Four recipients will be honored Friday, Sept. 7 as part of the Fifth Annual Mount Pleasant Tiger Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. First introduced by former Athletic Director Corey Homer, the annual event will this year honor Tiger athletes Kristi Hill Flanagan, Chaun Thompson and Chris Campbell, posthumously, as well as former Head Football Coach Marc McDaniel. Each inductee will be recognized prior to kick off at the Mount Pleasant home game against North Lamar. A private, pre-game ceremony, sponsored by Schlotzsky’s, will also be held for the inductees, their families and close friends. The Hall of Famers will also serve as honorary captains and participate in the pre-game coin toss. In recognition of their selections, each inductee will wear commemorative gold jackets during the pre-game ceremony just prior to 7 p.m. Individual portraits of each inductee will later be displayed in the hallway of the Willie Williams Gymnasium.
Kristi Hill Flanagan
The daughter of the late Art and Bettie Hill, Kristi Hill Flanagan graduated from Mount Pleasant High School in 1983. As a member of the varsity volleyball and basketball teams for three years, Flanagan was selected to the All-District Volleyball Team as a setter and to the All-District Basketball Team as a point guard. During her senior year, she led the team in steals and assists and was named to the All-Region Basketball Team. The team went undefeated that year and won the district and bi-district titles and fell just short of capturing the area title.
“During my senior year, we really worked hard and turned the program around as a team,” Flanagan said. “It felt great to win again. It was an honor to be a part of such an incredible season.”
After graduating from Mount Pleasant, Flanagan played basketball on an athletic scholarship at Centenary College in Shreveport, LA during her freshman year. Later, Flanagan also played volleyball and softball as Centenary as each program was established.
Flanagan is currently in her first year of teaching biology at Mount Pleasant High School. Married to Billy Wayne Flanagan, the couple has three children: Patrick, a 2010 MPHS graduate and Southern Methodist University alumnus; Andrew, a 2014 MPHS graduate who is currently attending Texas Tech University; and Sarah Grace, a 2015 MPHS graduate who is currently attending Stephen F. Austin State University.
“It’s nostalgic to now be walking through the same hallways I did as a student,” Flanagan said. “I also feel very honored to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. It means a lot to me to be honored in this way.”
Born and raised in Daingerfield, Coach Marc McDaniel served as head football coach at Mount Pleasant from 1993-2003. During his tenure, he has the distinction of leading the Tigers to the post season ten straight years garnering a total of 11 playoff wins. For two years, teams advanced five games deep in the playoffs to the semifinals. One season, under Coach McDaniel’s leadership, the Mount Pleasant Tigers advanced three games deep in the playoffs losing to the eventual state champions in the quarterfinals. Among his teams’ other notable accomplishments, beating rival Sulphur Springs twice in the same year was a personal highlight for Coach McDaniel.
No stranger to success on the field as an athlete himself, McDaniel played as quarterback for the Daingerfield Tigers when the team won their first of six state championships in 1968. After graduating, McDaniel signed a scholarship to play football at Rice University. He graduated in 1974 and began a successful coaching career which spanned 30 years. For a total of 21 of those years, he served as head coach and carried teams to the playoffs 15 times earning 20 post-season wins.
Married to wife Lisa for almost 42 years, the couple has one son, Matthew.
“I think the reasons for our success during those years were the fact that we had great community and administration support,” McDaniel said. “I also had great support from my own family. School spirit was also excellent during that time and the coaching staff emphasized the fundamentals of football. The staff also worked the players hard, expected their best on and off the field and had high expectations for them. We also had talented players who bought into the system and worked hard to exceed those expectations.”
Marc McDaniel also has the distinction of coaching both of the final two honorees.
Chris Campbell was one of those players who exceeded all expectations. Listed among the Top 100 players in Texas and selected as the Most Valuable Player in East Texas as a senior, Campbell later became a standout player for the University of Miami Hurricanes after graduating from Mount Pleasant High School in 1998. A true freshman, #48 dominated the college football field as an outstanding Hurricane linebacker.
During his days as a Mount Pleasant Tiger, Campbell earned All-State recognition all three years on varsity, was named first-team All-District all three seasons on varsity, assisted his team in winning the district championship in 1997 and was named the state’s Top Sophomore Prospect in 1996. Regarded as one of Texas’ Blue-Chip prospects during the 1998 recruiting season, Campbell played running back and defensive end, rushed for 1,250 yards on 200 carries and scored 13 touchdowns during his senior year.
Campbell also had 146 total tackles including 15 quarterback sacks, four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries his senior year. In addition to excelling on the gridiron, Campbell also qualified for the state regional tournament as a powerlifter as well as lettered in football, basketball, track and field, powerlifting and tennis. Campbell, who will be honored posthumously, died tragically in a car accident in 2002 just months before being drafted to the NFL.
“During the spring of his junior year, Chris made up his mind he wanted to play college football,” Coach McDaniel explained. “And from that point on, he became the hardest worker on the team. During his senior year, when a lot of the students are starting to enjoy just being a senior, Chris would spend all of his extra time in the counselor’s office studying for the ACT. He was fully committed to going to college. He knew where his talents could take him.”
Born May 22, 1980 to Margaret King and Choice “Slim” Thompson, Chaun Thompson realized early on that he had athletic talents taking an interest in sports such as soccer through his junior high years. He remained active in sports during high school participating in basketball, track and later football. He also played the tuba in Mount Pleasant’s Goin’ Gold Band. Graduating in 1998, Thompson attended West Texas A&M University on a football scholarship. After enduring adversity, Thompson finished his last college season with over 100 tackles. In 2002, he was named the Lone Star Conference Linebacker of the Year and was the First Team Associated Press Little American selection in 2002. His college career stats include 358 tackles with 40 for loss, eight sacks, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and three interceptions.
His successes on the field as a college athlete led to a second-round draft to the Cleveland Browns in 2003 where he played through 2007. While in the NFL, Thompson also fulfilled a promise to his late grandmother, Earlene Rivers, when he received his college degree in 2005. Thompson played his final year in the NFL as a Houston Texan during the 2008-09 season. Professionally, Thompson played in 98 games with 30 starts recording 11.5 sacks, 161 tackles, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
Since 2009, Thompson and his wife, Faith, have partnered with the Texas Department of Families and Protective Services (DFPS) to open their own residential treatment center. The facility houses over 30 young men from all over the state who have emotional and psychological disorders.
“Chaun actually didn’t start playing football in high school until his junior year,” Coach McDaniel explained. “He was a talented athlete who concentrated on basketball. As a junior, he started kicking and punting and was instrumental in several game-winning kicks for us. I remember sitting in the stands at a Mount Pleasant basketball game once with a West Texas A&M coach. He was there watching Chaun play basketball and decided he would be a good fit for their football program. We sent Chaun, the boy, to West Texas A&M and West Texas A&M sent back Chaun, the man. He truly became a great athlete.”