The Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame
proudly presents its

Class of 2015

Lloyd Gardner, Sharon Garland, Randy Marsh,
Mel Purcell, Paul Sanderford, Shandelier Boyd Smith
and Keeneland Race Course, too! 


Kosair Charities and the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame announced
the seven 2015 inductees for the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame.
The Class of 2015 inductees were honored at our banquet
at Louisville's Crowne Plaza Hotel on Wednesday,  June 17, 2015.

The Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame recognizes athletes and sports figures who were born in, or who played their respective sport, in the state of Kentucky. Each inductee is recognized with a bronze plaque that will hang inside Louisville’s Freedom Hall. Past inductees include Muhammad Ali, Pee Wee Reese, Pat Day, Denny Crum and many more.


KAHF Class of 2015 inductee Shandelier Boyd Smith (black gown) poses for friends with some of her family members, including her young sons, Xavier and Canaan. Smith is one of seven Bluegrass State athletic standouts in our Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2015. 
KAHF photos by Jim Reed.




Randy Marsh, 66, being interviewed by Bruce Snyder of CN\2 during the pre-banquet reception, goes into the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame as "one of the most respected and accomplished umpires in Major League Baseball history."  Marsh told our crowd at The Crowne Plaza in Louisville that he was only 15 years old when he began umpiring in the Covington Little Leagues.



Still chiseled at age 55, world class tennis star Mel Purcell seems to be reaching far back into his memory bank as he regales the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame crowd with tales of his 10 year career as a professional tennis player. The Murray, Kentucky, product, who was already playing tennis as a third grader, animatedly recounted both his on-the-court (Wimbledon) and off-the-court (backgammon) competition with Jimmy Connors and friends.





Sharon Garland was the go-to player in high school, leading her Laurel County basketball squad to three straight state championships: in 1977, ’78 and ’79. She scored 2,130 points in her high school career. In her collegiate career, she played for UK one year then transferred to Western. She has been an elementary school counselor since 1990.




Getting animated in his acceptance speech, Paul Sanderford has the KAHF crowd, including induction banquet emcee Dick Gabriel in background, in stitches as he is anything but sedate in his acceptance speech on becoming a member of the KAHF Class of 2015. Sanderford built a women’s basketball dynasty at Western Kentucky University where his WKU teams amassed 365 victories and a .753 winning percentage, including a dozen trips to the NCAA tournament, in his 15 seasons as head coach.




Lloyd Gardner, a Fairdale, Ky., native, notes Paul Rogers of WHAS radio, "was a football player in high school, but it was the sport of basketball that had the greatest impact on him … and he on it." His tenure includes stints with Western, the Kentucky Colonels and Fairdale High School. Though he retired from coaching in 2005, he is still tournament director of the popular King of the Bluegrass tournament, and now he is one of the newest members of the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame.




Keeneland Race Course, located in Central Kentucky’s Bluegrass region, plays an important role in Thoroughbred breeding and racing. As the world’s top Thoroughbred auction house, Keeneland has sold more champions and stakes winners than any other sales company. A National Historic Landmark, Keeneland held its first racing meet in October 1936. Today, Keeneland’s spring and fall meets rank among the nation’s top racing programs for purse money, field size, quality and fan attendance. Keeneland will host the Breeders’ Cup World Championships in 2015.




All of our celebrated KAHF 2015 honorees were asked to the Crowne Plaza dais for a flurry of photos. Seated (left to right) are Lloyd Gardner, Sharon Garland, Shandelier Boyd Smith and Mel Purcell. Standing (l-r) are KAHF President Jim Ellis, high school athletes Skyler Griffith and Leah Stevens, Paul Sanderford, Keeneland’s Vince Gabbert, Randy Marsh and event emcee Dick Gilbert.





Please check back over the next few days
for dozens of photos of all of our inductees,
as well coverage of as our two High School Athletes of the Year, Leah Stevens and Skyler Griffith, and the attending crowd. We will also be posting a full and complete report of our June 17, 2015, induction ceremony!
KAHF photos by Jim Reed.



Click here for photos and write-ups on our two honored 2015 Kentucky high school athletes.



Meet our Class of 2015:

Paul Sanderford

Women’s Basketball Head Coach, 1982-97; Men’s Basketball Assistant Coach, 2003-07.

Paul Sanderford coached WKU women’s basketball 15 seasons (1982-97), winning 365 of 485 games (75.3%). His teams posted 15 winning seasons and played in 14 post-season tourneys (including 3 Final Fours – ’85, ’86 and ’92 – with a runner-up finish in ’92). He later coached at Nebraska before returning to WKU, where he put in 4 years (’03-07) as an aide on the men’s staff. His college head-coaching record – at WKU, Nebraska & Louisburg Junior College – is 616-208.




