2024 Panhandle Sports Hall of Fame Inductees: (L-R) Dr. Laura Switzer and Sheryl Estes

The late Dr. Laura Switzer and Sheryl Estes will be two of six inductees in the 2024 Class to enter the Panhandle Sports Hall of Fame at 2 p.m. on June 9, 2024 at the Amarillo Civic Center’s Grand Plaza. The six inductees will be honored, alongside coaches and athletes of the year from 2023-2024, in 11 sports, and five special award winners.

Switzer, a former Flying Queens All-American, and Estes, former Flying Queens coach who led the Queens to the NAIA National Championship final in 1992 are the ninth and 10th former player and/or coach from Wayland Baptist University to be inducted. This also marks the first time the PSHOF has selected two inductees from Wayland in one year.

Laura Mae Switzer

  • McLean native
  • 3x All-American basketball player for the Flying Queens of Wayland Baptist in the early 1960s
  • Helped lead the Queens to a 90-12 record, one national AAU championship & two national runner-ups
  • Scored 798 points in three years at Wayland and won three consecutive national free-throw shooting titles, first Queen to earn MVP honors at the AAU national tournament
  • On the 1963 Pan American team that won gold over Brazil, 59-43
  • Became the women’s basketball coach at Southwestern Oklahoma State in 1965, spent 36 years with the university
  • Inducted into both the Wayland Baptist Athletics Hall of Fame & the Southwestern Oklahoma State Hall of Fame
    She died on April 19, 2017, two days shy of her 76th birthday

Sheryl Estes

  • Mobeetie native
  • Ran track one year at Texas Tech, then transferred to play basketball at West Texas State under Bob Schneider in the early 1980s
  • Coached 2 years at Canyon High School under Joe Lombard
  • At 28, she became the Wayland Baptist women’s basketball head coach
  • From 1989-96 she coached Wayland to the NAIA national tournament six times & the national title game in 1992.
  • As head coach, she comprised a record of 183-62
  • For two years, she was NAIA president and on the USA Basketball Selection Committee
  • Start-up coaching job at Texas A&M Corpus Christi in 1998, compiled a 46-35 record for a beginning program

PSHOF Inductees from the Wayland Baptist Flying Queens program

1970 – Lometa Odom

1980 – Harley Redin

1994 – Jill Rankin Schneider

2000 – Dean Weese

2005 – Carmen Wynn Parks

2007 – Marsha Sharp

2014 – Cherri Rapp

2024 – Laura Mae Switzer

2024 – Sheryl Estes

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