Irving ISD Announces 2018 Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees
The Irving ISD Athletic Hall of Fame Committee is pleased to announce the Class of 2018, which includes beloved coaches and a basketball standout turned coach. The inductees are (in alphabetical order):
-Don Poe; and
The 2018 Hall of Fame inductees will be honored at a banquet on Saturday, June 9, at the Sheraton DFW Airport Hotel at 6 p.m. Tickets are $20. For sponsorship and/or ticket information, please contact the Irving ISD Athletic Department at 972-600-5215.
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. Read more about this year’s honorees below.
Ken Dabbs may have only spent two years in Irving ISD, but in that short tenure he made an impression that is still felt, a half-century later. Dabbs coached football at Irving High School from 1967 to 1969 – one year as secondary coach and another as a head coach, when his team won the quarterfinals in 1968 with an 11-2 record. During his time at Irving, he was recognized as the Metro Coach of the Year.
“He’s not just a coach but like family to us all, the kind of man you trusted and would follow into a battle,” wrote his former player Steve Haley in his nomination application. “He never quit or gave up on you. He is the main reason the ’68 Tigers still hold the IHS record for 4A football nearly 50 years later.”
A Freer, Texas, native, Dabbs graduated from Sam Houston State University with a bachelor’s degree and the University of North Texas with a master’s degree. He began his career in Bellville ISD, where he was an assistant football coach from 1956 to 1958. He then went on to Sweeny ISD for nine years and served as football offensive coordinator, winning a state championship in 1966. He was also the head track coach and garnered eight district championships and three regional titles.
Following his stint in Irving, Coach Dabbs started the athletic program at Westlake High School. In 1973, he was recruited by the University of Texas, where he served as the freshman backfield coach for a year. He then became head recruiting coordinator, ranking among the top five recruiters in the nation and landing notable names such as Earl Campbell, Brad Shearer, Donny Little and Johnny Lam Jones. In 1984, he was named the university’s assistant athletic director for operations.
This isn’t Coach Dabbs only Hall of Fame induction. He was inducted into the University of Texas Hall of Honor in 2014 and the Texas High School Coaches Association Hall of Honor in 2003. He was named to the Sweeny All Football Team in 2000, and the Westlake High School football fieldhouse is named after him. In 2000, he was recognized as a special contributor to the Amateur Football Award, presented by the Greater Austin chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame.
Coach Dabbs has been married to Marguerite Dabbs for 65 years, and they have three sons: Bob, Bryan and Doug, all graduates of the University of Texas. They also have six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Nimitz High School graduate Barry Knott has left his mark on Irving ISD athletics as both a player and coach. As a standout basketball player for Nimitz, Knott averaged 9.1 rebounds and 23.2 points – the highest season average scoring in school history in 1990 and 1991. When he graduated from Nimitz in 1991, he was the school’s all-time leading scorer with 1,339 points. Knott was named to the Spalding Top 25 in the state his senior year, district offensive MVP and first-team all-district his junior and senior years, and first team all-area his senior year, as well as to various all-tournament teams throughout his career.
After graduation, Knott spent one season at the United States Military Academy before transferring to Tarleton State University to compete in basketball. Knott was an immediate star on the court, amassing a Hall of Fame career with 1,173 points in 83 games. Knott is ranked in the top 10 all time in Tarleton scoring as well as rebounding with 520 boards. As a senior, he averaged 21.9 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. He was inducted into the Tarleton Hall of Fame in 2009.
Since leaving Tarleton, Knott has spent the last 23 years enriching the lives of young men and women in the Dallas area, including three years as a teacher and coach for Irving High School. He also taught and coached at Lake Highlands High School for six years, and he has been at Bishop Lynch High School in Dallas for 14 years. He and his wife, Brandi, have three children: Addison, Ainsley and Carter.
Storied football coach Don Poe spent a decade of his 39-year career in Irving ISD. His 10 years as the district’s athletic director are characterized by the enhancements made to athletic facilities during his tenure from 1993 to 2003. This included adding lights to high school softball and baseball fields and middle school fields, and adding campus press boxes and concession stands. His crowning achievement was a $5 million renovation of what is now the Joy and Ralph Ellis Stadium with a new turf field, chair-back seating, press box and other amenities.
Coach Poe was a longtime member of the Texas High School Athletic Directors Association, serving as regional director from 1994 to 1996, vice president from 1999 to 2000, president from 2000 to 2001, and past president from 2001 to 2002. He was inducted into the association’s Hall of Honor in 2005, and in 2002 was selected as the state’s Athletic Director of the Year. In 1993, he was chosen as the head football coach for the North All Stars in the Texas High School Coaches Association all-star game, held at Amon Carter Stadium at Texas Christian University.
