Four great names in the history of Western Kentucky University Athletics will be inducted as the 24th class into the WKU Athletic Hall of Fame in ceremonies set for Homecoming Weekend this fall.
The 2014 class includes Dan King (men’s basketball, baseball), Lee Murray (football, baseball, football coach), Darnell Mee (men’s basketball) and Chris Price (football).
The induction of the 2014 class brings the number of former WKU student-athletes and coaches to earn berths in the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame to 138 since its founding in 1991.
The 2014 class will be inducted in a ceremony highlighting the annual W-Club Homecoming Brunch, set for 10:00 AM (CT) Saturday, Nov. 8, on the main floor at E.A. Diddle Arena on the WKU campus in Bowling Green.
Tickets for the event, which is open to the general public, are $15.00 each and can be purchased or reserved:
- online at alumni.wku.edu (click on “Events”, scroll down the list and click on “W-Club Homecoming Brunch, click on the “Registration” box and fill out the reservation form)
- by calling 1-888-WKU-ALUM (1-888-958-2586) or, locally in the Bowling Green area, (270) 745-4395
- by contacting either W-Club Treasurer Bill Edwards at (270) 745-6026 or email@example.com or W-Club Secretary Paul Just at (270) 792-4247 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Each W-Club member who has paid 2014-15 dues may claim two complimentary tickets to the event. However, seating is limited and reservations must be made either online or with Edwards or Just to ensure seating is available. Non-members and the general public are welcome but must purchase tickets. Letterwinners who have not yet paid their 2014-15 dues may do so online via credit card or at the door with a prior reservation.
The inductees will also be honored in ceremonies on Jimmy Feix Field at halftime of the annual Homecoming Football Game, set to kickoff at 3:00 that afternoon.
DAN KING / Men’s Basketball, 3 letters (1952-54); Baseball, 3 letters (1952-54)
Dan King was a key player on three Western Kentucky University NIT teams (including the 1954 club that placed 4th in tha tournament) that won 80 of 94 games (an 85.1% success ratio), two Ohio Valley Conference championships (1952 and ’54) and took OVC tourney titles all three years. A talented 6-5 forward who E.A. Diddle once called the fastest big man he had ever coached, King scored 886 points in those three seasons, averaging 10.1 ppg for his career. He averaged 10.7 points and 8.3 rebounds as a sophomore on his 26-5 team. As a junior, he tallied 414 points (the 10th best single season total in school history at the time), averaging a career-best 13.8 points and 8.9 rebounds for that 25-6 squad. King was also a stellar performer on the diamond, leading the Topper baseballers to an overall record of 42-17-1 and two OVC championships (’52 and ’53). On one memorable day, King pitched both games of a doubleheader and won both contests. He signed pro contracts with Brooklyn (baseball 1954) and Baltimore (NBA); he played one season (’54-55) with the Bullets. After his playing career, he enjoyed a career as a teacher and coach. In 1972 he was named to the Amateur Softball Association All-World Team after helping his Louisville Jiffy Club to the ASA World Championship. He is a member of both the ASA and the Clinton County (Tenn.) Sports Halls of Fame. King returned to WKU in early 1960s and served a season (1964) as freshman basketball coach and two seasons (’63 and ’64) as the Hilltopper baseball coach. A native of Paris, Tenn., King passed away in 2003 at age 72 in Louisville.
