The retired teachers who are apart of the Hall of Champions school field trips and group tours program share a passion for sports and education.
Educating young minds is a labor of love that doesn’t always end with retirement. Just ask the retired teachers who are part of the NCAA Hall of Champions school field trips and group tours program.
This dedicated team is retired from what used to be their daily teaching jobs, but the group continues to educate students on a part-time basis. The teachers provide information on the NCAA in a fun way that helps the students learn in a nontraditional setting, and they ask questions and anticipate answers…just as if they were still in the classroom.
Tours and field trips range in size and grade range, but most involve elementary and middle school students. Some of the teachers are former coaches and student-athletes themselves, so they understand the mission of the NCAA and the balance of academics and athletics.
As a student-athlete at Illinois State, Jim Ledbetter participated in the 1975 NCAA Wrestling Championship. Dick Beeson competed in football, wrestling and golf at Indiana Central College, now known as the University of Indianapolis. Morris (Morey) Walter ran cross country at UIndy.
Although school-sanctioned sports weren’t an option for women while she was growing up, Phyllis Ackerman was a television color analyst for the Indiana Pacers back in the American Basketball Association days.
“Our Hall of Champion teachers really provide us with an educational impact that helps students understand the NCAA and its student-athletes in a variety of ways,” said Kelly Dodds, assistant director of the NCAA Hall of Champions. “It’s great to see the students ask questions and want to learn more about NCAA sports, how student-athletes have to maintain grades in order to play, and general college life. As most of our teachers have been around sports, whether as coaches, student-athletes themselves or fans, they understand how to approach the students with the material, while helping them learn about the NCAA and life in general.”
NCAA staff who have school age children are eligible to receive class discounts for their children’s classes. Please contact Dodds at firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
NCAA Hall of Champions Teacher Profiles
Name: Phyllis Ackerman.
Teaching experience: Monrovia and a junior high in Columbus,
Subjects: English, Social Studies, Physical education (even though she did not have a physical education cerification!)
Coaching experience: Little League softball when her daughter was involved; also a cheerleading sponsor as a teacher.
“I love working with the kids and trying to impart my enthusiasm to them. Not all can be first-stringer stars, but I try to open their eyes to the life skills that participating in sports can bring. Most of all, I try to make sure that each person who comes through has an enjoyable time and is eager to return with family.”
Name: Dick Beeson.
Teaching experience: Creston Middle School and Raymond Park Middle School.
Coaching experience: Football and wrestling at New Palestine; football and wrestling at Raymond Park; football, wrestling, volleyball, and girls track at Creston.
“My best friend Ray Minton and Morey Walter were working at the NCAA Hall of Champions and got me hooked up with the Stay-In-Bounds Program. (My favorite thing about working in the HOC is the) opportunity to meet so many people. Not only big stars, but everyday wonderful people.”
Name: Jim Ledbetter
Teaching experience: Freshmen and sophomores at Warren Central High School.
Subjects: Health and Physical Education.
Coaching experience: Cross country, wrestling and track.
“I decided to continue working because idleness doesn’t go with my whole mindset. It was suggested to me by fellow teachers/friends and it seemed like a good fit. (My favorite thing about working at the HOC) is meeting a variety of people and having the flexibility to instill values, morals and NCAA sports. Also, the staff at the NCAA is very friendly.”
Name: Ray Minton.
Teaching experience: Jasper High School, Woodview Jr. High, Creston Middle School and Raymond Park Middle School.
Subjects: Algebra, Advanced Algebra, 7th and 8th grade math, 8th and 11th grade U.S. History.
Coaching experience: Football, boys cross country, girls track and boys tennis.
“In addition to working with the younger people, it is also a pleasure to talk with the college students, adults and fans of all ages at various events in the HOC. Being fortunate enough to meet Johnny Wooden, Clark Kellogg, Tamika Catchings, Ian Naismith and many others has been an added blessing.”
Name: Rob Morris
Teaching experience: Carmel Clay Schools.
Subjects: 6th grade Social Studies and Science, Language Arts.
Coaching experience: Middle school head track coach; IHSAA track official; worked the State and Sectional Meets
“A principal once told me that not all education comes from books or sitting at a desk. I think we pass on that lesson with all of the resources of the Hall of Champions every time we give a tour. No matter whom our audience is, young or old, we have a lot to share at the HOC.”
Name: Morris (Morey) Walter
Teaching experience: Creston Middle/Jr. High School; New Palestine Jr./Sr. High School.
Subjects: Physical Education, Health, Biology, Science, First Aid, and Driver’s Education.
Coaching experience: Basketball, cross country, football and track and field.
“I felt like this would be a great place to interact with students and adults and try to share my passion for sports and the important life skills that are taught by being a student-athlete…I have enjoyed my 10 years at the NCAA and the HOC and hope I have been a good ambassador for the NCAA and the HOC.”