Kansas Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2010 Induction Ceremony
Sept. 25, 2010
LAWRENCE, Kan. – KU track and field standout Charlie Gruber, men’s basketball great Wayne Simien, three-sport letterwinner Harold Patterson and the 2003-04 KU men’s basketball team were inducted into the Kansas Athletics Hall of Fame Sept. 25 at the Booth Family Hall of Athletics.
Gruber, a five-time All-American track and field and cross country athlete at Kansas, earned a spot on the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team after finishing as the 1,500-meter runner-up at the 2004 Olympic Trials. He placed ninth in his opening-round competition at the 2004 Olympic Games.
“Charlie (Gruber) exemplifies excellence,” head cross country and track coach Stanley Redwine said. “Gruber was a great team member and he did everything that we asked him to do. The thing I am most proud of him for was that fact that he never complained about anything. Whatever we asked him to do he did. He was stronger and faster than everybody.”
Gruber won the 1999 and 2000 Big 12 Conference Outdoor 1,500-meter titles. During the 2000 indoor season, Gruber took first in the mile five times, including the Big 12 Indoor Championships. The Denver native qualified for the 2000 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in both the 800 meters and the 1,500 meters.
Gruber finished second at the 2001 NCAA Indoor Championships in the mile with a time of 3:58.51, becoming the Jayhawks’ second athlete ever to run the mile in under four minutes indoors. That same year Gruber was also part of the school-record-breaking and Big 12 champion distance medley relay team. Gruber holds the school indoor 1,000-meter record of 2:21.72, which he set at the 2001 Jayhawk Invitational.
In 2003, Gruber earned fifth place at USA Outdoors, and was ranked sixth in the United States in the 1,500-meters. Gruber was also the 2004 U.S. 4K cross-country champion. In 2005, Gruber placed fifth in the 1,500-meter run at the USA Outdoor Championships and third at the USA Indoor Championships.
“I want to thank Coach Stanley Redwine and his whole staff for everything they did for me,” Gruber said. “His dedication and commitment to me has been inspirational. I also want to thank my high school coach, John Hancock, who got me into this sport and really showed me a winning tradition. I want to recognize my family and KU for supporting me. KU has really supported me throughout the years and through my professional career.”
Patterson, a Rozel, Kan., native, lettered in football, men’s basketball and baseball from 1952-54, thus becoming the 32nd three-sport letterwinner in Kansas history.
“I grew up in Lawrence and saw all the KU games and Harold Patterson was a super all-around athlete,” KU legend John Hadl said. “He was fast, he had great hands, was tough, he played defense and was a wonderful guy.”
Overall, Patterson played in 46 basketball games and averaged 10.3 points per contest. He was a starter on the 1952-53 team that advanced to the championship game of the NCAA Tournament; the following season he averaged 11.2 points per game. During the 1953 baseball season he hit .236 while playing shortstop in 10 of 16 games for the Jayhawks.
A key contributor on KU’s 1952 and 1953 football teams, Patterson continued his football career in the Canadian Football League, and was a perennial all-star, playing for Grey Cup-winning teams in 1963, 1965 and 1967. During his 14-year career he scored 76 touchdowns, caught 460 passes for 9,473 yards and tied the league record for pass receptions in 1960. Patterson was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1971.
Known as Hal, Patterson played for the Montreal Alouettes from 1954-60 and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats from 1961-67. He was named Eastern All-Defensive Back for five consecutive seasons – 1954-58 – and was also named Eastern All-Offensive End seven times – 1956, 1957, 1960, 1962, 1963, 1964 and 1965.
In 1962, 1963 and 1964 Patterson was named All-Canadian Offensive End. He was awarded the CFL’s (Schenley) Most Outstanding Player Award in 1956, as well as the Jeff Russel Memorial Trophy, recognizing the most outstanding player in the CFL’s East Division.
“I want to thank John Hadl for telling everyone how good I really was,” Patterson said. “I appreciate everyone’s votes.”
