Madison County Sports Hall of Fame
News for You
Sports Hall of Fame Board is Formed
A local group of men and women has been working behind the scenes since June, 2020 to establish a Madison County Sports Hall of Fame that will bring recognition and honor to individual athletes, coaches, administrators, media, supporters, and teams that have brought local, regional, statewide and national recognition to Madison County.
A 13-person Board of Directors oversees the non-profit organization. The Board includes an Executive Board led by chairman Bart Bellairs, vice chairman Karl Park, secretary Donna Lovell, and Treasurer John Hamilton. The historian is John Lovell. The board has approved a set of by-laws and established criteria for nominations. The remaining members of the board include Jack Frost, David Shew, Eugene Estelle, Hubert Broaddus, Leeanne Browder, Sylvia Powell, Karen Knezevich, and Keith Taylor
Plans are being made to honor the first Hall of Fame induction class during an April 23 banquet.
The committee is also accepting sponsorships from individuals and businesses to help support the Madison County Sports Hall of Fame. Three levels have been established and each level affords a package of benefits which include banquet tickets, a listing on the website, and a listing in the banquet program. The levels include: MVP Club ($500), All-Star Club ($250), and Fan Club ($100).
Members of the public can nominate deserving candidates by visiting the Madison County Sports Hall of Fame website at www.MadisonCountySportsHoF.com where they can find the nomination form and directions for completing and submitting the form.
Individual nominees must be a Madison County native, or have earned deserving recognition while residing in Madison County. Categories and examples for individual nominations are:
ATHLETE (All-State, All-Conference, All-Region, career, single season or game record holder, MVP, college or professional career).
COACH / ADMINISTRATOR / OFFICIAL (Career record, honors received such as coach of the year, championships won, major contributor to school athletics, leader on local, state, or national levels, total years of service, etc.) .
MEDIA (radio/TV, sportswriter/SID) (Professional awards and honors received, years of service, contributions to profession, etc.).
COMMUNITY LEADER / SUPPORTER (booster club organizer or officer, fundraising leader, youth league officer or coach, etc.).
TEAM (For a team to be nominated, it should have achieved a special recognition for capturing championships, or for historical significance. Examples for team nominations are: Has historical significance, State or Regional Championships, or set a school, state, or national record.
Three of Earle Combs' grandchildren, Don, Jr., Craig, and Cathy Combs Delaney accept the Hall of Fame plaque from MCSHoF Board Chairman Bart Bellairs
Idea born for Hall of Fame
Richmond native Jack Frost had been thinking for several years that Madison County needed to honor the outstanding athletes, coaches, administrators and community leaders who have brought recognition to the area through sports.
And so, when Frost first approached former Richmond Mayor Jim Barnes in the Fall of 2019 about starting a Madison County Sports Hall of Fame, the idea that had been floating in Frost's mind for so long began to take root and now it has become a reality. A group of Madison County citizens along with Frost, now a resident of Rock Hill, South Carolina, is developing plans to induct its first class of Madison County Sports Hall of Famers in April of 2022..
Once Frost got Barnes on board with the idea, he next approached two men who he thought would be instrumental in the Hall of Fame's formation.
He first reached out to John Lovell, a local historian, who knows Madison County's history and its people probably better than any living person. His next call went to Bart Bellairs, a longtime Richmond resident, who has returned to Central Kentucky following a successful career as a college basketball head coach and athletic director.
Like Frost, who helped establish the Winthrop University Athletics Hall of Fame, Bellairs has also been deeply involved in the formation of a college sports hall of fame during his tenure as athletic director at Savannah State University. It didn't take much convincing for Bellairs to jump on board. When he agreed to take on the role of Hall of Fame Board chairman, the concept for the Madison County Sports Hall of Fame was ready to take off.
The current membership of the Madison County Sports Hall of Fame Founding Board of Directors is as follows:
Bart Bellairs, chair
Karl Park, vice chair
Donna Lovell, secretary
John Hamilton, treasurer
John Lovell, historian
Karen Powell Knezevich