Two Hornets among Kansas Sports Hall of Fame inductees

June 4, 2014

Two former Hornets will be among the ten inductees into the 2014 Class of the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame. Bill Freeman and Bill Tidwell will join at least 14 others with ties to Emporia State in the 237 member Hall of Fame.

Bill Freeman, a native of LeRoy, Kansas, has football in his veins. A four-year letterman at offensive guard for Emporia State from 1949 to 1953, Freeman continued his success in the coaching ranks at the high school level for over thirty years. Freeman posted a career coaching record of 242-81-3, including eight state championships in three different classes. Most known for his coaching success at Lawrence High School, where Freeman coached five state championship football teams and two state track championships, Freeman also won football state championships at Osawatomie and LeRoy and coached at Baxter Springs, Parker Rural, and Nickerson. Freeman coached several players who later played in the National Football League. Freeman was a recipient of the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame’s Pride of Kansas Award in 2012 and was a 1996 inductee into the Emporia State Athletics Hall of Honor.

A four-time NAIA champion at Emporia State University, Kiowa native Bill Tidwell is another in a long line of distance runners from the state of Kansas to make their mark on the national stage. Tidwell won both the 880 meter and the mile national championships in 1955 and 1956 at Emporia State and was a two-time NAIA All-American both years.  He earned the "Outstanding Athlete" award at the Kansas Relays. Tidwell also competed in cross country at Emporia State, where he won twelve of fourteen meets during his junior and senior seasons. Tidwell went on to serve as Athletic Director for Oberlin (OH) College from 1959 to 1971, when he was named the Athletic Director at Emporia State University, a position he held until 1994. Tidwell was inducted to the Emporia State Athletics Hall of Honor in 1982, the NAIA Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1963, and is a Drake Relays Hall of Fame Charter Member.

The induction ceremony will be held on Sunday, October 5, at the Wichita Boathouse. The ten-person class raises the total number of Kansas Sports Hall of Fame inductees to 237. The Kansas Sports Hall of Fame is in its 53rd year of operation.

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