The Kansas Sports Hall of Fame has announced the members of the Class of 2013, who will be enshrined in ceremonies on Oct. 6 at the Wichita Boathouse.
The new inductees total eight, including Wichita Carroll High School star and Colorado State All-American Mike Bell, joined by Pittsburg State’s three-time national football coach of the year Chuck Broyles, along with two-time Kansas State All-American women’s basketball player Nicole Ohlde and Martín Gramática, a two-time All-America football selection as a placekicker at Kansas State.
Three members of the 1952 Kansas national championship basketball team and Olympic gold medalists — Al Kelley of McCune, Bob Kenney of Winfield and Bill Lienhard of Newton. Former Boston Celtics players Bob Brannum of Winfield will be enshrined posthumously.
The new class raises the total number of inductees to 227 in the Kansas hall, which is celebrating its 52nd anniversary this year.
• MIKE BELL, WICHITA
Mike Bell, a native of Wichita and an all-state football player at Wichita’s Bishop Carroll High School, played collegiately at Colorado State University, where he was an All-American in 1977 and a consensus All-American defensive tackle selection in 1978. A sack specialist, Bell recorded 25 sacks during his collegiate career and left Colorado State as the career leader in that category. Bell parlayed his stellar collegiate career into a first round, second overall selection by the Kansas City Chiefs in the 1979 NFL Draft.
He played 12 years with the Chiefs, totaling nearly 500 tackles, recovering 10 fumbles and recording 40 sacks. Bell led the Chiefs in sacks in 1983 and 1987 and was selected as a Pro Bowl alternate in 1983 and 1984. Bell was inducted into the Colorado State University Athletics Hall of Fame in 2001.
• BOB BRANNUM, WINFIELD
Bob Brannum had a career in basketball that spanned over four decades. A star high school player standing 6-foot-5, the Winfield native led his high school squad to the state tournament in both his junior and senior seasons before enrolling to play for fellow Kansan Adolph Rupp at the University of Kentucky in 1943.
Brannum had an immediate impact for the “Baron” and Kentucky, leading the Wildcats in scoring as a freshman and being named a consensus first-team All-America selection. Following a transfer to Michigan State University after his discharge from military service during World War II, Brannum was drafted by the Sheboygan Redskins of the National Basketball League. Brannum played professionally for five seasons, first with Sheboygan and later the Boston Celtics.
Following his playing career, Brannum became one of the most successful collegiate coaches in the New England area, coaching at Norwich University, Kenyon College and Brandeis University from 1961 to 1986. When he retired, Brannum held the record for all-time coaching wins at Brandeis University and was inducted into that school’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001.
• CHUCK BROYLES,
Broyles, from Mulberry, was responsible for one of the greatest eras in college football history. After a stellar career as a player in which he was an honorable mention NAIA All-American in 1968 at Pittsburg State University, Broyles entered the coaching ranks. Broyles was an assistant and head coach at various stops in Kansas and Missouri before going back to Pittsburg State as an assistant to Dennis Franchione in 1988.
Broyles served as an assistant for just two seasons and was hired as the head coach of his alma mater in 1990. It was as a head coach that Broyles really made his mark and becoming one of the most successful coaches in college football history, posting a record of 198-47-2. Under Broyles, the Gorillas made four appearances in the Division-II national championship game, including winning the national championship in 1991.
Broyles’ career win percentage of .806 placed him third on the all-time Division-II coaching list when he retired in 2009. He was named a three-time national Coach of the Year and was inducted into the Pittsburg State athletics Hall of Fame in 2011.
• NICOLE OHLDE,
Clay Center’s Nicole Ohlde is another in a long line of decorated women’s basketball players from the state, who will join her K-State All-American teammate, Kendra Wecker, in the Hall of Fame this fall. Ohlde was a first team all-state basketball selection and state-champion high jumper her senior year at Clay Center and chose to play at K-State, where she rewrote the school’s record books and graduated as “the most decorated player in school history.”
She was named the Big 12 Freshman of the Year and garnered third-team all-conference honors in her first season in Manhattan. That was only the tip of the iceberg. She was named the Big 12 Player of the Year in both 2003 and 2004, and was a consensus first team All-American both seasons as well. She was a finalist for the Wade Trophy and the Naismith National Player of the Year twice and was a John R. Wooden Award finalist in 2004.
