MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State alumnus Gene Keady was announced as one of 12 individuals/teams in the Class of 2023 of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Keady was joined in the class by NBA stars Dirk Nowitzki, Dwyane Wade, Tony Parker and Pau Gasol, all-time winningest NBA head coach Gregg Popovich, 6-time WNBA All-Star and current Las Vegas Aces head coach Becky Hammon, fellow coaching legends Gene Bess, Gary Blair, David Hixon and Jim Valvano as well as members of the 1976 U.S. Olympic women’s basketball team.
The Class of 2023 will be enshrined in the Naismith Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., on Saturday, Aug. 12 at the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame and MassMutual Center.
A native of Larned, Kan., and 2-time graduate of Kansas State, Keady won 879 games in his distinguished coaching career, which included head coaching stints at Beloit High School (1959-65) in Beloit, Kan., Hutchinson Community College (1965-74) in Hutchinson, Kan., Western Kentucky (1978-80) and most notably Purdue (1980-2005). The 5-time National Coach of the Year and 7-time Big 10 Coach of the Year won 512 games at Purdue, guiding the Boilermakers to 18 NCAA Tournament appearances and six Big Ten regular-season titles.
Keady transferred to K-State in 1956 after two years at Garden City Community College, where he was a four-sport athlete and an All-American football player. He lettered in football, baseball and track and field during his two-year playing career (1956-58) at K-State. He would be selected in the 19th round of the 1958 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers, but never played professionally. He earned a bachelor’s degree from K-State in biological sciences and physical education in 1958 before earning a master’s degree in 1965.
Keady is the seventh individual with K-State ties to be elected to the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame, following head coaches Jack Gardner (1984), Fred “Tex” Winter (2011), Cotton “Lowell” Fitzsimmons (2021) and Bob Huggins (2022) and All-Americans Bob Boozer (2010) and Mitch Richmond (2014). Boozer was elected as a contributor on one of the greatest Olympic teams (1960) of all-time.
Keady began his coaching career at Beloit High School in Beloit, Kan., in 1959, guiding the school to 142 wins until he accepting the head coaching position at Hutchinson Community College in Hutchinson, Kan., in 1965. He helped the Blue Dragons to 187 victories, 6 Jayhawk Conference titles and a runner-up finish at NJCAA National Tournament in 1973. He was 3 times named junior college coach of the year (1971, 1972, 1973).
Keady became an assistant to legendary head coach Eddie Sutton at Arkansas in 1974, helping the Razorbacks to 94 wins and the 1978 Final Four. Following the 1977-78 season, he was named head coach at Western Kentucky, where he guided the Hilltoppers to 38 victories and the 1980 NCAA Tournament.
Keady became head coach at Purdue in 1980, developing the Boilermakers into one of the top programs in the country over the next 25 seasons. He led the team to 512 victories, including 265 in Big Ten play, with 23 trips to the postseason, including 18 in the NCAA Tournament and 5 NITs. Among his 18 trips to the NCAA Tournament included 5 Sweet 16s (1988, 1994, 1998, 1999, 2000) and 2 Elite Eight (1994, 2000). He was named Big Ten Coach of the Year a record 7 times and led the Boilermakers to a 6 Big Ten regular-season titles, including three in a row from 1994 to 1996. He retired following the 2004-05 season and replaced by former player and associate head coach Matt Painter.
Keady later served as an assistant coach with the NBA’s Toronto Raptors in 2005-06 for head coach Sam Mitchell and at St. John’s from 2010-15 for former assistant Steve Lavin.
Tickets for the 2023 Enshrinement Ceremony and all Enshrinement events are on sale now and available online at www.hoophall.com or by calling the Basketball Hall of Fame at (413) 231.5513.
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