Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Webster
Davis Motor Sales banner ad

UK Athletics Hall of Fame Adds Six Celebrated Wildcat Greats

uk logo 300LEXINGTON, Ky. (8/20/13) – Six University of Kentucky greats will be inducted into the UK Athletics Hall of Fame in late September. The 2013 class includes former UK student-athletes and coaches Oliver Barnett (football), Rex Chapman (men’s basketball), Leslie Nichols (women’s basketball), Orlando “Tubby” Smith (men’s basketball), Press Whelan (track/cross country) and Jesse Witten (men’s tennis). The class will be formally inducted during Hall of Fame Weekend, Sept. 27-28, in conjunction with the football game against the University of Florida.

 

 


hof barnettOliver Barnett (1986-89) capped his career as UK’s all-time quarterback sack leader. He earned third-team All-America and first team All-Southeastern Conference distinction as a senior. Barnett registered 271 career tackles and 26 quarterback take-downs as a defensive lineman. In addition to his tackling prowess, Barnett notched 12 forced fumbles and 43 career tackles for loss. As a junior, he was named to the National Strength Coaches Association All-America Team for his on-field performance and excellence in strength training. Furthermore, he was tabbed All-America honorable mention and second-team All-SEC as a junior. His 850-pound squat lift is still the record at UK. Following his collegiate career, Barnett suited up for the Blue-Gray and Senior Bowl all-star games before beginning a six-year stint in the NFL. His professional highlights include a trip to the 1994 Super Bowl as a member of the Buffalo Bills.
 

hof chapmanRex Chapman (1987-88) is one of the most successful players in program history. In just two seasons in the Blue and White, he poured in 1,073 career points. He was a two-time All-SEC first team selection, while also garnering National Association of Basketball Coaches third-team All-America honors following his sophomore season. Chapman claimed Most Valuable Player accolades at the 1988 SEC Tournament, while also excelling in the classroom and being named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll. After concluding two successful seasons as a Wildcat, Chapman was selected eighth overall in the 1988 NBA draft by the Charlotte Hornets. He enjoyed a 12-year career in the NBA before becoming an NBA scout and executive.

 

hof nicholsLeslie Nichols (1983-86) remains one of UK’s greatest performers on the hardwood. She was a three-time All-SEC honoree by the league’s coaches en route to a career record of 72-41 and a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances during her tenure. She still ranks fourth all-time in UK’s career scoring chart with 1,797 career points good for an average of 18.2 per game. A four-year starter at forward, Nichols remains the only player in program history to log a triple-double. She totaled 18 points, 13 rebounds and 11 steals against Louisville in 1986. Furthermore, she ranks second all-time at UK in double-doubles (35), fourth in steals (278), fourth in career rebounds (877) and fifth in blocks (102).

 


hof smithOrlando “Tubby” Smith (1998-2007) coached the Wildcats to the program’s seventh national championship in his inaugural season. At the time, the 35 victories during the 1997-98 title run were tied for the second most in a season in program history. Smith was a three-time National Coach of the Year (1998, 2003, 2005), as well as a three-time SEC Coach of the Year selection. During his term, the Blue and White claimed five regular-season SEC championships and five SEC Tournament crowns. In NCAA Tournament play, Smith finished his career at UK with the sixth-best winning percentage (.690) among active coaches with a sterling 29-13 record, including 23-9 while with the Wildcats. Along with the national title, he guided UK to three additional Elite Eight appearances. In SEC Tournament action, he owned a 20-5 mark in winning five of the events. Smith coached UK to 22 or more victories in all 10 seasons at the helm.

 
hof whelanPress Whelan (1957-61, 1967-73) starred as a national champion and All-American as an athlete before returning as UK’s head coach. As an athlete, Whelan (pronounced “WHAY-lan”) won a national title in the two-man, 10-mile relay. He set a record time while winning the 1957 SEC cross country championship and also captured the SEC track title twice in the two-mile run. His stellar performances led the Blue and White to SEC cross country championships in 1958 and 1959. Following his career, he served as an assistant coach in 1961. He was named the cross country/track and field head coach in 1967 and held the post until 1973. Whelan guided the cross country squad to an SEC title in 1970. His athletes won four individual national titles and 33 conference crowns. Whelan played a role in the integration of the SEC as he coached the league’s first African-American track athlete, Jim Green. Following his collegiate coaching career, he assisted the U.S. State Department by coaching foreign track teams in Turkey and Lebanon. Over the years, he has continued to run and competed in three Senior Olympics and one national senior indoor championship.


