This past weekend was a truly terrific weekend, as we got to see some great Lion athletes graduate from college, we got see Russ beam from ear to ear as his beloved daughter Shelby graduated from our Alma Mater Dear with a Degree in AgBusiness, we got to see former Lion great Luis Perez lead the underdogs Arlington Renegades to an XFL Championship with game MVP honors, and of course we got to celebrate all the wonderful Mothers that enrich our lives.
However, we received some truly heartbreaking news Saturday before commencement exercises started. Cary Noiel, one of the greatest running backs to ever wear the blue and gold of Old ET, passed away early Saturday Morning. He was 63.
A high school standout out of Millwood High near Oklahoma City, He was a four-year letter winner at running back . In 1981, he was named a First Team All-American by the NAIA and was a two-time First Team All-Conference selection. He finished his career with 3,020 yards, then the third most rushing yards in school history. His 630 carries were the second most in school history. He scored 30 rushing touchdowns in his career, again the second most in program history. He led the Lions in rushing in all three his final seasons with the team, including a career high 1,307 yards in his senior season. In his senior season, he led the Lone Star Conference in total rushing yards and yards per game.
During the 1980 season, he was the feature back on a team that finished 8-3-1 and defeated # 1 Central Arkansas in the NAIA Quarterfinals before losing a heartbreaking Semifinal game to eventual national Champion Elon, 14-6. His late fourth quarter touchdown broke the back of the top ranked Bears in the Quarterfinals and sent the Lions to the national semifinals.
Professionally, he spent time in the NFL with the Seattle Seahawks and in the USFL with Los Angeles Express and the Oklahoma Outlaws. After football, he was a rancher and worked for Campbells Soup Company in Paris, where he lived. He stayed active in the program going to games and could be seen at many Lion football games, making new friends and staying close with old ones.
Please pray for his family as they are dealing with the grief of the loss of a Husband, Father, and Friend.
The Lion Wire send’s it’s love and wishes to the family. Russ and I will be sharing our memories of this terrific guy on our next episode of the Call The Roll Podcast.
Cary, We WIll see you Again when The Roll is Called Up Yonder.