Six Jayhawks inducted into Kansas Sports Hall of Fame
WICHITA, Kan. – The University of Kansas was well represented at the 2016 Kansas Sports Hall of Fame (KSHOF) induction ceremonies Sunday evening at the Crown Uptown Theater in Wichita.
Half of those enshrined had KU ties including four former student-athletes, a Jayhawk assistant men’s basketball coach and a KU broadcasting legend. KU standout athletes Bill Bridges (men’s basketball), Tamecka Dixon (women’s basketball), Bill Dotson (track & field) and Scott Huffman (track & field), along with former men’s basketball assistant coach Lafayette Norwood and broadcaster Bob Davis, represented Kansas Athletics, and K Club, before a crowd of 250-plus in the two-hour ceremony .
“I am lucky to be part of a great tradition at Kansas,” Dotson said during his induction. “Al Oerter, Billy Mills, Cliff Cushman, Ernie Shelby, Charlie Tidwell – I was fortunate to follow in their footsteps. I’m a good example of the saying that your passion will be your destiny; all you have to do is believe.”
Many KU distinguished KSHOF inductees were in attendance including former women’s basketball coach Marian Washington, who was enshrined in 2006 and was Dixon’s collegiate coach. Jayhawk track and field stalwart Billy Mills, who was enshrined in 1973, former men’s basketball player Darnell Valentine, a 2003 inductee, and broadcasting legend Max Falkenstien, who was enshrined in 2001, also attended the evening’s ceremony. Current KU head coach Brandon Schneider was among the many KU officials present at the event.
Dixon made her second-straight public speaking appearance representing Kansas Athletics in as many days as she took center stage during the 2016 Late Night in the Phog the day before in Allen Fieldhouse.
“When Coach Marian Washington came to my home, there was an immediate connection,” Dixon said during her induction speech. “I grew up in Kansas. Thank you coach for believing in me. Your guidance did, and still does, mean the world to me.”
Joining the KU aforementioned in the Class of 2016 KSHOF were: Steve Anson (Kansas State and Washburn baseball), Jerry Kill (national football coach of the year from Cheney), Deandra Doubrava-McBride (Emporia State track & field), Jaime Mendez III (Kansas State football), Austra Skujyte (Kansas State track & field) and George Sweatt (Pittsburg State and Negro League World Series Champion). Anson, Bridges and Sweatt were honored posthumously. The 12-person 2016 class raises the total number of Kansas Sports Hall of Fame inductees to 260. The Kansas Sports Hall of Fame is in its 55th year of operation.
About the KU Inductees (per the KSHOF):
Bridges, originally from Hobbs, New Mexico, is another in a long line of KU basketball players to make their mark on Kansas sports history. A three-time Big Eight Conference selection, Bridges compiled more than 1,000 points and rebounds during his three-year Kansas career. In 1961, Bridges was named a first-team All-America selection. Following his collegiate career, Bridges was selected by the St. Louis Hawks in the 1961 NBA Draft. Bridges played 13 NBA seasons with the St. Louis/Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Lakers and the Golden State Warriors, where he totaled more than 11,000 career points and rebounds. Bridges was a three-time NBA All-Star in 1967, 1968 and 1970. Bridges was inducted to the KU Athletics Hall of Fame and the New Mexico Sports Hall of Fame in 2014.
Iola born and Topeka raised, Davis is a name that sports fans across the state will recognize. A graduate of Topeka West High School in 1962 and Washburn University in 1967, Davis began his broadcasting career at Fort Hays State University in 1968 as the Voice of the Tigers. For the next 48 years, fans of many teams across the state and region could count on Davis’s voice calling the action of their favorite teams. In 1984, Davis moved to Lawrence and the KU to be the Voice of the Jayhawks, a position he held until 2016. During that span, Davis called eight Jayhawks’ Final Four appearances, including two National Championships in 1988 and 2008, and six KU football bowl games. From 1997 to 2013, Davis also called baseball games for the Kansas City Royals. Davis was named the Kansas Sportscaster of the Year 14 times and a two-time recipient of the Kansas State High School Activities Association’s Oscar Stauffer Sports Broadcasting Award. Davis has been honored in numerous athletic halls of fame across the state, including the Fort Hays State Athletics Tiger Hall of Fame in 1990, the Kansas Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame in 2006, and the Topeka West High School Graduates Hall of Fame in 2011.
A native of Linden, New Jersey, Dixon left a legacy at KU that is unrivaled. A two-time Big Eight/Big 12 All-Conference selection in 1996 and 1997, Dixon was also named the conference player of the year both seasons and earned All-America honors in 1997. Dixon led the Jayhawks to four NCAA Tournament appearances, scoring more than 1,600 points and totaling more than 330 assists for her KU career. Dixon was drafted in the first round of the 1997 WNBA Draft by the Los Angeles Sparks and was named a three-time WNBA All-Star during her professional career with the Sparks, Houston Comets and Indiana Fever. Dixon also won two WNBA Championships with the Sparks. Dixon is an inductee of the KU Athletics Hall of Fame and her #33 jersey was retired by KU in 2003.
Kansas has a long history of producing some of the finest distance runners in American history and Concordia, Kansas, native Dotson is another in the long line of track stars from the Sunflower State. Dotson broke fellow Kansas Sports Hall of Fame inductee Glenn Cunningham’s 28-year-old high school mile record before graduating from Concordia High School in 1958. Dotson then enrolled at the University of Kansas where he became a two-time All-American and the first KU athlete to break the four-minute mile mark in 1962. Dotson won five Big Eight Conference track titles, including three indoor titles and two outdoor titles, and won the Big Eight Conference title in cross country in 1961. Dotson set three American records in the mile during his career. In 2008, Dotson was inducted to the KU Athletics Hall of Fame.
Quinter, Kansas, native Huffman literally rewrote the technique of the pole vault during his career. After winning the high school state championship in the pole vault at Quinter in 1983, Huffman walked on at KU where he perfected what became known as the “Huffman Roll” pole vault technique. Huffman won the 1986 Big Eight Conference outdoor and the 1988 Big Eight Conference indoor championships and was named an indoor All-American in 1986 and 1988. In 1994, Huffman entered his name in the American record books as he used his patented technique to hurl himself over 19-feet, seven inches, for an American record. Huffman was a three-time USA Track and Field National Champion following his career at KU and he competed in the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, finishing 13th. Huffman was inducted to the KU Athletics Hall of Fame and was named to the Pole Vault Summit Hall of Fame Class of 2016.
With a coaching career that spanned parts of six decades in multiple sports, and at both the high school and collegiate levels, there are few accolades that Wichita native Norwood did not accomplish. A graduate of Wichita East High School in 1952, Norwood attended Cowley College for two years before completing his degree at Southwestern College in 1956. In 1969, Norwood made history when he was named the head basketball coach at Wichita Heights High School and became the first African American coach in the Wichita school district. Norwood led the Falcons to 109-56 record and a state championship in 1977 before being named an assistant coach for fellow Kansas Sports Hall of Fame inductee Ted Owens at the University of Kansas in 1978. In 1981, Norwood was named the head basketball and golf coach at Johnson County Community College. Norwood was inducted to the Southwestern College Athletic Hall of Fame in 1992, the Cowley College Hall of Fame in 2002, and the Wichita Sports Hall of Fame in 2014.
KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.