hof wittenJesse Witten (2002-05) capped his career as the most decorated men’s tennis player in program history. Upon the conclusion of his career, Witten was the only four-time men’s singles All-American in NCAA history. He earned five All-America honors during his career, four of which came as an individual and one as a doubles player. Witten was a four-time All-SEC selection and the 2005 SEC Player of the Year after claiming 43 singles victories. He advanced to two Grand Slam finals (2004 ITA National Indoor Singles Final and 2002 NCAA Singles Championship) as a Wildcat, and is still the only UK player in school history to achieve the feat. His career got off to a blazing start as he hauled in SEC Freshman of the Year accolades after helping the Wildcats to a 23-10 mark and eighth-place finish at the NCAA Championships in 2002. As a professional player, he qualified for several Grand Slams including the US and French Opens.

The UK Athletics Hall of Fame was started in 2005 to recognize and honor those whose participation and contributions enriched and strengthened the university’s athletic program. A committee consisting of Hall of Famers, media members, campus representatives and current coaches and administrators elects new inductees annually.
 
SurfKY News
Information provided by Tony Neely (UK Athletics)
Photos provided by Ukthletics.com

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

Posted on 2/2/14
2/6/2014 - posted
3/13 - 16
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
2/6/2014 - posted
3/13 - 16
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
2/6/2014 - posted
3/13 - 16
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
2/6/2014 - posted
3/13 - 16
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013

Most Read This Week

October 17, 2014 12037

UK Women's Soccer Welcomes Ole Miss, No. 5/4…

in General Sports For All Sites by UK Athletics
October 20, 2014 5632

Uncle Lee's in Greenville is Closing Its Doors…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by www.unclelees.com
October 17, 2014 3910

Single Vehicle Collision Results in One Injury

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Trooper S. C. Recke
October 19, 2014 3820

Kentucky Energy Department Releases Virtual Solar…

in General News For All Sites by Dick Brown
October 16, 2014 3112

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Oct. 16, 2014

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
October 21, 2014 2982

UPDATE: Pedestrian Struck by Vehicle on Shamrock…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Officer C.P. Haynie
October 17, 2014 2786

Woman Arrested at Taco Bell for DUI

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
October 18, 2014 2768

Muhlenberg County Celebrates New Farmer’s Market

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
October 17, 2014 2680

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Oct. 17, 2014

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
October 20, 2014 2670

Man Charged for Assaulting Pregnant Wife

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department

Stories Trending Today

October 21, 2014 2982

UPDATE: Pedestrian Struck by Vehicle on Shamrock…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Officer C.P. Haynie
October 20, 2014 1957

Hopkins County Board of Education Recognizes…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
October 21, 2014 1870

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Oct. 21, 2014

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
October 21, 2014 1856

Man Charged for Switching Plates on Vehicle;…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
October 20, 2014 1535

Providence Police Reports Released

in Local (Webster) Top News by Chief Brent McDowell
October 21, 2014 1515

Arrival of Overpass Beams for I-69/Pennyrile Pkwy…

in General News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Keith Todd
October 21, 2014 1330

Alliance for a Drug-Free Owensboro-Daviess County…

in Owensboro News by Carla Shelton
October 21, 2014 1249

Meade County Set to Host Third Region Boys'…

in General Sports For All Sites by Steve LeMaster
October 22, 2014 1227

Failure to Signal Ends in Drug Arrest

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
October 21, 2014 1131

RWRA Sewer Repairs Starting Tomorrow

in Owensboro News by Abby Shelton

SurfKY News Group, Inc.
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431
270.452.2727 (phone)
  •  270.452.2249 (fax)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social fbsocial twsocial yt
social gpsocial flrsocial rss