He has also held memberships with the Texas High School Coaches Association (serving on the Board of Directors from 1984 to 1987) and the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association, obtaining the title of certified athletic administrator. This identifies directors across the nation who demonstrate a certifiable level of both experience and expertise in the administration of interscholastic athletics.
A graduate of East Texas State University, where he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees, Poe also has 29 years of coaching experience at Lewisville, McKinney, Sulphur Springs and South Garland high schools.
Don and his wife, Pat (who was a counselor at Brown Elementary School in Irving ISD), have two children – daughter Teena Poe Story and husband Kyle; son Toby Poe and wife Mandy; and four grandchildren – Shay Story, Tyler Story, Luke Poe and Casey Poe.
For three decades, Mike Sartor served the scholar athletes of Irving ISD – as a teacher and coach for 16 years and as the district’s assistant director of athletics for 14 years. Coach Sartor retired in 2014 with 30 years of service in Irving ISD and 39 years total experience.
He joined Irving High School in January of 1984, teaching U.S. and world history and serving as a class and student council sponsor. As a coach, he was the assistant head football coach, offensive coordinator, head track coach and head baseball coach.
As head baseball coach, Coach Sartor revitalized the program. This included leading the charge on facility improvements such as in-ground dugouts and a new backstop, moving high school baseball games from the shared field at the stadium back to home campuses and installing lights. He also coached his teams to a district championship in 1993 and playoff appearances each year from 1995 to 1999. In 1996, he took his team deeper into the playoffs than any other Irving baseball coach to the quarterfinals.
Coach Sartor also garnered several honors including District Coach of the Year, the Dallas Morning News Area Coach of the Year and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram Area Coach of the Year, all in 1993, and the Irving Daily News Coach of the Year in 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999.
From 2000 to 2014, Coach Sartor served as assistant director of athletics. In this position, he helped establish a solid foundation for athletic programs at de Zavala and Johnson middle schools when the schools opened. He was also involved in all aspects of construction and reconstruction of athletic facilities for all schools and created a schedule to replace outdated scoreboards and middle school tracks. By supervising the Irving Middle School Officials chapters, he trained and assigned officials for both volleyball and basketball. At the high school level, he was involved in the relocation and design of MacArthur’s baseball field, as well as the renovation of the MacArthur, Irving and Nimitz baseball and softball fields and what is now the Joy and Ralph Ellis Stadium. This was an ongoing 10-year project which involved the stadium receiving its first artificial playing surface, a new two-level press box, a new field house, a state-of-the-art scoreboard with video screen, concession stands, restrooms, a new track and converting the old baseball field to a track and field event arena and parking lots.
Mike and his wife, Trish, a retired Irving ISD middle school teacher, still reside in Irving. Their three children attended Irving schools and are all Irving High School graduates. Their oldest son, Ben, served as head baseball coach at Irving High School from 2012 to 2014 and is now the pitching coach for the Flower Mound Jaguars; their daughter, Dr. Teri Ann Sartor, is a professor at Lamar University; and their son, Matt, is the head baseball coach at Irving High.
The Irving ISD Athletic Hall of Fame also includes:
The 2017 Class:
-Brad Knouse, MacArthur athlete
-Hobart Lytal, coach
-Duane Miller, Irving athlete
-Thomas Uhr, coach
The 2016 Class:
-DeMarcus Faggins, Irving athlete
-Kelvin Korver, Irving athlete
-Ray Overton, coach
-Morris Sloan, coach and Irving athlete
The 2015 Class:
-Jim Bennett, coach
-Mike Phillips, MacArthur athlete
-Bill Rutherford, Irving athlete
-Kenny Walters, Irving athlete
The 2014 Class:
-Brandel Chamblee, MacArthur athlete
-Ruthie Lobb Davis, Irving athlete
-Aaron De La Torre, Irving athlete
-Margie Stipes, community contributor
-Randy Waldrum, MacArthur athlete
-Murphy Webster, coach
The 2013 Class:
-Michael Huff, Nimitz athlete
-Kerry Cooks, Nimitz athlete
-Joe Perryman, coach
-Anne Uhr, coach
-Joy and Ralph Ellis, community contributors
The 2012 Class:
-Akin Ayodele, MacArthur athlete
-Cedric Colby, MacArthur athlete
-Alan Lowry, Irving athlete
-David Rose, Irving athlete
-Deeanna Williams, Nimitz athlete
-Mike Farda, coach
-Bob Harrell, coach and athletic director
-Dick Lear, community contributor