David Terre has received many awards and honors for his achievements during his lifetime.
But he says this is the one that makes him most proud.
Terre recently was inducted into the Washington School District’s WINGS Educational Foundation Hall of Honor, receiving the alumni award.
The WINGS Hall of Honor was formed to recognize alumni, community contributors and educators who have shown exceptional personal, community or professional achievement.
Joining Terre as the 2012 honorees were Ron Cowan, community contributor award, and Gene Hunt, educator award.
“This is the most important award I’ve ever been given,” said Terre, who canceled a trip to Ireland to be on hand to receive the honor. “Washington is where I grew up. My classmates would have never picked me to win this award back in our school days. Thousands of kids have come through Washington High School. For me to be the fourth recipient of this award is quite an honor. There’s nothing quite like being honored in the town you grew up in, especially with family and friends alongside.”
Terre, 73 years of age, grew up in Washington, where he attended Immanuel Lutheran School. He graduated from Washington High School in 1956.
He continued his education at Moberly Junior College and Drake University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration in 1960.
The youngest of four children, Terre’s mother died when he was 2 years old. Unable to care for the children on the farm, his father moved the family to Washington.
To make ends meet, his father held many jobs. Times were tough and to earn spending money, Terre started working odd jobs at the age of 9 and never stopped.
Terre’s basketball career started at WHS and it would be the catalyst that would shape the rest of his life.
His two biggest influences were his father and his basketball coach at WHS, Pete Curl.
“My first two years in high school, I didn’t make the B team,” Terre said. “Pete Curl then took the basketball job at Washington. He stopped me in the hall one day, I was probably 6 feet 4 inches tall at the time, and asked me if I was coming out for the team. That turned my life around. He was willing to work with me. Frank Wood was about the only player on the team who encouraged me.”
Terre made the team as a junior and became a factor by his senior season.
“I didn’t play much during my junior year, but I worked hard and I got better,” Terre said. “By my senior year, I was 6 foot 6, and had a few skills as a player.”
During Terre’s senior season, the Blue Jays had a 26-4 record, losing in the regional finals to Maplewood by three points.
“We had a very good team that came up a little short,” said Terre, who scored 18 points in the game.
After graduating from WHS, Terre accepted a basketball scholarship to Moberly Junior College, where he helped his team achieve a No. 1 national junior college ranking.
“I attracted quite a few scholarships in Missouri, but Moberly intrigued me,” Terre said. “They had won a couple of national championships and were a great program.”
Maurice John, who began his career in Union, was Terre’s coach at Moberly. He left to take the head coaching position at Drake University. And Terre followed his coach to the Des Moines, Iowa, institution.
“I went to Drake because of Maurice John, but also because of the academics,” Terre said. “I grew up very poor. I was really motivated to get a college degree.”
Terre still holds the Des Moines Veterans Auditorium one-game record of 26 rebounds and is one of only two players to ever score over 20 points and pull down over 20 rebounds in the same game twice in one season. He finished his college career by being selected to play for the North in the annual North/South All-Star Game.
After college, Terre was determined to stay in sports, but did not want to go into coaching. He found the perfect fit at Wilson Sporting Goods and it turned into a successful 47-year career. He rose through the ranks to become vice president of sales, responsible for all domestic sales.
Along the way, he also served as manager of European sales operations while living in Germany, was marketing coordinator of new product introductions, and at one time was responsible for all West Coast distribution operations.
While working for Wilson in Germany, Terre was able to fulfill his dream of playing professional basketball when he signed a contract to play for Antwerp Ford in the Belgium Pro League.
Terre also played for one season in the ABL (American Basketball League) with the Kansas City Steers.
Starting in 1999, he began playing basketball for the USA Team in International Senior Olympic Competition. His team won the silver medal in Uruguay in 1999, a gold in Slovenia in 2001, and again captured gold in 2003 at Disney World Sports Center in Orlando, Fla.
Some of Terre’s other awards include the Moberly Junior College Hall of Fame (1994), the Drake University Hall of Fame (1982), Wilson Sporting Goods Hall of Fame (2003), the 1960-69 Drake All-Decade Team and Outstanding Moberly Community College Alumni Award (2007).
After his retirement from Wilson in 2008, Terre became involved in various volunteer causes in his community and in 2011 was elected with 57 percent of the votes to The Colony City Council.
During his campaign, NFL Dallas Cowboys Hall of Fame Quarterback Roger Staubach wrote: “Dave Terre has been my friend for over 20 years. He is a man of character and integrity.”
Terre and his wife Renee have been married since 1963 and live in The Colony, Texas, a suburb of Dallas with a population of 42,000. They have two children, Mike and Jennifer, who also reside in the Dallas area.