By Benny Rogers/TVCC Sports Information
They’re going back in time at Trinity Valley Community College.
On a day designed to honor former longtime head coach and NJCAA and Cardinal Hall of Fame member Leon Spencer with the creation of a scholarship in his name, the Cardinals will don throwback uniforms when they take on the Paris Junior College Dragons in a Region XIV Conference contest at 4 p.m. at Cardinal Gym.
The uniforms will reflect the mid-1980s when the Cardinals’ wore red and white accented in blue trim. The throwback uniforms will be predominantly blue with white numerals and lettering accented in red trim. Henderson County will be displayed across the front of the jerseys and HCJC on the right leg of the shorts.
“We’re excited to announce the scholarship in honor of Coach Spencer,” said TVCC vice-president of student services and athletic director Dr. Jay Kinzer. “Coach (Guy) Furr came up with the great idea of the throwback uniforms and we made the decision to think outside the box and go with blue as a reflection of it having been incorporated into the uniforms in the mid-1980s.”
Spencer retired following the 2005-06 season after 42 years as head basketball coach and 40 years as athletic director. He remains the all-time winningest Texas JUCO coach with 809 wins.
In 1996, Spencer was inducted into the NJCAA Men’s Basketball Hall of Fame. In 2008, he was a member of the first Cardinal Hall of Fame induction class.
The court at Cardinal Gym was named in his honor during the 2012-13 season.
He came to TVCC — then known as Henderson County Junior College — in 1957 on a basketball scholarship. He went on to play football for East Texas State University (now Texas A&M-Commerce), where he was named the team’s MVP as a senior.
Spencer returned to HCJC in 1964 as the head men’s basketball coach and assistant football coach.
Henderson County Junior College became Trinity Valley Community College in September 1986.