Our Goals


Mission Statement


      Kosair Charities' mission is to protect the health and well-being of children in Kentucky and Southern Indiana by providing financial support for clinical services, research, pediatric healthcare education, and child advocacy.



Purpose of Our KAHF Web Site

 The Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame Board of Directors is pleased to provide this web site for all Kentuckians and friends of Kentucky sports nationwide. We hope this site:

    Provides the Kentucky sports public with history and information about the Hall of Fame inductees in terms of their high level of athletic/sports performance or sports contribution and their having made a positive influence on the development of other individuals, our communities and Kentucky institutions;

—   Permits active participation by Kentuckians and friends in recognizing individuals/teams for consideration for induction into the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame;

    Encourages Kentuckians to attend and/or contribute to activities to recognize the inductees, including the annual KAHF induction banquet, the proceeds of which go to benefit Kosair Charities;

    Solicits suggestions, invites Hall of Fame nominations and serves as a conduit to answer questions about the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame.

 As always, we wish to thank tour local businesses for generous, long-term support of the KAHF and for underwriting development of this web site outreach program.



Our Board

2015 KAHF Officers and Board of Directors
Our membership offers wide capabilities. Within our alliance are representatives of
organizations of all sizes. Listed below are our current officers and board members.

KAHF Officers


Jim Ellis


Bob Pace


Bill Malone


Mike Wertheim

    Board of Directors
Valerie Owens-Combs Gordon Crawford
Susan Sweeney Crum Dick Gabriel
Lloyd Gardner John Hubbuch
John Karem David King
Anne Kordes Steven McCormick
Joe McGehee Dan Neal
Karl Schmitt Wally Oyler
Phil Rollins Ron Sheeran
Hal Smith Thomas Steltenkamp
Glen E. Stuckel Ed Thompson
Tyler Street
KAHF Advisors 
Randy Coe, Exec. Dir., Kosair Charities
Will Wolford
Paul Hornung
Junior Bridgeman

KAHF Nominating Committee

Jim Ellis and Dick Gabriel, Co- Chairman

John Asher Fred Cowgill Tony Cruise
Dick Gabriel  Jody Demling Jim Ellis
Mike Embry Tom Lane Connie Leonard
Bill Malone Brian Milam Steve Moss
Bob Pace Paul Rogers Ron Sheeran

Jennifer Smith

Mark Story

Kent Taylor

Bob White

Event Liaisons

Erin Fischer

Marki Goodlett

Stephanie Smith

Vicky Weber


Our Story

Athletic Hall of Fame
Champions Kosair Kids

 Adapted from  Kite Tales, a publication of Kosair Charities.

Each year, as sports fans gather for the annual banquet to recognize Kentucky’s sports greats, they also help raise money for Kosair Charities. Every year the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame recognizes outstanding athletes by naming them among the greatest players, coaches and sports journalists in the Bluegrass State. The Hall of Fame champions Kosair Kids by donating the induction banquet proceeds and donations to Kosair Charities.

The relationship with Kosair Charities dates back to the Hall of Fame’s founding about 30 years ago. “Our organization bylaws state that Kosair Charities would be our charity of choice,” says KAHF President Jim Ellis. “It’s been such a great relationship, we wouldn’t dream of changing it.”

Ellis credits much of the event’s success to both an excellent class of inductees and the longtime previous sponsorship of Kentucky Farm Bureau. “Our board set two goals: Grow the event and increase our support of Kosair Charities,” Ellis recalls. “But the perception out in the state is that the induction banquet is a Louisville event – and nothing could be further from reality. We are working to overcome that perception and achieve our goals.” .

To learn about our
Walls of Fame,
located at the
Kentucky Fair &
Exposition Center,
scroll down this page.


  Kosair Charities President Randy Coe says the association with the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame is the equivalent of a slam dunk or touchdown for Kosair Kids. “Kentucky is home to some of the finest athletes and athletic programs in the nation, and it’s an honor for Kosair Charities to be associated with them. They bring great recognition to our state and, through this event, to Kosair Kids,” Coe notes. “We appreciate the volunteers at the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame whose hard work make this event a success not only for the honorees, but also for our Kosair Kids.”

 Giving to Kosair Charities is as simple as logging onto the Internet. At www.kosair.org  you’ll be able to help Kosair Kids from your computer, when it’s convenient for you. Donations made online using a credit card are safe, secure and easy. They’re also tax-deductible.

A contribution to Kosair can be made in your name, or in memory or honor of another. If you make a donation to honor someone else, Kosair gives you the option to have an acknowledgement letter sent to that individual or estate.



Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame

Walls of Fame


Freedom Hall

Kentucky Fair & Exposition Center

 You are not only invited, but urged to visit the Kentucky Fair & Exposition Center’s Freedom Hall in Louisville to see the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame’s permanent “Walls of Fame” exhibit, a tribute to Kentucky sports achievement at all levels of competition.

 Each Hall of Fame inductee is honored with a beautifully engraved bronze plaque on display on the first level of Freedom Hall. It’s a chance to recall sports feats of an earlier day as well as a way to introduce the kids and grandkids to the diverse heritage of Kentucky sports.

 Engraved plaques for each inductee bear their likeness and provide short biographical information, including the date of induction into the KAHF. Stroll along and recall the memories that are stirred as you recognize the names and recall the accomplishments of such Kentucky sports standouts as Eddie Arcaro, Ralph Beard, King Kelly Coleman, Earle Combs, Keene Daingerfield, Paul Hornung and Dan Issel.

 Those of us with “mileage” fondly recall Western’s Ed Diddle and his red towel. And Joe B. Hall is a household name, but can you recite the feats of “Indian Joe” Guyton? Remember promoter William H. King? Now, if you don’t know that Cawood Ledford was the “Voice of the Wildcats” for decades, get thee to the KAHF shrine and take notes! And what did John Tong always urge you to do following ballgames?

We were thrilled when Tori Murden-McClure successfully rowed across the Atlantic Ocean. But Bobby Nichols wielded a putter, instead of oars.” “Little Louie” Dampier was one of “Rupp’s Runts,” but who made up the “Fabulous Five” and the “Fiddlin’ Five” teams? Who wore number 11 and had his jersey retired by the New York Giants? What female basketball star went to the same Louisville high school as that gridiron great? The Wall of Fame knows!

 Adolph Rupp at UK was simply called “the man in the brown suit,” but other Bluegrass State sports legends had colorful monikers. Consider U of L’s Johnny Unitas, who was “Mr. Quarterback” during his legendary NFL career with the Baltimore Colts. Harold “Pee-Wee” Reese became a Brooklyn Dodger, but he remained a Kentuckian, through and through. Do you know their stories? Do your offspring know about them? Do you know that Paul “Bear” Bryant was the University of Kentucky coach for eight years?

 Other Kentucky sports figures with memorable nicknames and just as colorful exploits include John “Shipwreck” Kelly, Wallace “Wah Wah” Jones, Charles “Cotton” Nash and, of course, “The Greatest,” Muhammad Ali.

 You remember him as “Junior” Bridgeman, but his given name is Ulysses. And while, in each case, Alfred is his real name, we know them as “Sonny” Collins and “Butch” Beard.

 Maybe it’s about time you learned more about “Jumping Joe” Fulks, Jack “The Goose” Givens, Arthur “Bull” Hancock Jr., Clem “The Gem” Haskins, Vito “Babe” Parilli and “Sweet Lou” Johnson. While those Hall of Fame inductees — and almost 200 more — are profiled right here on this web site’s Inductees page, a pilgrimage to the “Wall of Fame” stirs up the nostalgia in all of us.   

Was “Peck” Hickman’s first name really Bernard? Many know that Centre College once beat the mighty Harvard in football, but what did role “Uncle Charley” Moran play in that monumental upset? The answers are engraved in bronze on the KAHF Walls of Fame in Freedom Hall.

 Like Las Vegas headliners, some Kentucky legends can be recognized from their first names alone, for instance, Adolph and Denny, Blanton and Howard, Richie and Cawood, Kyle and Westley. As for our own Darrell and Darrell, one was a NASCAR star while the other led the “Doctors of Dunk.” A stroll along the Walls of Fame is a walk through Kentucky sports history for the whole family.

The Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame board member is indebted to The Kentucky Fair & Exposition Center board for its support of this KAHF endeavor on behalf of Kosair Charities. We also are grateful to the Kentucky Farm Bureau Insurance Companies for its longtime corporate sponsorship and for providing these plaques for display in one of Kentucky’s premier sports facilities.

 The “Walls of Fame” exhibit is free and open to the public during any sports activity or general event at Freedom Hall. While the area housing the Walls of Fame is often accessible at other times, you may wish to call Freedom Hall in advance about the hours the area is open and available.

Phone: (502) 367-5000.

Web site: http://www.kyfairexpo.org


The most direct access to Freedom Hall and the KAHF display is to enter the Fairgrounds from the Crittenden Drive side and proceed directly to the facility.  Come visit the Walls of Fame soon!




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