Baffert, Bickerstaff, Beatty lead 2018 Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame inductees
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Kentucky's Athletic Hall of Fame has selected Triple Crown-winning horse trainer Bob Baffert, veteran NBA coach and executive Bernie Bickerstaff and breeders Ken and Sarah Ramsey for its seven-member class.
Others recognized Wednesday for their contributions to sports in Kentucky and nationally are former University of Kentucky and NFL offensive lineman Sam Ball; Louisville Trinity High School football coach Bob Beatty and late motocross great Nicky Hayden.
Baffert, an Arizona native and racing Hall of Famer, recently earned his second Triple Crown in four years and fifth Kentucky Derby win with unbeaten colt Justify. He also trained 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. Baffert is a three-time winner of the Kentucky Oaks; won Eclipse Awards as top trainer in 1997, 1998, 1999, and 2015; has the most Triple Crown wins with 14 and second-most Breeders Cup wins with 14.
Bickerstaff, from Benham, Kentucky, has two NBA championships during a 33-year career as a head coach, assistant or executive. He is currently a Cleveland Cavaliers scout. In the NBA, Bickerstaff had head coaching stints with Denver, Seattle, Charlotte, and Washington, and was NBA coach of the year in 1986-87 with the Sonics. Bickerstaff has served as general manager for Charlotte and Denver, and served 12 years as assistant coach with the Washington Bullets, where his team won an NBA Championship, competed in three NBA finals, and 10 playoff berths.
Husband and wife Ken and Sarah Ramsey are among the Commonwealth's most prolific Thoroughbred owners and breeders of all time. They have captured 31 titles as the leading owner at Churchill Downs and 20 titles at Keeneland and have earned leading owner titles at Kentucky Downs, Turfway Park, Gulfstream Park, and Saratoga. The Ramseys have won four Eclipse Awards as owners; two Eclipse Awards as breeders; four Breeders' Cup World Championship races. They own and operate Ramsey Farm in Nicholasville, Ky.
Beatty has spent 40 years coaching football, including 19 as head coach at Louisville Trinity High School. He was named national high school coach of the year in 2018, after the Shamrocks captured their 13th state title under his direction. His overall record at Trinity currently is 224-35.
Ball, a native of Henderson, Ky., was a three-year starter at offensive line at the University of Kentucky. In 1966, Ball was drafted in the first round by the Colts and the second round by the Jets, the final year before the AFL and NFL merged. He played five years in the NFL with the Baltimore Colts, appeared in two Super Bowls, and earned a Super Bowl ring with the Colts' 16-13 win over the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl V.
Hayden, a native of Owensboro, started dirt bike racing as a kid. He raced superbikes at age 17 in 1997 while he was still in high school. Nicknamed "The Kentucky Kid," he began riding professionally in 1999, and won his first championship race and AMA Rookie of the year honors. In 2002, Hayden became the youngest-ever AMA Superbike Champion at age 21. In 2006, he finished first in the MotoGP, the motorcycle racing world championship that spans 18-races in 13 countries on four continents. Hayden was killed in Italy in 2017 when he was hit by a car while training on a bicycle.
The 2018 KAHOF class members and their families will be honored on August 22, 2018, at the Muhammad Ali Center in downtown Louisville.
Inductees are chosen by a selection committee comprised of 15 sports media from throughout the Commonwealth.
Copyright 2018 WDRB Media. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All Rights Reserved.