Trio to be inducted into RHS Athletic Hall of Fame Friday
By Jim Turner

Posted on January 1, 0001 12:00 AM

Bubba Wells and Johnny Guion are going in as former athletes while alumnus Buddy Linton will be included in the coaches' wing.

Three men who helped create Russellville High School sports history are to be inducted into the RHS Athletic Hall of Fame Friday between games with visiting Franklin-Simpson.
To be honored as athletes are late-fifties football and basketball standout Johnny Guion and early nineties basketball superstar Charles 'Bubba' Wells. Going in as a coach is Maurice 'Buddy' Linton, who also was a Panther athlete. The Hall of Fame is sponsored by the Russellville Alumni Association. Here's a look at the inductees. The part in bold face is material for their plague.

Charles 'Bubba' Wells was a highly recruited basketball player on the way to being the top national college scorer and being drafted into the NBA.... Led Panthers to two state Class A Classics, two 13th District championships and the 4th region finals for first time in 31 years... Scored 33 points in the Class A Classic at Rupp Arena, earning all-state tournament honors... Scored 40 against Todd Central in Class A region and 25 in regional finals... Scored 78 points in 4th Region Tournament as a senior, including 22 in finals... As a junior scored 30 in Class A region opener and 18 at state at Memorial Coliseum...Scored 26 in regional opener and 36 in 4th Region semifinals loss as a junior... Two-time all-district, all-region, and all-regional tournament and 2nd team all-state.... Averaged 25 points per game as a senior and over 60 percent final two seasons
Wells, who grew two inches between his sophomore and junior seasons, played on Coach Phil Todd's first two RHS basketball teams. Todd is a member of the Hall of Fame both as a player and a coach.
Bubba accepted the scholarship offer of Austin Peay State University and had a great career there. He was selected Ohio Valley Conference Freshman of the Year with an 11.7 ppg average. In his third collegiate season, the 6'6 guard shot a remarkable 43.6 percent from three-point range while averaging 26.3 ppg (third in the nation). He was also named MVP of the Ohio Valley Conference tournament while leading the Governors to an appearance in the NCAA tournament, where they played Georgia Tech. He was a three-time first-team All-OVC choice.
As a senior, despite missing the first 12 games of the season due to injury, Wells averaged 31.7 ppg, which would have led the nation had he not fallen just short of playing in enough games to qualify for the title. He was named Ohio Valley Player of the Year and was ranked the number one offensive player coming out of college in Superscout Marty Blake's offensive rankings leading into the draft. Wells left Austin Peay as the school's all-time leading scorer with 2,267 points and had his jersey number retired in a ceremony on Jan. 22, 1998.
He also was two-time Tennessee Sportswriters College Basketball Player of the Year in competition with players from the University of Tennessee, Vanderbilt University and Memphis State University, in addition to several other Division I colleges.
The Dallas Mavericks selected Wells in the second round of the 1997 NBA draft. He chose to wear number 35 in Dallas in honor of being selected 35th overall in the draft. He appeared in 39 games for the Mavs and drew the starting assignment in two games. He posted a career-high on Feb. 19, 1998 with 21 points, nine rebounds and seven assists against the San Antonio Spurs.
After the season, Wells was traded along with Martin Muursepp, the draft rights to Pat Garrity and a future draft choice to the Phoenix Suns for Steve Nash. He never played for the Suns but did continue his career overseas playing in both The Philippines and Greece. After returning to the States, Wells played two seasons for the Harlem Globetrotters.
When he played for the Globetrotters, he joined eight-year Globetrotter Otis Key, who also was his teammate at RHS in 1990-92 and at APSU.
Austin Peay named Wells to its Athletics Hall of Fame in 2003 and today he is an assistant coach with the men's basketball team.
APSU had this to say about Bubba when he was named assistant coach: "Charles 'Bubba' Wells, the 1997 Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year and two-time OVC “Male Athlete of the Year” who gained national attention for his miraculous return from a leg stress fracture, was hired in June 2005 as a full-time assistant.

