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Coach, teacher and entrepreneur are all titles Tom Darter has been known by. This spring the title of East Central University Distinguished Alumni is added to that list. He will be one of four alumni receiving the honor on Friday, May 5 at the ECU Evening of Honors and Recognition.

“I am very honored to be included in a tremendous group of individuals who have also been recognized for their achievements,” Darter said. “Fifty years ago, this was not something I could have ever imagined.”

After graduating from Boise City High School in 1969, Darter received a football scholarship from ECU and played on the Tiger football team from 1969-1973 and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Education.

“ECU holds a special place in my heart because of all the special people I became entwined with,” Darter said. “I met my beautiful wife, Cathy Tweedy, there and I made numerous lifelong friends that I see on a regular basis several times a year.”

The couple married in December 1973.

After college, he embarked on a 5-year journey teaching and coaching in Wayne, Oklahoma; San Marcos, Texas; and Odessa, Texas.

Darter resigned from education in 1978.

 “I was in Odessa at the time, so if you could walk and talk, you could get a sales job,” he said. “I found out I was quite talented at talking to clients.”

After a couple years, Darter wanted to venture out and start his own business. On May 15, 1980, he began a small startup in his garage. The company, Jet Specialty, Inc., has grown into one of the largest independent oilfield supply and fabrication companies with more than 400 employees and 20 locations throughout Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico.

Darter and Cathy currently reside in Boerne, Texas, where they have raised their three children: Chad Darter, Courtney Bruce, and Clint Darter who all live in Boerne and work in the family business. The Darters have nine grandchildren.

Tom Darter will be honored at 6 p.m. Friday, May 5, at the Chickasaw Business and Conference Center.  

Sponsorships for the event are available at various levels for the event. A Gold Sponsorship for $3,000 includes tickets and prime seating for 16 attendees, event signage, special event recognition and drink tickets.

A Silver Sponsorship for $1,500 consists of ticket seating for eight attendees, recognition in the program, acknowledge in press releases and drink tickets.

A Bronze Sponsorship for $250 includes tickets and seating for two, recognition in the program and drink tickets.

Individual tickets are also available at $75 each. Advance tickets are recommended.

To register, contact the Office of Alumni Relations at or at 580-559-5561 or visit

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