Three new members inducted into Tiger Athletic Hall of Fame
Recognizing alumni who have added to the rich and honored tradition of Cowley College athletics, three new members were inducted into the Tiger Athletic Hall of Fame on Jan. 31.
The new members are W.G. “Bunt” Speer, Josh McMillen and Ed Hargrove. The inductees attended a social Friday evening in Cowley College’s Earle N. Wright Community Room. They then spoke at the Hall of Fame luncheon Saturday in the Wright Room, and concluded their weekend by being recognized at halftime of Cowley’s men’s basketball game versus Highland Community College on Saturday night.
The late W.G. “Bunt” Speer coached football, basketball, track and field, and golf at ACJC. He coached the football team from 1946-1954. With ACJC not playing football during the 1943-1945 seasons due to World War II, Speer coached the team to a record of 6-3 in its return to the gridiron.
Speer also led the ACJC men’s basketball team to a record of 69-61, while serving as coach from 1946-1952. Along with coaching football and basketball, Speer coached the ACJC track and field team from 1952-54 and the ACJC golf team during the 1961 season. His son, Ralph, accepted the award on behalf of his father.
McMillen played baseball at Cowley College during the 1997 and 1998 seasons. He was a member of the Tigers’ back-to-back JUCO World Series winning clubs and was named the Most Valuable Player of the 1998 JUCO World Series.
McMillen transferred to Cowley from Kansas State University and had a stellar career for the Tigers. The outfielder displayed his versatility by batting cleanup his freshman year and then batting leadoff as a sophomore.
His solid play earned him All-Conference and All-Region baseball honors as he helped Cowley to a 34-0 conference mark in 1998. He also excelled in the classroom and has gone on to become a teacher and coach.
After Cowley, he went on to play two years of baseball at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Hargrove is the winningest coach in Cowley College sports history and is the active wins leader among NJCAA softball coaches. He has won 865 games as head coach of the Lady Tiger softball team, and captured 15 Jayhawk East Conference Championships.
He also has led Cowley to five Region VI Championships and four appearances at the NJCAA National Softball Tournament. His teams in 2005 and 2006 placed fourth at the national tournament.
Hargrove was named Jayhawk East Coach of the Year six times, while also helping the Lady Tiger softball team win six NJCAA National Academic Team of the Year awards.
In 2007, he was inducted into the NJCAA Softball Hall of Fame, and received the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission “Outstanding Achievement Award.”
Hargrove, an outstanding athlete, played football at Cowley County Community Junior College during the 1965 and 1966 seasons and graduated from the school in 1967. He was an all-conference right tackle for the Tiger football team.
He went on to receive a baseball scholarship to Fort Hays State University, where he saw playing time at first base and third base for the top-20 ranked baseball team.