The annual Old Timers Hall of Fame Banquet will be held Friday, March 14, at 6:30 p.m. at the Museum Center at Five Points. The hall of fame is sponsored by the Cleveland Recreation Department.
The first inductees this year are Earl Wayne Rowan, coach, and Ray Haulk, official.
Haulk played basketball at Polk County High School from 1954-58. He scored more than 2,000 points in his four years, a record that still stands. This was before the “3-point rule system” was installed.
His senior year, he was the second-leading scorer in the state with a 25-point average per game. He was also selected for The Associated Press All-State Team.
Haulk was offered scholarships to Tennessee Tech, East Tennessee State University, Western Kentucky and Young-Harris. He decided to attend Young Harris.
In 2011, he was the first maleplayer inducted into the Polk County Basketball Hall of Fame.
In 1961, Haulk moved to Cleveland and joined the new YMCA. There were eight league teams sponsored by different local companies. He played on a team sponsored by Art-Mart Signs, which bought uniforms and warmups as well as travel bags.
In the Cleveland City League, Haulk’s team played two years without a loss. The City League also played college teams. He was on the team that represented Cleveland YMCA in the Southern YMCA tournament in Atlanta, and one year in Birmingham.
After his years of playing ball, he joined the TSSAA, thanks to his friend Sonny Hicks. He served as a referee for middle school, high school and college teams for 10 years.
Rowan has been a teacher and coach for more than 48 years.
He currently is serving as a teacher of U.S. history, U.S. government, economics, world geography and contemporary issues at Bradley Central High School. From 1982-96, he served as coach at Bradley Central High School. He won five district championships, won the 1985 regional championship and had a coaching record of 530-274.
From 1975-82, he served at Lee University as athletic director, head basketball coach, head baseball coach and cross country coach.
Lee won four District V championships, and his team qualified for four national tournaments with finishes in third place three times and runner-up in 1979.
Rowan began his basketball coaching career at East Cleveland School in 1966, coaching there through 1974. His teams at East Cleveland won five Bradley County tournament championships, and qualified for seven of eight years for the East Tennessee tourney. While at East Cleveland School, Rowan taught grades 6-8.
Among his accolades are that he was the recipient of the 1992 Excellence in Teaching Award from Bradley Central High School; 2001 Building Level Teacher of the Year and a finalist in Bradley County; 2007 Distinguished Service Award from Tennessee State Athletic Administrators Association; and in 2007 he was inducted into the Lee University Athletic Hall of Fame.
Rowan was named NCCAA Basketball District Coach of the year while at Lee University four times between 1975-82. He also received the 1982 NCCAA District Baseball Coach of the Year.
Between 1982 and 1996, Rowan five times received the five time TSSAA Basketball District Coach of the Year at Bradley Central High School.
He has also volunteered in summer league baseball as a coach. He coached Dixie Boys All Stars to five state championships from 1972-77.
From 1982 to 2001, he sponsored the Fellowship of Christian Athletes huddle.
Rowan received his associate of arts from Lee Junior College in 1964, bachelor of arts from Lee Bible College in 1966, bachelor of science from Lee College in 1971 and his master of science from Middle Tennessee State University in 1979.
In 1969 and ’70, he served as president of Bradley County Education Association. He served as chairman of the BCEA salary committees in 1970-72 and as chief BCEA negotiator in 1997.