By Tim Branstetter / Staff Writer
Roy Bowling was inducted into the Kentucky High School Basketball Hall of Fame Saturday in Elizabethtown and according to him it was an experience like no other.
“I have never been treated so well and shown so much respect,” Bowling said. “There were over 800 people there and it was amazing. I couldn’t believe it.”
Roy Bowling was a head coach in Laurel County for 46 years and he recorded an amazing record of 1,083 wins and 378 losses, so when the Kentucky High School Basketball Hall of Fame named their first class of inductees, the four-time state champion was an easy choice.
The inaugural class is made up of 16 former players and coaches, including legends “King” Kelly Coleman, Ralph Carlisle, Richie Farmer, Darrell Griffith, Cliff Hagan, Jim McDaniels, S.T. Roach and Wes Unseld.
A golf scramble took place on Friday, but later that night at the shrimp boil was where Bowling said all the stories were told.
“It was a real big, nice meal,” he said. “At the shrimp boil is where you heard a lot of old stories.”
Bowling couldn’t pick out just one part of the weekend that stood out more than the rest.
“I will remember all of it vividly until the day I die,” he said. “It was just something you dream about.”
Bowling has received numerous honors over the years, but he admitted this one was special.
“This one is special because the people were chosen by their peers,” he said. “That means an awful lot to me and to get in with this group – I was floored. I’m honored and humbled to be with this group.”
Bowling won 568 games with 177 losses as a girls basketball coach. He guided Laurel County to four state championships (‘77, ‘78, ‘79, ‘87), while winning three consecutive championships. He also led his team to 74 straight wins.
He was named Kentucky Coach of the Year in 1978, 1979 and 1980. He is a member of the Laurel County Hall of Fame, the Dawahare’s KHSAA Hall of Fame and the Kentucky Hall of Fame.
Bowling coached girls basketball for 25 years, he won 13 district championships.
“I’m humbled,” he said. “I can’t believe it. I’m just tickled to death to be considered with that group. It’s surreal. It couldn’t have been any better. I will go back every year as long as I’m able.”
By Tim Branstetter / Staff Writer
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