Randy Marsh

Director, Major League Umpires

Randy Marsh joined the Major League Umpire Staff in 1981 after umpiring in the minors for 13 years. He worked four All-Star games, five Division Series, eight League Championship Series, and five World Series in 28 years. He took part in the first Joint Committee on Training and assisted writing the first Major League Umpire Manual. He was appointed Director of Umpires in 2011. He graduated from Covington Holmes High School in 1967 and the Al Somers Umpire School and served in the U.S. Army Reserve from 1968-74. Randy and his wife, Roxanne, have a daughter, Lauren.







Sharon Garland

Sharon Garland led Laurel County High School to three consecutive State Championships in 1977, 1978 and 1979. She was the leading scorer in all three of the championship games. No other player in the history of the Girls’ State Tournament has accomplished this.








Lloyd Gardner

Born in Fairdale, Ky., Lloyd "Pink" Gardner was a manager/student trainer at Fairdale High School in 1958 and at Western Kentucky University from 1962-66. He was trainer, travel secretary and equipment manager for the ABA Kentucky Colonels in 1967-68 and 1971-76. He was part of the World Championships with the Kentucky Colonels in 1975 and with the Kentucky Bourbons pro softball team in 1981. As a head coach at Fairdale for 14 years, his teams won three Regional Titles. His 1994 team won the KHSAA State Basketball Championship.



Shandelier Boyd Smith

Shandy Boyd Smith is one of Kentucky’s most decorated track athletes. She won 11 state titles at Valley High School and was two-time Gatorade Athlete of the Year, Associated Press Athlete of the Year, Outstanding Female Athlete and Kentucky Girls Sports Association All-Star. She made All-Region honors in basketball and took part in the Kentucky East/West All-Star Game. She was a member of the 1992 U.S. Junior Olympic Team. At Ohio State University, she was a seven-time Big Ten Champion, four-time All American, and Olympic Trials participant.








Mel Purcell

Mel Purcell was one of the quickest, most flamboyant players on the ATP Tour. In 1978-79 he received the wild card into the Louisville Pro Classic. He was a Gold Medal winner in the Pan Am Games in 1979 in singles and doubles. He won NCAA titles in doubles and indoor singles at the University of Tennessee in 1980. He was ATP Rookie of the Year in 1980 and reached a career-high ranking of 17th in the world. In 1983 he made the finals of Monte Carlo and the quarterfinals of Wimbledon. He has wins over eight former No. 1-ranked players.





Keeneland Race Course

Located in Central Kentucky’s Bluegrass region, Keeneland plays an important role in Thoroughbred breeding and racing. As the world’s top Thoroughbred auction house, Keeneland has sold more champions and stakes winners than any other sales company. A National Historic Landmark, Keeneland held its first racing meet in October 1936. Today, Keeneland’s Spring and Fall Meets rank among the nation’s top racing programs for purse money, field size, quality and fan attendance. Keeneland will host the Breeders’ Cup World Championships in 2015.

* * *




Check back soon for more photos and reports
 from our June 17, 2015, induction ceremony!



Looking Back:



The Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame
has proudly inducted its
Class of 20

Induction: Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Grand Ballroom
Crowne Plaza Louisville Hotel

830 Phillips Lane

Louisville, Kentucky 40209



Kosair Charities and the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame announce
the seven 2014 inductees for the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame.
Our inductees were honored at our banquet on Wednesday,  June 18, 2014.

The Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame recognizes athletes and sports figures who were born in, or who played their respective sport, in the state of Kentucky. Each inductee will be recognized with a bronze plaque that will hang inside Louisville’s Freedom Hall. Past inductees include Muhammad Ali, Pee Wee Reese, Pat Day, Denny Crum and many more.

seven 2014 inductees were:

Paul Rogers Susan Bradley-Cox

Stan Hardin Rudell Stitch

Bill Miller Charles "Redd" Crabtree

 and the Valhalla Golf Club




The Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame honored its Class of 2014, inducted on June 18, 2014, at Louisville’s Crowne Plaza Hotel. (Seated, l-r) Stan Hardin; Susan Bradley-Cox; Redd Crabtree; and representing Rudell Stitch, his son, Darryl Stitch;
(Standing, l-r)  Event emcee sportscaster Kent Taylor; Paul Rogers; high school honoree Nacarius Fant; Valhalla general manager Keith Reese; Bill Miller and KAHF President Jim Ellis.
    KAHF photo by Jim Reed.



Redd Crabtree gives his acceptance remarks at the induction banquet for the KAHF Class of 2014 at the Crowne Plaza Louisville. Crabtree has been a rider, trainer and breeder of American Saddlebred horses for more than 60 years. He is also a renowned teacher and judge and three-time winner of the World's Grand Championship for five-gaited Saddlebreds. Some 575 people were in attendance in the hotel's Grand Ballroom. 
  KAHF photo by Jim Reed.








