LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky announced during Monday night’s the 2008 inductees into the UK Athletics Hall of Fame. The class includes football player Al Bruno, men’s basketball player Tony Delk, track athlete Tim Harden, diver Tina Johnson, former men’s basketball player and athletics director C.M. Newton and men’s golfer Johnny Owens. The class will be formally inducted during Hall of Fame Weekend, Sept. 26-27, in conjunction with the football game against Western Kentucky.
Bruno (1948-50), who caught 38 passes for 589 yards and 10 touchdowns in 1950, huge numbers for that era, was a third-team All-America by both AP and UPI. His single-season school record for receiving yards stood until 1964 and his UK single-season record for TD receptions held until 1998. In addition to playing a key role on UK’s Orange and Sugar Bowl teams, he also played on UK’s national championship basketball team in 1949. Following his time at Kentucky, Bruno played and coached in the Canadian Football League, where he won a CFL Grey Cup championship as both a player and a coach.
Delk (1993-96) was the Most Outstanding Player of the 1996 NCAA Final Four and the Midwest Regional in leading UK to the national championship. He earned first-team All-America and SEC Player of the Year honors as a senior, and also led the Wildcats in scoring three straight years. He is UK’s career leader in three-pointers, while ranking second in career steals and fifth in scoring. Delk also played 10 seasons in the NBA.
Harden (1993-96) was a three-time NCAA dash champion who won the national indoor 55-meter title in 1995 and 1996 and added the outdoor 100-meter national championship in 1995. He earned All-America honors in 10 events during his career and was a six-time SEC dash champion. Harden, who still holds the school record in the 100 meters, had a prolific track career following graduation, highlighted by winning a silver medal in the 1996 Olympics in the 4×100-meter relay.
Johnson (1994-96) was an eight-time All-America diver, winning the honor in one-meter, three-meter and platform diving. The 1996 SEC one-meter diving champion and NCAA runner-up in the platform event, she was named SEC Swimmer and Diver of the Year by league coaches three times (1995-97). Also an Academic All-American and a three-time member of the SEC All-Academic Team, Johnson left school as UK’s record-holder in three categories.
Newton (1949-51; AD 1989-2000) oversaw the upgrading of several facilities, the addition of three varsity sports, and tremendous growth in revenues during his decade-plus as UK’s Athletics Director. Named to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame for his contributions to the game, Newton was nationally prominent as chairman of the NCAA Tournament, chairman of the rules committee (introduced the shot clock and three-point shot), and working with international basketball. As head coach at Transylvania, Alabama, and Vanderbilt, he won 509 games and several Coach of the Year awards. Newton was also a pioneer for racial integration as both a coach and administrator.
Owens (1947-50) was considered one of the nation’s best amateur golfers for more than half a century. He capped his UK career by the winning the Southeastern Conference championship his senior year (1950). He also won two state championships at Lexington’s Henry Clay High School, 10 Lexington city championships, two State Amateur titles and four State Seniors crowns. In 1984, he also won the British Senior Amateur championship.
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.