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Dyer, Garrison and Delph to again coach Conway Lions

Posted: January 16, 2014 - 7:34pm

Three individuals, who are Conway legends for their efforts on the basketball court, will again join forces to coach an all-star team for charity.

Former University of Central Arkansas coach Don Dyer, former Hendrix coach Cliff Garrison and former Wampus Cat and Razorback star Marvin Delph will coach the Toad Suck Lions in a basketball exhibition against the Harlem Ambassadors on Saturday, Feb. 22.

The event, which will be at 6 p.m. at the Hendrix Wellness and Athletic Center, is a major fundraiser for the Conway Noon Lions Club in its efforts to help the blind and visually impaired in the Faulkner County Community. The help includes exams and glasses to those who can’t afford it as well as service dogs for the blind.

The Ambassadors are a group of college-educated athletes who provide an entertaining evening of Harlem-style basketball with lots of skilled ballhandling, high-flying slam dunks, hilarious comedy routines and crowd interaction. The Ambassadors, who endorse the values of staying in school and staying off drugs, assist non-profit organizations in their fund-raisers by playing a team from the community.

The coaches of the Lions, a team of local celebrities, have joined forces for the third straight year.

Dyer has the distinction of being the winningest men’s basketball coach in school history at both Henderson State University (322-132) and the University of Central Arkansas (284-145). At the time of his retirement, his 29-year record of 606-277 tied him with Indiana’s Bobby Knight. Dyer is the only coach to take two different schools to the NAIA championship game. He is a member of both the UCA and Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame.

Garrison retired in 2003 after 31 years as either head coach or athletic director at Hendrix College. At the time of his retirement, he held the record for wins while coaching an Arkansas college with 463 victories. He was named the Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference Coach of the Year three times and was twice named NAIA District Coach of the Year. Garrison is a member of the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, the Hendrix Sports Hall of Honor and the UCA Sports Hall of Fame and received the Elijah Pitts Award from the Conway Athletic Awards Commission for lifetime achievement in athletics in 2010. The basketball court at Grove Gymnasium in the WAC has been named for him.

Delph is a native of Conway and led the Wampus Cats to state championships in 1973 and 1974. He went on to star with the Razorbacks and was probably best known as a member of the famed “Triplets.” Along with Ronnie Brewer and Sidney Moncrief, the 1978 Razorbacks made it to the Final Four in the NCAA Tournament. He was inducted into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame in 1998.

Tickets for the game can be purchased in advance at all Faulkner County First Security Bank, Simmons First National Bank and Summit Bank branches. Tickets are also available at Gary Cox, CPA (811 Parkway); the Log Cabin Democrat; and the Faulkner County Library. Advance tickets for students are $1, seniors (55 and over) are $3, and adult tickets are $5. Children 4-and-under will be admitted free. Tickets will cost $1 more on game night.

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