Susan Bradley-Cox,  an 11-time world champion in the triathlon and a 12-time U.S. champ for her age group, had a huge contingent of friends and longtime supporters. As Lexington's Herald-Leader Sports Columnist Mark Story wrote just recently, "If a primary measure of a successful athlete is toughness, Susan Bradley-Cox is the epitome of the word." Read more of Story's tribute to Susan here KAHF photo by Jim Reed.






Stan Hardin (right) received congratulations from many lifelong friends after his induction into the Hall of Fame. He is shown here with Morris and Barbara Sue Longacre who, like Hardin, attended Southern High School. In 1990, Hardin guided his Fairdale high Bulldogs to win the state basketball championship, and in 1991, they won again! The Fairdale native is one of the founders of the annual King of the Bluegrass Basketball Tournament.
  KAHF photo by Jim Reed.



                                                                KAHF Photo by Barbara Ann Fultz




Accepting for his father, Rudell Stitch, who died tragically in 1960, was son Darryl (left). Here Darryl is joined by his sister, Janet, and brother, Donald. Their dad, writes John Asher, was "on the verge of national boxing stardom as Ring Magazine's third-ranked welterweight in the world when his life ended on Sunday, June 5, 1960. Stitch drowned in the waters of the Ohio when he attempted to save a fishing companion."
Rudell Stitch was memorialized last year by a giant "Hometown Hero" mural in his honor.






Paul Rogers shows off his newest recognition to his parents, Mary and Bob, who were among the hundreds in attendance at the June 18 induction of the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame's Class of 2014. Read a story about sportscaster Paul Rogers here.






Pleasure Ridge Park head baseball coach Bill Miller is the winningest coach in Kentucky history, with more than 1,030 wins — and counting! In 34 years, he's led his PRP Panther teams to five state championships — in 1994, 1995, 1996, 2008 and 2013 — and has had at least 30 wins in 23 seasons. As always, he credits his family: his high school sweetheart and wife of 43 years, Vicki, (left) his daughter Megan, son Matthew, his assistant coaches and of course, his players.








Valhalla Golf Club joins an exclusive club as just the third entity to be selected into the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame. Hillerich & Bradsby, makers of the Louisville Slugger (2006) and Churchill Downs (2012) were the first two entities selected. "It’s just such a really cool honor," Valhalla general manager Keith Reese said. "We were really flattered when they called. It’s very neat for the Gahm family and also for the PGA ( which now owns Valhalla). It’s a great honor." 
Valhalla will host the PGA Championship this August and is in the rotation to host more PGA events, including perhaps another Ryder Cup of PGA, in the future. But from now on, the course will do it as a member of the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame.









Click here for photos and write-ups
on our two honored
Kentucky high school athletes.








Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame
Class of 20




Paul Rogers
Louisville native Paul Rogers spent his entire career as a sportscaster with WHAS radio. While he covered all sports, he is best known as the long-time play-by-play voice for the University of Louisville football and basketball teams. In addition he provided the radio calls of hundreds of races from Churchill Downs, including more than 30 Kentucky Derbies.



Susan Bradley-Cox
Susan Bradley Cox always challenges herself and others to excellence and happiness through physical activity. Growing up in Paducah, she learned every sport available: cheerleading, swimming, and acrobatics. Those abilities led to collegiate teams, job opportunities and a career in Kentucky athletics. Susan has coached the UK cheerleaders, taught PE at every level, and trained many swimmers and triathletes to their best times. A medalist in many sports, she earned 11 age group world titles in triathlon on Team USA. In 1986 Susan was the first Kentucky female to complete the Kona Ironman; in 2011 she entered the USAT Hall of Fame as the most decorated female age group athlete in United States triathlon history.




Stan Hardin
Stan Hardin, born and raised in Fairdale, Ky., followed in the footsteps of his father, Harry K. Hardin, with a lifetime of service leading to extraordinary success as a high school basketball coach. Stan Hardin made his State Tournament debut as coach of the Fairdale Bulldogs in 1983; 33 years after his father led them to this tournament. In 1990, Stan led Fairdale back to the State Tournament to win the first State Championship in the school’s history. In 1991, Fairdale returned to the State Tournament to win the Championship for a second time. Stan Hardin is among five coaches to have earned back-to-back State Championships. With stints at Fern Creek, Fairdale and Holy Cross High Schools, he compiled a career record of 395-288. He was a founder of the King of the Bluegrass Basketball Tournament and worked as a color analyst for KHSAA Radio Network.



