Two of the most dynamic athletes to represent the University of Kentucky this century will be inducted into the school’s athletics hall of fame this fall along with four others in the class of 2017.
Randall Cobb, a football All-American who played wide receiver and quarterback and returned kicks for UK from 2008-10, and John Wall, the first national player of the year in UK men’s basketball history in 2010, will be inducted during Hall of Fame Weekend, Sept. 22-23, in conjunction with the home football game against Florida.
Joining Cobb and Wall in the class of 2017 are Collin Cowgill (baseball), Ralph Hacker (broadcaster), Sherry Hoover Bordner (cross country, indoor track, outdoor track) and Sarah Rumely (volleyball).
The UK Athletics Hall of Fame was started in 2005 to recognize and honor persons whose participation and achievements enriched and strengthened the university’s athletics program. The charter class included 88 individuals who had previously had their jersey retired by UK.
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There is a five-year waiting period after leaving UK to be eligible for inclusion into the Hall of Fame. A committee consisting of Hall of Famers, media members, campus representatives and current coaches and administrators elects new inductees each year.
Here is a closer look at the class, in alphabetical order:
Sherry Hoover Bordner
Cross country, indoor track and outdoor Track (1986-89)
Career highlights: A seven-time All-America honoree, who won SEC championships in the mile and on a pair of relay teams. She set 10 school records, including outdoor records in the 800 and 1,500 meters, the 4-by-800 relay and the distance medley relay, and indoor records in the 1,500 and 4-by-800 relay. She was a member of the 1988 national champion cross country squad that remains the only women’s national championship team at UK.
Career highlights: Was a two-year First Team All-SEC selection who set the league’s single-season record for all-purpose yardage (2,396 in 2010) and the UK career record for touchdowns (37), although he played only three seasons. Cobb turned pro after his junior season and was a second-round draft pick by the NFL’s Green Bay Packers. He made the 2011 NFL All-Rookie Team and was selected to the Pro Bowl after the 2014 season.
Career highlights: Cowgill, a graduate of Henry Clay High School in Lexington, helped lead UK from a last-place finish in 2005 to its first-ever SEC championship in 2006. He was named a First Team All-American in 2008 by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association after leading UK to a then-record 44 wins and a berth in the NCAA Tournament. Cowgill ranks among UK’s career leaders in runs, homers, RBI, walks, on-base percentage, sacrifice bunts, sacrifice flies, hit by pitches and steals. He’s played in the major leagues for Arizona, Oakland, the New York Mets, the Los Angeles Angels and Cleveland.
Career highlights: Hacker spent 34 years on the UK Radio Network, serving for many years as the men’s basketball analyst with legendary broadcaster Cawood Ledford. After Ledford’s retirement, he took over play-by-play duties for eight years, including UK’s 1996 and 1998 national championship seasons. Hacker was also play-by-play voice of the Wildcats’ football team for five seasons. All told, he was on the radio call for three men’s basketball national championships, seven Final Fours and four football bowl games. He was also president of HMH Broadcasting, building a prominent network that featured then-UK flagship station WVLK.
Career highlights: Rumely was the only player in program history to be named SEC Freshman of the Year (2006) and SEC Player of the Year (2008) and was a two-time American Volleyball Coaches Association All-American and four-time All-SEC choice. She led UK to the NCAA Tournament four times, including the Sweet 16 in 2009 and finished her career owning UK records in career assists (5,703) and aces (165). She remains the only player in UK history to record a triple-double (10 kills, 56 assists, 18 digs vs. Ole Miss). After playing professionally overseas, she is now an assistant coach at LSU.
Career highlights: Wall was the first national player of the year in UK history as winner of the Adolph Rupp Trophy and was a consensus All-American, SEC Player of the Year and SEC Freshman of the Year. He helped John Calipari’s first UK team to a No. 1 national ranking, SEC regular-season championship and the SEC Tournament championship. He averaged 16.6 points and 6.5 assists and broke UK’s single-season record for assists with 241. He became the first UK player ever to be selected No. 1 overall in the NBA Draft and has been named to the NBA All-Star Team four times in his seven seasons with the Washington Wizards.