Dec. 21, 2016
By O.K. Davis
There's never a dull moment covering Louisiana Tech University's athletic program.
Trust me, I've witnessed enough exhilarating moments to cover a lifetime or, as our journalistic ''tree lines'' show, a 52-year journey.
But today, let's confine our appreciation to the last 15 years.
Or, precisely, when Tech Nation began its affiliation with the Western Athletic Conference before transitioning into its current membership in Conference.USA.
Take note that most of what has been achieved during this time has been while Tech teams lived in the WAC neighborhood.
But in only three short years, a quick and impressive imprint has been made in C-USA.
First, about life in the WAC.
And a good life it was.
As a member of that league, Tech men and women combined for 29 regular season/postseason No. 1 trophies.
Included in that haul was a football championship in the Bulldogs' first year (2001) in the conference and impressive hardware accumulated by the track and field program (13) and Lady Techsters' hoopsters (12).
If the first three campaigns of membership in Conference USA offers a measuring stick, the Tech squads should have a highlight-filled existence.
There's been four different championships logged, among them being an unexpected march to the throne in golf earlier this spring.
Outstanding teams, magical moments.
The last 15 years have been fun to follow.
Figure on the next 15 to be just as exciting.
I can't wait.
During these last 15 years, there's been a plethora of outstanding players adorned in Tech colors.
Here's our list of the 50 Best Tech Athletes of Past 15 Years:
Baseball: Phil Maton, Jericho Jones, Brian Rike, Devon Dageford
Men's Basketball: Paul Millsap, Kyle Gibson, Speedy Smith, Alex Hamilton, Magnum Rolle, Raheem Appleby
Football: Ryan Moats, Luke McCown, Kenneth Dixon, Quinton Patton, Tramon Williams, Myles White, Carlos Henderson, Trent Taylor, Josh Scobee, Ryan Allen, Colby Cameron, Joe Smith, Xavier Woods, Phillip Livas, Quin Harris, Verlon Butler, Jeff Driskel, Cody Sokol, Ryan Higgins
Women's Basketball: Cheryl Ford, Shanavia Dowdell, Adrienne Johnson, Whitney Frazier, Tasha Williams, Shan Moore, Erica Smith-Taylor
Golf: Victor Lange, Matt Harvey
Softball: Amberly Waits, Emma Barnes, Meghan Krieg
Track and field: Trey Hadnot, Jarvis Gotch, Chelsea Hayes, Miriam Barnes, Latonia Wilson, Jason Morgan, Larry Jones
Soccer: Katie Sloan, Kiva Greshman
Volleyball: Shannon Phillips, Cristine Sant'Anna, Lala Aviles