Rudell Stitch
Louisville’s Rudell Stitch (1/7/1933-6/5/1960) was the #2 ranked welterweight boxer in the world when he drowned in the Ohio River attempting to save a friend (John 15:13). Scheduled to sign for a title fight the day after he drowned, Rudell, a father of six and a hero of Muhammad Ali, had saved a man in the Ohio two years before and had been awarded a Carnegie Hero Medal. After his heroic death his family was posthumously awarded a second medal, making him one of only four to receive two Carnegie Medals. Rudell was five time Kentucky Golden Gloves Champion (45-12) and had a professional record of 27-7.




Bill Miller
Coach Bill Miller is a 1967 graduate of Pleasure Ridge Park High School and a 1972 graduate of the University of Alabama, where he lettered in baseball. After graduating from college, he returned to his Alma Mater, Pleasure Ridge Park, where in 2013 during his 34th coaching season, he became the state’s all-time winningest high school baseball coach with 1015 wins and 264 losses. His teams have won five state championships: in '94, '95, '96, '08 and '13. He also helped hundreds of young men advance to play college and professional ball. He was inducted into the Kentucky High School Baseball Coaches Association and the Kentucky High School Athletic Directors Hall of Fame. He has been named KHSBCA Coach of the Year four times.




Redd Crabtree
Rider, trainer, breeder of American Saddlebred horses for more than 60 years, renowned teacher and judge, three-time winner of the World’s Grand Championship for Five-Gaited Saddlebreds at Kentucky State Fair. Winner or trainer of every major Five-Gaited World’s Championship division multiple times. A founder and president of United Professional Horsemen’s Association, he was received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Saddlebred Horse Association, UPHA, and Kentucky State Fair Hall of Fame.





Valhalla Golf Club
Valhalla, the great hall in Norse mythology where the souls of Vikings feasted with the gods, also is the namesake of a modern paradise for championship golf. Valhalla Golf Club is the culmination of Dwight Gahm’s dream to build a world-class golf course fit for a major. The dream was realized with a partnership with the PGA of America to deliver championship golf to Louisville and at the PGA’s first owned championship site. Since Valhalla opened its doors to the world, it has been synonymous with dramatic finishes, a celebration of many of the greatest moments in major championship history. Valhalla hosts its third PGA Championship, Aug. 5-10, after previous thrilling Championship visits in1996 and 2000; and also was home to the 2008 Ryder Cup, won by the United States; the 2004 and 2011 Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid, and the 2002 PGA Professional National Championship.


Hundreds helped us celebrate our

2014 High School Athletes of the Year

As part of our evening program, two high school standouts also were recognized:

Alexa Filley
Assumption High School

Nacarius Fant
Bowling Green High School

Click here for photos and write-ups on these two young Kentucky athletes.


All net proceeds from this annual event will benefit Kosair Charities. 

Since 1923, Kosair Charities has had one primary mission: helping children in need. Kosair Charities knows that the quality of a child’s tomorrow depends largely on the quality of health, medical treatment, and support a child receives today. For more information, please visit or call 502.637.7696.




Looking Back:

Class of 2013
We are proud to honor the newest members of
 the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame:


Calvin Borel Jerry Carroll

Julie Ditty Pervis Ellison
Bo McMillin
Donna Bender Moir Dwayne Woodruff



The Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame honored its Class of 2013, inducted on June 13, 2013, at Louisville’s Crowne Plaza Hotel. (Seated, l-r) Jerry Carroll; representing Bo McMillin, his daughter, Jane McMillin Bubier; Pervis Ellison; and Donna Bender Moir; (Standing, l-r) KAHF President Jim Ellis; Dwayne Woodruff; Julie Ditty; Calvin Borel; high school honoree Rebecca Greenwell; and event emcee Dick Gabriel.   KAHF photo by Jim Reed.





“It was a great evening and nice to see a lot of my former players,” Donna Bender Moir said in describing the evening. “Our current team was here, former players and all my family." The induction ceremony was "pretty cool because I felt like I had a tie to all of the inductees in some way, from watching and coaching against (the three high school honorees) Rebecca Greenwell and Makayla Epps and having watched James Quick  throughout his career. Those young athletes I’ve gotten to watch grow up on the court and on the field.

"I’m a big U of L fan and watched Pervis, spent a lot of money on Calvin Borel’s horses through the years and even with Dwayne Woodruff there was a connection with his coach at Louisville. Coach Gibson lived down the street from us and he’d come to our house and eat and that made us watch U of L games with more intent.
KAHF photos by Jim Reed





Shown here with his wife, Lisa, three-time Kentucky Derby-winning jockey Calvin Borel is a Louisiana native who calls Louisville home. Borel hit the 5,000-win milestone earlier this year at Turfway Park.

The 46-year-old Borel’s purse earnings exceed $120 million in a career that began in 1983. Of course, it's his Kentucky Derby wins that put him in rarefied company, as he is the only jockey to win the Kentucky Derby three times in a four-year span, accomplishing the feat with Street Sense (2007), Mine That Bird (2009), and Super Saver (2010).  KAHF photo by Barbara Ann Fultz.





