Traditions

UW Athletics Hall of Fame: Class of 1993


Dick Ballinger
Wrestling, 1958-60

Dick Ballinger is the only wrestler in University of Wyoming history to win an NCAA championship. A native of Cody, Wyoming, Ballinger won the 1960 NCAA Wrestling championship at 167-pounds. During his outstanding career he was named an All-American three times. He placed second in the 1958 NCAA Championships and fourth in the 1959 NCAA Championships. Ballinger guided Wyoming to a sixth place national team finish in 1959 and a Wyoming all-time best third place team finish in the 1960 NCAA Championships.

Inducted October 29, 1993

Honors and Awards

  • 1960 NCAA Champion, 167 Pounds
  • All-American 1958, 1959, 1960
  • Skyline conference champion 1958, 1959, 1960


    Fennis Dembo
    Basketball, 1985-88

    Fennis Dembo was a three-time All-Western Athletic conference basketball player. Dembo was selected the 1987 WAC Player of the year. He finished his career as Wyoming's all-time scoring leader, 2,311 points, and rebounding leader, 954. He owned school records for career free throws and field goals and ranked in the top three of every career statistical category. Dembo led UW to the Finals of the 1986 NIT Championship and the "Sweet 16" of the 1987 NCAA Championships. He was the leading scorer in the 1987 NCAA Championship tournament averaging 27.8 points per game. He was the first Wyoming basketball player ever featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Dembo was a member of the 1989 World Champion Detroit Pistons.

    Inducted October 29, 1993

    Honors and Awards

  • First Team All-Western Athletic Conference, 1986, 1987, 1988
  • Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year, 1987
  • NCAA Basketball Tournament record for free throw percentage in a game, 100% (16-16)
  • Wyoming career scoring leader, 2,311 points


    Mike Dirks
    Football, 1965-67

    Mike Dirks was one of college football's best defensive players in 1967. An All-American and All-Western Athletic Conference performer, Dirks co-captained Wyoming's 1967 WAC Championship football team that finished fifth in the nation. Led the Cowboys to a 10-1 record and berth in the 1968 Sugar Bowl. He spearheaded Wyoming's line, the nation's best rushing defense for two consecutive seasons. No team in the nation has since allowed fewer rushing yards than the 1966 and 1967 Wyoming defenses. Dirks produced 71 tackles, 30 unassisted tackles, and 26 tackles for a loss. He played in the National Football League for the Philadelphia Eagles.

    Inducted October 29, 1993

    Honors and Awards

  • First Team All-Western Athletic Conference, 1967
  • Football writers of America, Look Magazine, Newspaper Enterprise
    Association All-American, 1967
  • Team Co-Captain on NCAA record setting defense


    Jerry Hill
    Football, 1958-60

    Jerry Hill was selected as Wyoming's Football Player of the Century during fan balloting in 1992. As an All-Skyline Conference running back in 1959 and 1960, Hill was Wyoming's leading rusher each season. The Cowboys posted a 25-6 record during his career, and won the 1958 Sun Bowl. The Lingle, Wyoming native finished his career with 1,374 rushing yards on 288 carries. He played eight seasons in the national Football League for the Baltimore colts. He ranks eighth on the Colt's career rushing list with 2, 668 career yards. Hill played in the Super Bowl III and V.

    Inducted October 29, 1993

    Honors and Awards

  • First Team All-Skyline Conference, 1959, 1960
  • Selected Wyoming Football Player of the Century, 1992
  • Honorable Mention All-American, 1959, 1960
  • Admiral Emory S. Land Award Winner


    Glenn "Red" Jacoby
    Athletic Director, 1946-73

    Glenn J. "Red" Jacoby served as the Wyoming Athletic Director for 27 years, from 1946 until his death in 1973. Jacoby, who was instrumental in the construction of War Memorial Stadium and Fieldhouse, is credited with hiring some of Wyoming's most successful football coaches including Bowden Wyatt, Phil Dickens, Bob Devaney and Lloyd Eaton. Jacoby was an integral figure in creating the Western Athletic conference. He served on the United States Olympic Committee Board of Directors. Jacoby was posthumously elected to the national Association of College Athletic Directors Hall of Fame and the Idaho Sports Hall of fame. The University of Wyoming golf course was named in his honor.

    Inducted October 29, 1993

    Honors and Awards

  • Credited with the building of War Memorial Stadium and Fieldhouse
  • Served on the United States Olympic Committee Board of Directors
  • Elected to the Idaho Sports Hall of Fame
  • Elected to the National Association of College Athletic Directors Hall of Fame


    Jay Novacek
    Football & Track, 1982-84

    Jay Novacek, a two sport All-American at Wyoming, was a record setting football player and track and field performer. He was selected to the Kodak All-American football team in 1984 after setting an NCAA record for receiving yards per receptions by a tight end. He had 83 career receptions for 1,536 yards and 10 touchdowns as a tight end. Novacek won the Western Athletic Conference decathlon championships earning All-American honors. He set UW records for decathlon points, 7,615, and in the pole vault, 16'4". Novecek was a member of the 1993 Super Bowl Champion Dallas Cowboys.

