EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the last in a seven-part series on this year’s class of inductees into the Gordon Wood Hall of Champions.
Marvin Rathke, a two-time All-State defensive back for the Brownwood Lions, will be among six inductees to The Gordon Wood Hall of Champions this year.
The Hall of Champions will induct its 2015 class at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, at the Christian Life Center of First United Methodist Church of Brownwood.
The banquet — open to the public — will include the induction of the Hall of Champions’ first female.
Others chosen for induction this year are Deacon Burns, Walter B. Croft, Mike Fuller, Michelle Kelly, and Kurt Newton.
The 1965 Brownwood Lions football team will also be recognized during the banquet. The team went undefeated that season, and notched the second state football championship for the school and fourth for Coach Wood.
This is the 16th year for the Hall of Champions to recognize high school athletes at Brownwood High School along with others who played for Coach Wood before he came to Brownwood in 1960.
The museum maintained by the Hall of Championships, which features all the inductees since its inception, is located on the second floor of the Harvey House in the Depot complex. Tours are available by appointment.
Tickets are available at the Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce office, KOXE-KBWD, Wendlee Broadcasting, and from members of the Gordon Wood Hall of Champions board.
Rathke was a first team All State defensive back in both his 1981 junior and 1982 senior seasons, was also first team All District and All Area at safety in 1981, and first team All District quarterback and defensive back in 1982. He was named honorable mention All District at cornerback as a sophomore in 1980. As a senior, he won National High School Coaches Association All American honors as a defensive back.
He attended Baylor University on a scholarship, but after suffering a season-ending injury that first year, he transferred to Angelo State. Two more knee surgeries cut short his playing career.
After working in business and opening his personal lawn care business, he returned to college for his teaching accreditation. He coached football, basketball and track in Kerrville, and football and track at Ingram Tom Moore.
In 2003, he moved to Katy where he coached in junior high and high school. Since 2005 he has coached and taught at 6A Seven Lakes High School in Katy. In track and field, his teams have won two district titles and sent runners every year to the state meet. In cross country, the school is a power in the Houston area with teams reaching the state meet in all but two years, and winning the State Championship in 2007. In 2008, his team was state runner-up, and in 2014, his team finished fourth in the state. The school has won eight district titles and four regional cross country titles. Several of his students have gone on to run at the collegiate level.
Rathke and his wife, Kim, have been married for 28 years, and they have three boys who all ran for him. Chase is a recent University of Houston graduate, Chance is a sophomore at Texas State, and Chandler is a freshman at Texas A&M running track and cross country.