Murray State Athletics revealed its MSU Hall of Fame class of 2018. Highlights of the 2018 group includes 17 combined All-Ohio Valley Conference selections, four OVC MVP awards, 10 OVC team championships and one OVC and national coach of the year honor.
The group of seven includes six former student-athletes including Frank Allen (basketball, 1989-93), Rebecca Clay (soccer, 2005-08), Isaiah Canaan (basketball, 2009-13), Sarah Dearworth (volleyball, 1991-94), Amber Guffey (basketball, 2005-09), Danny Lee Johnson (football, 1977-81) and one former coach, Houston Nutt (football, 1993-96).
Additionally, the MSU Hall of Fame will see four Racer supporters inducted under the Hall of Distinction category including athletics staff veteran Saundra Edwards, MSU radio voice Neal Bradley and longtime supporters Jan and Dick Weaver.
Induction weekend will be February 16-17 with a banquet at the CFSB Center on Friday and special recognition at the Saturday basketball games when the Racers host Tennessee Tech.
Frank Allen, Basketball (1989-93)
Frank Allen played two seasons each for coaches Steve Newton and Scott Edgar and still today is one of only 10 Racers to be three-time All-OVC selections (1991, 1992, 1993). His 1,811 career points was fifth all-time at MSU when he finished and is still eighth today. When finished at MSU, Allen was the top player in program history with 251 made 3-point baskets. His mark stood 20 years until Isaiah Canaan topped it with 304 in 2013. Allen’s 75 made 3-pointers in the 1992-93 season set a MSU record.
In 1992, Allen’s 39 points against Tennessee Tech was the fourth all-time single scoring game in MSU history and it still ranks eighth.
Even though he last played 24 years ago, Allen is still one of only two Racers that ranks in the top-10 in scoring, made 3-point baskets, made free throws, assists and steals. Isaiah Canaan joined him with this distinction in 2013.
Isaiah Canaan, Basketball (2009-13)
One of 10 three-time All-OVC selections (2011, 2012, 2013), Isaiah Canaan was a two-time OVC Player of the Year (2012, 2013) and OVC Freshman of the Year in 2010. He was also an All-America selection in 2012.
In 2013, he joined fellow MSU Hall of Fame inductee Frank Allen as the only MSU players to rank in the top-10 in scoring, made 3-point baskets, made free throws, assists and steals.
In 2013, Canaan became the first MSU player since Marcus Brown in 1996 to be drafted into the NBA. The Houston Rockets selected him in the second round as the 34th overall pick. In 2017, he completed his fourth season in the NBA as a member of the Chicago Bulls.
Playing a pair of seasons each for coaches Billy Kennedy and Steve Prohm, Canaan was part of the winningest class in Murray State Basketball history with 106 wins including three-straight OVC regular season championships. Canaan played a big part in two of Murray State’s three wins in the NCAA Tournament when the Racers beat Vanderbilt in 2010 and Colorado State in 2012 and a memorable 23-0 start to Coach Steve Prohm’s first season in 2011-12.
Canaan is one of only six MSU players and one of only 17 in the OVC to reach 2,000 career points, as he ranks fifth all-time at MSU with 2,050 points. Canaan is also the all-time leader at MSU and second in the OVC with 304 made 3-point baskets.
Canaan and Allen are the 33rd and 34th from men’s basketball to be inducted into the MSU Hall of Fame.
Rebecca Clay, Soccer (2005-08)
Rebecca Clay is one of only two players in MSU Soccer history to be named All OVC in four seasons (2005-08). She was also named to the 2005 All-OVC Newcomer Team and named OVC Freshman of the Year.
Clay’s 24 career goals was second all-time at MSU when she finished in 2007 (she’s currently fourth) and she’s the all-time leader in assists at MSU with 21. Her 69 total points (2 points per goal, 1 per assist) was second at MSU when she finished up in 2007.
In 2008, she led the Racers to the program’s first OVC regular season championship in 2008 playing for coach Beth Acreman.
Excellent in the classroom, Clay earned OVC Commissioners Honor Roll honors in all four seasons at MSU and in 2006, she was honored with the OVC Medal of Honor Award.
She is the first from soccer to be inducted into the MSU Hall of Fame.
