Celebrating Coach Slay
A basketball coach whose ties to Emporia State University date back nearly 60 years is being fittingly honored.
“Coach Slay” as Ron Slaymaker is called, stood at center court during halftime of the Emporia State men’s game against Washburn University with fans celebrating the naming of W. L. White Auditorium’s arena as Slaymaker Court.
The Hornets responded, capping off the evening with a 61-55 win over the Ichabods.
Slaymaker is well acquainted with the venue. He first played on it as an undergraduate basketball player in the 1954-55 season, coached Hornet men’s basketball teams there for 28 years then officiated on it during high school games after his retirement in 1998.
Four halls of fame count Slaymaker as a member—Emporia State Athletic Hall of Honor, Kansas Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame, Kansas Sports Hall of Fame and NAIA Hall of Fame. He received the first-ever MO-KAN Quality in Coaching Award from KC Benchmasters and was awarded the Don Jones Memorial Courage Award by the KBCA after battling prostate cancer during the 1995-96 season.
After retiring from coaching in 1998, Slaymaker began officiating high school basketball games, which he continues today.