Fifty Years of NKU Athletics to Be Honored by NKY Sports Hall of Fame
The Northern Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame will honor Northern Kentucky University and fifty years of Norse Athletics at its December meeting.
“We want to recognize and highlight the sports programs at Northern Kentucky University,” said NKY Sports Hall of Fame President Joe Brennan. “They have a long, and rich history in our region.”
On December 13, 1974, Northern Kentucky State defeated Louisville, 70-59, in its first-ever road game.
Northern Kentucky State completed its first season of competition in women’s basketball with a 19-8 record. The Norsewomen advanced to the AIAW national tournament and concluded their inaugural campaign with a 76-64 loss to Midland Lutheran.
Dr. James Claypool, the first dean of students and admissions at Northern Kentucky State College, and later a founding member of Northern Kentucky University, will be awarded the Dr. James Claypool Pioneer Award.
The Dr. James Claypool Pioneer Award will be presented annually to a deserving Northern Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame member.
Dr. Claypool was chair of the athletics committee and administrative head of Athletics from 1970-78. He was responsible for hiring coaches, athletic directors, budgeting, adhering to NCAA regulations, and representing Northern at conference meetings.
He initiated the first program that gave men and women equal scholarships and chose the school colors (black and gold) and nickname, Norse.
Former players and coaches are set to be in attendance, including Northern Kentucky Hall of Fame members Jane Meier and Ken Shields.
Winstel posted a career record of 636 wins and 214 losses (a win percentage of .748 games in 29 seasons as women’s basketball coach at Northern Kentucky University – including a pair of NCAA Division II national championships in 2000 and 2008.
She was named National Coach of the Decade by Women’s Division II Bulletin in 2009, and her basketball program was also tabbed the best during that decade by the same publication.
Ken Shields finished his 16-year career on the Northern Kentucky University sideline as men's basketball coach with a 306-170 (.643) record. He led the NKU men’s squad to NCAA Regional Championships and the NCAA Division II National Championship games in both 1996 and 1997.
Shields guided NKU to Great Lakes Valley Conference titles during the 1994-95 and 2002-03 season as conference co-champions and earned a tri-championship during the 1996-97 campaign.
In 1996-97 his team won a school-record 30 games en route to national runner-up honors.
His seven 20-win seasons are the most in Norse men’s basketball history.
According to NKU history, the first-ever men’s game was November 12, 1971 against Calvary College. It was played at the old Newport High School gymnasium on Columbia Street, as Regents Hall wasn’t officially dedicated until October 29, 1972.
Northern Kentucky State College won that game, 109-65.
Also to be recognized is Jason French, curator at the Behringer Crawford Museum.
“The museum will report to our members,” said Brennan, “on donations and updates on our partnership with the BCM.”