Connors State College is set to host the eighth annual Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony and reception on Saturday at the CSC Warner campus.
A reception begins at 5 p.m. and the dinner is at 6 p.m.
Honorees are Steve Barton of Muskogee, Rev. Leroy Walker of Muskogee, Mike Bridges of Austin, Texas, Kaye Wilkinson of Bismarck, N.D., Dewey Grigsby of Muskogee and Kia Holmes of Oktaha.
Barton was born and raised in Stilwell, where he set records in high school for career wins and started in the state finals game that the Indians won to gain their first state title. The all-stater was drafted in the third round of the 1986 Winter Phase draft by the Philadelphia Phillies. He continued to play for Connors where in 1987 was named to the NJCAA All-American Team. He was offered a scholarship at Oral Roberts and continued his education at Northeastern State. Upon graduation he coached at Stilwell, Warner, Cave Springs and Checotah as a head coach in basketball, baseball and softball over that time and was also football assistant. He’s currently a ninth grade principal at Muskogee High School.
Receiving the Leadership Award, Walker, the pastor at Rayfield Baptist Church since 1978, is known for his mentoring of youth in the Muskogee area and at Connors State’s student body for over 30 years. He has served as vice president of the City of Muskogee Foundation which oversees millions of dollars to improve the quality of life of Muskogee residents.
Bridges played football and baseball at Connors from 1958 to 1960. The Catoosa native lives near Austin and has had a 47-year career in education as a teacher, coach and athletic director in both Oklahoma and Texas, being named Texas Coach of the Year.
Wilkinson graduated from Mounds High School and played basketball at Connors State under Monte Madewell. In 1986, the Cowgirls advanced to the NJCAA national tournament. She then transferred to East Central where she was a conference player of the year and NAIA first team All-American. She currently with her husband operate a real estate company and other businesses.
Grigsby graduated from Canadian High School and holds a basketball record there for free-throw shooting percentage. He later played at Connors State and eventually graduating from Northeastern State before being drafted into the Army in 1969, serving in Vietnam, and eventually built Trucks for You, one of the premier trucking companies in the country.
Holmes grew up in Oktaha where she was a part of a state championship team in basketball and in all, seven state appearances over three sports (basketball, softball and cross country). She was an All-Region softball player for Rick Carbone at Connors before transferring to Northeastern State, where after her playing career she remained as a student assistant. After a one-year coaching stint at Verdigris High School, she returned to her high school alma mater where she has been head softball coach for 10 years, eventually becoming head basketball coach as well. Her softball teams have made the state tournament nine times, finishing as state runner-up twice. She is nearing 500 career wins.
The master of ceremonies will be Don King, radio personality and TV host. Dr. Ron Ramming, CSC president, will also be in attendance to provide a welcome to the alumni and honorees.
To purchase tickets for this event please contact Bill Muse, CSC athletic director, at (918) 463-6231.