Gene Keady, born in Larned in 1936, was honored Saturday at Moffett Stadium on Third Street, where Keady was raised by his parents, Mary Helen and Lloyd Gibson Keady.
The six-time National Coach of the Year guided the Purdue Boilermakers to 512 victories and six Big Ten championships during a 25-year coaching career. He played football, baseball and ran track at Kansas State University. He led six teams to the NJCAA Tournament at Hutchinson Community College.
He will be inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame at the Midland Theatre in Kansas City, Mo. on Nov. 24. He currently serves as a special advisor at St. John University in New York.
“This is something totally unexpected, but it’s really appreciated,” Keady said. “I love my hometown and it is terrific to be honored in this way by the Larned community. Throughout my career, I have been fortunate to have been surrounded by a supportive family and so many individuals that I would like to share this honor with.”
“I’m very humbled,” he said. “I spent a lot of time on this field (Moffat Field).Sports in Larned kept me out of trouble. It was a great place to grow up.
“I appreciate you being here,” said the coach. “I’ll never forget it.”
Keady was born in Larned, grew up and graduated from Larned High School. After 1954, he left the area to pursue his coaching career.
Mayor Robert Pivonka said the idea to rename the street was suggested by Mark Fratto, St. John University Senior Associate Athletics for Communication. The city council approved the idea and thought Santa Fe Trail Days would be a good time to hold the ceremony.
“The city appreciates everything he has done,” said Pivonka.