Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame adds 5

February 1, 2013

The Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame announced the names of
this year’s five inductees Friday during a press conference at the Brown Hotel in Louisville.

The five are Irv Goode, Coy Bacon, Otis Wilson, Chad Bratzke and Roman Oben.

In addition, the Kentucky Hall plans a new approach to the induction activities on Friday, June 28. Included will be a ring ceremony, Game Day Live Preview at Fourth Street Live – a free, public event on June 27 that will offer a taste of Game Day Spectacular, the official induction ceremony for this year’s honorees, to be held at the Louisville Palace. The induction ceremony will also feature a presentation of the Blanton Collier Award to brother/head coaches John (Baltimore Ravens) and Jim (San Francisco 49ers) Harbaugh, and their father Jack.

Tickets for the ceremony will cost $25, $50 and $75 and will be available online at a future date.

The Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center at the University of Louisville was chosen as this year’s beneficiary. Over the years, numerous football players have sustained spine and brain injuries, making the choice of the organization a natural fit as well as a personal one, according to Frank Minnifield, executive director of the Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame.

This year, Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame member George McAfee will also be honored during the Game Day Spectacular induction ceremony. McAfee was born in Corbin and played college football at Duke. He played running back for the Chicago Bears (1940-1941, 1945-1950). Nicknamed “One-Play McAfee” he was known for explosive speed.  He died in 2009.

Louisville head football coach Charlie Strong and Kentucky counterpart Mark Stoops will serve as event co-chairs.

Also, the 2012 All Commonwealth Collegiate Team was announced at the press conference, including Defensive Player of the Year Zack Autenrieb, and Offensive Players of the Year Teddy Bridgewater of Louisville, and Larry Warford of Kentucky.

The 2013 inductees to the Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame:

Irv Goode
Goode was born in Newport and played college football for Kentucky. Drafted into the NFL in the first round in 1962, he played guard for the St. Louis Cardinals (1962-1971), Buffalo Bills (1972) and the Miami Dolphins (1973-1974). He was a Super Bowl champion with the Dolphins in 1973.

Lander McCoy (Coy) Bacon
Bacon was born in Cadiz and played defensive line at Jackson State. Drafted into the NFL in 1968, he played for the Los Angeles Rams (1968-1975), San Diego Chargers (1973-1975), Cincinnati Bengals (1976-1977), Washington Redskins (1978-1981) and the USFL’s Washington Federals (1983). He was selected for the Pro Bowl in 1972, 1976 and 1977.  Bacon was inducted into the American Football Association’s Semi Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1986. He is being inducted into the Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame posthumously.

Otis Wilson
Wilson played linebacker for Louisville after transferring from Syracuse. He was drafted in the first round of the 1980 NFL draft and played for the Chicago Bears (1980-1987) and Los Angeles Raiders (1989). He won a Super Bowl as a member of the 1985 Bears. That same year, he made the only Pro Bowl selection of his career, and was a featured soloist of the “Shuffling Crew” in the Bears video “The Super Bowl Shuffle.” He is the father of former Cincinnati Bengals running back Quincy Wilson. Otis Wilson was born in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Chad Bratzke  
Bratzke played for Eastern Kentucky University. He was named Ohio Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Year and Kodak All-American.  Selected in the fifth round of the 1994 draft, he played 10 seasons in the NFL, five for the New York Giants (1994-1998) and five for the Indianapolis Colts (1999-2003). He signed as unrestricted free agent for the Giants on March 1, 1999. He was born in Waukegan, Ill.

Roman Dissake Oben
Oben played offensive tackle for Louisville, and was also a three-year letterman in track and field. He was picked in the third round of the 1996 NFL draft, and played for the New York Giants (1996-1999). He went on to play for the Cleveland Browns (2000-2003), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2002-2003) and San Diego Chargers (2004-2007). He was the starting left tackle on Tampa Bay’s 2002 Super Bowl  champion team. Oben has been inducted to the Athletic Hall of Fames at Gonzaga College High School, Fork Union Military Academy and the University of Louisville.


EKU-Morehead could go to chairmen of boards

January 11, 2013

Hits and misses from Friday’s interviews with Eastern Kentucky men’s basketball coach Jeff Neubauer and his lone senior, guard Mike DiNunno.

Coach and player both cited defense as the key to EKU’s 13-3 start (3-0 Ohio Valley Conference). (See Herald-Leader and kentucky.com.)

Another key, though, when the Colonels play host to Morehead State (Saturday, 7 p.m.) figures to be rebounds.

Morehead, led by Chad Posthumus with 6.5 a game, has outrebounded opponents by an average of 37.9-33.3. The Eagles have 256 offensive rebounds.

EKU, with 148 offensive boards, has been outrebounded on average 33.0-26.9.

DiNunno, 5-foot-11, plans to do his part.

“It’s kind of just become a running theme for us this year,” he said. “We have guys who crash really well. But compared to some other teams, especially when we play the bigger teams like Illinois and West Virginia, teams like Morehead (and) a team like Towson earlier in the year, we gave up a little size to them. So we always have to make sure we focus on rebounding.

“And a big part of our rebounding, too, is it hasn’t just come from our ‘bigs’ but the focus on our other guards getting in there. Early in the year, guys like me and Glenn (Cosey) didn’t understand that we had to chase down balls just as much as our bigs did. So we try to get in there and help a little bit, and I think it’s taken some pressure off of our big men … and give them more time to rebound out of their area.”

* EKU has won 10 in a row at home, 9-0 this season. The Colonels played their first seven games at home.

“Last year we started with our first 10 games away from home, and this year we started with our first seven at home,” Neubauer said. “So it gave our new players an opportunity to come together and get comfortable in our system. So we did set up the month of December where we were on the road. We played at home on Dec. 1, and then the entire rest of the month of December we traveled. We competed really well. So now, at this point, we do have four road wins, which is as many as we had last year.”

* Cosey, a 6-0 junior, leads EKU with 15 points a game. However, a broken finger kept him out of Wednesday’s game at Murray State. Neubauer declined to say what Cosey’s status is for Saturday’s game.

“Glenn has been an outstanding shooter for us,” Neubauer said. “A really solid ball-handler. Has a great assist-turnover (50-19) ratio for us, and he has been another guys who has just been solid for us and has allowed us to get off to this good start.”

* DiNunno on another key to beating Morehead: “Just a continuous focus on the things that we’ve been locked on from the beginning of the year. We know what the formula is. We know what we have to do in order to give ourselves the definitive advantage on the floor.”

* EKU is shooting 74.6 percent at the free-throw line, topped by Corey Walden (44 of 50, 88 percent) and DiNunno (35-41, 85.4). The Colonels sank 13 of 14 chances Wednesday at Murray.

Said DiNunno: “… Three or four games ago, we didn’t shoot too well from the stripe. Coach kind of blamed himself and took that upon himself. Because we kind of got away from our usual free-throw stuff in practice because there were just so many other things that we had to focus on. … We were so focused on rebounding (vs. West Virginia) … that we kind of got away from our free-throw routine a little bit. So Coach blamed himself for it. He took it upon himself and he got us back into the rhythm of things and implemented certain segments of practice where we just worked on free throws. Ever since then, we’ve been shooting it great. We have guys on this team who are all more than capable of shooting a high percentage at the free-throw line. So it’s just a matter of locking in and stepping up to the line and hitting them.”