At our induction ceremony, Bo McMillin's daughter, Jane McMillin Bubier, was appreciative for her father's special recognition. "It makes me both happy and proud to know that my father's accomplishments are still remembered almost a century after he scored the touchdown that enabled Centre to beat Harvard," she said. "I'm proud of all he did for us, for Centre, for Kentucky and for football.

"Four of my grandsons are still in high school, and I hope that at least one of them will choose Centre as the next step in his education," she said.   KAHF photos by Jim Reed









"This one is special, it being all athletes in the state and not just for tennis," Julie Ditty says. "It is great to be nominated and chosen." The Ashland, Kentucky, native began playing for the Russell High School varsity team in the second grade, earned 11 letters and won three Kentucky high school singles titles. A three-time All-American for Vanderbilt, she led the university to the NCAA finals in 2001.

Ditty played for 10 years on the WTA Tour with grand slam appearances at Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, Australian Open and French Open. She won 38 USTA Pro Circuit titles and played four seasons of World Team Tennis. She retired from professional tennis in 2011 and is now an assistant coach at Middle Tennessee State University.   KAHF photos by Jim Reed





"Tonight means an awful lot. It gives me an opportunity to sit down and thank a lot of people. I’m one of those guys who had a lot of help along the way. It’s obviously a great honor, but I want to share it with a lot of people who are here with me tonight," remarked the Honorable Dwayne D. Woodruff, now a judge in the Court of Common Pleas for Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.

A Bowling Green native, Woodruff is a 1979 graduate of the University of Louisville, where his football jersey hangs in Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium and where athletes study at the Woodruff Academic Center named in his honor. Woodruff played defensive back for 12 seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers and was in Super Bowl XIV as a rookie. He earned a law degree (1988) from Duquesne University and practiced law while playing football till 1990.

Shown here with his wife, Joy, the couple has three children: Jillian an Ob/Gyn physician, Jenyce, an attorney, and John a student at the Duquesne University School of Law. KAHF photos by Jim Reed





"First of all, when you put the name ‘Kentucky’ in front of something, that means a lot, and then to be with this group, it’s a wonderful treat," reflected developer Jerry Carroll. In the 1980s, he purchased Latonia Race Course in Northern Kentucky and rebuilt the facility to become Turfway Park. Then he shifted his interests to auto racing. The former owner of Kentucky Speedway raised $152 million in private capital to build the Gallatin County, Kentucky, auto racing track, which opened in 2000 with hopes of bringing NASCAR Sprint Cup racing to the Commonwealth. In 2011, three years after Carroll's ownership group sold the Speedway, the Cup Series debuted in Sparta.
KAHF photos by Jim Reed





OK, Coach!  Former U of L star Pervis Ellison, one of seven members of the Class of 2013 inducted into the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame on June 13, 2013, attempts to raise the microphone stand a foot or so, as his former coach, U of L's Denny Crum (a 1997 KAHF inductee), points where to implement  the play while barking out instructions from the near sidelines.  KAHF photos by Jim Reed



The Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame
proudly previews its
Class of 2013

Induction: Thursday, June 13, 2013
Grand Ballroom
Crowne Plaza Louisville Hotel

830 Phillips Lane

Louisville, Kentucky 40209





Alvin "Bo" McMillin
McMillin was quarterback for Centre College in 1917. In 1918 he served in the Navy before returning to lead Centre from 1919 to 1921. During his career, the "Praying Colonels" achieved an overall record of 38-4, and Bo was named to Walter Camp’s All-American team in his last three seasons. On Oct. 29, 1921, in a game that has been hailed as the biggest upset in college football history, Bo raced 32 yards for the only touchdown allowing tiny Centre to beat mighty Harvard, a team that hadn’t been defeated in five seasons. After college, Bo played professionally for two seasons. Bo was a successful college coach, compiling a record of 146-77-13. In 1945, Bo received the AFCA Coach of the Year award for accomplishments at Indiana University. In 1951, Bo was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame and received the Amos Alonzo Stagg Award from the AFCA.



Calvin Borel
Calvin Borel was born November 7, 1966, in St. Martinville, La. The youngest of five boys, he learned to ride before he could walk and honed his skills in the legendary bush tracks of Southern Louisiana as a youth. His first win came in 1982 at Delta Downs in Vinton, La. Borel would go on to become the only jockey in history to win three Kentucky Derbies in a four year span, taking the 133rd, 135th and 136th running of the Run for the Roses. Borel was the regular rider of 2009 Oaks and Preakness winner and eventual Eclipse Award Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra as she became the first filly in history to capture the storied Woodward Stakes at Saratoga. On March 7, 2013, Borel became the 26th rider in history to win 5,000 career races. He is to be elected into the National Thoroughbred Hall of Fame in 2013.



