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Louisville Starts a Catholic Sports Hall of Fame

While there is negative sentiment around Kentucky towards Catholic Sports, specifically LexCath, Trinity, and St X, one cannot deny the contributions that many of their great players have given to sports in this state. Louisville’s Catholic Sports Network set out to honor the local greats by starting a Hall of Fame this past week. You might be surprised how many big names came from small beginnings.


– Paul Hornung was the golden boy and still is. The 1956 Heisman Trophy winner is the only player to ever win the prestigious award on a team with a losing record, when his Notre Dame team went only 2-8. He became a key piece in Vince Lombardi’s Green Bay Packer dynasty in the 1960s. The talented athlete started it all at Flaget High School, close to his West End home where he was raised by a hard working single mother.


– Howard Schnellenberger was another Flaget football product that has made his name known throughout the state. He began his college career after being recruited by Bear Bryant , in what turned into a story of legend. Howard originally committed to IU, but Bear was determined. After two visits, one featuring Kentucky’s governor, Howard and his mother were still not going to decommitt because “he’s a good Catholic boy”. Bear brought the Archbishop on his 3rd visit and convinced Howard to become a Wildcat.

Schnellenberger is in UK’s ring of honor, but his name is on Louisville’s football complex. When he got the job you could get ticket coupons at gas stations. The Orange Bowl victory can be accredited to Schnellenberger’s work. His other career highlights include a National Championship at Miami, an Oklahoma coaching job, and the building of Florida Atlantic’s football program.

This is how I picture Schnellenberger in my mind.


Bobby Nichols golfed at St. X before a pro career that includes a 1964 PGA Championship win over Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus. None of it would have happened without the help of a surprising legend: Bear Bryant. The Bear heard of Nichols’ excellent golf game while coaching at Texas A&M. At the time golf scholarships didn’t exist, so Bear gave him a football scholarship so he could golf at A&M. The local 9-hole course named after Nichols is where I learned how to golf (I still need to learn A LOT more).

Nichols during his time at Texas A&M.


Bubba Paris (DeSales) and Will Wolford (St. X) were two of the best offensive lineman in the NFL during their playing years. Paris won 3 Super Bowls with the San Francisco 49ers after receiving All-American honors at Michigan. Will Wolford starred at Vanderbilt before becoming the highest played offensive lineman in the NFL for the Buffalo Bills. He lost 3 Super Bowls with the Bills, and is now the head coach at St. X.


– You can see the full list of inductees, and follow @RoushKSR

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

33 Comments for Louisville Starts a Catholic Sports Hall of Fame

  1. Peace Be WithYou
    5:11 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    There’s a negative sentiment in Kentucky about Catholic sports? Really? I had no idea. But maybe that’s because I’m Catholic. : P

  2. this thread will devolve into Catholic bashing in ...
    5:13 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink


  3. Barack Obama
    5:19 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    To bad all of these men will be burning in the fires of hell. (Along with all other catholics)

  4. BBN
    5:54 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    Anyone know the code for papa johns after a uk win? Thanks!

  5. Seriously
    5:56 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    The private schools have a huge advantage over the public schools. My freshman year football team had 30 freshmen. Trinity had around 125 and St X had about 115. Private schools also have the ability to recruit. This being a UK website, don’t tell me recruiting doesn’t matter. My highschool had 2000 students. 55% female. St X and Trinity have about 2000 guys. The system is ridiculously favored for private schools.

  6. stx high
    5:59 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    scott padget, 2012 olympian clark burkle, and tom cruise (for a semester)

  7. uk
    6:01 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    #5, so what about desales highschool? plus by senior year st x and trinity have about 30 seniors, most quit after freshmen or jv year and then its just down to the hardworkers

  8. coach search
    6:08 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    The Catholic schools aren’t the only ones recruiting (cheating) in Louisville.

    Ballard has two girls that live in Oldham co. One of which has a mother that is an assistant principal at south Oldham that play softball. They cheat in softball for gods sake. I can only imagine what other sports they cheat in.

    So don’t push the private schools.

  9. Dr. Tom
    6:18 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    Nick, I used to pick up golf balls out the tall rough around the water holes on that course while walking back and forth to class when in graduate school at A&M in the early 70’s. Gigem Aggies!!