Sarah Dearworth, Volleyball (1991-94)
In the early 1990s, Sarah Dearworth became one of two MSU players to win OVC Player of the Year when she was honored in 1994. By the time her MSU career was over, she was a three-time All-OVC selection (1992, 1993, 1994) playing for coaches Oscar Segovia (1991) and Brenda Bowlin (1992-94).
Until Scottie Ingram passed her in 2016, Dearworth was MSU’s all-time leader in kills with 1,561 for 22 years. She still ranks at or near the top in every MSU stat category and is one of only eight Racer players to get 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs. In single-season records, she has the second and third best seasons in kills with 555 in 1993 and 537 in 1994.
Dearworth also had great success in academics, being named Third Team Cosida Academic All-American in 1994. She was a two-time Commissioner’s Honor Roll member in 1994 and 1995.
She’s the only Racer to be a player and a coach. Dearworth spent one season (1997) as the Racers’ interim head coach where the team was 20-12 overall and 13-5 in the OVC.
Dearworth is the third from volleyball to be inducted into the MSU Hall of Fame.
Amber Guffey, Basketball (2005-09)
Amber Guffey is one of only five three-time All-OVC selections (2006-07, 2007-08 and 2008-09) and played for coaches Joi Felton, Jody Adams and Rob Cross.
When Guffey was finished at Murray State, she was third all-time in Racer history with 1,877 points. She also ranked first in program history in minutes played, games played, assists and made free throws. She was the first MSU player to have 300 career made free throws and 300 assists.
Guffey was part of MSU’s most successful period as the team won their first OVC Tournament title and made the NCAA appearance in the 2007-08 season when the Racers were 24-8. In 2008-09,. Guffey was part of MSU’s first OVC regular season championship. The Racers were 23-9 (16-2 OVC).
She was named to the All-OVC Tournament Team in 2007 & 2008 and was MVP in 2008.
Guffey is the fourth from women’s basketball to be inducted into the MSU Hall of Fame.
Danny Lee Johnson, Football (1977-81)
A team captain for three seasons, Danny Lee Johnson is still today the second all-time rusher in Racer history with 2,522 yards. Johnson played for three of the greatest coaches in Murray State football, Bill Furgerson, Mike Gottfried and Frank Beamer. Johnson played on the Racers’ 1979 OVC Championship team that was 9-2-1 (6-0 OVC), but only appeared in the first five games before being sidelined with a knee injury.
A combination of power and speed, Johnson was named All-OVC in 1978 and 1979 and was OVC Offensive Player of the Year in 1978 and an Honorable Mention All-America selection. In 1978, he rushed for 1,217 yards, fourth on the all-time list at MSU. He was the top rusher in the OVC and sixth in NCAA 1-AA.
His 12 touchdowns in 1978 is fourth at MSU for a single season and his 17 touchdowns is 10th all-time. In 1978, he had 10 games of 100 yard rushing games. Johnson had a career-high 203 yards rushing on 27 carries against East Tennessee State at home also in 1978.
Johnson is the 44th from football to be inducted into the MSU Hall of Fame.
Houston Nutt, Football (1993-96)
Houston Nutt coached the Racers for four seasons and ended with a record of 31-16 (.660) with back-to-back OVC championships and 1-AA playoff appearances in 1995 and 1996. Nutt’s teams still have two of the best seasons in program history in 1995 and 1996 when MSU won a total of 22 games and twice won back-to-back undefeated OVC championships. MSU was 22-3 overall and 16-0 in OVC play. Nutt is the only MSU coach to have two double-digit winning streaks. They started the 1995 season 11-0 and won 11 in a row in 1996 after losing the season opener. MSU’s 34-6 win at home over Western Illinois (11-30-1996) is still the only postseason win in program history.
In 1995 and 1996, Nutt was OVC Coach of the Year and in 1995, he was the Eddie Robinson National Division I-AA Coach of the Year.
During the Nutt era, the Racers had three OVC Player of the Year picks with 31 All-OVC selections and seven All-America selections.
Coach Nutt went on to successful coaching stints at Boise State (1997), Arkansas (1998-07) and Ole Miss (2008-11).
He is the 45th from football to be inducted into the MSU Hall of Fame and the fourth head coach.
