Helped Lead SFA to National Track Championship

By Will Johnson
Messenger Reporter

EAST TEXAS – Former Ralph Bunche High School and Stephen F. Austin State University standout Andy “Shay” Hopkins passed away on Saturday morning, Sept. 30 at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital in Sugar Land. Born in Crockett, the 67-year-old Hopkins was inducted into the SFA Athletics Hall of Fame in 1999.

Following his high school career, Hopkins signed to play football and run track at SFA. On the gridiron, Hopkins set numerous records for the Lumberjacks during his tenure from 1967 until 1970 and is still one of only three players with over 3,000 on the ground. Gus Johnson and Leonard Harris are the other two.

While he was a star on the gridiron, he was a superstar on the track. He still holds the SFA record in the 100 meter dash which he set in 1968. During that same year, Hopkins was part of SFA’s 4 x 100m relay team along with Bill Cramer, Henry Malone and Doug Moore which won the NAIA national title in that event held in Albuquerque, N.M.

Hopkins also laid claim to the 200m dash national championship in 1968 with a time of 20.9.

Once his college days were over, Hopkins was drafted in the 15th round of the NFL draft by the Houston Oilers. While he played parts of three seasons with the Oilers, it was when he made a move north of the border to play in the Canadian Football League that his career really took off.

He split five seasons between the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and the Montreal Alouettes and was selected as an All-Star in three of those years. Hopkins led the CFL in rushing during 1973 and in his final season, he helped lead the Alouettes to a Grey Cup (the Canadian Super Bowl) championship.

Hopkins is survived by his wife, four children and a grandchild. Services are tentatively scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 7 at the Andrew J. Hopkins Activity Center in Crockett.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.