Judge Dwayne D. Woodruff
A Bowling Green native and 1979 University of Louisville graduate, Woodruff played defensive back for 12 seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers: Super Bowl XIV as a rookie; team MVP in 1982; team captain for final three seasons; ranks 5th on the Steelers all-time list with 37 interceptions and 4th in interceptions returned for touchdowns. Earned law degree (1988) from Duquesne University and practiced law while playing football till 1990. Woodruff was elected Judge of Pittsburgh’s Court of Common Pleas in 2005. The University of Louisville’s Woodruff Academic Center was dedicated in 2006.




Julie Ditty
Julie Ditty grew up in Ashland, Ky., with five siblings and parents, Juanita and Jack Ditty. Julie began playing on the Russell High School tennis team in the 2nd grade, earned 11 varsity letters and won three Kentucky high school singles titles. She was ranked #1 in USTA 14’s and won 12 national USTA junior titles. Julie earned her education degree at Vanderbilt. She was a three time All-American, All-SEC, Academic All-SEC, Vanderbilt Female Athlete of the Year, Tennessee Amateur Athlete of the Year and led Vanderbilt to the NCAA finals in 2001. As a WTA pro for 10 years, she won a record 38 USTA Pro Circuit titles and played four seasons of World Team Tennis. She played in Wimbledon, US Open, Australian Open and French Open. Ditty was a member of US Fed Cup Team that defeated Argentina in 2009. Highest WTA World Ranking 89-singles and 65-doubles.



Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll has had a very diverse career. After college he worked as a golf pro and dabbled in comedy and acting before realizing his dream of being a real estate developer. In the 1980s he purchased Latonia Race Course in Northern Kentucky and rebuilt the facility to become Turfway Park. After the state declined to expand gambling, Jerry shifted his focus from horse racing to auto racing. Carroll purchased Gallatin County Farm in Sparta, Kentucky, and he and investors built the $152 million Kentucky Speedway, which opened in 2000. Despite great success and large crowds, NASCAR wouldn’t assign a Sprint Car Race to Kentucky, so Carroll sold the Speedway in 2008. In 2011, Jerry got to see his dreams realized when NASCAR held a Sprint Car Race in Sparta.



Donna Bender Moir
Donna Bender Moir was a dedicated student-athlete, coach and athletic director at Sacred Heart Academy. She was the first person in the state to win a KHSAA basketball state championship as both a player and a coach. She won a state record, three straight KHSAA basketball championships from 2002 to 2004, and she has been recognized as The Courier-Journal Statewide Coach of the Year on three occasions. Under her leadership, Sacred Heart has won more state championships in women’s athletics than any other program in the state. Bender-Moir is a proud mom of four, and has also been recognized as one of the top female golfers in the state of Kentucky.




Pervis Ellison
Pervis Ellison played center for the University of Louisville basketball team from 1986 to 1989. While at U of L, he received the nickname "Never Nervous Pervis" for his style of play. As a freshman, he helped his team win the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship, and he was the second freshman ever to be named Most Outstanding Player. In 1989, Pervis was the first overall NBA draft pick and went to play for the Sacramento Kings. Unfortunately, his 11 year NBA career was plagued by injuries, but he still managed to score 4,494 points, have 3,170 rebounds, and blocked 752 shots. Today, Pervis’ jersey hangs at the KFC Yum! Center for all the success he brought to the University of Louisville.



Hundreds helped us celebrate our

2013 High School Athletes of the Year

As part of our evening program, three high school standouts also were recognized:

James Quick of Trinity High School;
Rebecca Greenwell of Owensboro Catholic High School; and
Makayla Epps
of Marion County High School.

Click here for photos and write-ups on this trio of young Kentucky athletes.


Looking Back:

KAHF Class of 2012 Inducted

Coach Hugh Durham gives a highly entertaining acceptance speech as the newest members of the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame are inducted on the evening of Thursday, June 7, at Louisville's Crowne Plaza Hotel. A crowd of some 500-plus gathered to honor the Class of 2012 at a formal banquet that helped raised more than $68,000 to benefit Kosair Charities. A full report and dozens of photos of all of the festivities will follow shortly.




 Jim Reed Photos


Frederick Robert "Rick" Robey teamed up to win a basketball championship at every level: a state championship in high school, the 1978 NCAA title at the University of Kentucky and NBA honors in 1981 with the Boston Celtics. Rick scored 3,723 points throughout his NBA career and had his (#53) jersey retired by UK.

Robey now lives in Louisville and is shown here with his wife, Bonnie, and their son, Sam, who plays football for Florida, before Rick's Thursday evening inducted into the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame.


Lee Corso arrives with Betsy, his wife of 55 years, for our Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame ceremonies. He says he’s pulling for the University of Louisville to be in the Big 12. “They better invite Louisville if they know what’s good for the conference.”