Ohlde was named the Big 12 Female Athlete of the Year in 2004. When she graduated from K-State, she held spots in the school’s top five all-time in scoring, rebounds, field goals made, blocks, career double-doubles, free throws made, free throws attempted and minutes played. She was selected as the sixth overall pick in the 2004 WNBA Draft by the Minnesota Lynx and played seven years, winning a championship with the Phoenix Mercury in 2009. Ohlde was the first women’s basketball player to have her number retired at Kansas State in 2004.
• MARTÍN GRAMÁTICA, KSU
Although not a native Kansan, former Kansas State University placekicker Martín Gramática will always hold a special place in the hearts of Wildcat fans across the state. A four-year letterman at K-State, Gramática rewrote the record books on his way to being named a two-time All-American in 1997 and 1998. He holds K-State career records for scoring, extra-points made, extra-point attempts, field goals made and field goal attempts.
During the 1998 season, when Kansas State secured its first No. 1 football ranking before falling to Texas A&M in double-overtime in the Big 12 championship game in St. Louis, Gramática set an NCAA record for longest made field goal without the use of a tee when he kicked a 65 yard field goal.
Gramática won the 1997 Lou Groza Award, given to the nation’s top collegiate kicker, and was the runner-up for the award in 1998. He went on to play nine NFL seasons, where he won a Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2002 and was named to the 2001 NFC Pro Bowl team. In 2008, Gramática was honored in the K-State Ring of Honor at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.
• AL KELLEY, McCUNE
A native of McCune in Crawford County, Earl Allen “Al” Kelley was a standout on the Kansas basketball teams from 1952 to 1954 and went on to become an Olympic gold medalist in 1960. Kelley saw limited playing time on the 1952 KU national championship team as a sophomore, but came into his own during his junior season in 1953 when the Jayhawks finished as the national runners-up.
Kelley averaged 12.9 points per game as a junior and 12.4 points per game as a senior co-captain of the team in 1954. He was named to the All-Big Seven team in both 1953 and 1954. Kelley still ranks in the top ten all-time at KU for season free-throw percentage when he dropped in 86.2 percent in 1954. Following his collegiate career, Kelley was drafted in the seventh round of the 1954 NBA draft, although he instead chose to play for the AAU powerhouse Peoria (Ill.) Caterpillars.
In his first season with the Caterpillars in 1954, Kelley helped lead the team to the AAU national title and the 1954 World Basketball Championship in Brazil. He was selected to play on the Olympic team for the 1960 Rome Games where the United States claimed gold, beating every opponent by an average score of over 40 points per game. As a result of their historic run, the entire 1960 USA Olympic team, including Kelley, was the first Olympic team to be enshrined in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010.
• BOB KENNEY, WINFIELD
Robert “Bob” Kenney was also a member of the 1952 KU national championship team and was a member of the 1952 Olympic gold medal team. A three sport star for Winfield High School in the late 1940s, Kenney played both football and basketball at KU in 1950 and 1951 before deciding to just play basketball during his senior year of 1952. He was second on the team in scoring in both 1951 and 1952 and was a captain of the 1952 championship squad. Kenney was also an All-Big Seven selection in 1952. One of seven Jayhawks selected to play on the 1952 U.S. Olympic team, Kenney was second on the U.S. team in scoring and averaged 10.9 points per contest. He scored in double digits four times in the eight games and was a major contributor for the gold medal team. He was also a member of the U.S. team that won the gold medal in the 1955 Pan American Games.
• BILL LIENHARD, NEWTON
William B. “Bill” Lienhard was another standout on the star-studded 1952 KU national championship team and a member of the 1952 Olympic gold medal squad. After earning All-State honors and leading the state in scoring his senior year for Coach John Ravenscroft at Newton High School in 1948, Lienhard attended the University of Kansas, where he was a three year starter for Coach Phog Allen. Lienhard was named a captain of the 1952 team and averaged 5.8 points per game during that championship season.
Linehard’s calling card was an outstanding one-handed set shot which the KU game program described as “deadly against zone defenses” and described Lienhard as the “finest one-hand set shooter in Kansas basketball history.” He was selected to play on the 1952 Olympic team, where he averaged 4.0 points per game on the way to winning a gold medal.
— Mack McClure