May Named to Southwest Conference Hall of fame

Sept. 13, 2017

WACO, Texas – Former Rice hurdler and athletic director Bobby May will be among nine inducted into the Southwest Conference Hall of Fame, the organization announced.

May will be joined in the Southwest Conference Hall of Fame in October along with Dick Bumpas (Arkansas), Maggie Davis-Stinnett (Baylor), Steve Elkington (Houston), Jennifer Santrock (SMU), Beverly Bowes-Hackney (Texas), Sonny Parker (Texas A&M), Horatio Porter (TCU), and Jason Sasser (Texas Tech).

The Southwest Conference Hall of Fame is one of four separate halls of fame housed within the Texas Sports Hall of Fame located in Waco. The 2017 induction class will be enshrined during a luncheon on Monday, Oct. 2 in Fort Worth at the Brown-Lupton University Union on the TCU Campus. To order tickets, contact Emily McAnsh ( or at 254-756-1633.

May, who ran track and was later athletic director at Rice, spent a combined 45 years at his alma mater before retiring as AD in 2006.

May’s contributions to Rice began during his undergraduate days on South Main. He was a four-time Southwest Conference champion in the hurdle events (1963-65) and added the NCAA high-hurdle title in 1964. A finalist for the Olympic trials in the hurdles in 1964 and a cum laude graduate at Rice in 1965, May was part of the second group of Owls inducted into the Rice Athletic Hall of Fame in the fall of 1971.

May returned to Rice as an assistant track coach and assistant business manager under Emmett Brunson at Rice in 1967. He became head track coach and assistant athletic director for business in 1976. In 1979, he retired from coaching and devoted all his time and energy to business operation of the athletic department. He remained in that capacity for five years before being promoted to associate athletic director in 1984.

In 1989, May overtook the reigns of the Rice athletic department, where he served as the athletic director until 2006. During May’s tenure the Owls’ baseball team won the first NCAA team championship in school history in 2003. He also played an integral role in renovating the Rice athletic facilities, including Reckling Park in 2000, Rice track/soccer stadium in 2000-01 and Fox Gymnasium in 1998.

May supervised the hiring of several current Rice coaches, including baseball head coach Wayne Graham, men’s track and field coach Jon Warren, volleyball coach Genny Volpe and women’s swimming coach Seth Huston. He also supervised the hiring of former Rice football coach Ken Hatfield, who was a 2015 Southwest Conference Hall of Fame inductee.

May served on a number of national and conference committees, including the executive committee for Division I-A athletic directors, and the NACDA executive committee. In the NCAA, he served on the Division I championships cabinet and in the WAC was a member of the championships committee.



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