Hall of Distinction
Neal Bradley (1993-present)
Neal Bradley has enjoyed being the play-by-play voice for Murray State football and men’s basketball since 1993 and will broadcast his 27th season in the 2017-18 school year.
Over the years Bradley has called more than 1,000 career games for Murray State and become a fan favorite for his ability to give the listener a great experience. His calls of big Murray State wins are iconic in Racer Nation. One of the most memorable calls occurred in 2010 when Murray State upset Vanderbilt in the first round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament as Danero Thomas hit the game-winning shot at the buzzer to lift the No. 13 seed Racers to the 66-65 win. Bradley’s line “We’re extending the stay in San Jose!” was spontaneous and brilliant.
Bradley is also highly respected by his peers in the media. Known for tremendous work ethic, preparation and quick wit, Bradley has been a rock in the broadcast community. His peers in the OVC honored him in 2011 with the OVC Media Award for outstanding effort in covering the conference.
Bradley is employed by Forever Communications and runs the operations of three of their stations, WNBS 1340 AM, WBZB 1130 AM and 104.5 FM.
Saundra Edwards (1974-01)
Saundra Edwards is one of four individuals going into the Hall of Distinction, which is a sub-division of the MSU Hall of Fame for those that were not coaches or student-athletes, but had a profound impact on Racer Athletics in their own special way.
Edwards, came to Murray State in 1957 after her graduation from Heath High School in Paducah. She worked in career services at MSU from 1974 to 1986 and then joined the effort in MSU Athletics in 1987 until her retirement in 2001. Along the way, she worked for several MSU athletics directors including Johnny Reagan, Mike Dill, Mike Strickland, Jim Frank and E.W. Dennison.
Her arrival as a full time staff member for MSU Athletics was a natural progression after she worked for Coach Cal Luther as a student secretary in men’s basketball. in her career at MSU Athletics, Saundra was multi-talented and had a part in concessions and game operations, marketing and promotions, tickets, MSU Hall of Fame and all associated athletics banquets.
Edwards and her husband, Dan, have been together for 57 years and they raised a terrific family. Saundra treasures the friendships that she made over the years and enjoys today.
If MSU had had a women’s golf team when she was in school, Saundra surely would’ve played. In fact, she tried out and made Buddy Hewitt’s men’s team but decided not to play. Her father, Louis Slusmeyer, was superintendent at old Paducah Country Club when Saundra was born in 1939. She often went to the course with him when he held the same job at Paxton Park. Louis gave his daughter three clubs and that set her on course to enjoy the game. Her mother Elizabeth also played golf. Saundra’s entire family moved to Murray when Louis was commissioned to build the first nine-holes of Murray Country Club.
Dick & Jan Weaver (1985-present)
Dick and Jan Weaver have been avid supporters of Murray State University and the Murray community since they decided to make Murray their home in 1985.
Out of Indiana University, Dick went to work for RCA in 1958. Known as a man of many talents, he excelled in industrial engineering. When he went to work at RCA, the company became a subcontractor for special projects with NASA. Dick had a part with the production of the landing systems for the Apollo spacecraft (Lunar Excursion Module).
In the 1980’s Dick ran own manufacturing consulting business which continued into the early 1990s. He consulted more than 300 businesses, including airports in Montreal and Toronto, Ford Motor Company and many hospitals.
Dick is also a veteran and was a First lieutenant in the US Army from 1945-46 and 1950-54 in the 82nd Airborne and 187 Airborne regimental combat Team and Army Rangers.
Jan, who passed away in 2009, was a longtime teacher and education administrator. She served her students for more than 40 years at the high school and college level. Her tenure at Murray State in the College of Education (1985-97) included serving as dean of the department. She was named Kentucky Educator of the Year in 1989. Jan received the Golden Horseshoe Award from MSU and the Distinguished Teacher and Distinguished Alumnus awards from the college of education at Indiana University. She was the only person ever elected president of Professors of Education, Deans of Teacher Education of Colleges and State Universities, and the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education.
Jan and Dick funded the 1997 opening of the Weaver Center at Roy Stewart Stadium. This state-of-the-art academic center is still the hub of academic effort by the 300-plus Murray State student-athletes.
The love and support that Jan and Dick have given Murray is exceptional.