Four Cats Named to KSHOF Class of 2009

WICHITA, Kan. The Kansas Sports Hall of Fame (KSHOF) announced members of its Class of 2009 Wednesday and four former Kansas State standouts will be enshrined during the October 4 induction ceremony.


Former Wildcats Don Calhoun (football), Steve Henson (basketball, track and field), Ken Mahoney (basketball) and Ken Swenson (track and field) are among the 14 total honorees to be inducted in Wichita this fall.


The KSHOF Class of 2009 will bring the total number of enshrinees in the State of Kansas Sports Hall of Fame to 190, and those scheduled to attend the 2009 induction ceremonies include: Calhoun, Janell (Smith) Carson, Henson, Mahoney, John Mason, Ted Owens, Harold Patterson, Eddie Sutton and Swenson. In addition, Jesse Barnes, Orlis Cox, Paul Endacott, Gwinn Henry, and Ken Roberts will all be inducted posthumously. 


An NFL running back for nine seasons with Buffalo, New England and Philadelphia, Calhoun started his football career as an all-state back at Wichita North High School before becoming a standout for K-State from 1971-73 where he rushed for 1,300 yards. He played all 14 games as a rookie with the Bills after being selected in the 10th round of the 1974 NFL Draft. Calhoun rushed for 3,391 career yards for the Patriots still fifth-best in franchise history and led all NFL backs with a 5.6 yard average in 1976. He ended his NFL career with over 4,000 yards rushing and receiving with 25 touchdowns.


The only men’s basketball player in school history to play in four NCAA Tournaments, Henson broke 21 school records and etched his name among K-State’s top 10 in 41 statistical categories while also setting 11 Big Eight records. The McPherson native was twice an honorable mention All-American and once a first-team all-conference selection. Following his graduation - a feat he accomplished in four years despite also spending three seasons with Kansas State’s track team as a decathlete - he was taken in the second round of the NBA draft by the Milwaukee Bucks. A six-year NBA veteran, Henson spent his first two years with the Bucks, one year with the Atlanta Hawks (1992-93) and Portland Trailblazers (1994-95) before concluding his career with the Detroit Pistons (1997-99).


One of basketball’s most respected inventors, Mahoney invented the “Tossback” training device used throughout the world to train players at all levels. A three-year letterwinner at K-State from 1946-49, Mahoney, a Dorrance native, went on to develop “breakaway” rims for the NBA to prevent the shattering of backboards created by dunking. His “snap-back” rims are used universally for basketball and he re-designed backboards at the request of the NBA and NCAA to its current configuration.


Swenson, a 1995 inductee into the K-State Sports Hall of Fame, is one of the top mid-distance runners in K-State history. Swenson ran for the United States in the 1972 Olympics in Munich and was the American record-holder in the 880-yard run with a time of 1:44.8. In 1970, Swenson claimed the NCAA Championship in the 880 yards run. The Clay Center native also ran a leg of the NCAA Indoor Champion 4X800 relay team, claimed the Big Eight title in 1970 in the 880 yards and still holds the second-fastest time in the 800 meters in school history.


The State of Kansas Sports Hall of Fame was founded by the Kansas Legislature in 1961 as a part of the state’s Centennial Celebration.


Criterion for induction is that the individuals have brought pride to the state of Kansas through their involvement in sports. Nominations for selection to the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame are accepted from all Kansans. A selection committee made up of statewide sports writers, radio/TV announcers, coaches, administrators, former athletes, and sports historians vote in a screening process to narrow the nominations list. The final selection is made by the Board of Trustees/Directors.


The Hall is operated by Kansas Sports Hall of Fame, Inc., a not-for-profit corporation. For more information, visit