Gilmer Area Hall Of Fame Inductee:
Football: Roy Lee “Cookie” Hopkins – Bruce High School Posthumously *
This high school athlete participated in football, baseball, basketball and track in the 1960s. With the collaboration of many great Texas athletes, the PVILCA continues to preserve the legacy of high school athletics during the post-segregation years in Texas.
Hopkins, who was born in Gilmer (Pine Community) on Feb. 18, 1945, played college football for and graduated from Texas Southern in Houston and then was drafted in the second round of the 1967 NFL Draft by the Houston Oilers, the 49th player chosen overall after having been a 2-time National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics All-American.
He played four seasons at running back for the Oilers. His best season was 1969 when the 6-1, 235-lb. Hopkins had 473 rushing yards, four rushing touchdowns, 29 receptions, 338 receiving yards and one receiving touchdown.
Hopkins was a 1963 graduate of Bruce High School and salutatorian of his class.
Roy, achieving high academic marks in school, also excelled in the field of sports.
He was an outstanding athlete with the Bruce High School Dragons under the leadership of coaches James E. Beal and the late Shelton Ervin.
He retired from football at the end of the 1970 season. He loved football and lived his dream.
He was married to Bonnie Goree-Hopkins and was the father of two children, Mitra and Damion.
Roy Hopkins died in 1996 in Houston.
The PVILCA is an organization preserving the past while remembering the “glory years” of the Prairie View Interscholastic League Coaches Association. This organization instills personal pride and self-esteem by increasing cultural awareness of the PVILCA heritage.
PVILCA will host their 32nd Annual Banquet /Awards Ceremony on Saturday, July 23, at the Radisson Hotel Fort Worth North-Fossil Creek located at 2540 Meacham Blvd. in Fort Worth.
Gregory J. Vincent, vice president for diversity and community engagement at The University of Texas at Austin, will receive an honorary PVILCA Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding work in helping to preserve the history of the organization and its members. Vincent was instrumental in working with the PVILCA’s board of directors to secure a location to house the organization’s memorabilia. Since 2008 a collection of framed black and white pictures, articles of clothing, trophies, and old newspaper articles have been on display on the second floor of the Community Engagement Center at 1009 E. 11th Street, a part of the university’s Division of Diversity and Community Engagement. Board Chairman Robert Brown says Vincent’s commitment to foster a university partnership with the PVILCA is significant because it means “the history and the culture of the PVIL will last a little longer.”
The PVILCA is a group of former African-American coaches and athletes that attended Texas’ segregated high schools, which were not allowed to compete in the University Interscholastic League (UIL) until 1970. The UIL was created by the University of Texas in 1909 to provide contest opportunities in athletics, music and academics for Texas high schools. The PVIL came into existence in 1920 to mirror the UIL, but for the African -American high schools. The organization’s board has been successful in ensuring that their athletic records including the African- American state championship competitions are integrated into the UIL. The group continues to educate the public, especially high school students about the organization’s history, and recognizes and honors former participants annually. At the PVILCA 32nd Annual Banquet in Fort Worth on July 23 Vincent will also receive an honorary lifetime membership, and his picture and name will be added to the group’s “Hall of Fame” exhibit wall.
Each year, the PVILCA Board identifies former coaches for induction into the Prairie View Interscholastic League Coaches Association Hall Of Honor and athletes, trainers and officials are inducted into the Hall Of Fame.