INDUCTEES OF 2019

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CLASS OF 2019

 

ANGIE ANDERSON-HANSEN

   Angie Anderson-Hansen was a four-year starter for the Taylor High School Lady Titans basketball team, graduating in 1985. She finished her career as the all-time leading girls scorer in Howard County with 1,132 points. The Titans were 61-20 during her time at the school, including a 19-5 record her sophomore year with Taylor winning the regional before losing in the semi-state.    

 

  Her senior year, she was a top 20 scorer in the state averaging 20.5 points per game and was Second Team All-State. Her scoring records came at a time when there wasn’t a three-point line and girls used a men’s-sized basketball. Other high school honors included First Team All-MidIndiana Conference and all-county for three consecutive seasons. Anderson-Hansen earned 10 varsity letters at Taylor, where she also played volleyball and ran track. In volleyball, the Lady Titans won back-to-back sectional titles her junior and senior years and in track as a senior, she set the then-record in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:28.6.         

 

       Anderson-Hansen went on to Butler University, playing in 99 basketball games over four years for the Bulldogs. She scored a career-best 13 points in the first game of her senior season. 

INDUCTEES OF 2018

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CLASS OF 2018

 

JACQUELINE BAGWELL

Jacqueline Bagwell was a standout tennis and basketball player at Haworth High School, graduating in 1980.  She participated during the early years of girls sports being recognized by the Indiana High School Athletic Association.


After graduating, she played tennis at Columbus State for three seasons before leading the University of Texas-Permian Basin to an NAIA national tournament appearance.


But it was coaching where Bagwell left her mark. Following a short stint at Hamilton College, she was named the head coach of Amherst College in Massachusetts in 1991, and in her first 27 seasons Bagwell amassed a record of 430-109, including 21 consecutive appearances in the NCAA Division III national women’s tennis tournament.


In 1999, Bagwell led Amherst to the school’s first-ever NCAA national championship in any sport. In a thrilling 5-2 contest, Amherst defeated Williams College to complete a perfect 19-0 season and the NCAA Division III national title.


During her career at Amherst, Bagwell has produced two singles and six doubles national champions, and she was named the Boston Area Coach of the Year at the Boston Sports Awards in 2000. In 2011, she was honored as the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s Northeast Coach of the Year.

INDUCTEES OF 2017

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CLASS OF 2017

 

MATT BELL

Matt Bell was a standout basketball and tennis athlete at Kokomo High School from 1999-2003 and a four-year basketball performer at the United States Military Academy at West Point (Army).

 

While at Kokomo, Bell played in 90 varsity basketball contests during a four-year career that included 988 points, 309 assists, 246 rebounds and 111 steals. He connected on 80-percent of his free throws and had a 42.7 three-point shooting percentage. As a sophomore, he set a modern-day Wildkat free throw percentage record of 87.1.

 

In tennis, he finished with an overall singles record of 58-13 and helped lead the Wildkats to North Central Conference, sectional and regional titles in 1999, 2000 and 2001. His win total was third-best in school history despite being slowed by a broken ankle his senior season.

 

At West Point, Bell was a three-time team captain and Most Valuable Player while also being named an All-Patriot League second team performer. He graduated with 1,353 career points. While on active duty as an Army officer, Bell played on the United States Armed Forces squad in the World Military Basketball Championships.

INDUCTEES OF 2016

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CLASS OF 2016

 

JIM BUTCHER

Jim Butcher was a standout basketball player at Kokomo High School from 1953-1955. Upon graduation, he was selected to the prestigious Indiana All-Star team and was named to the 1980 Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame Silver Anniversary Team.


While at Kokomo, Butcher had a then-Memorial Gymnasium record 34-point game in his All-North Central Conference senior season in 1955. He also hit two free throws with 20 seconds left to lead Kokomo to a 65-63 upset of undefeated and No. 1-ranked Muncie Central in front of 7,500 fans in Memorial Gym. 


