The 2001 Kilgore College football team has been named to this year’s NJCAA Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Under the leadership of head coach Jimmy Rieves, KC finished the 2001 season with a perfect 12-0 record – the most wins for a Rangers team in the program’s history.
“It was a special time with a special group of young men. It was the perfect chemistry that year for a great season,” Rieves said. “I have some really special memories from that season and still keep in touch with several of those players from that team.”
The Rangers had the top-ranked defense in the Southwest Junior College Football Conference, giving up just 91 total points on the year. During the regular season, Kilgore held all 12 of its opponents to under 15 points.
Offensively, the Rangers averaged 33 points and more than 350 yards per game. The team also had a remarkable special team squad who made numerous game-changing plays during competition.
Kilgore beat Tyler Junior College in the Red River Bowl, 14-7, to cap off its undefeated season.
KC (12-0) received a No. 2 ranking in the final NJCAA poll behind Georgia Military College (11-0).
“The only regret that I have from that season is the final rankings were based on people’s opinions rather than an actual game” Rieves said. “No one will ever be able to convince me that we didn’t have the national championship football team right here in Kilgore.”
Assistant coaches for the 2001 team included J.J Eckert, offensive coordinator; Heath Davis, defensive line; Heath Adams, linebackers; Scott Chism, tight ends; Russell Thompson, running backs; and Travis Fox, offensive line.
Four players on the team went on to play in the NFL – linebacker Demorrio Williams (Atlanta Falcons from 2004-07, Kansas City Chiefs from 2008-11 and San Diego Chargers in 2012); cornerback Ricardo Colcough (Pittsburgh Steelers from 2004-07, Cleveland Browns in 2007, Carolina Panthers in 2008 and Kansas City Chiefs from 2008-09); Kevin Everett (Buffalo Bills from 2005-07) and Thomas Herrion (Dallas Cowboys in 2004 and San Francisco 49ers from 2004-05).
Rieves served seven seasons as head football and defensive coordinator at KC from 2000-06.
He compiled a 48-27 overall record as head coach and led the Rangers to two 10-win seasons (2001, 2004) while tallying an impressive 29-12 SWJCFC record.
Rieves currently serves as the athletic director and director of student development at KC, a position he has held since 2007.
The 2001 team and coaches will be honored at the annual KC Athletics Hall of Fame during the weekend of Oct. 10 next year.
The 2001 undefeated season:
vs. East Texas Baptist JV: 30-13
vs. Tyler Junior College: 24-7
vs. Southwest Assemblies of God: 49-0
vs. Navarro College: 23-14
vs. Cisco College: 49-12
vs. Ranger College: 52-7
vs. Trinity Valley C.C.: 21-10
vs. Northeast Oklahoma A&M: 25-7
vs. Blinn College: 24-7
vs. Tyler Junior College: 28-14
vs. Northeast Oklahoma A&M (playoff): 38-0
vs. Tyler Junior College (Red River Bowl): 14-7