Skip to main content

McNeese to Induct Three in Rodeo Hall of Fame

McNeese to Induct Three in Rodeo Hall of Fame

(October 27, 2015) Three McNeese State University rodeo members - Wayne Bamford, Jim Campbell and Thomas “Tom” D. Watson Jr. - have been selected for induction into the McNeese Rodeo Hall of Fame.

The induction ceremony and reception for the recipients and their families and friends will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31, in the Chalkley Room at Burton Coliseum – home to the Hall of Fame. The honorees will be introduced that night during the 61st McNeese Rodeo that begins at 6 p.m. in the Burton Complex Outdoor Arena.
           
The McNeese Rodeo Hall of Fame preserves the rich rodeo traditions at McNeese and houses national and regional championship trophies, plaques of Hall of Fame inductees and historic photos. There is an interactive video that provides more information about the Hall of Fame and its members, as well as the history of McNeese rodeo.
           
McNeese rodeo has competed in the Southern Region of the National Collegiate Rodeo Association, which today consists of 12 regions.
           
Bamford, of Parker, Colo., transferred to McNeese from Colorado State University and was rodeo team member from 1962-63. In 1962, he won first place in bull riding at Arlington, Texas, and at Texas A&M. Also in 1962, the rodeo team qualified for the College National Finals Rodeo in Littleton, Colo., and Bamford qualified in bull riding. He graduated from McNeese in 1967 with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture.
           
A native of Morrow, Campbell was a member of the rodeo team from 1961-63 and won competitions in both bareback and bull riding. He was on the rodeo team that went to CNFR in 1962 and 1963. In 1963, he was second runner-up in bull riding in the Southern Region and was also runner-up for most valuable team member. He was a member of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association for three years. He graduated in 1963 with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture business.
           
A Lake Charles native, Watson was a member of the McNeese Junior College Intramural Rodeo Team before the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association was even established. In 1948, he placed first in saddle bronc riding and steer dogging, second in bareback riding and tied for second in steer roping at various competition.

After graduating from McNeese in 1950, Watson enrolled at New Mexico State University to complete his degree and to rodeo. The New Mexico State “Aggies” were charter members of the newly formed NIRA. After graduation, he served in the U.S. Air Force until 1955 where he was discharged from Chennault in Lake Charles. Watson went on to receive his Master of Arts degree in history at the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now University of Louisiana at Lafayette) and his doctorate in history from Texas Tech in Lubbock. He was hired as a history professor in 1972 at McNeese and eventually served as department head from 1990-95.

He is a supporter of McNeese rodeo and has established the McNeese Rodeo/Golden Saddle Scholarships through the McNeese Foundation.