  10. He Who Brews
    6:20 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    Initially, upon reading the headline, I thought….what would Trager do…or, rather, how much tallent($) will ‘he’ retract?

    Without question, Catholc schools in KY have excelled.

    I’m always curious as to why boys who attend St. X or Trinity, for example, would ‘settle’ on UaK….or UaVel.

    Hell, if your H.S. education is/was far superior, why not go to CENTRE, TRANSY, IVY League?

    Seems like eZ pickin’s to go to UaVel or UaK.

    If your aim was so high for H.S., why not continue the continue rather than settle for less.

    Dont’ settle for less.

  11. Seriously
    6:48 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    #7 Desales lacks the same student population, funding, facilities, and recruiting capabilities. I played catholic grade school football in Louisville in the east end and I was approached by both Trinity and St. X representatives as was some of my teammates. Desales does not have the advantages that Trinity and St. X have, that’s why they’re not very good.

  12. Bubba Earl
    6:49 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    I am a member of the Baptist, Jewish, Hall of Sports Fame!

  13. Seriously
    6:51 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    And to further butcher #7s argument my class had 7 seniors in the end.

  14. whatever
    6:54 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    My daughter attended SHA in Louisville, everyone in her senior class attended college. 100% #wearethe100%

  15. Blasphemy
    7:02 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    SHA is a daycare. Only at SHA can you get an A+ in a calc class and then get a 1 on your AP exam. #youarethe20%.

  16. Gott Al Mighty
    7:13 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    One fiver, Shame on U.

  17. whatever
    7:14 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink


  18. whatever
    7:14 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    I am proud of our kids!!!!!!!!

  19. Tom Seaver
    7:33 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    Does anyone every complain about the number of championships Highlands has won? Any complaints about Highlands recruiting out of Cincy?

  20. Atheist
    7:35 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    Why don’t we have a Hall of Fame?

  21. Ratchet
    7:36 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    Way to try to start a religious debate on a sports site. It has nothing to do with those schools’ beliefs. It’s the ridiculously unfair advantage they have in being able to recruit not only the best kids in the area, which is somewhat fair since they are a privately funded institution, but to be able to recruit outside the natural base of a school is not allowed for the public schools that have to try and compete with them.

  22. WipedButtWithTickets
    7:44 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    #4 Why??? You will be paying FULL price after the LOSS…..

  23. crazycatfan
    8:03 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    People … People … People! It just so happens that Louisville has a VERY LARGE population of Catholics. So, obviously,they are going to be funneled into Catholic High School. I think it’s great for the city and state!!!

  24. Drew
    8:34 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    Stop writing about Louisville high schools’ football. I get that you went to DeSales, but I don’t want to read about it.

  25. Bige
    9:28 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    Another Hall of Fame…. Exactly what we need.
    Guess this Catholic Sports group needs some sort of attention too. I am starting the I-64 Hall of Fame.

  26. come back catholics
    10:10 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    last time a non catholic school has won it in football? basketball? lax? soccer? swimming? cross country? golf?

  27. Roush..
    11:33 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    “Golfed” might be a word, technically, but anybody who plays the game (or considers themselves a sports enthusiast) would say “played golf.” Just saying..

  28. Jonah Hex
    12:17 am November 18, 2012 Permalink

    No Bob Beatty? Only the best HS football coach in the history of KY.

  29. plowboy
    8:33 am November 18, 2012 Permalink

    #3, When did God put you in charge of judging for him? You are a very small minded individual who seems to want attention. Seems like you need smoe therapy to help you with your inferiority complex.

  30. plowboy
    8:44 am November 18, 2012 Permalink

    #23, But they recruit from Valley Station and take away from Holy Cross. Don’t think that is Quite right. Probably need to put PRP in there as well.

  31. back burner
    9:54 am November 18, 2012 Permalink

    #5. trinity only has 1200 students

  32. cantstandthecards
    12:23 pm November 18, 2012 Permalink

    Need to change name to Mary worshipers hall of fame

  33. Terrible
    1:45 pm November 18, 2012 Permalink

    I love that Nick Roush thinks this website is louisville catholic schools sports radio. Seriously, no one cares about your high school or your days at desales or whatever.