Kansas Athletics Hall of Fame Induction Kicks off K Club and Homecoming Weekend
Oct. 26, 2012
LAWRENCE, Kan. – More than 300 University of Kansas alumni and fans came to pay tribute to the 2012 Kansas Athletics Hall of Fame induction class in a ceremony held in the Booth Family Hall of Athletics late Friday morning.
The event kicked off K Club and Homecoming weekend with track and field All-American Egor Agafonov, soccer standout Holly Gault and the 2006-07 Kansas men’s basketball team inducted. Former KU broadcaster Max Falkenstien served as the emcee for the hour-long ceremony which was followed with a granite paver dedication for former Kansas swimming and diving coach Dick Reamon just east of Allen Fieldhouse.
“There are very, very few institutions that have the history, the tradition and the legacy as the University of Kansas,” KU athletics director Dr. Sheahon Zenger told the crowd. “I’ve had the opportunity to travel the country and be at other institutions. And when you are at those other institutions, you are always trying to build something that will relate to the KU way but you just can’t build it and you can’t buy it. We’ve got it and we’re here to celebrate it today.”
Falkenstien then announced Kansas Athletics had a special recognition for former football head coach and recipient of the 2011 K Club Lifetime Service Award Don Fambrough. In honoring his commitment to KU through his coaching and his work with the University and Lawrence community, several Jayhawks through the Family Promise Organization requested and funded a portrait of Fambrough be painted by KU alum and artist John Martin which was unveiled just prior to the inductions. Fambrough, who passed in September 2011, was represented by his family at the ceremony.
Following the portrait unveiling, former KU coach, administrator and K Club board member Bob Lockwood recognized the 25 and 50-year letterwinner pin honorees.
Introduced by Kansas assistant track and field coach for throws Andy Kokhanovsky, the first Hall of Fame inductee was Agafonov, who made the trip with his wife and son from Russia for the ceremony. Agafonov was a two-time national champion for the Kansas track and field squad during his three-year career in Lawrence from 2006-08. The Togliatti, Russia, native won indoor national championships in the weight throw in 2007 and 2008, joining KU greats Jim Ryun, Leo Bookman and Karl Salb as the only Jayhawks to repeat as indoor national champions. He also dominated the Big 12 Conference scene during his KU career, winning three-consecutive league titles in both the weight throw and hammer throw, becoming the only athlete in the league’s history to three-peat in either event. Agafonov still holds the KU record in the hammer throw at 233-0 ft. Not only did he succeed in the field but also in the classroom. Agafonov was twice a member of the Academic All-Big 12 First Team and, in 2007, was named an ESPN/CoSIDA Academic All-American.
“When I got here yesterday, I felt like I was at home,” Agafonov said who has an economics degree from Kansas. “I came to the KU to learn something new, to see the world and to meet new people. It happened that I became a good athlete and good student. It’s really unexpected (being inducted).”
Currently a fourth-year med student, Gault was introduced by current head coach Mark Francis. The Spring Hill, Kan., earned two All-America distinctions in her career as a defender for the Jayhawks from 2003-06. In 2004 she became Kansas’ only NSCAA First-Team All-America selection. That same season she helped KU to its first Big 12 Championship as it advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second-straight year. With Gault in the backfield, the Jayhawks set a program record, allowing just 13 goals in 2004. Even as a defender, Gault managed the program’s fifth-most career assists with 19. Over her four-year campaign, she also logged the third-most starts in a KU career with 82.
“I’ve always been a Jayhawk. I was born and raised in Kansas,” said Gault who referenced and gave credit her many teammates from her youth soccer teams to her KU squads during her speech. “It’s such an honor to know that my picture will be in the Hall of Fame at KU with all the amazing athletes that came before me and all the amazing athletes that will come after me. It’s a dream come true.”
The final introduction was by Falkenstien who discussed the many accomplishments of the 2006-07 Kansas men’s basketball team. Members from that squad present included Brennan Bechard, Matt Kleinmann, Brady Morningstar and Brad Witherspoon. KU head coach Bill Self took the podium and talked about how the 2006-07 squad was his most athletic and how it set the table for KU’s following season in which it won the 2008 NCAA National Championship.
Without a senior on its roster, in 2007 the Jayhawks under Self, posted a 33-5 record, won the Big 12 regular-season title with a 14-2 mark, the Big 12 Postseason Championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament West Regional championship game. The 2006-07 KU team posted two winning streaks of 10 games or better, and won 14 of their last 15 contests.
“Most of the guys on that team are still playing in the NBA or overseas,” Self said. “They are proud of that team. Beating (Kevin) Durant and Texas twice was a highlight. And, of course, beating Florida right after they won a national championship was also pretty cool as well.”
Reamon was a KU student-athlete and coached men’s swimming and diving at KU from 1963-77. Under Reamon, Kansas won eight-straight Big Eight Conference men’s swimming and diving championships from 1968-75. Approximately 100 former KU swimmer and divers returned to honor Reamon in unveiling two granite pavers. The swim group, here for a swimming and diving reunion, then had a reception in the Naismith Room at Allen Fieldhouse.
“I can’t say there are too many people who have their name in stone and are still standing up and can talk about it,” Reamon quipped. “This is an amazing place. The University has been with me forever. I never left Lawrence so KU has been there through thick and thin forever. To get a chance to have this many people care enough to come back to Lawrence and for us all to get together, (this) is a very, very special moment.”
On Saturday, Oct. 27, K Club will host a tailgate for all its members starting at 9 a.m. on The Hill just south of Memorial Stadium. During KU’s Homecoming game against Texas, the 25 and 50-year letter pin K Club members, the Kansas Athletics Hall of Fame inductees and the swimming and diving reunion will be recognized. At 4 p.m. KU baseball will host the Floyd Temple Alumni Game at Hoglund Ballpark. Temple is a legendary former KU player, coach and administrator who passed away in June 2012.
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, on the east side of historic Allen Fieldhouse.
KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.