EKU inducts 12 into athletics Hall of Fame

RICHMOND, Ky. – The Eastern Kentucky University Athletics Hall of Fame enshrined its 12th induction class, featuring eight individuals and the 1982 national championship football team, during a Saturday afternoon ceremony at the EKU Center for the Arts.

The 2017 induction class included: Evy Abell McKemie (volleyball, 1975-78), Michael Haney (men’s basketball, 2001-05), Elroy Harris (football, 1985-88), Brad Morris (men’s golf, 1998-02), Dallas Robinson (men’s track and field, 2003-06), Charlotte Sizemore (women’s basketball, 1997-02), Jessie Small (football, 1985-89), Guy Strong (men’s basketball & baseball, 1955, 1967-73) and the 1982 football team.

The group was also recognized at halftime of the Colonels’ football game against Tennessee State.

For more information on the EKU Athletics Hall of Fame, please contact Karl Park, Executive Director of the EKU Athletics Hall of Fame, 859-200-6686 or karl.park@eku.edu.

Here are the biographies for the 2017 induction class:

Evy Abell McKemie (volleyball, 1975-78)
As a true Title IX athlete, Abell McKemie received an inaugural women’s basketball scholarship at Eastern Kentucky in 1975, realizing her childhood dream. She also pursued volleyball as a new sport upon entering EKU, which led to two months of overlap back-to-back practicing, allowing her only enough time to change from volleyball to basketball shoes. During her junior year, she was advised to select one sport. She chose volleyball, receiving an inaugural women’s volleyball scholarship and continuing her outstanding four-year career. She was a two-year choice for all-state honors and Southern Region II Large College All-Region teams. She competed in three National Women’s Collegiate Volleyball Championships under the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women. Serving as co-captain during her junior and senior years, Abell McKemie excelled as a competitor and leader. She was selected as volleyball “Sportswoman of the Year” for her junior and senior years, while pursuing her bachelor’s degree in accounting. In addition to EKU honors and becoming a CPA, she was three-time All-World and All-World Team of the 1970’s Decade for the U.S. Slow-Pitch Softball Association; KHSAA basketball all-state tournament team; Louisville Chamber of Commerce Female High School Athlete of the Year; and retirement of Seneca High School jersey No. 11, joining George and Wes Unseld as being the only basketball players in the history of Seneca to have their numbers retired. She is a 32-year board member for a financial institution, member of several civic organizations and has coached more than a thousand youth in baseball, softball, volleyball and basketball. Residing in Anchorage, Kentucky, she maintains a 200-acre farm in Spencer County.

Michael Haney (men’s basketball, 2001-05)
Haney lettered four years for the Eastern men’s basketball team from 2001-2005. He was named first team All-Ohio Valley Conference and was chosen as the OVC Tournament MVP as a senior. He was a member of Eastern’s All-Century Team chosen in 2009. He played in 113 games as a Colonel, scoring 1,289 points, 16th on the all-time list, and grabbing 783 rebounds, eighth best total in school history. Haney scored 416 points and grabbed 257 rebounds his senior year, finishing third in the OVC in rebounding. He hit more than 50 percent from the field in each of his four seasons with the Colonels, culminating his senior year when he finished second in the OVC in field goal percentage with his 62.4 mark. He was one of the driving forces when coach Travis Ford’s EKU Colonels won the OVC and gave the University of Kentucky a scare before losing in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Haney also closed his career ranked sixth in steals with 154, eighth in field goal percentage at 55 percent. Since 2005, he has been involved with an Australian professional basketball league. He started his stint there playing six seasons with the Goldfields Giants before serving as an assistant coach from 2012-2014. The last three years, he has served as the Goldfields Giants’ head coach.

