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"
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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!
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.
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
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.
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
Marvin Smith welcomed
the 2012 banquet crowd on behalf of new KAHF corporate sponsor INSURAMAX,which is
headquartered in Louisville. The company CEO, who established INSURAMAX in
1970, congratulated this year's KAHF inductees and award winners for their
contributions to sports in Kentucky.
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.
Adobe PDF file of the full 2012 program write-up here:
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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,
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,
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 andbrings 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
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!
Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame
presents the Class of 2012:
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
Breeders' Cup on seven occasions,
most recently in 2011.
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
The Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame is pleased
to have as our corporate sponsor: