Grayson – The Kentucky Christian University Athletic Department is proud to announce the first Hall of Fame class in its illustrious sports history. The 2019 Class is comprised of six distinguished members of the KCU athletic family.
The group will be recognized at the Hall of Fame Luncheon scheduled for Oct. 26 at 11:30 a.m. and is open to all. Luncheon tickets are $20 each. They are on a first-come, first-serve basis and for your convenience, you can also order football tickets for the KCU-Bluefield College game. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.
And now for the recipients:
Loran Dace (Significant contributor) – Dace is widely considered the first collegiate coach in school history. The outstanding male and female student-athlete of the year is presented the "Dace Award" named after Coach Dace, who not only showed dedication to the athletic program while at the University but has shown continued support far beyond his retirement and is being enshrined as a significant contributor to the legacy of KCU athletics.
Dr. Donald R. "Dick" Damron (Coach) – The Grayson native, Dick Damron both attended and served the university in many facets. A well-regarded professor of history, Kentucky Christian campus minister, and for good measure, a 2nd generation minister of the Oak Grove Church of Christ, Coach "D" also led the Knights basketball program for 20 years. During that time, he won four National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) Division II national championships (1991, 95, 97, 99) and put together a career record of 400-204 during his basketball tenure. While most would associate Coach with only basketball, he also started and led the Knights fledgling baseball program, a sport near and dear to his heart. Damron was a 2007 enshrinee of the NCCAA Hall of Fame and while he was a champion in the eyes of all who knew him, it is comforting to know his place is secure in God's Hall of Fame.
Lauren Dunn-McClarnon (Volleyball) – Lauren is the most decorated volleyball player in the history of the program. While playing setter for the Knights, she produced program highs in assists (4,538) and assists/set (9.37), while her .949 serve percentage ranks third in program history. Her leadership helped secure three NCCAA II Mideast Region titles and the 2014 NCCAA II Women's Volleyball National Championship. Individually, Dunn-McClarnon was honored as a four-time All-Region selection while achieving 1st Team honors three times and was twice named the Mideast Region's MVP. Nationally, Lauren was named an American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) and NCCAA II 1st Team All-American (2012-14). For her exceptional play during her senior season, she was named the 2014 National Player of the Year and National Tournament MVP. As if that wasn't enough, she was also a two-time NAIA/NCCAA Scholar-Athlete.
Tabitha Hannum-Hall (Basketball) – No athletic tradition runs deeper at Kentucky Christian than the women's basketball program. The program had claimed its first national championship by the time Tabby arrived on campus but her abilities certainly helped raise the program to a totally different level. She is still the only Knights basketball player, male or female, to produce 2,000+ points; 1,000+ rebounds; 800+ assists and 600+ steals. Hannum-Hall helped led her team to four consecutive national title games and came away with championships in 1995, 96, 97. For her efforts, she was named a four-time NCCAA II 1st team All-American, a four-time All-Tournament team selection, the National Tournament MVP on three occasions (95, 96, 97) and the 1997 NCCAA National Player of the Year. As a two-time NCCAA Scholar-Athlete, she was as much at home in the classroom as she was on the court.
Sean Ries (Soccer) – With the growth of soccer in the United States and how it has woven itself into the fabric of sports, it is difficult to remember a time when soccer was in its small-college infancy. But that was the case when Seas Ries entered Kentucky Christian University. Soccer had just recently risen from club to varsity status and game opportunities against similar small Christian colleges were very limited. The Knights took on all comers and played a hodgepodge schedule. The NCCAA II barely had five years under its belt with the sport and post-season opportunities were at a premium. Sean helped raise the visibility of the sport on campus and thus, in the eyes of the current NCCAA soccer hierarchy. During his playing days, he scored an astounding 96 goals which are still the KCU record for a career and along the way was twice named an NCCAA II All-American (2nd Team (91); Honorable Mention (93). For what he meant to the sport on the Kentucky Christian campus, we acknowledge the outstanding accomplishments of Sean Ries.
Eric Sudlow (Basketball) – In today's vernacular, Eric Sudlow was "position-less". At 6-7, he could and did play all five positions during his career so as to create match-up problems for the opposing coaching staff. Following his transfer to Kentucky Christian, Sudlow became the focal point of every defense the Knights faced … and with good reason. In just three seasons, he produced 1,500+ points, 1,000+ rebounds, and over 500 assists. His outstanding contributions as a player helped produce three final four appearances and two NCCAA II National Championships. He was a three-time NCCAA II 1st Team All-American and All-Tournament selection while taking the tournament MVP award in 1991. Sudlow was also honored as the 1991 Maravich Award recipient which was given to the National Player of the Year. For most people, this would be enough athletic accomplishment for a lifetime but not so for Mr. Sudlow as he was destined to coach the Knights for one season … a season that ended with a National Championship and "Coach" Sudlow being named the All-Tournament coach. Two titles as a player and one as the head coach, not bad!
This Hall of Fame has been established to pay tribute, to give deserved recognition, and to enhance school tradition by honoring former athletes and/or coaches who have shown distinctive, unique, or exceptional ability while at Kentucky Christian University or following graduation.