The Kansas Sports Hall of Fame (KSHOF) has announced the members of the Class of 2022 who will be inducted on Sunday, October 2, 2022, at the Kansas Star Casino.
The KSHOF is also proud to announce the Kansas Star Casino as the host and title sponsor for the 2022 KSHOF Induction Ceremony on October 2. This is the fourth year the Kansas Star Casino has been the title sponsor and is the third year of hosting the event.
Jeff Babinski, Vice President and General Manager of the Kansas Star Casino said, “We are pleased to once again help honor the outstanding achievements by Kansas athletes and coaches in this year’s class, both in the world of sports and in the local community. We’re very excited to host the banquet at Kansas Star Casino and can’t wait to meet all the inductees, it will be an exciting day. We look forward to the continued success of the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame in preserving the unique and rich history of our state’s greatest contributors.”
Jordan Poland, President and CEO of the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame said, “We’re excited to be planning for this year’s induction to honor the legacies of this amazing group of athletes, coaches, and contributors. Our world has changed so much in the last several years in dealing with the global pandemic but one thing that hasn’t changed is the level of excellence in athletics produced and influenced by our state and it's a privilege to honor this class of inductees later this fall.”
The KSHOF Class of 2022 consists of ten members. Those inductees include: NASCAR Xfinity, Truck, and Cup Series championship driver CLINT BOWYER from Emporia; Emporia State women’s basketball All-American EMILY BLOSS CARPENTER from Wellsville; Emporia State women’s basketball All-American TARA HOLLOWAY CHURCHILL from Moundridge; Topeka native and Negro Leagues Baseball All-Star, ELWOOD “BINGO” DEMOSS; fifteen year NFL veteran and Pitt State All-American KENDALL GAMMON from Rose Hill; Writer, historian, researcher, and creator of the term “sabermetrics” BILL JAMES; the winningest coach in Kansas girls high school basketball, JESSE NELSON from Olpe; Professional groundskeeper for more than seven decades including for the Kansas City Royals and over fifty Super Bowls, GEORGE TOMA from Kansas City, KS; Eighteen time NCAA bowling championship coach GORDON VADAKIN from Wichita; former University of Kansas basketball coach with
nine Final Four appearances, ROY WILLIAMS.
The induction ceremony will be held on Sunday, October 2, 2022, at the Kansas Star Casino, located at 777 Casino Drive, Mulvane, KS, 67110. The ten member class raises the total number of Kansas Sports Hall of Fame inductees to 317. The Kansas Sports Hall of Fame has operated for 61 years and is located at the Wichita Boathouse.
The 2022 Induction weekend will continue the following day as the KSHOF Golf Classic tees off on Monday, October 3, 2022, at Terradyne Country Club in Andover. Teams and sponsors interested in participating in the event can contact Jordan Poland for more information.
Online sales for 2022 Induction Ceremony tickets go live Monday, August 1, 2022, at www.kshof.org. For ticket packages and sponsorship opportunities, please call 316-262-2038.
KSHOF CLASS OF 2022
CLINT BOWYER - Emporia H.S., 1997 / Flint Hills Technical College
Began racing motocross in 1985. Won over 200 races in motocross as an amateur. Began racing street stocks and modified in 1996. Won the Modified championship in 2000. Won the 2002 NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Midwest Championship. Signed with Richard Childress Racing in 2003. Finished second in NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2005; finished third in NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2006. Became a full-time NASCAR Cup Series driver in 2006. Won the 2008 NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship in 2008. NASCAR Truck Series career: three wins, ten top-tens in fourteen races. NASCAR Xfinity Series career: eight wins, 116 top-tens in 181 races. NASCAR Cup Series career: 10 wins, 226 top-tens in 541 races. Retired from racing in 2020. Currently works as a full-time analyst for Fox NASCAR.
EMILY BLOSS CARPENTER – Wellsville H.S., 1997 / Emporia State University, 2001
All-state basketball selection at Wellsville. Four-year letter winner in basketball at Emporia State. All-American selection in 2001. Three-time All-MIAA Conference selection. Led Hornets to four straight MIAA Conference regular season and tournament championships and four straight NCAA Division II National Tournaments. NCAA Division II National Player of the Year and MIAA MVP in 2001. Won the Ken B. Jones Award from the MIAA as conference’s top female athlete in 2001. Named NCAA Top VIII Student-Athlete in 2001. Finished Emporia State career as school’s all-time leader in points, steals, and fourth in rebounds. Also earned All-American honors as part of the Emporia State 1600 relay team in 1998. Three-time Academic All-American selection. Inducted to the Emporia State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2011 and the MIAA Hall of Fame in 2012.
TARA HOLLOWAY CHURCHILL – Moundridge H.S., 1996 / Emporia State University, 2000
All-state basketball selection at Moundridge. Led Wildcats to state championship during senior season. Four-year letter winner in basketball at Emporia State. All-American selection in 2000. NCAA Division II National Player of the Year and MIAA MVP in 2000. Two-time All-MIAA Conference selection. Finished Emporia State career as school’s second all-time in points, fourth in rebounds, first in steals. Led Hornets to four straight NCAA Tournament appearances, three regular season MIAA titles, three MIAA Tournament titles, two NCAA Final Four appearances, and one NCAA Elite Eight appearance. Inducted to the Emporia State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2010.
