Former East Central University football player Tom Darter has been named the recipient of the 2015 Milam Award.
The Milam Award is presented annually at ECU’s homecoming football game to a former Tiger football player who not only excelled in the classroom and on the gridiron, but also distinguished himself in his chosen career. The award is named in honor of Joe Milam, a former educator and coach in the states of Oklahoma and Texas.
The award will be presented to Darter at halftime of ECU’s homecoming game against Arkansas-Monticello, Saturday, Oct. 31. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. on Norris Field at Koi Ishto Stadium.
Darter is a 1973 Education graduate of ECU and played for the Tigers from 1969-72. During his time in an orange and black uniform, Darter played wide receiver and slot back under head coach Elvan George and Pat O’Neal. In his final two seasons, he led the team in receiving yards with over 200 each season.
After earnings his education degree, Darter spent one season teaching and coaching at Wayne High School in Oklahoma and then three years at San Marcos High School and a year at Odessa High School in Texas.
In 1980, Darter changed directions and started Jet Specialty, Inc., a grassroots business out of his garage. With hard work, the company took off after several years and is now known as a highly- regarded fabricator and supplier of oilfield equipment and supplies in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico.
The company has remained a family business, as all three of Darter’s children with wife Cathy are employed at the company (Chad, Courtney and Cling).
“I have many wonderful memories of the time I spent in Ada,” Darter said. “The faculty, administrators and staff at ECU engaged with the students and made the whole university involved in the education of the entire student body.”
This is the 44th-straight year in which the Milam Award has been handed out, with the first being presented in 1972.