2008 Tiger Athletic Hall of Fame
Larry Grose led the Cowley men’s tennis team to two national championships and 16 top-10 national tournament finishes in 18 years as head coach.
Grose coached the Tigers from 1988-2005. He was inducted into the NJCAA National Men’s Tennis Coaches Hall of Fame in 2002.
After graduating from Arkansas City High School in 1961, Grose played tennis at Wichita State University and Oklahoma State University. He graduated from OSU in 1966.
The team Grose inherited at Cowley took last in Region VI in his first year as coach. However, the next season resulted in the first of Grose’s two national championships. After working magic in just his second year as coach of the Tigers, Grose led Cowley to its second national championship in 1991. With Grose at the helm, Cowley never finished worse than 10th during its 16 trips to the national tournament.
Grose coached 32 All-Americans during his 18 years, and captured nine Region VI titles. Only twice in his 18 seasons did the Tigers fail to qualify for the national tournament, and even then they still had individual representation.
Grose’s tennis teams also captured several academic national championships.
Mark Potter attended Cowley from 1981-1983 and excelled at basketball and baseball.
In basketball, Potter was named First-Team All-Conference during the 1982-1983 season. During that same year, he had a .476 batting average as a member of the Tiger baseball team. His accomplishments led him to be named the “Male Athlete of the Year” by Cowley’s Student Government Association.
Potter was also named to the First-Team All-Tournament team for the Jayhawk Conference Basketball Tournament. His .476 batting average as a sophomore still ranks as one of the highest batting average in the history of the Cowley baseball program.
Potter is a 1986 Newman University graduate, where he played both basketball and baseball. He averaged 15 points per game as a guard for the basketball team and was All-District on the baseball team.
Potter has been the head men’s basketball coach at NCAA Division II Newman University since 1998 and has compiled the highest winning percentage in Newman’s basketball history. Potter was selected as the MCAC Coach of the Year, Kansas Four Year College Coach of the Year and Wichita Sports Commission Coach of the Year in 1998. He was again selected Coach of the Year in the MCAC during the 2001-02 season.
Prior to Newman he compiled a record of 137-112, with four state tournament appearances in 11 years as a high school basketball coach.
Bill Clarahan excelled as a member of the Arkansas City Junior College basketball team during the 1955-56 and 1956-57 seasons.
Clarahan graduated from Harper (KS) High School in 1955, where he was an all-state basketball player in high school. He started as a freshman on the ACJC basketball team that finished the regular season ranked number one in the nation. He helped lead the Tigers to an eighth place finish in the NJCAA National Tournament in Hutchinson his sophomore year and was named a junior college all-American.
Heavily recruited, he decided to accept a basketball scholarship from Hall of Fame coach Henry Iba to attend Oklahoma A&M (now Oklahoma State). He started at forward both years for the Cowboys and was a double-digit scorer much of the time.
After earning his baccalaureate degree from OSU, he became a high school teacher and basketball coach. When he was in his early forties, he was teaching/coaching in Evergreen High School in Colorado and died of a heart attack. They later named the gym, The Bill Clarahan Gymnasium in his honor.
Suzanne Kerr-Unruh played for the Lady Tigers in 1997 and 1998, and was the first Cowley softball player to be named a two-time National Junior College Athletic Association All-American. In 1997 Kerr was named Jayhawk East Freshman of the Year, first-team All-Conference first baseman, first-team All-Region VI first baseman, and was selected as the team’s Offensive Player of the Year. In 1998, she was named Jayhawk East Most Valuable Player, a first-team All Jayhawk East outfielder, first-team All-Region VI outfielder, and was selected as the team’s Most Valuable Player. She was a stellar performer at the plate and still holds several school records.
After Cowley, she went on to play two years at Fort Hays State University where she was named All-Conference (Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) both years. Kerr went on to serve as an assistant coach for the Derby Lady Panther softball team after graduating from Fort Hays and then served as an assistant coach for the Butler Community College softball team for two years.
She then helped lead the Cowley softball team to two national tournament appearances, while serving as an assistant coach from 2004-2006. The Lady Tigers placed fourth in the nation in the 2005 and 2006 seasons.