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Chatting with Pokey Chatman
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This week's edition of Sports and Torts features Chicago Sky coach Pokey Chatman and Pro Football Hall of Famer Mel Renfro, who starred at defensive back for the Dallas Cowboys.
Episode Segments:
 
Sports and Torts; Chicago Sky Coach Pokey Chatman

The Chicago Sky are having their best season in franchise history, and are on their way to the playoffs for the first time. Sure, having three all star players help, but a lot of credit needs to go to the woman who put the team together, and also calls the shots on the court - our guest, Sky Head Coach and general manager Pokey Chatman.
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Sports and Torts: Hall of Famer Mel Renfro

Mel Renfro excelled as a blue-chip defensive back for the Dallas Cowboys from 1964 to 1977. The 6-0, 190-pounder, who had been an All-America halfback as well as an outstanding track star at the University of Oregon, was the Cowboys’ second-round pick in the 1964 NFL Draft. It was as cornerback that he enjoyed his greatest success in the NFL. Renfro, who was blessed with 4.65 speed and an exceptional ability for lateral movement, earned a Pro Bowl invitation his first 10 seasons. Renfro played in eight NFL/NFC championship games and four Super Bowls.
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Guest(s) Appearing on this Episode
Pokey Chatman
Chatman comes to the Sky from three years of coaching professional women’s basketball in Russia and 15 years on the coaching staff at LSU, her alma mater. She served two seasons as an assistant coach of Russian Spartak Moscow Region before being promoted to head coach in 2010. That year, Chatman led the team to a perfect 16-0 record in the Euroleague, the most competitive European basketball league, and also claimed the esteemed 2010 Euroleague Championship. Chatman also coached the Slovakian national women’s basketball team from 2008-2010. In 2009 she took the traditionally unsuccessful Slovakian squad to the EuroBasket in Riga, where they narrowly missed a spot in the FIBA World Championship. Chatman was named head coach of the LSU Lady Tigers in the 2003-2004 season, when Sue Gunter was forced to take medical leave mid-season. Chatman went a remarkable 47-3 in her first 50 games as head coach, the second best starting record in women’s basketball history. As head coach, she took the Tigers to three consecutive finishes in the Final Four. For her work in her first full season as a head coach, she was named the U.S. Basketball Writers Association National Coach of the Year, Women’s Basketball Coaches Association National Coach of the Year, Naismith National Coach of the Year and the Victor Award Female Coach of the Year. Chatman earned a coaching record of 90-14 with the Lady Tigers in three seasons as head coach and 15 seasons overall. She has earned two gold medals with USA basketball, first as a player for the Junior National Team in 1987, and then as an assistant coach of the World University team in 2005. As an LSU point guard from 1987-1991, Chatman led the Lady Tigers to their first ever SEC Tournament title in 1991, and earned recognition as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. In her playing career at LSU, she was named All-SEC three times, named Kodak All-American in 1991, and set 20 school records. Chatman earned her Bachelor’s Degree from LSU in December of 1991. She is originally from Ama, Louisiana.

Pokey on Twitter

 
Mel Renfro
Mel was born on December 30, 1941 in Houston, Texas. After graduating high school in Portland, Oregon he attended the University of Oregon, where he excelled as a track star and as a two-way football player, an All-American halfback and defensive back. In his three seasons with the Ducks, Renfro rushed for 1,532 yards and scored 141 points. One of Renfro's best collegiate games took place against Rice University at Houston in 1962. Renfro shined on both offense and defense, leading the Ducks to a 31-12 victory. Rice Stadium had been a whites-only facility prior to the Ducks' visit, but university officials allowed Renfro's family to enter and sit in a special section of the stadium near the 35-yard line. According to a contemporary account in the Eugene (Ore.) Register-Guard, when Renfro left the game, he was given a loud and appreciative ovation by the Rice crowd. An Oregon sportswriter asked a Houston counterpart in the press box if an African-American had ever received such an ovation by a predominantly white crowd. The Texan enthusiastically replied, "We've never seen any player that good!" The morning after the game, a Houston paper headlined, "Renfro Runs Rice Ragged." In 1986, Renfro was enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame and is a member of The Pigskin Club of Washington, D.C., a National Intercollegiate All-American Football Players Honor Roll. As a track star at Oregon, Renfro was part of a world record-setting 440 yard relay team in 1962, with a time of 40.0 seconds. Renfro was drafted by the Cowboys in the second round of the 1964 NFL Draft. He was initially placed as a safety, but was switched to cornerback in his fifth season. The speedy Renfro became an exceptional threat to wide receivers. Mel led the NFL with 10 interceptions in 1969. Renfro was selected to the Pro Bowl in each of his first ten seasons in the League, including five All-Pro selections in 1964, 1965, 1969, 1971, and 1973. Mel also was a significant threat on special teams, performing punt and kickoff return duties in addition to playing on defense, leading the league in punt and kickoff return yardage in 1964. In his fourteen seasons, Renfro intercepted 52 passes, returning them for 626 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also returned 109 punts for 842 yards and 1 touchdown, 85 kickoffs for 2,246 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with recording 13 fumble recoveries, which he returned for 44 yards. In the 1970 NFC title game, Renfro had a key interception that led to the Cowboys' game-winning touchdown over the San Francisco 49ers that helped them get to Super Bowl V, where they lost to the Baltimore Colts. He would later play in Super Bowls VI, X and XII, retiring after the final one, a Cowboys victory over the Denver Broncos. Renfro was added to the Texas Stadium Ring of Honor in 1981, and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1996.

Mel's Website