High School Sports

Danville’s Sam Harp among 12 high school hall of fame inductees

Sam Harp, the Danville football coach who led the Admirals to seven state championships and helped solidify the community’s Title Town legacy, will be among 12 to be inducted into the 2020 class of the Dawahares/Kentucky High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame.

Harp finished his career with a record of 326-106 when he retired in 2012, which now ranks sixth on Kentucky’s all-time list. His record of 7-3 in state title game appearances is equaled or surpassed by only three other coaches.

Those wins included trips to 27 consecutive state playoffs, 19 district titles and 16 region championships. He went 82-21 in the postseason in Classes A and 2A. Danville won its first state title under Harp in 1989. From 1991 to 1993, the Admirals won 42 games straight, including the Class 2A state titles in 1991 and 1992

A five-time Kentucky Coach of the Year honoree, Harp was a two-time finalist for National Coach of the Year and one of the founders of the Kentucky Football Coaches Association. He was previously inducted into the Hall of Fame at both Danville and Franklin County High School.

This year’s 12-member class, announced Thursday, will be the 33rd inducted into the Dawahares/KHSAA Hall of Fame, and consists of former high school coaches, athletes, officials, administrators, and contributors. Honorees will be recognized during the semifinals of the 2020 Whitaker Bank/KHSAA Boys’ Sweet Sixteen. They will be inducted in a ceremony on May 30, 2020, at the Embassy Suites in Lexington. This year’s class brings the total hall of fame inductees to 491.

The other 11 honorees are:

Charlie Adkins (Coach, Paintsville) — Coached baseball in the 15th Region for 34 years, amassing a career record of 805-293 with 20 district and 14 region titles, along with a state runner-up finish and the 1990 state championship..

Greg Buckner (Athlete, University Heights) — Helped University Heights to the 1992 KHSAA Boys’ Sweet Sixteen and went on to a standout four years at Clemson University and a 10-year NBA career.

Donnis Butcher (Athlete, Meade Memorial) — A five-year letterman at Meade Memorial from 1951-55, Butcher scored 2,400 career points on his way to earning three All-District and two All-Region honors, along with First Team All-State accolades in 1955.

Joey Couch (Athlete, Paintsville) — A multi-sport student-athlete at Paintsville, Couch was a four-year starter for the football team on both offense and defense, and a four-year starter on the basketball team for head coach Bill Mike Runyon. He went on to play football at UK.

Gary Dearborn (Contributor, Harrison County and Pendleton County) — A longtime educator, Dearborn spent 24 of his 38 years in the 10th Region as an administrator working with athletics. A strong advocate for gender equity, Dearborn initiated changes at Harrison County to bring girls’ athletics on par with the boys’ programs.

Robert Joe “Bob” Lynch (Athlete, Ashland Blazer) — A three-sport athlete at Ashland Blazer, Lynch helped lead the Tomcats to three consecutive KHSAA State Baseball Championships and ended his pitching career with a 27-2 record. On the hardwood, Lynch helped the Tomcats to a 16th Region championship and a spot in the Boys’ Sweet Sixteen in 1966.

Sharae Mansfield (Athlete, Manual) — The 1997 Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of Kentucky, Mansfield averaged 18 points per game as a senior to lead Manual to a 26-3 record while receiving Third Team All-America accolades from Parade Magazine.

Bart Rison (Coach and Official, Montgomery County) — Rison amassed nearly 900 wins across 40 seasons as a head coach in boys’ basketball and softball, totaling 20 district and eight regional championships.

Chrissy Roberts (Athlete, Eminence) — Roberts rewrote the girls’ basketball record book at Eminence High School during her playing days, earning First Team All-State and All-America accolades while leading the school to its first and only district title.

Bob Stacey (Coach and Official, Boyd County) — A longtime track and field and cross country coach at Boyd County, Stacey guided the Lady Lions to 25 regional championships, two cross country state runner-up finishes, and one 3A girls’ track and field state title from 1975-2000.

Adriane Diamond Travis (Athlete, Marshall County) — A seven-time individual 3A track and field state champion at Marshall County, Travis captured four straight state titles in the 400 meters to go along with three state championships in the 200 meters.

Jared Peck, the Herald-Leader’s Digital Sports Writer, covers high school athletics and has been with the company as a writer and editor for more than 19 years.
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