Colby Community College Hall of Fame Inductees Announced

Colby Community College is hosting 50th anniversary homecoming activities Oct. 27-Nov 1.  The slogan for this year’s event is “50 Years Long.  Tradition Strong.”  The public is invited to attend and participate in all events. 

50th Anniversary Homecoming Set for Oct. 27-Nov. 1

Fri Oct 24, 2014 at 09:40 AM

Colby Community College Hall of Fame Inductees Announced

Colby Community College is hosting 50th anniversary homecoming activities Oct. 27-Nov 1.  The slogan for this year’s event is “50 Years Long.  Tradition Strong.”  The public is invited to attend and participate in all events.

Lady Trojan Volleyball Game

The Lady Trojan Volleyball Team will begin the week’s activities with a match against Barton Community College on Oct. 28 beginning at 6:30 p.m.in the Community Building.  Everyone is encouraged to wear pink in honor of “Dig Pink Night” to increase breast cancer awareness.

Community-Wide Talent Show

Everyone is invited to attend the Community Talent Show on Thursday, Oct 30.  The competition, beginning at 7 p.m., will be held in the Northwest Kansas Cultural Arts Center.  Prizes will be awarded to the top performers.  There is no charge to attend.

Trojan Men’s Basketball

The annual Taco John’s/Pizza Hut Classic will be Nov. 1-2.  Both games will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Community Building.  The men will play KSU Salina on Saturday evening and the NWK All-Stars on Sunday.  

Hall of Fame inductees will be recognized prior to the men’s game on Nov. 1 at approximately 7:15 p.m. Homecoming Royalty will be announced at half-time of the game that evening.

Fiftieth Anniversary apparel and other items will be given away during the game.

Hall of Fame Reception

A special reception to honor Hall of Fame inductees Audrey and Lou Hines, Judy and Rich Epp, Daniel Cormier and Kirk Hunter will be held from 5:30-7:00 p.m. on Saturday prior to the ballgame.

 

Alumni Hall of Fame Inductees

Rich and Judy Epp

Rich and Judy Epp have been active supporters and advocates for Colby Community College for over four decades.  Rich, long-time “Voice of the Trojans,” grew up in the Mingo area where he graduated from the Berean Academy in 1969.   He attended Colby Community College from 1969-71, graduating with an Associate of Arts degree in broadcasting.  Judy grew up in Oberlin where she graduated from Decatur Community High School in 1970.  She attended Fort Hays State University.

Rich and Judy have been foster parents to over 25 student-athletes since the late 70s.  For many years Judy prepared Thanksgiving meals for the college basketball teams before heading out on holiday tournaments. 

After broadcasting for the University of Illinois football and basketball teams in the mid-70s, the Epps returned to Colby where Rich has been covering Trojans sports on the radio for nearly 35 years. 

Rich’s broadcasting career started 44 years ago at the college station KTCC 91.9 while enrolled in the first broadcasting class at CCC.  In addition to being a member of the Trojan basketball squad, Rich was the first commencement speaker for the college in 1971.

In 2010, the Epps embarked on a new adventure which includes live video streaming of Trojan basketball and baseball games on OpenSpacesSports.com. 

“I am extremely honored to be called the “Voice of the Trojans and Colby Eagle Sports,’” said Epp. 

Judy helps with the office work for Open Spaces Sports, cares for her grandchildren and attends their activities.  Rich continues to broadcast sports in western Kansas, covering nearly 200 broadcasts per year.

“Last year I celebrated my 5,000th broadcast,” said Epp.

He has been honored by the Kansas Association of Broadcasters (KAB) on two occasions as “Sports Broadcaster of the year.”  In addition, he received the prestigious Hod Humiston Award from the KAB for his contributions to sports.  In 1982, he was honored by the Kansas State High School Athletic Association as the recipient of the Oscar Stauffer Award for broadcasting excellence.  

Rich is currently a member of the Colby Promotion Committee and has served on the Colby Chamber Board and Berean Bible Fellowship Missions Board.   Open Spaces Sports, which he and Judy own, was recently named the “Media of the Year” by the Kansas Wrestling Coaches Association. 

“Broadcasting is my dream job and I have been very blessed to have been able to do what I love most,” said Epp.  “My wife Judy has been the glue that has enabled me to pursue my dream.  She is an essential part of the success we have enjoyed and her contributions to Open Spaces Sports and J-R Marketing are invaluable.”

Rich & Judy have five children and 12 grandchildren.  Son Kody and daughter Kristi are carrying on the family tradition by working in the broadcasting business.       

Lou and Audrey Hines

Colby Community College has enjoyed extraordinary community support since the school’s beginnings in the 60s.  Lou and Audrey Hines stand out in a long list of individuals and businesses that provide assistance by donating their time and resources to ensure the success of the institution.  Audrey is an active and involved member of the CCC Board of Trustees.  She assumed an active role in soliciting donations for the “Campaign for Change,” a fund-raising initiative to increase the school’s reserve fund.  In addition, she was the driving force in raising money and soliciting community support for the renovation of the breezeway area located in Thomas Hall. Lou and Audrey have shared their business expertise with the college and arranged for and provided funds to assist in the renovation of the double-decker residence Hall.  The eight units were in disrepair and uninhabitable.  The Hines saw a need and provided a plan and financial assistance to make these units a beautiful and useful addition to the campus.  Lou, who has many business and farming interests, has graciously donated his time and skills to assist the college in their fund-raising activities.