Nationally known as a sports commentator on ESPN, Corso coached football at U of L from 1969 to 1972. While being inducted into the Hall of Fame, he said he was never happier in his life than during “those days at the old Fairgrounds stadium.”

Angel McCoughtry, three-time All-American for the U of L Cardinals, is headed for the Olympics this summer as a member of U.S. women’s team. McCoughtry was among eight honorees inducted into the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame Thursday, just three years after graduating from U of L. She’s playing professionally with the Atlanta Dream of the WNBA, having been named rookie of the year in 2009. 


Hugh Durham excelled in several sports in high school, but elected to play basketball in college, starring at Florida State. He later coached the Seminoles, then guided the Georgia Bulldogs for 17 years and later came out of retirement to spend eight years at Jacksonville. He still lives and golfs in Florida. Now he's a Hall of Fame honoree in three states!



Seth Hancock, shown here with his wife, Debbie, and daughter, Allison (who's on the golf team at Centre), is the owner of Claiborne Farm, home of Swale, winner of the 1984 Kentucky Derby, and Blame, winner of the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Classic. Of course, Hancock is known for syndicating the breeding rights to Secretariat in 1973, (before the Triple Crown achievement) for what was then a staggering $6 million. Hancock joins his father, Arthur "Bull" Hancock Jr., who was inducted into the KAHF in 1989.


T. Kevin Flanery, president of Churchill Downs, receives a replica of the brass plaque honoring that institution from Jim Ellis, KAHF president. Flanery is the first Louisville native to serve as president of the venerable  racetrack organization since 1949. He accepted the recognition on behalf of Churchill Downs, the home of the Kentucky Derby and a world renowned symbol of thoroughbred racing. Racing fans will tell you that Churchill Downs has a heart and soul, and now it is a member of the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame. 

Bobby Watson makes a closer examination of his recognition plaque as his wife looks on during our June 7 induction ceremonies. A key starter on Adolph Rupp’s UK Wildcats teams, including the 1951 national championship squad, the 5-foot-10 Watson would go on to play for the Minneapolis Lakers after being drafted by the Milwaukee Hawks in 1952. After his pro career, Watson was an outstanding basketball coach at Owensboro High. Not bad for a UK walk-on who Coach Rupp initially thought was too short to play basketball. 

Homer Rice excelled in several sports in high school and would become an All-American as quarterback for Centre College in 1950.  He went on to coach in both high school and college and was quite an innovator, developing the triple-option offense that revolutionized football. He was athletic director at Georgia Tech for 17 years and The 85-year-old has authored seven books, the latest being Leadership Fitness: Developing and Reinforcing Successful, Positive Leaders, and a personal copy was given to all banquet attendees. 


Marvin Smith welcomed the banquet crowd on behalf of the 2012 KAHF corporate sponsor INSURAMAX, which is headquartered in Louisville. The company CEO congratulated 2012 KAHF inductees and award winners for their
contributions to sports in Kentucky. 

The mission of the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame is twofold:
— To recognize those individuals and teams that have made significant contributions to sports and have achieved a high standard of athletic success representing the honored traditions of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
— To support, in a meaningful way, Kosair Charities, which does so much toward providing world class medical care for thousands of children throughout Kentucky and Southern Indiana.



Download an Adobe PDF file of the full 2012 program write-up here:

Download Souvenir Program

Note: Links with the PDF symbol shown above indicate that the document is in Adobe Reader format. This is a widely used format that ensures correct display of documents on most computer systems. If you do not have Adobe Reader, you can get it by clicking here:


In addition to close-up photos of inductees, their friends, fans and families, and shots of supporters who came to meet and greet our honorees, we'll also have photos of our high school athletes of the year and their families.
Much more to come!




The Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame
Introduces Its Class of 2012

Rick Robey, Angel McCoughtry, Bobby Watson,
Lee Corso, Homer Rice, Hugh Durham, Seth Hancock
and Churchill Downs, too! 


We in Kentucky have the horses . . .

           . . .  but, as much as we love our thoroughbreds, it's really another interest ties us all together, whether we’re from the hills and hollows of the Cumberland Plateau, the rolling meadows of the Bluegrass, or the flood plains and wetlands of Kentucky’s western tip: It’s our enduring love of one very special sport. We dabble in all manner of organized contest, of course, but the abiding fidelity that both unites and divides Kentuckians across the board is basketball.

In our Bluegrass State, we quickly develop lifelong loyalties to our high school and college teams, and we have a rich and fabled heritage to support our teams, our dreams and our aspirations. This year Western Kentucky University  Hilltoppers and the Murray State University Racers earned their way into March Madness, and both the University of Louisville Cardinals and the University of Kentucky Wildcats fought all the way to the NCAA's Final Four, with  the UK Wildcats going on to become national champions! Basketball is like, well, a basketball to us.

