Southerners

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Cooper, Simmons earn UWA Hall of Fame honors

Published 11:37am Wednesday, September 11, 2013

LIVINGSTON – Robert Cooper and Walt Simmons were announced this week as the Class of 2013 for The University of West Alabama Athletic Hall of Fame. Official induction ceremonies will take place at UWA’s Homecoming on October 26.

“These two were wonderful athletes for us,” said Dee Outlaw, chairman of the Hall of Fame committee. “We are proud of all of our former athletes and particularly proud of the two new members of our Hall of Fame.”

Cooper was an all-conference football selection in 1961 and 1962. He was a tailback and he led the conference in scoring in 1961 and 1962. He was Most Valuable Player and team captain both of those years.

He was recruited by the St. Louis Cardinals of the NFL but opted to start his own business, Monsanto Corporation. Cooper rushed for 438 yards in 1961. He scored 52 points in 1960 and scored three touchdowns against Gordon Military.

Cooper has owned Mobile Hydraulics Company for many years. He was inducted into the Robertsdale High School Hall of Fame in 1997.

Simmons was an outstanding baseball player from 1999-2002. A three-time All-Gulf South Conference and all-region pick, he was named to the GSC All-Decade team. He started every game the Tigers played for four consecutive seasons, batting .406 as a senior.

He finished his career with a .358 batting average, 59 doubles, 40 homers, 207 runs-batted-in, 208 runs scored and 35 stolen bases. Simmons is the UWA career leader in doubles, homers and stolen bases. He is also in the UWA career top five in games played, at bats, hits and runs scored. Simmons is in the Gulf South Conference top 10 career marks in at-bats, runs scored, hits, runs batted in and total bases.

Simmons is a native of West Point, Miss., and resides in Hokes Bluff, Ala. He is a professor at Gadsden State Community College. His wife, the former Haley Ball, was a star volleyball player for the Tigers.

Copper and Simmons will serve as Grand Marshalls for the 2013 Homecoming Parade and will be officially inducted in the Hall of Fame at the Annual National Alumni Association Meeting. Both will serve as Honorary Game Captains at the football game against West Georgia.

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