During his time leading the Wildkats, Kokomo squads went 18-8 and 18-5 during his final two seasons with sectional and regional titles his junior campaign under legendary coach Joe Platt. Butcher also played baseball for Platt.


Butcher continued on to play two seasons of basketball at Montana State University under Dobbie Lambert, where he averaged 8.8 and 11.2 points, respectively, per game as a starting guard. He was named to the All-Tournament squad of the All-American City Tournament after scoring 30 points against Iona College. He was also No. 2 in the nation with a 94-percent free throw percentage.

INDUCTEES OF 2015

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CLASS OF 2015

 

AL FAGER

Al Fager excelled in the competitive swimming pools of the Midwest. During his illustrious career at Haworth High School, he was a two-time IHSAA state champion swimmer.

 

During his junior season in 1976-77, the lanky 6-foot-5 swimmer was the IHSAA state runner-up in the 100-yard and 500-yard freestyle events.

 

In his magical senior season of 1977-78, Fager set an IHSAA state finals record with a championship winning time of 1:41.52 in the 200-yard freestyle. He earned his second state title later in the day with a time of 4:38.07 in the 500 freestyle. According to Swimming World Magazine, Fager’s 200 freestyle championship was the second fastest high school time in the United States during the ‘78 season.

 

For his high school efforts, Fager earned All-State and All-American honors. He also set Olympic Conference and IHSAA sectional meet records in the process.

 

Fager also excelled away from high school, winning AAU state championships in the 100- and 200-meter freestyle events. During his YMCA swim career, he placed fourth in the nation in the 500-yard freestyle.

 

The champion swimmer earned a scholarship to Purdue University, where he set freshman records in four events during the 1978-79 season.

 

INDUCTEES OF 2014

CLASS OF 2014

GREG ACHORS

Swimming for Kokomo’s Haworth High School, Greg Achors placed as either state champion or runner-up in eight of the nine events in which he participated at the IHSAA State Swimming Championships from 1980-82. Achors’ three gold medals in ‘82 were instrumental in Haworth winning its only IHSAA team state championship in school history.

 

In ‘82, Achors captured individual IHSAA titles in the 100 yard butterfly and the 100 breast stroke where he established a meet record. He swam a leg on the Huskies’ state championship 200 medley relay that also established a record, breaking Haworth’s state meet mark from ‘81 by nearly two seconds. As a senior, he was a three-time All-American after finishing the season with top-10 times nationally in the 100 butterfly, 100 breast stroke and 200 IM.

 

As a junior, Achors led the Huskies to a team runner-up finish at the IHSAA state championships. He swam on the victorious record-setting 200 medley relay and took second place finishes in the 200 individual medley and 400 freestyle relay. As a sophomore at the state meet, Achors earned second place finishes in the 200 IM and 200 medley relay.

 

Achors then lettered two seasons at the University of Tennessee where he finished sixth in the 100 butterfly and seventh in the 100 breast stroke at the 1983 Southeastern Conference Championships. That same year, he swam a leg on the Volunteers’ 400 medley relay that claimed 10th place at the NCAA championships.

 

Achors is a retired U.S. Navy pilot and currently flies for FedEx Express. He and his wife Christi live in Fleming Island, FL. They have two sons, Kyle and Konner.

INDUCTEES OF 2013

 

CLASS OF 2013

ART HAMMOND

When considering the best all-around athlete ever at Eastern High School, Art Hammond’s name surfaces quickly. The 1961 graduate first made a splash as a 13-year-old pitcher and was the team’s most valuable player the following year.

 

He was the first athlete to be awarded the E blanket, which required 12 varsity letters. Hammond finished with 13 – four in baseball and three apiece in football, basketball and track.

 

In football, the Comets compiled 7-2 records during his junior and senior seasons. He was an outstanding fullback, earning all-state honorable mention as a junior in the single-class system.