Elroy Harris (football, 1985-88)
Harris had a brilliant three-year career running the football for head coach Roy Kidd from 1985-1988. Selected as EKU’s All-Century tailback in 2009, he closed his career with 4,555 yards rushing, second on the Colonels’ all-time list. He also scored 58 career touchdowns and totaled 355 career points, both Eastern records. In 1988, he totaled 27 touchdowns and scored 164 points which still stand as school single season records. Harris began his career in fine fashion in 1985 as a freshman, rushing for 1,134 yards and 14 touchdowns, a season which included three touchdowns in Eastern’s 45-21 mashing of Louisville. He was OVC Freshman of the Week six times that season and led the league in scoring with 88 points while being named honorable mention All-OVC. After his sophomore year he garnered first team All-OVC and honorable mention All-America honors while rushing for an OVC-leading 1,423 yards and 17 touchdowns. In 16 of his 18 games through his first two years of playing for the Colonels, he rushed for 100 or more yards. In his final season, Harris had his best year yet as a Colonel being named first-team All-America and first team All-OVC while rushing for a school record 1,998 yards and scoring 27 touchdowns. While being named OVC Player of the Year in 1988, he rushed for a career-best 244 yards against Murray State and set an EKU single season record for most carries with 371. Harris finished his career as the OVC career leader for most points with 288. In the 1989 NFL Draft, he was selected in the third round by the Seattle Seahawks.

Brad Morris (men’s golf, 1998-02)
Morris competed from 1998-2002 for coach Pat Stephens’ men’s golf team, serving as co-captain his final two years. He led Eastern to a second-place finish in the OVC Tournament where the Colonels lost in a playoff in 2002. He competed in all but two tournaments in his four seasons at EKU, winning three individual tournament titles his senior year. Morris was listed among the nation’s top five golfers in scoring average in the fall of 2001, averaging 69 per 18 holes. He was a two-time All-OVC selection and received the Male Scholar Athlete of the Year Award in 2002. He was also a Verizon Wireless First Team Academic All-American and Golf Coaches Association of America All-American Scholar in 2001 and 2002. Morris was a top 16 participant in the 2002 U.S. Amateur Golf Championship and a top 64 participant in this same tourney in 2001. After attaining his bachelor’s degree from Eastern in 2002, he went to the University of Kentucky College of Medicine where he graduated with high distinction. Morris is currently an ENT surgeon in Bowling Green, Kentucky. He serves the Bowling Green medical community as Vice President of the Medical Staff at the Medical Center at Bowling Green as a physician for the Kentucky Commission for Children with Special Healthcare Needs and ENT of Bowling Green offices.

Dallas Robinson (men’s track and field, 2003-06)
Robinson competed three seasons for head coach Rick Erdmann’s track team. In this span from 2003-2006, he was the OVC Indoor and Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year and earned 16 top three finishes at the OVC championships and won nine gold medals. He also received Athlete of the Championship and Athlete of the Year honors and was a six-time choice for the OVC Track Athlete of the Week award. Robinson was the 2003 and 2005 outdoor 100 meter champion, as well as the 2004 and 2005 outdoor 200 meter winner. The school record holder in the indoor 200 meters, he won the OVC championship in this event in 2005. After graduation, he was ranked first nationally in the 55-meter dash by USA Track and Field and also first in the world in that event, the only EKU athlete to achieve this honor. He is the United States’ only ever three-sport Team USA qualifier in USA Rugby Sevens and Fifteen and USA bobsled two and four-man national team. He is the only Soldier-Olympian. He competed three years as a team USA bobsled athlete and an Olympic team competitor as a US soldier, becoming only one of six to compete in Sochi Russia while serving full-time active duty in the military while a member of the 2014 USA Bobsled Team. Robinson was also one of three soldiers who competed in the 2014 Olympics in more than one sport. As a bobsled athlete, he broke five Olympic Training Center records. Competing in the World Championship Team event in 2012-14, he collected three World Cup medals. While serving in the U.S. Army, he graduated first in his training class, receiving the title Soldier of the Cycle and was promoted to Sergeant in just 11 months of service. Robinson received the Meritorious Service Medal, the highest non-combat medal a soldier can receive.

Charlotte Sizemore (women’s basketball, 1997-02)
Sizemore played four years for head coach Larry Joe Inman’s women’s basketball team from 1997-2002. She is EKU’s seventh all-time leading scorer, finishing her career with 1,561 points. She is also the 10th all-time leading rebounder with 611 rebounds, tied for ninth in three-pointers with 122 and sixth in career blocks with 71. Sizemore was a three-time All-OVC performer, including collecting first-team accolades her sophomore and senior years. As a sophomore, she led the team in scoring with 17.6 points per game and received the team’s award for Best Offensive Player. As a junior, she was a second-team all-conference selection while scoring 12.5 points per game. She was fourth in the league in assists and steals and fifth in blocked shots. She scored her 1,000th point that season against Murray State. She returned to the first-team All-OVC list as a senior, leading the Colonels in scoring with her 12.7 per game average and finishing second in the OVC in steals with 72. Playing in 119 career games at EKU, Sizemore was a part of 78 victories and two Colonel teams that tied for the OVC regular season championship in 1997-98 and 2001-02.

