Five new members inducted in MSU Sports Hall of Fame

Bill Buckley
By: 
DANNY P. SMITH
Staff Writer

Bill Buckley can relate to what Mississippi State players Gabe Myles, Kobe Jones and Willie Gay Jr. are going through right now.

After playing football at Starkville High School, Buckley went on to perform four years with the Bulldogs.

It was an opportunity Buckley has never taken for granted.

“Growing up in Starkville and always being a Bulldog fan and being a hometown guy, I think I was one of the first guys from Starkville to go have a four-year career there with success, so that was special,” Buckley said.

Buckley was part of a five-member class inducted into the Mississippi State Sports Hall of Fame this weekend. He joined John Correro, Mario Haggan, Walt Harris and Phil Still.

The group was recognized at a Friday night banquet and were introduced to the crowd during halftime of Saturday’s game against UMass. Buckley was introduced at the banquet by his high school quarterback Paul Millsap.
“They always ask you to recruit someone to introduce you and he was gracious enough to come and do that,” Buckley said.

Buckley was a four-year letterman for the Bulldogs from 1970-72 as a wide receiver after playing for the Starkville Yellowjackets.

“My time at Starkville High School and playing high school ball was the best ever because you grew up with those guys, they are your neighbors and you know them,” Buckley said. “It just doesn’t get any better.

“Starkville High School had a history of having good teams, had great coaches and a great facility. That just was a special time for me.”

Once at Mississippi State, Buckley led the Southeastern Conference twice in receptions with 47 in 1972 and 41 in 1973. He also led the conference with 776 yards in 1972 and was drafted in the 11th round by the New York Jets.

Buckley has remained involved with the MSU program through his work with the Mississippi chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes for the last 22 years. He now serves as the FCA state director.

Harris started as a freshman art cornerback for coach Jackie Sherrill’s Bulldogs. As a sophomore, he tied the school record with six interceptions. He is tied with Johnthan Banks for the most picks in MSU history with 16.
Haggan, who also played for Sherrill, was one of the best linebackers in State history. He was a member of the 1998 SEC Western Division championship squad and part of a unit that led the nation in total defense in 1999.

As an All-SEC selection and second-team All-American in 2000, Haggan finished his career with 359 total tackles, which is the eighth most on the all-time Bulldog list. He was drafted by the Buffalo Bills and played 10 years in the National Football League.

Correro was the quarterback at MSU from 1959-61, worked with the M-Club Alumni Association for 40 years and was part of the radio broadcast crew from 1979 until this year.

Still was a three-year letterman in baseball for the Bulldogs and was a part of the first College World Series team in 1971. He was a big part of that run with a .972 fielding percentage, 42 runs scored, 11 home runs and 37 runs batted in.

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