The Commerce Journal


October 4, 2012

University announces five Hall of Fame inductees


COMMERCE — Robert Peek (Meritorious Service) — Peek was a four-year letter-winner on the East Texas State tennis team from 1959-63, helping the Lions to a pair of NAIA appearances and was a national semifinalist in doubles with Lion Hall of Famer Jerry Hirst. Following his graduation, Peek remained an avid supporter of the University by donating both his time and money to help improve the Lion athletic program. He served as a member of the Hall of Fame and Bobby Fox Alumni Coaching Award selection committees and was a member of the Athletic Association Board for over 20 years. He and his wife Janet contributed financially for years to the basketball and football programs and was a member of the Founders Circle and 1990 Society. Peek also sponsored radio advertising for Lion athletics and assisted countless student-athletes through his actions up until his death in 2009.

Donna Tavener (Volleyball and Tennis Coach, 1977-83) — Tavener established herself as one of the pioneers in women’s athletics at East Texas State, serving as the Lions’ head volleyball and women’s tennis coach from 1977-83. Serving as the volleyball program’s first volleyball coach, Tavener compiled a 109-90 record, as her 109 victories and .548 winning percentage both rank third in program history. Tavener’s teams won 20 or more matches in four of her five seasons, including winning 30 matches in 1982, which is tied for the third-most wins in a single season. On the tennis courts, Tavener’s teams won a handful of AIAW Division II regional and national tournaments, including finishing second in the region in 1979. She coached a handful of top players, including 2011 Hall of Fame inductee Patti Bean, who spearheaded Tavener’s 1979 team to become the first ETSU women’s team to qualify for a national tournament. Tavener spent 20 years teaching high school students in Greenville and Commerce before returning to A&M-Commerce as the Director of Education Preparation in 2002, serving as a member of the Hall of Fame committee.

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