Temerian Named to RHS Sports Hall of Fame

Thursday, August 14, 2014
Coach Paul Temerian

The late Paul Temerian will be inducted into the Rector High School Sports Hall of Fame as part of the Induction Class of 2014.

Temerian joined the Rector program as head coach in 1985. He and his wife, Lura, had retired to her hometown of Rector following several years of residing in Michigan. Temerian had an incredible coaching career at Royal Oak Kimball High School in Royal Oak, Mich., where he posted a lifetime record of 130-40-1. Temerian never had a losing season at Royal Oak Kimball, and was selected as Michigan Coach of the Year in 1980. He was inducted in the Michigan Football Coaches Hall of Fame in 1982 and in 1983 entered the Michigan High School Sports Hall of Fame.

When Temerian came to then Clay County Central High School, he took over a program which had been struggling without achieving a winning season since football returned to the school in 1972. Temerian's first team, the 1985 Cougars, finished the year with a 2-6-1 record. Temerian's influence led to a quick turnaround, as the 1986 Cougars improved to a 5-4 mark, its first winning season since the sport returned.

The respected coach's efforts paid off even more in 1987, when the Cougars finished the season with a high mark of 8-2, the best regular season in the program's history, and earned the team the conference championship. CCC also qualified for the state playoffs for the first time in football. Temerian was named District Coach of the Year following the impressive showing.

The 1989 Cougars also had a strong season, finishing 7-3 overall.

Temerian's 1993 team matched the school-best record with an 8-2 regular season. The Cougars finished 6-2 in conference play, overcoming numerous injuries to tie for third in the conference. The season included a notable 37-6 victory over rival Piggott in the first game of the season. The strong campaign was a fitting farewell to Temerian in his final year as head coach of the Cougars, though he continued to serve as an assistant and advisor for the next few seasons.

Temerian's overall record at CCC as head coach was 49-39-1. While those numbers may not stand out as much as those he put together in Michigan, Temerian was instrumental in bringing success and stability to a Cougar football program which was in dire need of leadership. His impact remains to this day through the memories and support of his former players.

"Coach Temerian had a hard-nosed style, but you knew that whatever he expected from you was the same thing he would expect from anyone," former player Richard Petty, a member of 1987 team, said. "You had to earn his respect, but once you did that, he'd do anything he could for you. He earned the respect of his players and everyone else by the way he carried himself."

"Without Coach Temerian, I don't think there's a football program in Rector today," current RHS head coach and member of the 1987 Cougars David Hendrix said. "He taught us more than just football; he taught us lessons that will influence us the rest of our lives."

Temerian is joined by Rudy Pruett, Don Sinko and Les McKeel in the Induction Class of 2014. The induction ceremony will be part of the annual Hall of Fame Luncheon at the Rector High School gym, at which time representatives of the individual inductees will be presented with a plaque. The luncheon will be at noon Saturday, Aug. 30, with the induction ceremony immediately following the meal. Details regarding the luncheon may be obtained by contacting Owen B. Moseley at (870) 935-4039.

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