ELWOOD “BINGO” DEMOSS – Born: Topeka, 1889
Negro League Baseball player from Topeka. Played shortstop for the Topeka Giants in 1905. Also played for the Indianapolis ABCs before moving on to the Chicago American Giants. Played second base for Chicago from 1917 to 1925. Named captain of the team in 1919, serving in that role for six seasons. Hit over .300 four times during his career. Coached Detroit Stars for six seasons as player-manager. Also served as coach for Indianapolis ABCs, Brown Bombers, and the Brooklyn Brown Dodgers. One of three finalists at second base for the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum Gold Glove Award. Inducted to the Kansas Baseball Hall of Fame in 2012 and the Shawnee County Baseball Hall of Fame in 2013.
KENDALL GAMMON - Rose Hill H.S., 1988 / Pittsburg State University, 1991
Three-time All-MIAA football player at Pittsburg State. First-team All-American selection in 1991. Member of the 1991 NCAA Division II National Championship football team. Won three MIAA Conference titles in football. Played for KSHOF inductee Chuck Broyles at Pitt State. Drafted in the eleventh round of the 1992 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Played fifteen NFL seasons as a long-snapper and lineman for the Steelers, New Orleans Saints, and Kansas City Chiefs. Won Super Bowl XXX with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Named to the 2004 NFL Pro Bowl. Named to the Pittsburg State 100th Anniversary Team in 2003. Inducted to the Pittsburg State Athletic Hall of Fame in 2007 and the MIAA Hall of Fame in 2014.
BILL JAMES - Mayetta H.S., 1967 / University of Kansas, 1971 – Contributor
Baseball writer, historian, and researcher. Wrote and published the Bill James Baseball Abstract in 1977 to 1988, which presented an in-depth analysis of baseball statistics from the preceding season. Wrote several other baseball books and abstracts, including: The Baseball Book, The Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract, The Bill James Handbook. Created new statistical categories including: Runs Created, Win Shares, and Major League Equivalency for Minor League Players. Coined the term “sabermetrics” for his statistical analysis and to honor the Society of American Baseball Research (SABR). Served as Senior Advisor for Baseball Operations for the Boston Red Sox from 2002 to 2019, winning four World Series titles.
JESSE NELSON - Emporia H.S., 1970 / Emporia State University, 1974 - Coach
Four-year letterman in basketball at Emporia State under KSHOF inductee Ron Slaymaker. Scored 640 points in 98 career games for the Hornets. Named head coach of Olpe girls basketball in 1978. Finished career as all-time winningest coach in Kansas high school basketball history, girls or boys, with 951 wins. Career win percentage of 89.5% (951-111). Won four state championships at Olpe in 1981, 2010, 2011, and 2021. Made the state tournament 30 times. Named the 2014 USA Today America’s Girls Basketball Coach National Champion, 2016 McDonald’s All-American head coach, and the 2021 National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) girls basketball Coach of the Year. Inducted to the Emporia State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2003.
GEORGE TOMA – Edwardsville (PA) H.S., 1947 – Contributor
Groundskeeper for over seven decades in professional sports. Groundskeeper for the Kansas City Athletics from 1957 to 1967; Kansas City Royals from 1969 to 1999; Kansas City Chiefs from 1963 to 1991. Has worked the grounds for over fifty Super Bowls, two U.S. hosted Olympic games, and thirty-seven Pro Bowls. One of four that founded the Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA) in 1981; namesake of STMA’s George Toma Golden Rake Award. NFL Dan Reeves Pioneer Award recipient in 2001. Inducted to the MLB Groundskeepers Hall of Fame in 2012, Royals Hall of Fame in 2012, and the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 2016.
GORDON VADAKIN - Wichita Southeast H.S., 1971 / Wichita State University, 1982 - Coach
Head bowling coach at Wichita State University from 1977 to 2019. Won eighteen bowling national championships at Wichita State; eleven men's team titles and seven women’s team titles. Coached men’s and/or women’s team to the Intercollegiate Bowling Championships every year as a coach. Coached nine individual national champions; four men and five women. Member of the Team USA bowling coaching staff from 1991 to 2008. Namesake of the National Collegiate Bowling Coaches Association Men’s Coach of the Year Award. Inducted as a competitor to the Great Plains Bowling Association Hall of Fame in 1983, Kansas State Bowling Association Hall of Fame in 1989, the USBC as a player in 2007; inducted as a coach to Wichita Sports Hall of Fame in 2004, the United States Bowling Association Hall of Fame in 2007, and the Bowling Coaches Hall of Fame in 2012.
ROY WILLIAMS - T.C. Roberson (NC) H.S., 1968 / University of North Carolina, 1972 - Coach
Began coaching career at Charles D. Owen (NC) High in 1973 before being hired as an assistant coach for KSHOF inductee Dean Smith at the University of North Carolina in 1978. Helped Tar Heels win the 1982 NCAA National Championship. Named head coach at the University of Kansas in 1988. Jayhawk head coach for fifteen years. KU coaching record: 418-101. Won five Big 8 and four Big 12 regular season titles; four Final Four appearances with KU. Coached KSHOF inductees Nick Collison, Drew Gooden, Raef LaFrentz and Wayne Simien at KU. Named head coach at University of North Carolina in 2003. Won three NCAA National Championships at North Carolina; made five Final Four appearances. Career coaching record: 903-264. Only coach in NCAA history to win 400+ games at two different schools. Inducted to the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006 and the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.
Tickets for the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be available for purchase starting August 1, 2022, and can be purchased by calling 316-262-2038 or ordering online at www.kshof.org.
For More information, contact:
Kansas Sports Hall of Fame
Jordan Poland, President/CEO