The Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame inductees have been announced and will be honored in the annual ceremony June 7th at the Grand Ballroom at Louisville’s Crowne Plaza Hotel. The event is opened to the public and tickets run $ 75.00, the revenue generated from the event will be donated to Kosair charities.
Inductees this year include former University of Kentucky star Rick Robey. A major factor of Joe B. Hall’s only NCAA championship team from 1978 Robey went on to go pro later that same year being a major part of the Indiana Pacers, Boston Celtics and Phoenix Suns. In 1981 Robey proved himself an intergral part of another championship team with the Boston Celtics who won the NBA championship that year.
Keeping our attention to basketball, Angel McCoughtry is the hall’s next inductee. McCoughtry is quite possibly the best athlete to come out of the University of Louisville’s women’s basketball team, a first round draft pick to the pros McCoughtry currently stars for the Atlanta Dream in the WNBA.
Following McCoughtry up is another Wildcat, basketball player, Bobby Watson. A major part of several of Rupp’s teams, Watson would go on to play for the Minneapolis Lakers after being drafted by the Milwaukee Hawks in 1952. At the time, the Lakers were in the preeminent team in professional basketball. Watson concluded his pro career back with the Hawks after being traded back to Milwaukee.
Next we switch sports; specifically to the world of football with Lee Corso. Currently Corso widely known as a commentator and analyst but before that he was a standout coach and he proved this to Cardinal fans leading Louisville to their second bowl game in 1972. Not long after that Corso took a job with Indiana but for many Cards fans the name Corso still brings back good memories.
Homer Rice was a clever and intelligent football coach who worked his way around several teams. Notably working as an assistant coach at Kentucky, in addition to his time in the bluegrass Rice worked as a head coach at Cincinnati and ironically enough, Rice.
Remaining on that coaching front, Hugh Durham stands in the pantheon of great men’s basketball coaches. Durham led two different schools (Florida State and Georgia) to final fours; neither of these schools had been to a final four prior to Durham and neither of them have since. This is a feat that has not been duplicated anywhere by anyone since.
Finally, what would a Kentucky athletic induction class be without individual relating to equestrian pursuits. Well, certainly Seth Hancock’s pursuits in these regards have been impressive. A former owner of Claiborne Farm, located near Paris, Kentucky, Hancock’s fondly remembered for his work with the legendary Secretariat. Sadly, Hancock passed away in 1989 but when one looks at his full resume it’s easy to see why he’s being inducted.
The final inductee is not an individual but an institution really, Churchill Downs who’s remarkable history and legacy makes it a situation where people have to say, “Wait…it wasn’t already in there?”
Images courtesy of KAHF