Louisiana Tech Athletics will be honoring the first 50 years of Joe Aillet Stadium when the Bulldogs host Southern Saturday in the home opener.
As part of the celebration, Tech will honor the Top 50 Bulldog players, including four with Bossier Parish ties, to compete at Joe Aillet Stadium as chosen by a combination of fan voting and a committee comprised of former players, coaches and administrators.
Thirty-two of the 50 were part of the All-Century Team released in 2001 while an additional 18 were added through a vote by Bulldog fans.
The makeup of the group includes 28 offensive players, 17 defensive players and five specialists.
Each decade of the stadium’s existence is also well-represented in the prestigious group, including 20 Bulldogs from the first 10 years, seven from the next decade, eight from the third decade, six from the fourth decade and nine from the fifth decade (with some crossover on careers).
The four players with Bossier Parish ties are Doyle Adams Sr., Myron Baker, Jerry Pope and Joe McNeely.
Adams, currently pastor at Elizabeth Baptist Church in Benton, is a 1981 graduate of Benton High where he was a standout in basketball and football.
He played defensive back at Tech from 1982-85. Adams was two-time All-Conference and honorable mention All-America. He was also a team captain and recipient of the university’s President Award.
Adams, who spent 17 years in the banking industry, was named to Tech’s All-Century Team in 2001. His son, Doyle Adams Jr., just completed an outstanding career as a receiver at Benton. He also has two daughters, Tonya and Sondra, with his wife, Mararia.
Baker, a former Haughton standout, played linebacker for the Bulldogs from 1989-92. He played four full seasons in the NFL for the Chicago Bears from 1993-1996.
He led Tech in tackles in 1990 and helped the Bulldogs gain a berth in the Independence Bowl.
Pope, a Bossier High standout from 1970-72, was one of the best punters and place kickers in Northwest Louisiana history. He was named to the Southland Conference 1970s All-Decade team.
McNeely, another former Bossier High standout, was an All-American linebacker who helped Tech win two national championships in the early 1970s. Head coach Maxie Lambright and defensive coordinator Pat Collins called the 5-9, 195-pound McNeely the toughest guy they’d ever seen, according to McNeely’s Tech Hall of Fame career summary.
He was named the Southland Conference Defensive MVP in 1973.
McNeely was paralyzed for nine years after a horse accident and passed away in 2009 at 57.