Longtime Little Rock School District coaches Charles Ripley and Oliver Elders both formed lasting impressions on Sidney Moncrief.
It's safe to say Moncrief left a favorable opinion on his coaches as well.
OneRock Legends All of Fame
Class of 2018
Houston Dale Nutt, Jr.; Little Rock Central graduate who went on coach at the University of Arkansas and at Ole Miss.
Sidney A. Moncrief; Little Rock Hall graduate who went to play for the University of Arkansas and spent 10 seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks.
DeeDee Brown-Campbell; Little Rock Hall graduate and a two-time All-American in the heptathlon at the University of Arkansas.
Charles Ripley; former Little Rock Parkview basketball coach who spent 27 years in the LRSD.
Oliver Elders; former coach at Horace Mann and Hall High Schools who retired as the winningest active coach in the state with 656 victories.
Wilson Matthews (posthumously) football coach for Little Rock Central. His team won 10 state championships and produced a 33-game winning streak. He later became an assistant to Frank Broyles at the University of Arkansas.
"Here's the thing about Sidney," said Ripley, who spent 27 years as a coach and teacher in the LRSD. "He'd come to Parkview to workout because I kept the gym open. We had a bunch of kids there, and most of them would hoop and play.
"Sidney always had a card with his workout [routine]. He would do his workout and then he'd play. For a high school kid, that's unusual."
Moncrief, Ripley, Elders and three others were inducted into the inaugural OneRock Legends Hall of Fame on Wednesday. The event was hosted by the LRSD Athletic Foundation at the Little Rock Embassy Suites.
Moncrief played for Elders at Little Rock Hall and went on to enjoy a successful four years at the University of Arkansas. He played 11 years in the NBA -- 10 with the Milwaukee Bucks -- and was a five-time All-Star.
"I always felt structure and discipline were always important," Moncrief said. "I didn't like wasting time. It came from watching coaches and knowing you only had so much time to put work in."
He also learned about respect.
"Coach Elders had this propensity that you did not wear hats inside and that you are very respectful," Moncrief said. "One morning I went into our cafeteria, and I didn't call him Coach Elders. I called him 'O.E.' I was a sophomore. He looked at me and said, 'Son, you won't ever play for me being this disrespectful.' That was my first induction into making sure you're very careful with what you say, when you say it and who you say it to."
Elders retired as the winningest active coach in the state with 656 victories. His Warriors won four consecutive state titles and back-to-back Overall titles in 1983 and 1984.
Ripley turned Parkview into a national powerhouse in the 1980s and the early 1990s. He later coached at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith, and is currently the head basketball coach and athletic director at Arkansas Baptist College.
Ripley, who said he has lived in Little Rock all of his life, disparaged his own athletic career.
"I was a short, fat kid who couldn't play the radio," Ripley told the audience. "So I had to coach instead."
"The thing we loved about Ripley when we were in high school was that we'd always get a good meal," Moncrief said. "After Saturday's practice, he would always feed us."
Moncrief also enjoyed a playful banter with fellow inductee Houston Nutt with his induction speech. Nutt was a football and basketball player at Little Rock Central.
"You just don't know how close I came to going to Central when I was a sophomore," Moncrief said, directing his comments to Nutt. "Had I gone to Central, you wouldn't have gotten any minutes."
Nutt went on to play football with the University of Arkansas and at Oklahoma State. He spent 10 years as the Razorbacks' head football coach and four at Ole Miss. He has an overall college coaching record of 135-96.
Also inducted into the inaugural class were DeeDee Brown-Campbell and the late Wilson Matthews.
Brown-Campbell, who graduated from Hall, was a two-time All-American in the heptathlon as a member of Arkansas' championship track and field team. She won two SEC championships and still holds five school records in the pentathlon and heptathlon competitions.
She also played a large part in Hall's 1997 state basketball title.
"DeeDee was a great athlete and is a great person," said Charlie Johnson, who was the Lady Warriors head coach in 1997 and who is currently the boys coach at Little Rock Fair. "She had talent. When I got that group as sophomores, I could foresee a championship with that bunch."
Brown-Campbell was unable to attend the ceremony Wednesday.
Matthews became a legend in Arkansas after winning 10 state championships and producing a 33-game winning streak. He later became an assistant to Frank Broyles at the University of Arkansas. The Broyles Award trophy depicts Matthews standing next to Broyles.
Sports on 12/06/2018
Print Headline: Coaches influenced Moncrief's rise