Hall of Honor

Prestigious Alumni Return for Induction

The Cy-Fair High School Athletics Program is known for its excellence and on Nov. 5, six prestige alumni were singled out for their continued excellence in their careers at a special banquet inducting them into its Hall of Honor.

The Hall of Honor Class of 2022 includes Cal McNair (‘79), Fred Whitfield (’86), Robbie Grossman (‘08), Sam McGuffie (‘08), Nneka Ogwumike (‘08), and Chiney Ogwumike (‘10).

Cal McNair was a member of the Cy-Fair High School football team from 1975 to 1978. While at Cy-Fair, McNair was in the top ten percent of this graduating class, named Parliamentarian, earned Merit Scholar, and graduated Cum Laude. After high school, McNair went on to play football at the University of Texas. Following his graduation from the university, he went on to earn his MBA from Rice University in 1995. McNair is currently a chairman, chief executive officer, and owner of the Houston Texans.

“It’s a wonderful night. Cy-Fair meant a lot to me growing up,” McNair said. “Cy-Fair is a community that carries families for generations, it’s a great legacy to be a part of.”

Fred Whitfield was a member of the Cy-Fair High School FFA from 1983 to 1986. He was named the 1990 Resistol PRCA Rookie of the Year. In 1991, 1995, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2002, and 2005 Whitfield was the World Champion in Tie Down Roping. Whitfield was also the 1999 World Champion All-Around Cowboy. He has won every major professional rodeo including the Calgary Stampede four times, the Cheyenne Frontier Days four times, and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo two times. Whitfield has been inducted into many other Professional Rodeo Hall of Fames around the country. In 2013 he released his autobiography book, “Gold Buckles Don’t Lie”.

“The hairs stood up on my neck thinking about the group of people I’m here with today who are also being inducted,¨ Whitfield said. “Cypress was a little sleepy town when I came here, so it’s amazing to see how it’s grown. It really means the world to me.¨

Sam McGuffie was a member of the Cy-Fair football and track team from 2006 to 2008. In 2007, he was named the 17-5A MVP, received All-District, All-State, and All-American honors for football. McGuffie went on to play collegiate football at the University of Michigan and Rice University. At Rice, he was the first football player to amass 1,000 rushing and receiving yards. McGuffie went on to pursue a professional football career, he has played with the Oakland Raiders, Arizona Cardinals, and the New England Patriots. After completing his football career he became an American bobsledder for the United States men’s National team. In 2018, McGuffie competed in the Olympic games finishing 9th in the 4-man bobsled and 25th in the 2-man bobsled. His performance with the US Olympic Bobsled Team earned him the 2018, Men’s Bobsled Athlete of the Year.

“The ‘Bobcat fight never dies’ mantra is more than just a slogan,” McGuffie said. “It’s kind of how you do things. Cy-Fair taught me how to be a man.”
Robbie Grossman was a Cy-Fair Bobcat baseball team member from 2005 to 2008. In 2007, Grossman helped the baseball team earn the 5A State Championship during his junior season. In 2008, Grossman was named First Team All-State and First Team All-American. He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2008 MLB draft. In 2012, Grossman was named the Minor League Player of the Year. Grossman has played for the Houston Astros, Minnesota Twins, Oakland Athletics, and Detroit Tigers. He is currently an outfielder for the Atlanta Braves. Grossman holds the MLB record for most games without an error.

“We had an amazing class of athletes in 2008 and I’m just lucky to be a part of it. I’m honored to be here,” Grossman said. “BFND is a slogan I hear all the time no matter where I am; it always reminds me of home.”

Nneka Ogwumike was a member of the Cy-Fair High School girl’s basketball team from 2005 to 2008, where she helped the team earn the Texas UIL Basketball State Championship in 2008. Nneka was named a 2008 All-American, as well as the National Gatorade Player of the Year. Nneka went on to play collegiate basketball at Stanford University where she earned numerous accolades. In 2012, the Los Angeles Sparks picked Nneka first overall in the 2012 WNBA Draft; she was later selected as the WNBA Rookie of the Year. In 2016, Nneka was named the 2016 WNBA Most Valuable Player.

“Someone asked me this week what it was like to go to school here and the first two words that came to my mind were pride and unity,” Nneka said. “I was just talking to my teammate about how we could probably walk these hallways with our eyes closed and still know exactly where we are. It never leaves you.”

Chiney Ogwumike was a member of the Cy-Fair High School girl’s basketball team from 2006 to 2010. In 2008 and 2010 she helped the team earn the Texas UIL State Championship. Chiney was the Gatorade Player of the Year and had a great basketball career at Stanford University. She holds the All-Time career scoring record for men and women. Chiney was drafted first overall in the 2014 WNBA draft by the Connecticut Suns, where she was also named 2014 Rookie of the Year. Off the court, Chiney stays busy by being the Vice President of the WNBA Players Association and an ESPN Basketball Analyst.

Chiney was unable to attend the banquet, but her sister, Nneka received the award in her place.

“Chiney was my day one,” Nneka said. “She was always my biggest cheerleader and was always on the same path as I was.”

Both Ogwumike sisters appreciate and credit their time at Cy-Fair and the impact it has had on them.

¨Chiney and I know full well that we are able to do what we do, today, and be where we are, today, walk red carpets, and represent ourselves in our community with grace is because of the teachers, leaders, and friends we met at Cy-Fair High School,¨ Nneka said.

The feeling of community was definitely a theme for the evening, as beaming smiles could be found all around the room. Some of the biggest smiles were found on the proud former coaches, as they watched their athletes who were once under their guidance become great role models that continue to leave an impact on their community.

¨Something that all these inductees have in common is what great people they are,” campus athletic director, head football coach, and ‘86 Cy-Fair graduate Jeff Miller said. Whenever we spoke to anyone about them, the first thing they would say is how genuine and what a great friend each and every one of these people are.”

This wasn’t just a night to honor the inductees, it was also a night to honor the coaches who played a huge part in shaping these athletes into who they are and who they will become.

The Hall Of Honor was very active until 2004 when it was put on the back burner. When Miller returned to his alma mater, he wanted to end the Hall’s hiatus and get back to recognizing the greatness of the amazing athletes doing great things.

¨Once we started going back, we realized we have dozens of qualified athletes that need to go into this Hall,” Miller said. ¨Some of these people are qualified to be in the Hall of Fame. This is not just Cy-Fair High School elite, this is the United States elite.¨

Miller brought the idea to head volleyball coach, Donna Benotti, and she began making a committee of people to get things rolling. The committee consisted of Kristy Owens, head basketball coach, Ann Roubique, Brigade coach, Erin Walker, assistant softball coach, Lyndsay Gagner, assistant volleyball coach, Lyndsay Hodges, and Angel Miller.

“Everybody asks me, ‘What’s so special about Cy-Fair?’” Benotti said. “And I really believe it’s our faculty, our staff, and our coaches really love the school and are committed.”

This event was two years in the making. Selecting the honorees and putting on the banquet required a great deal of effort from various Cy-Fair programs, banquet and selection committees, and the honorees.

“As a committee, we decided to utilize our services and students here on campus,” Benotti said. “Our floral design made the arrangements for our centerpieces, our culinary department made the cake and cookies, our woodshop made the wall and the plaques for our inductees, and our theater was in charge of making the stage for the banquet.”