CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi Department of Athletics will induct three-sport athlete Wendell H. Byler and softball star Sarah Pauly into its Hall of Honor as part of the Class of 2012, Interim Director of Athletics Scott Lazenby announced today. The two inductees bring the total members of the Hall of Honor to 23.
“These two individuals represent all that is great about college athletics,” Lazenby said. “Both were stellar competitors on the field while also serving as strong ambassadors for our university. Because of their accomplishments and dedication to Texas A&M – Corpus Christi, we are thrilled to welcome them into our Hall of Honor.”
The duo will be inducted into the Hall of Honor at the annual dinner and banquet, on Friday, Jan. 27, on the campus of Texas A&M – Corpus Christi. The event will be held in conjunction with the university’s Homecoming Week festivities.
Byler was one of the most versatile athletes in the history of the University of Corpus Christi. The Slaton, Texas, native won three letters each in baseball, football and basketball for the Tarpons from 1949-52. His finest performance came during the 1951 baseball season, when he hit .436 with 13 home runs for UCC. Then, in 1952, he was named Most Valuable Tarpon. Following his time with the Tarpons, he was offered a contract with the Chicago White Sox.
After graduating with a degree in education, Byler spent two years in the Army, where he was a member of the 6th Armored Division All-Star teams in both baseball and football. Following his time in the Army and a stint with the Texas Department of Health, Byler went into business with his family, helping to run a nursing home as well as the Byler Angus and Quarter Horse Farm.
Pauly is just the second student-athlete from the Islanders era to be inducted into the Hall of Honor, joining women’s basketball player Kristin Rogers. A native of Phoenix, Ariz., Pauly became one of the top pitchers in the collegiate game, leading Texas A&M – Corpus Christi to three straight NCAA Tournament appearances. In her time with the Islanders, Pauly was named Big South Pitcher of the Year and Big South Tournament Most Valuable Player, while earning All-Conference First-Team honors. In her senior year, she finished with a 37-7 record and a 0.56 ERA. Her win total was the third-highest in the nation while her ERA was good for fourth in the NCAA.
After graduating from the Island University in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, she joined the National Pro Fastpitch Stratford Brakettes in 2006 and earned NPF Pitcher of the Year and NPF Most Valuable Pitcher honors, her first of six successful years in professional softball. She has also served as an assistant coach for Spartanburg Methodist College, the College of Charleston and is the newest member of Stephanie Hughes’ staff here at the Island University.