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 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. 

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.

 

Smile!


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.


 

The Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame is pleased
to have as our corporate sponsor:

Click here or logo above to visit Insuramax.

 

Insuramax
Headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky,
Insuramax has been helping individuals
and businesses for more than 40 years.

 

Visit Kosair! 

  

                    









Our Class of 2013 was
inducted on June 13, 2013.
Nominations for the Class of
2014 have closed.
  
Now we are accepting
 candidates for our
 Class of 2015.
 
 The nomination deadline
 for the Class of 2015
 is August 31, 2014.
 KAHF nominations are
 accepted year-round here:

Nomination Page

Looking back: