The NBRPA would like to congratulate Past President and current Board Member George Tinsley on his selection for induction into the first class of the Kentucky Wesleyan College Hall of Fame.
Kentucky Wesleyan will induct seven All-Americans, two revered coaches, a NFL executive and a legendary broadcaster into its first Athletics Hall of Fame class, as announced by KWC President Dr. Craig Turner.
“With such a storied athletic history, the time is right to permanently honor the successes and accolades of these past student-athletes, coaches and staff from competition, the classroom, their professional lives and society with this new Athletics Hall of Fame,” Dr. Turner stated.
The members of the inaugural class are athletes Tinsley (basketball), Jill Burness Stowe (volleyball/basketball), Rod Drake (basketball), Melody Lesher Medley (tennis) Sam Smith (basketball), Ty Stauffer (soccer), and Dallas Thornton (basketball); coaches Ray Harper (basketball) and Robert ‘Bullet’ Wilson (baseball, basketball, golf, tennis and director of athletics); plus longtime KWC mentor A.J. Smith (San Diego Chargers) and Voice of the Panthers for 52 years Joel Utley.
KWC Director of Athletics David Williams added, “This Hall of Fame creates a focal point for alumni, family, friends and current students, faculty and staff to celebrate our history of intercollegiate athletic competition which began in September, 1894 with baseball.”
The inductee’s profiles:
George Tinsley (1966-69) – Two-time All-American…three-time NCAA Champion…jersey number 50 retired…two-time NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team honoree…1968 U.S. Olympic Trials participant…all-time leading rebounder with 1,115…fourth in career points with 2,014…fifth in starts with 113… voted to KWC All-Century team by fans…played professionally for five years in the American Basketball Association.
Kelly Coleman (1958-60) – Two-time All-American…jersey number 45 retired…third in career points with 2,077…finished third in the nation in scoring in 1960…sixth in career rebounds with 904…1960 All-NCAA Regional…holds season scoring record with 848 and average 30.3…sixth in career rebounds with 904…voted to KWC All-Century team by fans…drafted second round by New York Knicks.
Rod Drake (1981-84) – Two-time All-American…jersey number 10 retired…four-time All-Great Lakes Valley Conference selection…1984 NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team…two-time NCAA Regional Most Outstanding Player…second in career assists with 458…seventh in career points with 1,664…13th in career rebounds with 648…starter on two Final Four teams…voted to KWC All-Century team by fans.
Melody Lesher Medley (1979-83) – First Kentucky Wesleyan Academic All-American in any sport…1982 Great Lakes Valley Conference Player of the Year…played No. 1 singles and doubles on the Panther’s first and only undefeated athletic team in history 1980…won the singles and doubles titles in the Kentucky Women’s Intercollegiate Conference three straight seasons 1979, 1980, 1981…played in first AIAW South Regional Championship tournament.
Sam Smith (1966-67) – Two-time All-American…1966 NCAA Championship Most Outstanding Player…1967 NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team…won 1966 NCAA Championships and finished third in 1967…collected 1,102 career points and 714 rebounds…two-time All-NCAA South Region Most Outstanding Player…voted to KWC All-Century team by fans…played professionally for five years in the American Basketball Association.
Ty Stauffer (1987-91) – First soccer All-American 1989…Great Lakes Valley Conference Player of the Year 1989…two-time All-Mideast Region selection…two-time All-Great Lakes Valley Conference selection…1990 Scholar-Athlete All-Region.
Dallas Thornton (1965-68) – Two-time All-American…two-time NCAA Champion…jersey number 22 retired…1968 U.S. Olympic Trials participant…two-time NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team honoree…holds career record for most consecutive starts with 112…fifth in career points with 1,929…seventh in rebounds with 903…voted to KWC All-Century team by fans… played professionally for five years.
Ray Harper (1996-2005) – Produced six consecutive 30-win seasons and six trips to the NCAA Championship game…won two NCAA Championships 1999 and 2001 as a head coach and two as an assistant in 1987 and 1990…four-time National Coach of the Year…two-time Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year…five-time GLVC Coach of the Year…compiled a 247-45 record for a 84.6 winning percentage.
Robert ‘Bullet’ Wilson (1942-67) – Head coach of baseball, basketball, golf and tennis teams from 1942 to 1959…led KWC to first-ever Division II basketball championship game in NCAA history as runner-up 1957…won six Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference regular season basketball titles 1943, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952 and 1954…won five straight KIAC tournament basketball championships 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953 and 1954…won KIAC titles in baseball and golf…served as director of athletics from 1942 to 1967.
A.J. Smith (2004-present) – Long-time mentor to his alma mater Kentucky Wesleyan College, class of 1971…executive vice president and general manager of the NFL San Diego Chargers for the past 10 years…the winningest general manager in Charger history…2004 NFL Executive of the Year…2006 Top General Manager by Forbes Magazine…35-year career in pro football including three Super Bowl appearances.
Joel Utley (1961-present) – Voice of the Panthers for 52 years…called the play-by-play for 1,472 basketball games…has the distinction as the only broadcaster in the nation to call 12 NCAA Championship games including eight titles…ranks in the top five in longevity for college basketball radio broadcasters.
The first induction ceremony is scheduled for the weekend of Feb. 22-23, 2013.