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Three Inductees for NKY Sports Hall of Fame to Be Celebrated with Wildman Walker

The Northern Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame announced its three newest inductees and that radio personality Dennis "Wildman" Walker will be the guest speaker at the event.

The Hall of Fame induction is set for Wednesday, September 15 at the Villa Hills Civic Club.

The September inductees include:

Steve Funke—A graduate of Simon Kenton High School and Georgetown College; he played football at SK (1986-90) and was named Best Defensive Lineman 1989, MVP and again Best Lineman in 1990 when he served as team captain. In track, he won the 1991 Kentucky High School Athletic Association State 2A discus championship.

At Georgetown College, he was a member of the 1991 NAIA National Championship team. After graduation he coached – and taught – at Twenhofel Middle School, winning a state football title in 2018. He has coached the Simon Kenton track team 25-plus years.

Mac Cooley – Mac is a Simon Kenton and Centre College grad. He played both football and basketball at SK winning all-Northern Kentucky Coaches Association honors his senior year in both sports. He was named to the all-33rd District basketball tournament team in 1991.

He played football at Centre College and after graduation started his coaching career which took him to Hancock County High School (basketball); Simon Kenton and Lloyd High Schools (both football).

He is presently principal at Tichenor Middle School.

Bob Gavin – Bob Gavin was a three-sport star athlete at Ludlow High School. He was starting guard on the football team and earned Honorable Mention as a senior; he tossed a no-hitter as pitcher for the baseball team and played basketball as well.

He was a Medic Corpsman and served in the Navy for 20 years. He’s still active as a paramedic.

The guest speaker, Wildman Walker, was the "sports commando" for Cincinnati radio station WEBN for 27 years.

He recently released the book, Wild Man: The Book, co-written with Gerry Schultz.

But for all the interviews and commentaries it was the billboard stunt that garnered the 70-year old Walker into Cincinnati folklore.

Walker went up on a downtown Cincinnati billboard August 24, 1991 and he wouldn’t come down until the Bengals won a game.

On November 3rd, a full two months from the beginning of the season, the 0-8 Bengals hosted the Cleveland Browns and thanks to Bengals’ cornerback Eric Thomas’s block of a Matt Stover field-goal try, the Bengals prevailed 23-21.

And Walker returned to Earth.

Walker will have his book at the event for sale and autographs.

The inductions and meeting are open to the public and start at 1 p.m.

-Staff report

Photo: Wildman Walker (provided)