Lenoir-Rhyne will induct former football head coach Mike Houston into the Lenoir-Rhyne Sports Hall of Fame with a special ceremony on April 10 at 10 a.m.
Houston is one of five members of the Hall of Fame Class of 2020 but the induction ceremony has been pushed to the fall of 2021 due to COVID restrictions. However, as the head football coach at East Carolina, Houston’s schedule conflicted with the ceremony date for fall 2021 and therefore will be inducted this April.
Houston took the Bears to the NCAA Division II National Championship game in 2013, further than all but three other teams in the 101-year history of Lenoir-Rhyne football. This would mark the first time LR football competed in a National Championship game in the modern Division II era. In his three years as head coach, Houston posted a 29-8 overall record and was named the league’s Coach of the Year in all three seasons. Houston led LR to SAC Championships in all three of his years at the helm and went 4-2 in NCAA Playoff games. Prior to his tenure as a head coach, the Bears hadn’t won a SAC Championship since 1994.
Houston coached 11 players who went on to become All-Americans under his leadership and had three different offensive linemen win the SAC Jacobs Blocking Trophy in his tenure. Houston’s 2013 squad still holds the NCAA Division II record for most rushing yards in a season with 5,563. The 13 wins in 2013 is tied for the most wins in a single-season in Bears’ history.
Houston also served as LR’s Defensive Coordinator for four seasons (2007-10) before being elevated to head coach in the spring of 2011.
The ceremony will take place inside PE Monroe with a limited amount of guests and will not be open to the public and will be by invitation only. The event will start at 10 a.m. and will be livestreamed on lrbears.com/watch that morning. Houston will also be recognized at halftime of the Lenoir-Rhyne vs. Catawba football game that afternoon.
On October 9th, the rest of the Hall of Fame Class will be honored. Brittany Cherry, Jeff Haddock, Amber Holt and Smith Sharpe will all be enshrined along with Crystal Clary who was a 2019 inductee but could not attend that ceremony. More details on that celebration will be released in the summer.