Jessie Small (football, 1985-89)
Small played four seasons, 1985-1988, for head coach Roy Kidd’s EKU Colonels at the defensive end position. He was a two-time All-OVC performer and in his senior season was named first team All-America by Kodak, Football News and Sports Network. He continues to hold the Eastern single season record for quarterback sacks with 13. Following his playing career at Eastern, the Philadelphia Eagles chose him as the 49th pick of the NFL Draft. While playing three seasons for the Eagles, Small played in 47 games, starting 23. In 1990, he was ranked fourth, behind Reggie White, Seth Joyner and Clyde Simmons, in quarterback sacks as part of the Eagles’ “Gang Green” defense. Following his years with the Eagles, his NFL career continued with the Arizona Cardinals and Houston Oilers. Small then spent a stint in the Canadian Football League with the Hamilton Tiger Cats for three years, where he totaled 109 solo tackles, 105 assists, 25 quarterback sacks and an interception. He has continued his love for education following his days in the NFL. He has accomplished an associate of arts degree in criminal investigation from Florida Metropolitan University; a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice (Summa Cum Laude) and a master’s degree in business administration from Everest University; and recently completed a Doctorate of Philosophy in Organizational Leadership and Change Management (Magna Cum Laude) from Walden University. Small has devoted his life to mentoring youth in the communities in which he has lived.

Guy Strong (men’s basketball & baseball, 1955, 1967-73)
Strong served as head coach of the EKU men’s basketball team from 1967-73, leading the Colonels to the 1972 OVC championship and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament where Eastern lost to eventual NCAA tourney runner-up Florida State 83-81. Strong has reached the highest level in intercollegiate athletics as both a player and as a coach, having previously coached Kentucky Wesleyan to the 1965-66 NCAA Division II national championship and being a member of the University of Kentucky’s 1951 national championship squad. After playing three seasons at UK, he transferred to Eastern in 1951-52 and received his commission in field artillery and went on active duty in the Korean War from 1952-54. Upon discharge, he came to Eastern where he played the 1954-55 season for head coach Paul McBrayer’s Maroons, helping Eastern win the 1955 conference championship. He also played baseball at Kentucky and EKU. He was chosen OVC Coach of the Year in 1972, was inducted in to the Kentucky High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 1993 and then was inducted in to the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002. Strong was chosen NABC Division II National Coach of the Year in 1966. He closed his coaching career, which included stops at Kentucky Wesleyan, EKU, Oklahoma State and Clark County High School, with an impressive overall coaching record of 541-355. A 1955 graduate of EKU, he was honored in 1993 by being chosen to enter the EKU Hall of Distinguished Alumni.

1982 Football Team
This team was special, compiling a perfect 13-0 season which included Eastern’s second football national championship. Putting together a spotless 10-0 regular season record, the Colonels who were ranked No. 1 in the nation most of the year, defeated Idaho 38-30 and a very talented Tennessee State team 13-7 in the first two rounds of the playoffs, putting EKU in to its fourth consecutive national title game. The national championship was played in Wichita Falls, Texas, against the University of Delaware, who came in 11-1 and ranked third in the country. A 77-yard return of a blocked field goal for a touchdown put the Colonels ahead 17-0 and, despite 14 fourth quarter points by Delaware, Eastern walked away with a 17-14 victory and its second national title in four years. EKU scored 336 points and gave up just 200 points, including holding six opponents to 14 points or less. Highlights of the season included a last-second season opening 20-19 win over South Carolina State; a 35-21 victory at Western Kentucky; and the famous fourth-quarter touchdown drive that culminated in a thrilling last-second 21-20 win over Murray State in a game televised nationally.

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station. powered by Disqus