A native of nearby Leavenworth, Kan., Simien started attending Kansas basketball camps when he was in the seventh grade, and said coming to Kansas was a “life-long dream.” As a forward, Simien ended his career at Kansas as No. 12 in scoring (1,593 points), No. 7 in rebounds (884), No. 4 in double-doubles (38) and tied for fourth in double-figure rebounds (39). Simien helped lead Kansas to a 110-28 record during his career, along with three Big 12 Championships and four NCAA Tournament appearances.
A consensus First-Team All-American his senior year (2005), Simien was also a two-time All-Big 12 First Team selection (2004 and 2005). He was the 2005 Big 12 Player of the Year, as well as an all-tournament team selection at the 2005 Big 12 Championship. Also in 2005, Simien was recipient of the Bayer Advantage Senior CLASS Award. Simien was a finalist for both the John R. Wooden Award and the Naismith Award during his junior and senior seasons.
“I have never coached a bigger stud than Wayne Simien,” head basketball coach Bill Self said. “He is the best collegiate player that I have had the honor to work with. You could throw the ball to him on the left block and it was money.”
In his sophomore year Simien was a member of the Preseason NIT all-tournament team and was named to the 2002 Big 12 All-Reserve team.
“Little do people know that I have been coached by KU coaches since the time I was born,” Simien said. “My mother was born and raised in Lawrence and is a huge KU fan. My high school coach, Larry Hogan, is a KU alumnus, and my summer league coach, Lafayette Norwood, coached Larry Hogan in high school. He then came to coach at KU. By no means would I have had the type of success I had without the support from the people around me.”
Simien was selected 29th in the first round of the 2005 NBA Draft by the Miami Heat, with whom he won an NBA Championship in 2006. Simien retired from professional basketball in May 2009 to pursue work in Christian ministry.
The 2003-04 Kansas men’s basketball season was head coach Bill Self’s first at KU. With three returning starters, five highly-touted freshmen and a brand-new coaching staff, KU posted 24 wins and a run to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight.
“It was a fun team to coach and it was a team of personalities,” Self said. “It is nice for me to see how the guys have matured. They were a mature group in 2004, but now they have grown into men. It was great group of guys and I loved coaching them.”
The 2004 team had a record of 24-9, finished tied for second in the Big 12 and earned a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament’s St. Louis Region. KU advanced to the Regional Final, losing to Georgia Tech in overtime.
In 2003-04, Kansas claimed at least 20 wins for the 15th-straight season and at least 24 victories for the fifth-straight year. It also collected at least 10 wins in league play for the 10th-straight season, going 12-4 in Big 12 action.
“We had great year in 2004 and assistant coach Norm Roberts was really there for me,” 2004 men’s basketball team member Michael Lee said. “Coach Self did a great job of managing everybody and unifying the team. We still have great relationships with each other and have a good time together. I was so fortunate to be a part of great teams and great coaches at the University of Kansas.”
Juniors Keith Langford and Simien each scored their 1,000th career points during that season. Simien was named All-Big 12 First Team, marking the third-straight year Kansas placed a player on that squad. Simien, along with teammate Aaron Miles, made the NCAA St. Louis Regional all-tournament team. Miles, who would later become KU’s all-time assists leader, was also named to the Big 12 All-Defense Team. Sophomore Christian Moody and senior Brett Olson were both named to the Academic All-Big 12 First Team.
KU Men’s Basketball 2003-04 Roster:
Coaching staff: Bill Self, Norm Roberts, Tim Jankovich, Joe Dooley, Ben Miller, Danny Manning, Sean Harrington, Brett Ballard.
Players: Nick Bahe, Jeremy Case, J.R. Giddens, Jeff Graves, Jeff Hawkins, Keith Langford, Michael Lee, Aaron Miles, Christian Moody, Bryant Nash, Moulaye Niang, Brett Olson, David Padgett, Wayne Simien, Stephen Vinson, Omar Wilkes.
The Kansas Athletics Hall of Fame was established to formally recognize outstanding individual and team achievements and to preserve the heritage and tradition of the University’s intercollegiate athletics program. The Hall of Fame display is located in the Booth Family Hall of Athletics.