Bill Self and Gale Sayers to Be Inducted to Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame

Sept. 25, 2008


Kansas basketball head coach Bill Self and former Kansas football star Gale Sayers are among the 20 who will be inducted into in the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame in October.

In Bill Self’s five seasons as head coach at Kansas he has won one national championship, four regular-season Big 12 titles and three league tournament championships. In the past five seasons, Self is the winningest coach in NCAA Division I with an 81.6 winning percentage (142-32). As a head coach, Self has compiled an overall record of 349-137 (.718) in 15 seasons. Self is a four-time finalist for the Naismith Coach of the Year Award (2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003), and The Sporting News named him National Coach of the Year in 2000. He also won the 2008 Winged Foot Award for winning the national title. In addition, Self is one of four coaches in NCAA Division I history to have led three different teams – Tulsa, Illinois and Kansas – to the NCAA Elite Eight.

Gale Sayers, also known as the “Kansas Comet,” is one of the great running backs in the history of football. He was a two-time All-America selection as a Jayhawk and concluded his college career with 2,675 yards rushing and 3,917 all-purpose yards. Sayers led KU in rushing, touchdowns and kickoff returns all three years that he played. He also led the team in receiving and punt returns as a junior and senior. Sayers was a first round draft pick for the Chicago Bears (and Kansas City Chiefs) and had an abbreviated seven-year NFL career that was cut short by a knee injury. He led the league in rushing in 1966 and 1969. He retired in 1972 with a career total of 4,956 rushing yards. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977 at age 34, the youngest person ever selected. He also served as an assistant athletics director at KU from 1972-76.

The annual induction ceremony and dinner is scheduled for Wednesday, October 15, 2008 at Hawthorne Race Course, 3501 S. Laramie in Stickney, Illinois. The 2008 Inductees represent retired champions, current coaches and officials from a variety of professional and intercollegiate sports. Mayor Richard Daley will also be honored for his contributions to sports in Chicago.

The Class of 2008 is:

Dick Butkus (Chicago Bears)

Bill Campbell (Chicago Cubs)

Tamika Catchings (WNBA All Star and Olympic Gold Medalist)

Tauja Catchings (University of Illinois)

Andre Dawson (Chicago Cubs)

Don Hakes (NFL Official)

Bob Hale (New York Yankees, Baltimore Orioles and Cleveland Indians)

Bill Jauss (Sports Writer for the Chicago Tribune)

John McDonough (President of the Chicago Blackhawks)

Randy Meier (Thoroughbred Jockey)

Mike Prior (Indianapolis Colts and Green Bay Packers)

Nat Rosasco (Humanitarian Award, Northwestern golf)

Ed “Rocky” Ryan (Michigan State University All American)

Gale Sayers (Chicago Bears) Keith Van Horne (World Champion Chicago Bears)

Katie Schumacher-Cawley (Penn State All American)

Bill Self (University of Kansas head men’s basketball coach)

Dan Shannon (Notre Dame All American)

Mel Thillens Sr. (Thillens Baseball Stadium)

George Wilson (Cincinnati University All American)

The George Connor Lifetime Achievement Award for invaluable contribution to the game of football will be presented to Marv Levy, the former head coach of the Buffalo Bills and member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame is an Illinois non-for profit organization with proceeds benefiting Father John Smyth Standing Tall Foundation and other charities.

Veteran sportscaster Tom Schaer will emcee the program. Individual tickets are $125 while a table costs $1,250. Program ads are available as well. For further information contact Howie Fagan at 708-780-3679 (office) or 708-426-5212 (cell).