Audrey, who was raised on a farm near Rexford, graduated from Golden Plains High School in 1977.  She attended Colby Community College from 1977-79.  During that time she was a student worker in the Admissions Office. In addition to her other activities, she played volleyball and basketball for the Trojans. 

Audrey received her associate degree from CCC and transferred to Fort Hays University in fall 1979.  She received a degree in Ag Business in 1982.  Following graduation she worked for one year selling office equipment in Hays.  After returning to Colby she started her job at what is now Cornerstone Ag as a grain accountant. 

“The elevator has had five different owners and seven different managers,” said Hines.  “I have enjoyed working for the elevator for 32 years and being part of the farming industry.”

Audrey and Lou have been married for 29 years. 

“In 2013 I felt like I would like to give back to CCC so I ran for a seat on the Board of Trustees,” said Hines.  “I have enjoyed being on the Board and believe the college is as great as it was when I attended 36 years ago.”

Lou moved to Colby in 1975 when he started the very successful Western Sprinklers irrigation business.  He was the owner of Western Sprinklers until 2012 when he sold it to his employees.  Education has always been important to Lou.  He graduated from Kearney State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and minors in Math and Chemistry.  He taught for three years prior to starting Western Sprinklers. 

“The college is an integral part of the Colby community,” said Hines.  “I grew up near a town in Nebraska where the community college closed.  It was a devastating blow to the community and the surrounding area.  I believe it is critical that the people in Colby and around the area do all they can to make sure the institution has the resources necessary to continue to get better and provide higher education for all students.”

 

Sports Hall of Fame Inductees

Kirk Hunter

Coach Kirk Hunter built the cross country program at Colby Community College to a nationally-recognized power.  In addition to coaching from 1988-2000, he served as Athletic Director for several years.  Coach Hunter was a 12-time Women’s Region VI Cross Country Coach of the Year and two-time Men’s Region VI Cross Country Coach of the Year.  He is a three-time Women’s Indoor Region VI Coach of the Year as well as being named the 2005 Women’s Outdoor Region VI and NJCAA Women’s Outdoor Coach of the Year.

In 1999, Coach Hunter led the CCC women’s distance program to a national championship and two national second place finishes.

“I enjoyed my time at Colby Community College and am continually thankful for the opportunity I was given by the college to start my coaching career there,” said Coach Hunter.  “Jason Nuss, former athletic director at CCC, deserves a huge thank you for all he did for me.  He was the reason that I was able to have any success in my first years at CCC. “

After leaving Colby, Coach Hunter served as the Head Cross Country Track Coach at Butler Community College for 10 years.

“In addition, I want the community of Colby to know how much I appreciated each of them. The people I met while coaching there was one of the main reasons that I had such difficulty in leaving to further my career at Butler CC.  I always felt welcomed by each member of the community throughout the time I spent there, which I am still thankful for,” said Hunter.

Hunter, a native of Hoyt, KS, is in his fifth season as Head Cross Country and Assistant Track Coach at Wichita State University.  In his first season with the Shockers, the women’s cross country team continued its tradition of winning Missouri Valley Conference titles.  He was named 2010 MVC Cross Country Women’s Coach of the Year as the women claimed their sixth-straight MVC cross country crown in the fall of 2010.  Senior Tonya Nero (who also ran for CCC), won the MVC Championships, earning MVC Women’s Athlete-of-the Year honors.  WSU won the women’s indoor and outdoor MVC titles during the 2011 track and field season. 

“I want to mention that the number one factor that made my time at CCC so wonderful was the student-athletes,” said Hunter.  “I still feel fortunate that so many great young men and women decided to come to CCC to further their educational and athletic careers with me.  These student-athletes are all over the world now influencing young minds, and I am proud to know that I had a chance to work with each of them.  Because of my time there, I have livelong friends who I am proud to call my ‘family.’”

Coach Hunter and his wife Marjorie have two sons.  They live in Augusta. 

“Thanks again to everyone who had a part in giving me my start in this career that I love so much.  Also, thanks to those who nominated me for this honor,” said Coach Hunter.

Daniel Cormier

Daniel Cormier, two-time National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) champion and two-time Olympic athlete, attended Colby Community College from 1997-99. 

Cormier, born in Lafayette, La., was a three-time Louisiana wrestling state champion in high school and earned All-American honors.  After high school he wrestled for CCC Head Coach Steve Lampe, where he was a member of the 1999 NJCAA DI championship team.  After graduating from CCC, he transferred to wrestling powerhouse Oklahoma State University where he was an NCAA runner-up.  After graduating from OSU with a degree in sociology, Cormier went on to compete on five United States world wrestling teams and the 2004 Olympic wrestling team where he took 4th place after losing to Khadjimourat Gatsalov in the semi-finals.  He was also a member of the 2008 Olympic wrestling team for the USA, where he was named team captain, but did not compete due to kidney failure. 

In addition to his fourth-place finish at the 2004 Olympic Games, he was fifth in the 2003 World Championships, a four-time U.S. World Team member, five-time U.S. Nationals champion, 2003 Pan American Games gold medalist and he earned a spot on the 2003 U.S. World Team six weeks following the tragic accidental death of his three-month old daughter.

Cormier currently competes in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.  Most recently, he was scheduled to face Fashad Evans on Feb. 22 in his first fight as light heavyweight.  However, a leg injury knocked Evans off the card 10 days before the event and he was replaced by newcomer Patrick Cummins.  Cormier won the fight via TKO in the first round.