It begins early as barefoot farm kids and city street urchins alike engage in pickup games on outdoor courts or face the goal alone as they dream of one day hitting the winning shot as the game clock ticks down. While the best of the crop hit the courts in organized contests, coached to hit the open man on the give-and-go, the majority of us become ardent and vocal spectators, fans for life. By early adulthood, fierce team allegiances have been formed that have no equal in politics or other partisan pursuits. Our love of the sport transcends those lines that otherwise divide us and brings the faithful together from all walks of life to cheer and fret as we pit this year’s home team against all comers. Basketball is an institution in Kentucky.

It’s no real surprise then that four of our Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2012 inductees made their mark in the world of hoops. Basketball is in our blood, and we root for the home team. We love our football, too, and we have two inductees who made their names on the gridiron. Rounding out our KAHF Class of 2012 are two horse racing legends. Let's meet all of our inductees!


The Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame
presents the Class of 2012:


Rick Robey  starred at the University of Kentucky. At UK, Robey was a member of the team that won the 1978 NCAA Championship and the team that was the 1975 NCAA Runner Up. Robey was the third overall pick in the 1978 NBA Draft, selected by the Indiana Pacers. Robey then played eight seasons (1978–86) in the National Basketball Association as a member of the Indiana Pacers, Boston Celtics, and Phoenix Suns. He scored 3,723 points in his career and was a member of the 1981 Celtics championship team.



Angel McCoughtry is a professional basketball player who completed her college career at the University of Louisville in 2009. She was selected first overall by the Atlanta Dream in the 2009 WNBA Draft and is considered its franchise player. She also
plays for the Turkish powerhouse Fenerbahçe Istanbul
in the EuroLeague Women.



Bobby Watson  played basketball for Owensboro High School and The University of Kentucky as a guard. He also played in the National Basketball Association. Watson was drafted by the Milwaukee Hawks in the 1952 NBA Draft. He first played in the NBA with the Minneapolis Lakers in 1954 before being traded back to the Milwaukee Hawks
for Lew Hitch.



Lee Corso is a sports broadcaster and football analyst for ESPN. He has been featured on ESPN's College GameDay program since its inception and he appeared annually as a commentator in EA Sports' NCAA Football through NCAA Football 11. In 1969, he was given the head coaching position at Louisville where he coached his ESPN colleague Tom Jackson. After taking Louisville to only its second-ever bowl game in 1972, he was hired by Indiana.



Homer Rice was a college athletic director and football coach. From 1967 to 1968, he served as the head football coach at Cincinnati, and at Rice. He has also served as Offensive Coordinator at Oklahoma (1966), and Assistant Coach at Kentucky.



Hugh Durham is a native of Louisville, Kentucky, and is the first and only coach in the history of NCAA Division I basketball to lead two different schools to the NCAA Final Four for the first and only time in each school's history (Florida State University - 1972; University of Georgia - 1983). No other coach in either school's history has been able to duplicate Durham's achievements.



Seth Hancock is the current owner of the famous Claiborne Farm near Paris, Kentucky. Secretariat was syndicated by Seth Hancock for breeding purposes and stood at stud at Claiborne Farm at the conclusion of his racing career at the end of 1973 until his death in 1989.



Churchill Downs is a Thoroughbred racetrack most famous for hosting the Kentucky Derby annually. It officially opened in 1875, and held the first Kentucky Derby and the first Kentucky Oaks in that same year. Churchill Downs has also hosted the renowned Breeders' Cup on seven occasions,
most recently in 2011.


The Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame display at the KFC Yum! Center honors the accomplishments of athletes from across the Commonwealth with a display on the east and west sides of the Main Concourse. The display's nine panels showcase the Hall of Fame athletes in various sports as well as coaches, contributors and icons of the Bluegrass State. Those highlighted throughout the display include Denny Crum, Hillerich & Bradsby, Muhammad Ali, Adolph Rupp, Phil Simms, Dan Issel, Tom Jurich, Paul "Bear" Bryant, Pat Day, Tori Murden-McClure and many others.

To read about all of our Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame inductees, please click here.


Visit Kosair! 



Our Class of 2015 was
inducted June 17, 2015,
and the nomination period for the
Class of 2016 has now passed.
Now we are accepting
 candidates for our
 Class of 2017.
 The nomination deadline
 for the Class of 2017
 is August 31, 2016.
 KAHF nominations are
 accepted year-round 
from this page.

Nomination Page

Nomination forms.







































































































































































 From our 2014 celebration:

  KAHF photos by
Barbara Ann Fultz and Jim Reed.























































































  From our 2013 celebration:

  KAHF photos by Jim Reed.





































































































































From our 2012 event:

Looking back: