Recognizes top Kentucky athletes
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (March 7, 2017) — Kosair Charities and the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame announced today that eight people will be inducted into the Class of 2017 Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame.
The Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame recognizes athletes and sports figures who were born in, or played their respective sport, in the state of Kentucky. Each inductee is recognized with a bronze plaque.
Class of 2017:
Mike Battaglia – One of the faces of thoroughbred racing in the commonwealth since he began calling races in 1972. Battaglia called races at Turfway Park, Keeneland and Churchill Downs where he called 19 Kentucky Derby races, from Affirmed (1978) to Grindstone (1996). He also worked for NBC on Triple Crown and Breeders’ Cup coverage from 1993 until 2014. He’s been the morning-line maker for Churchill Downs, Turfway Park and Keeneland, where he is also the on-air handicapper, since 1974. He remains the associated vice president at Turfway.
Howard Beth – Only one of two high school girls’ basketball coaches in state history to surpass the 700-win mark. The longtime Marshall County High School coach won two Kentucky state titles, made 19 trips to the Sweet 16 and when he retired in 2010 was the all-time winningest girls’ coach in state history with a mark of 794-149. He won the state title in 1982 and ’84, finishing a perfect 34-0.
Rodger Bird – One of the state’s greatest football players of all time, Bird was a high school All-American at Corbin and then went on to play at the University of Kentucky. With the Wildcats, Bird was a first-team All-American as a running back and was drafted by the Oakland Raiders. He was switched to defensive back and was named AFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1966. His jersey hangs in Commonwealth Stadium. His brothers, Calvin and Billy, were football players at UK and another brother, Jerry, played basketball for the Wildcats.
Rob Bromley – The longtime WKYT sports anchor is the familiar face for many wanting coverage of the Kentucky Wildcats in Central Kentucky. He’s been at WKYT for more than 40 years, among the longest standing television anchors in Kentucky. His career at WKYT included a run of 30 years on the UK Television Network doing play-by-play, color commentary and sideline reporting. During his duties with the UK network, Bromley has done shows with Fran Curci, Joe B. Hall, Jerry Claiborne, Eddie Sutton, Bill Curry, Rick Pitino, Hal Mumme and Tubby Smith. In 2015 he was inducted into the NATAS Ohio Valley Silver Circle, one of the highest awards given by NATAS for 25 years or more of distinguished service. He was named Kentucky Co-Sportscaster of the Year for 2016 by the National Sports Media Association.
Swag Hartel – Growing up just outside of London, England, Hartel’s passion was soccer. But he’s made a name for himself in the state of Kentucky as a legend of sorts in the local running world. The former Western Kentucky University star runner owns Swags Sports Shoes in Louisville. A former winner of the Kentucky Derby Festival MiniMarathon, Hartel opened his first store in 1985 and now has two locations in the Louisville-area.
Kenny Klein – The longtime senior associate athletic director and sports information director at the University of Louisville has been with the UofL staff since 1983. The Murray State graduate is a member of the College Sports Information Directors of America Hall of Fame. He has worked in media operations for the NCAA at the men’s Final Four since 1985 and has also worked for the PGA of America at PGA Championship and Ryder Cup events. He received the Katha Quinn Award for his outstanding service by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association in 2012.
Dennis Lampley – One of the legends in high school football coaching, Lampley arrived at Trinity High School in 1971 as an assistant coach. He served as the defensive coordinator on three state championship teams before taking over as the head coach of the Shamrocks’ program. He compiled a record of 138-21 during his tenure, winning five state titles in 10 years. During his tenure, Lampley’s teams won 50-straight games from 1988-91 – which is still the state record. He was named National Coach of the Year in 1990 and was inducted into the National High School Coaches Hall of Fame in 2012. He was the longtime athletic director at Trinity and is still the school’s assistant athletic director.
Marion Miley – She was the best female golfer in America from 1936-41, winning numerous amateur championships in the years before the formation of the LPGA Tour. Miley became one of the best and most famous female athletes in the 1930s but at the age of 27 in 1941 she was murdered in an apartment at Lexington Country Club during a robbery attempt. She is still remembered as a pioneer in women’s sports whose legacy of courage and achievement paved the way for future generations.