The University of Kentucky announced Monday the 2006 inductees into the UK Athletics Hall of Fame, which includes men’s golfer Gay Brewer, gymnast Jenny Hansen, 1930s multi-sport star Ellis Johnson, men’s basketball player Adrian Smith, broadcaster Claude Sullivan and football player Craig Yeast. The class will be formally inducted during Hall of Fame Weekend, Sept. 15-16, in conjunction with the football game against Ole Miss.
“It’s a pleasure to recognize some of the great UK accomplishments that have occurred over the years,” Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said. “These six individuals personify hard work, dedication and commitment – all the things that make Kentucky great.”
Brewer (1952-54) joined the PGA Tour in 1956 and won 10 tournaments during his career, highlighted by a victory in the 1967 Masters. He was a member of the 1967 and 1971 United States Ryder Cup Teams.
Hansen (1993-96) is one of the most distinguished gymnasts in NCAA history, holding NCAA records with eight individual titles at the national meet; four titles in one year (1995, floor exercise, balance beam, vault, all-around); and three all-around championships (1993-95). The 1995 SEC Female Athlete of the Year, Hansen was recently named the NCAA’s most outstanding gymnast of the past 25 years.
Johnson (1930-33) played men’s basketball, football, baseball and track at UK and is considered one of the greatest all-around athletes in the history of the Commonwealth. A basketball All-American, he was a starter on Adolph Rupp’s first Wildcat team and later served as head football and basketball coach at Morehead State and as basketball coach at Marshall.
Smith (1956-58) was a starting guard on Kentucky’s 1958 national championship team and won gold medals as part of the United States’ 1959 Pan American team and 1960 Olympics squad. A 10-year veteran of professional basketball, he was named MVP of the 1966 NBA All-Star Game.
Sullivan (1948-67) served as play-by-play voice for Kentucky football and basketball. He began the Standard Oil Sports Network in 1951, covering UK games until his untimely death in 1967 at the age of 42. He also called Cincinnati Reds baseball from 1964-67, and was named Kentucky Sportscaster of the Year every year from 1959 through 1966.
Yeast (1995-98) caught more passes than any player in SEC history, with 208 receptions for 2,899 yards and 28 touchdowns. He broke two SEC records and 19 school records for pass receiving, kick returns, scoring, and all-purpose yardage during his career, and helped lead the Wildcats to the 1999 Outback Bowl.
The UK Athletics Hall of Fame was started in 2005 to recognize and honor persons whose participation and contributions enriched and strengthened the University’s athletic program. The charter class included 88 individuals who had previously had their jersey retired by UK.
There is a five-year waiting period – after leaving UK – to be eligible for inclusion into the Hall of Fame, and a 10-year waiting period to have a jersey retired. An individual must be a member of the Hall of Fame to be eligible for jersey retirement.
A committee consisting of Hall of Famers, media members, campus representatives and current coaches and administrators elects new inductees each year.