Sports

Eleven Kansans headed into state Sports Hall of Fame

Jeff Tuttle/The Wichita Eagle

The 2015 Kansas Sports Hall of Fame induction class announced Monday is dotted with successful coaches and nationally-prominent athletes. An alphabetical look at the new inductees, to be enshrined Oct. 4:

Coffeyville native Terry Beeson was a four-year Kansas Jayhawk linebacker in the mid-1970s, earning All-Big Eight honors as a senior, and played four years in the NFL.

Topeka’s Ken Berry spent one year at Wichita State playing center field and football before embarking on a 14-year major-league career with the White Sox, Angels, Brewers and Indians. He was a two-time Gold Glove Award winner and a 1967 AL All-Star.

Former Kansas softball coach Tracy Bunge played at KU first, leading the Jayhawks in home runs four times and pitching victories three times. A three-time All-Big Eight selection and a 1986 All-American, she was 409-345-2 as KU coach from 1997 to 2009. Those are the most wins in KU’s softball history.

Chase’s Paul Coffman was an All-Big Eight tight end at Kansas State, playing in Manhattan from 1975-77. He went undrafted, but signed with the Green Bay Packers and played 11 seasons, earning All-Pro honors three times.

Chic Downing was an All-State basketball selection at Atchison High, an NAIA All-American at St. Benedict’s (now Benedictine), and later an All-State Coach of the Year while coaching back at Atchison, where he spent 17 seasons. Atchison won four state titles under Downing, who was also an accomplished softball player.

Kenny Harrison won Olympic gold in 1996 with a triple jump of 59 feet, 4 1/4 inches, setting the Olympic and American records. He won 15 conference titles in the triple jump and long jump for Kansas State, where he competed from 1985 to 1988.

Sterling College’s Lonnie Kruse, from Holyrood, was the program’s career scoring leader, then returned to Sterling later as women’s coach and was 706-244, the most coaching wins in Kansas women’s basketball history. He was KCAC coach of the year 12 times and his teams reached 16 NAIA national tournaments.

Sublette’s Shalee Lehning led her high school team to two state titles, then was All-Big 12 twice while at Kansas State, leaving the program as the career leader in rebounds, steals, games and games started. She played three WNBA seasons and has her K-State jersey retired.

Brian Moorman was a standout football player and track athlete at Sedgwick High and Pittsburg State, where he was a 14-time All-American and six-time academic All-American. He reached the NFL as a punter and has spent 14 years in the league, mostly with the Bills but also with the Seahawks and Cowboys.

Troy Morrell will be inducted a year after he resigned following a 15-year run as Butler Community College’s winningest football coach (146-19). Morrell’s Grizzlies won 12 Jayhawk Conference titles and national championships in 2003, 2007 and 2008.

Dick Sanders, a three-sport star at North High, continued his versatility at the University of Wichita in the 1950s. He was a quarterback and defensive back in football, a basketball guard, and a baseball shortstop. Baseball was his future, and he signed a pro contract with the Yankees in 1962. He played eight minor-league seasons before becoming a semipro staple and a National Baseball Congress World Series All-American in 1964, 1965 and 1966.

  Comments