Women’s volleyball coach becomes first volleyball player to be inducted into Texas Sports Hall of Fame

Jasmine Casimir // Asst. Sports Director 

Assistant Athletic Director and head volleyball and beach volleyball coach Rita Buck-Crockett, made history as she became the first volleyball player to be inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame.

Buck-Crockett was formally inducted on Tuesday, February 21 in Waco,Texas, at the Waco Convention Center.

“When I first received the phone call, I couldn’t believe it,” said Buck-Crockett. “But it just shows that when you work hard, someone will notice and then that hard work will pay off.”

Buck-Crockett is a native of San Antonio, Texas, and spent her collegiate years at the University of Houston where she was named the 1977 AIAW All-American. She then went on to showcase her talents on the 1980 and 1984 U.S. Olympics team.

In order to be inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, the TSHOF committee takes a vote on the athletes who are nominated to be inducted. Once the votes are in, the committee reaches out to all inductees on their invitation to the class.

“It’s so cool to see somebody so close to us who’s giving us feedback daily to be honored with something as big as this,” said Katie Hogan, the volleyball team’s right side/outside hitter. “I’m so happy for her, and this sets a really high goal for all of us individually.”

Buck-Crockett was one of the eight new members to be inducted into the Class of 2017, along with former NFL All-Pro Eric Metcalf and NFL head coach Wade Phillips.

“I have been honored to be inducted into the San Antonio Sports HOF, but this represents the whole state of Texas so it’s huge,” said Buck-Crockett. “It’s a great feeling to be recognized and stand next to some great athletes while receiving this award.”

After ending her playing career in 1998, Buck-Crockett went into coaching after she served as the head coach for Iowa (1998-2004) and an associate head coach at Florida State (2004-05). Buck-Crockett is now going into her fifth season as the beach volleyball coach for FIU.

“I try to tell my girls to go for more and not try to be like me because we’re all different,” said Buck-Crockett. “I tell them that the motivation should be to be the best that they can be.”