 

In basketball, he was his team’s MVP as a junior, scoring a career-high 34 points against Northwestern as an undersized 5-11 center.  As a senior, he manned the pivot for a team that won its first 13 games and was ranked as high as No. 13 in the state. The Comets finished 16-5, losing to eventual state champ Kokomo in the sectional.

 

Hammond set the school record in shot put as a senior at the IHSAA regional. His toss of 50 feet, 10 1/4 inches stood for 51 years.

 

Hammond played football, track and baseball at Indiana Central College (now the University of Indianapolis). He had a four-touchdown performance against Franklin College his sophomore season, before suffering a career-ending shoulder injury.

INDUCTEES OF 2012

 

CLASS OF 2012

GREG BELL

Born and raised in Buffalo, N.Y., Greg Bell eventually made Kokomo his home and he treated local listeners to outstanding sports coverage for nearly three decades.

 

Bell planted his Midwest roots while attending Butler University. He later worked 35 years at three Indiana radio stations, but is best known for his 27-year run as sports director at WIOU-WZWZ in Kokomo.

 

Bell covered Kokomo High School football and basketball extensively and hosted Howard County and Tipton County coaches shows on Saturday mornings for WIOU. He called all three Kokomo girls basketball state championships, as well as state title games won by Kokomo and Taylor baseball squads and Northwestern’s boys basketball team. Overall, Bell worked some 1,500 live football, basketball and baseball events involving Kokomo-area teams.

 

He was previously honored with distinguished service awards by the Indiana High School Athletic Association, the Indiana Athletic Directors Association and football, basketball and baseball organizations. He was also named Sportscaster of the Year by the Indiana Sports Writers and Sportscasters Association. 

INDUCTEES OF 2011

 

CLASS OF 2011

HEATHER CUSICK

Heather Cusick enjoyed an outstanding career at Taylor and Kokomo high schools before extending that level of excellence at Miami of Ohio.

 

Cusick played two seasons at Taylor, scoring 636 points, before transferring to Kokomo. Playing for the Lady Kats in 1998 and 1999, she led her team to a 45-5 record that included two NCC outright titles along with sectional and regional crowns. In her two seasons at Kokomo, Cusick scored 755 points and the Indiana All-Star, closed her four-year career with 1,391 points. 

 

The 5-foot-8 point guard is arguably the finest female player ever at Miami. She appeared in all 116 career games, starting the final 113. She left the program in 2003 as Miami’s career leader in points (1,728), 3-point baskets (230), field goals (604) and assists (596) while finishing No. 2 in career steals (307). She posted a career-high 36 points as a senior in Miami’s win at Michigan State.

 

Cusick was named first team all-Mid-American Conference in 2002 and 2003 and was the MAC Player of the Year in 2002; runner-up in 2003. She was the only Miami player ever to be named all-conference in each of her four seasons. Cusick was a team captain three seasons and the university’s female athlete of the year in 2002. She is the MAC’s only player ever to have scored 1,700 points, while collecting 500 assists, 400 rebounds, 300 steals and 200 3-point field goals. A MAC all-academic selection, Cusick’s jersey number (5) has been retired.

 

The daughter of Steve and Julie Cusick, she played one season of professional basketball in the Netherlands and is now working as a graduate assistant in the University of Nevada’s women’s basketball program while completing her masters degree. 

INDUCTEES OF 2010

 

CLASS OF 2010

BOB CROLL

Bob Croll is best known for revitalizing a Kokomo High School boys swim program that had struggled during the 1970s after claiming IHSAA state meet runner-up honors in ’65 and ’68 and winning the title in ’69. Croll’s first team in ’79 finished 2-11, but over the next 14 years, the Kats were victorious in 180 of 200 dual meets.

 

During that stretch, they won 13 straight IHSAA sectional titles and eight North Central Conference championships, while registering six unbeaten seasons. Ten times Kokomo was among the top-10 finishers at the state finals and Croll coached three individuals to state championships. He was the Indiana High School Swim Coaches Association coach of the year in ’88 and runner-up in ’82, ’84 and ’89.

