Keeneland Race Course, former Fairdale High School basketball coach Lloyd Gardner and former Laurel County basketball standout Sharon Garland were among seven inductees named Wednesday to the 2015 class of the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame in Louisville.
The group will be inducted during a ceremony June 17 at the Crowne Plaza in Louisville as the Hall of Fame celebrates its 52nd anniversary.
The remainder of the 2015 class consists of former Western Kentucky University women's basketball coach Paul Sanderford, major league baseball director of umpires Randy Marsh, former Valley High School track and field standout Shandy Boyd Smith, and former pro tennis player Mel Purcell.
The Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame honors athletes and sports figures who were born in or who played their respective sport in the state of Kentucky. Each inductee will receive a bronze plaque that will hang inside Louisville's Freedom Hall.
Tickets to the induction ceremony are $75, $600 for a table of eight or $3,000 for a sponsorship table. All proceeds benefit Kosair Charities.
Go to Kahf.eventbrite.com for more information or to buy tickets.
Keeneland Race Course
As the world's top Thoroughbred auction house, Keeneland has sold more champions and stakes winners than any other sales company. A National Historic Landmark, Keeneland held its first racing meet in October 1936. Today, Keeneland's Spring and Fall Meets rank among the nation's top racing programs for purse money, field size, quality and fan attendance. Keeneland will host the Breeders' Cup World Championships in 2015.
Born in Fairdale, Gardner was a manager/ student trainer at Fairdale High School in 1958 and at Western Kentucky University from 1962-66. He was trainer, travel secretary and equipment manager for the ABA Kentucky Colonels in 1967-68 and 1971-76. He was part of world championships with the Colonels in 1975 and with the Kentucky Bourbons pro softball team in 1981. As a head coach at Fairdale for 14 years, his teams won three regional titles and captured the 1994 Sweet Sixteen championship.
Sanderford coached WKU women's basketball for 15 seasons (1982-97), winning 365 of 485 games. His teams posted 15 winning seasons and played in 14 postseason tourneys (including three Final Fours — 1985, '86 and '92 — with a runner-up finish in '92).
A 1967 graduate of Holmes High School in Covington, Marsh became a major league umpire in 1981 after umpiring in the minors for 13 years. He worked four All-Star games, five division series, eight league championship series, and five World Series in 28 years. He was appointed director of umpires in 2011.
Garland led Laurel County High School to three straight state basketball championships in 1977-79. She was the leading scorer in all three of the championship games, a feat not since matched.
Shandelier "Shandy" Boyd Smith
Smith is one of Kentucky's most decorated track athletes. She won 11 state titles at Valley High School and was two-time Gatorade Athlete of the Year, Associated Press Athlete of the Year, Outstanding Female Athlete and Kentucky Girls Sports Association All-Star. She was a member of the 1992 U.S. Junior Olympic Team. At Ohio State University, she was a seven-time Big Ten champion, four-time All American, and Olympic Trials participant.
Purcell was one of the quickest, most flamboyant players on the ATP Tour. He was a gold medal winner in the Pan American Games in 1979 in singles and doubles. He won NCAA titles in doubles and indoor singles at the University of Tennessee in 1980. He was ATP Rookie of the Year in 1980 and reached a career-high ranking of 17th in the world. In 1983 he made the finals of Monte Carlo and the quarterfinals of Wimbledon.