    Inducted October 29, 1993

    Honors and Awards

  • First Team All-Western Athletic Conference, 1984
  • Football All-American, 1984
  • Track &Field All-American, 1984
  • Western Athletic Conference Decathlon Champion, 1984
  • NCAA record holder
  • Wyoming record holder in Decathlon and Pole Vault


    Kenny Sailors
    Basketball, 1941-46

    Listen to audio interviews with Kenny Sailors by the Wyoming State Archives.

    Kenny Sailors is the only basketball player in Wyoming history to earn All-American three times. Sailors, a native of Hillsdale, Wyoming, was selected an All-American in 1942, 1943, and 1946. He was the unanimous selection for College Basketball Player of the Year in 1943 and was named the Most Valuable Player of the 1943 NCAA tournament. After serving in Word War II, Sailors returned for his final season, and earned All-American and Player of the Year honors in 1946. He guided Wyoming to the NCAA championship in 1943. Sailors is credited with inventing the jump shot and played several seasons in the NBA.

    Inducted October 29, 1993

    Honors and Awards

  • All-American, 1942, 1943, 1946
  • NCAA Tournament Most Valuable Player, 1943
  • College Basketball Player of the Year, 1943
  • Inventor of the Jump Shot


    Ev Shelton
    Basketball Coach, 1939-59

    Ev Shelton coached Wyoming to the 1943 NCAA Championship. As Wyoming's head basketball coach from 1939-59, Shelton posted a 328-201 record for a .620 winning percentage. He left as Wyoming's all-time winningest coach. He guided the Cowboys to eight conference championships and eight NCAA tournaments. He was an instrumental fund raiser for War Memorial Stadium and Fieldhouse. During his career, he served as the President of the National Association of Basketball Coaches. Shelton also served as Wyoming's baseball coach. In 1982 he was awarded the highest honor in basketball when he was posthumously elected to the National Basketball Hall of Fame.

    Inducted October 29, 1993

    Honors and Awards

  • Coached eight Conference championships, 1941, 1943, 1946, 1947, 1949, 1952, 1953, 1958
  • Coached eight NCAA tournament teams
  • Coached Wyoming's only NCAA Basketball Championship
  • Elected to the National Basketball Hall of Fame, 1982


    John Winterholler
    Baseball, Basketball, Football, 1936-39

    John Winterholler is regarded as one of the most outstanding all-around athletes in University of Wyoming history. Winterholler, a native of Lovell, Wyoming, was an outstanding four-sport athlete, earning all-conference in football as a back, basketball as a forward, and baseball as a centerfielder from 1936 through 1939. He also competed in track and field as a sprinter. Winterholler was Wyoming's 1937 leading scorer in basketball averaging 8.2 points per game. He was named to the Sports Illustrated Silver Anniversary All-America football team in 1964

    Inducted October 29, 1993

    Honors and Awards

  • Earned letters in four sports, football, basketball, baseball, track &field
  • Wyoming's leading basketball scorer, 1937
  • Selected to the Sports Illustrated Silver Anniversary All-American Football Team, 1964


    1943 NCAA Championship Team
    Basketball

    The first basketball team from the Rocky Mountains to win an NCAA Basketball Championship, the 1942-43 Wyoming cowboy basketball ream posted a record of 31-2 despite playing just nine home games during the year. After losing at Duquesne in the fourth game of the season, the cowboys did not lose a game to another college team the rest of the season. Their only other loss was to the Denver Legion team. The Cowboys opened the NCAA Tournament beating the University of Oklahoma, 53-50, in the first round. Wyoming then beat the University of Texas, 58-54, and advanced to the NCAA Championship finals. Wyoming beat Georgetown University, 46-34, for the NCAA title. Two days after winning the NCAA Championship, the Wyoming team played NIT Champion St. John's in a Red Cross benefit game for the war effort. It took an overtime, but Wyoming beat St. John's 52-47, in Madison Square Garden, to earn the title of World Champions of 1943. The Cowboys outscored their opponents by an average of over 20 points per game and that 1942-43 squad became the first Wyoming team to score over 100 points in a game, by beating Regis 101-45.

    Honors and Awards

  • First team in Rocky Mountains to win an NCAA Championship
  • Only Wyoming basketball team to win an NCAA Championship
  • Record of 31-2
  • Defeated NIT Champions St. John's in Red Cross Benefit Game
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