 

The Gary native and Indiana State University graduate started the boys swimming program at Highland High School in ’69 and after compiling a 103-33 won-lost mark, he moved on to Kokomo. His 25-year dual meet career record was an impressive 285-64.

 

Croll retired from Kokomo schools in 2010 after serving 42 years in education. He and his wife Cindy have two daughters, Denise and Carissa.

INDUCTEES OF 2009

 

CLASS OF 2009

KATHIE WISE-LAYDEN

A three-sport standout at Taylor High School, Layden played four years of basketball at the University of Evansville before making her mark as one of Indiana’s most successful hoops coaches at Tri-Central High School.

 

Over her first 10 seasons at Tri-Central, she has logged an impressive 156-82 record. During a three-year stretch from 2003-05, the Trojans amassed a 63-17 record and captured three IHSAA Class A state championships. 

 

Layden was an outstanding athlete at Taylor, competing in volleyball, basketball and tennis, where she played No. 1 singles four seasons, finishing with a 67-11 career record.

 

The 6-foot-1 forward missed only one start in four seasons of basketball, leading the Titans to a 66-15 record. She closed her career with 1,007 points, the second-highest total in school history when she left the program. 

 

Layden played 100 games over four seasons at Evansville. Upon her graduation, she ranked No. 5 in career steals (124) and No. 9 in assists (287). 

 

The fifth grade teacher and her husband Jeff are the parents of daughters Madison and McKenna.

INDUCTEES OF 2008

 

CLASS OF 2008

MIKE McCROSKEY

Mike McCroskey is largely responsible for providing the foundation for one of the nation’s premier girls high school basketball programs.

 

McCroskey was named girls coach at Kokomo High School in 1984. His first squad finished 18-6, winning sectional and regional titles, but more importantly laying the groundwork for the most successful period of any Howard County sports program ever. 

 

From 1991-94, McCroskey’s Lady Kats compiled a dazzling 117-10 record, winning two single class state championships and claiming a state runner-up title as well. He is one of only four coaches in Howard County history to have won multiple state titles. 

 

A 1968 KHS graduate, McCroskey coached at Kokomo’s Haworth High four seasons prior to taking the Kokomo varsity job. After leaving Kokomo, he continued coaching at Northwestern and Carroll high schools. His career won-lost record over 23 seasons is 359-164.

 

He was named coach of the year in 1992 and 1993 by the Indiana Coaches of Girls Sports Association and by the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association. 

 

He coached in the Kodak All-American game in 1993 and in 1994 he was selected to direct the Indiana All-Stars in the annual Indiana-Kentucky Basketball Series.

 

McCroskey teaches social studies at Kokomo High School and coaches the Carroll High girls varsity basketball squad.

INDUCTEES OF 2007

 

CLASS OF 2007

BOB HAMILTON

Bob Hamilton not only coached a multitude of sports for four decades, he coached them at a championship level.

 

A Butler University graduate where he was the football team’s MVP in 1940, Hamilton was best known as the colorful football coach at Kokomo High School. In 27 varsity seasons, his teams won six North Central Conference championships while compiling a 147-109-9 record. His 1957 team finished 9-0 and his mythical state champion 1964 squad, was 10-0.

 

Hamilton was Howard County’s first high school wrestling coach, starting the sport at Kokomo in 1952. Over three decades, his wrestlers brought home two state team runners-up titles and 14 individual state championships.

 

Hamilton also directed tennis and golf programs, assisted in baseball and basketball and served as the school’s athletic director for 12 years.

 

He died in 1994 after being inducted into the Indiana Football Coaches Association and Indiana Wrestling Coaches Association halls of fame.

INDUCTEES OF 2006

 

CLASS OF 2006

FRANKIE YOUNG

In the simplest of terms, Frankie Young is the best long jumper in Indiana High School Athletic Association history.

 

While at Kokomo High School, Young won three consecutive IHSAA long jump championships in 1993, ’94 and ’95 and his state record of 24-7 ¾ — which he set as a junior and tied as a senior — still stands.

