LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame (KSHOF) grew today after six people with strong ties to Kentucky and even stronger contributions to sports were selected as the 2021 class.

A selection committee comprised of 15 sports media professionals from across the Commonwealth selected this year’s class, according to a press release. All votes by the selection committee were independently tabulated by regional accounting firm Dean Dorton.

Here's who was selected for the 44th Hall of Fame class:

  • John Asher – "Mr. Kentucky Derby" himself. The late, renowned media and public relations expert served as Vice President of Racing Communications for Churchill Downs for over 20 years;
  • Dwane Casey – Member of the 1978 University of Kentucky (UK) NCAA Basketball National Champions who went on to earn NBA Coach of the Year honors;
  • Romeo Crennel – Western Kentucky University (WKU) football star with 39 years of coaching experience in the NFL, including five Super Bowl wins as a defensive coordinator;
  • Rachel Komisarz Baugh – SEC-champion swimmer at UK and assistant coach at the University of Louisville who set five U.S. records, one world record and earned Olympic gold and silver;
  • Keith Madison – Legendary former baseball coach at UK who is a member of the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame;
  • and Elmore Smith – All-American basketball player who led Kentucky State University to back-to-back NAIA Championships. Smith still holds the NBA single-game record for blocked shots.
The University of Kentucky comprises half of the 2021 KSHOF class. (University of Kentucky)

In a statement to Spectrum News 1, officials with the Louisville Sports Commission said the 2021 KSHOF class members and their families will be honored on Sept. 7, 2021, at the Galt House Hotel in downtown Louisville.

"The KSHOF Class of 2021 recognizes six outstanding individuals who represent a broad spectrum of sports and occupations – individuals who had a major impact on sports in the Commonwealth and on the national and international stage," said Louisville Sports Commission President and CEO Karl F. Schmitt Jr. "We appreciate the support of the Kentucky Lottery as our presenting sponsor for the third consecutive year, and the work of regional accounting and advisory firm Dean Dorton for officially tabulating the votes.”

The KSHOF is owned and operated by the Louisville Sports Commission, a Kentucky-based non-profit that hosts and operates sporting events and activities aimed at enhancing the quality of life of the Commonwealth. The KSHOF was founded in 1963 to recognize athletes and sports figures who are Kentucky natives as well as individuals who participated in their respective sport or made a significant impact in their sport in Kentucky.


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