"Wells, who battled assorted leg problems throughout his college and pro careers... built a reputation as not only one of the program’s greatest players in history but as well in a conference where he was billed as one of the best during its 60-year existence. He is considered by many the most popular player in OVC history."
Bubba is married to the former Tracee Jones, head women's basketball coach at Tennessee State. Wells served as a supporter to Jones on NBC's hit TV show, "Deal or No Deal." They have a daughter.
Maurice 'Buddy' Linton could coach golf with finesse or football with firmness... Helped coach RHS to six state football finals... Built RHS boys golf team from elementary students to being ready to win the state championship when he became an administrator.. Began coaching/teaching in city schools in 1960, served as first Stevenson Elementary Principal, and was assistant superintendent for 16 years until retirement in 1991. Continued active support of team and schools afterwards... As a player, co-captained 1949 Panther team that went 9-1 and won by average of three TD's per game... Recovered key fumble in Thanksgiving game against Bowling Green as a junior.

Linton's senior football coach at RHS was the legendary Jimmy Haynes, who had a 19-1 record as head of Panther football.

After graduation, Buddy attended Sewanee Military Academy where he played baseball, basketball and football. From there he served two years as a paratrooper in the U.S. Army as a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division. He then attended the University of Kentucky and Western Kentucky University, where he earned two degrees and a Rank I with administrative certification.

He was hired by Superintendent R.E. Stevenson as a teacher and coach in 1960. Eleven years later he was named the first principal of the elementary school named in Stevenson's honor. Four years later he became assistant superintendent of the city schools, working closely with Superintendent Jim Young for 16 years until Linton's retirement.

Buddy developed the RHS boys golf team but had to give up coaching for a while when he became an administrator. That next year the golfers won the 1970 state championship, setting a team scoring record at the time.

He served as an assistant football coach under Waymond Morris, Stumpy Baker, Jim Gladden, Wayne Shoemaker and Ken Barrett, helping Morris', Baker's and Barrett's teams reach the state finals. He was part of the staff when Barrett's Bunch won state championships in 1980 and 1983. The two coaches with whom he is most closely associated, Barrett and Howard Wren, are also in the Hall of Fame. So is his co-captain of that great 1949 football team, the late Jimmy Sanford.

The epitome of a Southern gentleman, Linton handled his duties as a coach, teacher and administrator firmly and calmly. As a younger man he was active in the community in preserving history and was the founding president of Russellville Optimist Club. He is married to the former Paula Pillow. They have two grown daughters and two grandchildren, who also played for the Panthers.

Johnny Guion was a true student athlete, excelling both in football and basketball and in the classroom... SKY League football MVP and leading scorer as a senior, along with throwing 10 touchdown passes-- 8 to WKC's first African American player, Charlie Lewis--- As co-captain, scored winning touchdowns against Trigg County... threw for one touchdown and rushed for the other in 12-7 win over Glasgow... threw 4 TD passes in win over Henderson County as a junior... Threw touchdown pass in 7-6 win over Henderson County as sophomore... A four-year starter in basketball, he helped Panthers reach the regional tournament three years... Scored total of 39 points in wins over Franklin and Bowling Green as Panthers won SKY Tournament championship as junior... Helped RHS win county tournament as a senior.

The late Harold Hunter was Johnny's football coach throughout high school. His final basketball coach was Jim Young. The induction ceremony will be in the gymnasium named for Young.

After being named salutatorian of the RHS Class of 1959, Guion chose to concentrate on studying business in college instead of playing sports. He used that education in helping the Guion family grocery business to be an important part of Russellville commerce for decades before closing it and entering a different kind of service to the public.

He had been elected one of Russellville's youngest-ever city council members while operating Guion's Market. After his retirement from the business, he was elected Logan County Judge/Executive for four terms totaling 17 years until he decided not to run again in 2006. During his tenure, the county built a new jail, sheriff's office and communications center while starting a recycling program. Through his leadership, the county built a solid financial foundation with the enactment of an occupational and net profits tax.

By his side throughout his years as a businessman and as the county's chief executive officer was his wife, the former Patsy Danks. They are the parents of two children and have two grandchildren. Their son-in-law, Mark Coursey, is the school system's accountant.

Each of the inductees has someone to welcome them to the Hall of Fame. Serving as Buddy Linton's inductor will be his nephew,Tim Willians, who was a key member of that 1980 state championship team. Welcoming Guion to the Hall of Fame will be two of his former teammates, brothers Ike and Dan Duncan. Serving as Wells' inductor will be Korlin 'Corky' Harrison, who was his first basketball coach at Russellville Middle School.

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