 

Young continued his career at Indiana State University where, along with setting ISU records, he won seven of a possible eight Missouri Valley Conference long jump titles and two triple-jump championships. His nine MVC titles are the most for any field athlete in Conference history.

 

In 1999, Young was runner-up at the NCAA championship meet with a leap of 26-10. He was a four-time NCAA All-American (twice indoors, twice outdoors). In 1999, he finished 10th at the World Games and in 2000 he participated in the Olympic Trials.

 

Young has been inducted into the Indiana Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches Hall of Fame.  

INDUCTEES OF 2005

 

CLASS OF 2005

TOM WARNE

Simply put, Tom Warne is Howard County’s most successful collegiate athlete ever.

 

Following an outstanding track and field career at Kokomo High School, Warne  continued his excellence at Northwestern University where he captured two Big Ten
and three NCAA pole vault championships.

 

Competing under legendary Kokomo High coach Chet Hill, Warne won IHSAA state pole vault championships in 1926 and 1927 and led the Kats to team state titles as well. In the spring of ’27 Warne competed in Chicago where he set the world’s record vault of 12-10 1/2.

 

At Northwestern, Warne won Big Ten and NCAA championships as a sophomore. A year later, he won the NCAA title again, before touring Europe, where he was unbeaten in 10 competitions. As a senior in 1931, Warne again won Big Ten and NCAA championships — the latter at a height of 13-10 5/16. Each of the three years Warne won NCAA gold medals, the height of his winning vault increased.

INDUCTEES OF 2004

 

CLASS OF 2004

CHET HILL 

Chet Hill is Howard County’s most celebrated coach in sheer number of state championships and was also a highly-regarded administrator.

 

After coaching Thorntown to the 1915 boys basketball state championship, Hill came to Kokomo High School in 1921 where from 1924-37, his track teams won seven state championships.

 

He started the modern day KHS football program in 1923, producing a 70-40-9 record in 14 seasons. He also coached the boys basketball team for seven seasons, taking the 1925 squad to the final game of the state tournament.

 

Hill started the famed Kokomo Relays in 1925 and one year later was the driving force behind the formation of the North Central Conference, which has proven to be one of the state’s elite leagues.

 

Athletic Director at KHS from 1945-57, Hill was also voted into the Indiana basketball (1965), track (1976) and football (1978) halls of fame.

INDUCTEES OF 2003

 

CLASS OF 2003

DON JOHNSON

When Johnson graduated from Sharpsville High School in 1958, he weighed 125 Pounds and would have been anyone's longshot for a spot in the Howard County Sports Hall of Fame. As it turns out, ours wasn't even his first such honor.

After taking a job as a pin-setter for Don Lowry at Play Bowl, Johnson began his trek to the top of the bowling world. Before his professional career ended, Johnson had become a 26-time Professional Bowlers Association champion, Bowler of the Year in 
1971 and 1972 and a Hall of Fame inductee by the PBA (1977) and American Bowling Congress (1982). In 1999, Bowling Magazine picked him as eighth best bowler of the century.

After raising funds in the community, Johnson joined the tour on a part-time basis in 1962, went full-time in 1963 and a year later won his first event at Denver.

Known as the "Kokomo Kid" on the PBA Tour, Johnson was the top PBA money-winner from 1966-73; set the per-game average records of 212 in 1971 and 215 in 1972; made Chris Schenkel's Professional Bowlers Show 46 times and tossed 30 sanctioned 300 
games.

Johnson moved to Las Vegas in 1974 as pro at Charleston Heights Bowl and opened a school where he taught for 20 years. He suffered a nerve injury in his hand in 1978 and never recovered to the point he could re-join the PBA Tour.

He died of a heart attack in Las Vegas May 3. His survivors include a sister, Pauline Dunlap, and children Amy Prazak, Scott Johnson and Jim Johnson, a current member of the PBA Tour.

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