DARNELL MEE / Men’s Basketball, 3 letters (1991-93)
Darnell Mee earned All-America honors in 1993 when he was also a unanimous All-Sun Belt Conference pick (and the SBC Tourney MVP). He finished his three-year career on The Hill with 1,253 points, ranking him 18th on the all-time leaders list. As a senior, he became just the 10th Hilltopper to score 600 points in a season (606) and he set a school record for three-point field goals made in a game (8). Mee, who remains the only Hilltopper to come up with 100 steals in a season (100 in ’93), led WKU in steals all three years and still holds WKU records for steals in a game (9, twice), season (100) and career (259). His three teams were a collective 61-31 (66.3%), played in the 1993 NCAA Sweet Sixteen (narrowly missing a berth in the Elite Eight), went to the NIT in ’92 and won one SBC tourney title (’93). He was drafted in the 2nd round (7th pick; 34th overall) by the Golden State Warriors in 1993 and played at Denver (’93-95). He moved on to international basketball in 1995, playing for teams in Australia, France, Germany and Italy over the next 14 years. Mee spent the bulk of his pro career in Australia’s National Basketball League, playing one season at Canberra (’95-96), four at Adelaide (’97-01), two at Wallagong (’03-05) and five at Cairns (’02-03 and ’05-09). A five-time NBL Defensive Player of the Year, he earned a berth on the All-NBL first team twice. He was a key member of two MBL championship teams with the Adelaide 36ers (1998 and ’99). Later, Mee returned to The Hill to complete his degree and earn a Master’s while serving as a student assistant on the Hilltopper basketball staff. A native of Cleveland, Tenn., he resides in Antioch, Tenn.
LEE MURRAY / Football, 2 Letters (1961-62); Baseball, 2 Letters (1962-63); Assistant Football Coach (1969-77, 1992-94)
A two-sport standout on The Hill in the early 1960s, Lee Murray was an outstanding end in football and was the first athlete in Hilltopper gridiron history to be named the team’s “Most Valuable Player” two straight years. His two Topper football teams went 6-3-0 and 5-3-0, respectively, and he was the team captain and most valuable defensive player as a senior. An outfielder, he was WKU’s only player on the Ohio Valley Conference’s first All-Conference Baseball Team in 1962. After three successful seasons as head coach at Louisville Shawnee HS, Murray returned to WKU as an assistant coach in 1969 and spent nine seasons working with some of the Toppers’ finest teams, including NCAA Division-II national runner-up teams in 1973 (12-1-0) and 1975 (11-2-0). He worked with the receivers his first two years and then moved to the defensive secondary in 1971 before taking over as defensive coordinator in 1973. He developed some of the finest defensive units in WKU history. His 1971 defense led the nation in pass defense, giving up only 57.5 yards/game; and, his Toppers ranked in the Top 10 in the nation in scoring defense three times (’73-75) and were 4th in total defense in both ’74 amd ’75. The 35 interceptions his ’73 club came up with is still a WKU record. He retired from coaching after the 1977 campaign, but remained a part of the WKU scene as an administrator in the Downing University Center until his retirement. Murray came out of retirement in 1992 to help out after football narrowly missed being dropped and put in three more seasons on the Topper staff (1992-94). Murray is a member of both the Louisville High School Coaches Association and the Franklin County (Ala.) High School halls of fame. Overall, the 12 WKU teams he helped coach went 81-43-4 (a solid 64.8%). Murray, who calls Russellville, Ala., his hometown, now resides in Cumming, Ga.
CHRIS PRICE / Football, 4 letters (1999-02)
Chris Price, a three-time All-America pick on the offensive line (at guard), was on virtually everyone’s first team as a senior in ’02 when he played a key role in the Hilltoppers’ amazing run to the NCAA I-AA National Championship. He was a first-team all-conference selection three straight years – for his undefeated Ohio Valley Conference championship team in ’00 and in the Gateway Football Conference in both ’01 and ’02. In that 15-game ’02 campaign, the Hilltoppers ran almost 1,000 plays (996, to be exact) and amassed a school record 5,479 total yards, a lot of work in the trenches for the linemen. The four Hilltopper teams he played on were a combined 37-14 overall (31-9 – 77.5% – in his last 3 years), winning two conference titles (OVC in 2000 and GFC in ’02) and placed 2nd in the Gateway in ’01 and 3rd in the OVC in ’99. The Hilltopper offensive units he played for ranked among the Top 10 in the nation in rush offense all four of his varsity seasons – seventh in 1999, ninth in ’00, second in ’01 and sixth in ’02. Those clubs made three appearances in the I-AA championship playoffs, winning 5 of 7 games – including that ’02 national title. Price came to The Hill from Indianapolis, Ind., and currently resides in Madisonville, Ky.