Kentucky Wesleyan Celebrates Athletic Hall of Fame Induction /50th Anniversary of 1966 NCAA Championship
Kentucky Wesleyan College will celebrate the induction of seven Panther legends into the Athletic Hall of Fame and the 50th anniversary of their 1966 NCAA Championship.
The Hall of Fame inductees are:
Dr. Ken Ayers, coach (1980, 1983-85, 87-97)—Won three Great Lakes Valley Conference Championships 1984, 1989, 1994…two-time Great Lakes Valley Conference Coach of the Year 1984 and 1991…all-time winningest coach in any sport with 351 wins in 15 years…first softball coach 1980.
J.B. Brown (1985-88)—1988 first team basketball All-American…starter on 1987 NCAA Championship…voted to All-Century team…1988 All-Great Lakes Valley Conference selection…holds career record for blocked shots with 121…14th in career points with 1,233 and ninth in career rebounds with 797.
Mason Cope (1956-57)—Two-time basketball All-American 1956, 1957 and first, first team selection in history…All-NCAA Championship team selection 1957 and All-South Region selection 1957…started in first Division II Championship game in NCAA history 1957…first NBA draftee in KWC history – St. Louis Hawks 1957.
Bob Jones, coach (1972-80)—Won 1973 NCAA Championship with a 24-6 record in his first year…1973 National Coach of the Year…coached Panthers to a No. 1 ranking for six weeks in 1974…finished second in the NCAA Midwest Region in 1974…posted an eight-year record 119-90 for a 56.9 winning percentage.
Sam L. Smith (1986-87)—1987 basketball All-American…starter on 1987 NCAA Championship team and named NCAA Most Outstanding Player…voted to All-Century team…1987 Most Outstanding Player, NCAA Great Lakes Regional…two-time All-Great Lakes Valley Conference selection…scored 1,115 career points.
Cory Wade (2002-04)—Pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers 2008, 2009 and the New York Yankees 2011, 2012…third in Kentucky Wesleyan career strikeouts with 177…fifth in complete games pitched with 14…eighth in career innings pitched with 180…ninth in career wins with 13.
All American Club—Founded in 1954 by a group of Owensboro citizens who decided to encourage, promote and support of all aspects of intercollegiate athletics at Kentucky Wesleyan College.
The College will also honor the 15 players, two managers and two coaches of their first-ever NCAA Championship 50-years ago. Head coach Guy Strong and assistant coach Bob Daniels led the Panthers to a 54-51 victory over Southern Illinois before a crowd of 10, 319 at Roberts Stadium in Evansville, Ind., on March 11, 1966.