade team, the Southland Conference developed a metric that analyzed numerous elements of a student-athlete's performance and value within the league at the time. Most notably, the conference honored "real-time" factors such as all-conference selection by coaches and a player's statistical performance among his peers at the time. Further, other components of selection including a player's effort toward helping his team win a championship or finish near the top of the conference, whether he earned individual honors from the league, if he participated in postseason bowls, and if he was drafted by or participated in the NFL.