TOPEKA, Kan. – Five individuals have been selected for induction into the Kansas State High School Activities Association Hall of Fame Class of 2023. Awards will be presented during 2023 in conjunction with a KSHSAA-sponsored state function/ championship, or locally at the inductee’s request. The time and location of each induction ceremony will be announced at a later date at www.kshsaa.org.
The Class of 2023 Hall of Fame inductees include:
Kenneth Brown, Independence – Faculty
The Independence High School tennis coach for 23 years, Kenneth Brown may be dubbed “Mr. Tennis of Independence.” In his time, he led Independence to five team state championships (2006, 2007, 2008, and 2014). Along the way he also guided five individuals to state championships. In 1992, Brown began coaching the boy’s squad and then picked up coaching the girl’s team in 2008. He would go on to coach both teams until 2014. Before his time at the high school, Brown was the head coach of the Independence Community College tennis team from 1968-1991. Brown was named the boys coach of the year by the Kansas Coaches Association in 1999 and 2006 and was named the 5A boys coach of the year in 1998, 4A in 2001, 2004, 2008 and 2010. On the girl’s side, Brown was named coach of the year in 2013 and the 4A coach of the year in 2009, 2012, and 2014.
David Cherry, Buhler – Administrator
During his 22-year career with the KSHSAA, Cherry filled his summers with Student Council Leadership Workshops for which he administered hundreds of students each year. In addition, he was responsible each August for organizing the KSHSAA Coaching School, a coaching clinic held annually for 85 years. While administering swimming and diving Cherry watched the state championship grow from one class to two classes for both boys and girls. In soccer the boys program grew from two classes to three and the girls from one to three classes competing for a state championship. Cherry served on the NFHS Coaches Education Committee, NFHS Coaches Association Advisory Committee, and the NFHS Records Committee. A native of Wichita, Cherry began his career as a health and physical education teacher and coach at Emporia-Lowther Middle School and Emporia High School. He later had stops in Whitewater-Remington HS and Ellis High School where he was also the athletic director prior to joining the Association staff.
Patricia Grzenda, Lawrence – Faculty
The swimming and diving coach from Lawrence High School and Lawrence-Free State High School, Patricia Grzenda defined the sport in Lawrence for 23 years. In 1978, Grzenda began coaching the Chesty Lions and eventually took on the Firebirds until her retirement in 2001. It is understood during her coaching career her teams accomplished a .850 winning percentage, 10 league championships, eight State Championships (seven girls, one boys). From 1989 to 1994, no other school hoisted the girl’s state championship trophy. During her stretch as the girls coach at Lawrence she guided her athletes to 27 gold medals. In 1995, she was awarded the National Federation of Interscholastic Coaches Association National Boys Swimming Coach of the Year. Grzenda was also named the Kansas Coaches Association Boys Swimming Coach of the Year in 1997 and 2001. In 2004, she was given the Kansas Master Teacher Award for her dedication and innovation in adaptive physical education.
Bo Maynes, Norman, OK – Student
Bo Maynes accomplished perfection in the sport of wrestling during his time at Salina South High School. During his four-year career he tallied 130 wins and zero losses. His freshman year began with 30 wins, followed by 32, 38 and 30 to round out the unblemished career. The undefeated career is only the third all-time in the state of Kansas. According to his high school coach Bob Warkentine, the four-time state champion was never taken down. Maynes was a state champion at 100, 112, 119 and 125 pounds. All championships came at the class 5A level. Nationally, Bo was a five-time high school All-American in freestyle and won a Junior National title in 1996 and was a runner-up in 1998. Maynes was also an 11-time Kansas Kids Federation Champion. After high school, Maynes went to Oklahoma University where he became a Big 12 Champion in 2003 and four-year letter winner. Maynes continued his wrestling influence coaching at Norman High School in Oklahoma.
Douglas Vander Linden, Burlington (Posthumously) – Faculty
A passion that grew and grew, the former wrestling coach at Burlington High School, Douglas Vander Linden made a lasting impact on the sport throughout the state. For 32 years Vander Linden lead the high school wrestling program for the Wildcats where he tallied a 473-181 dual record. Eighty-six athletes qualified for state under his leadership resulting in 38 state placers and three state champions. In 2005 he was named the Kansas Wrestling Coaches Association Coach of the Year and the NFHS State Coach of the Year. Vander Linden was very involved in the leadership of the KWCA, serving as president for two years, vice president for two years and treasurer for 18 years. His leadership in KWCA was key towards the sanctioning of girls wrestling. In addition to high school wrestling, Vander Linden also coached the middle school team, a program which he started. In August of 2022, Douglas Vander Linden finished his fight with stage four cancer and other illnesses, remembered as a champion for kids.
The Hall of Fame is housed in the Kansas State High School Activities Association offices, 601 SW Commerce Place in Topeka and is open Monday–Friday during business hours (directions at www.kshsaa.org). The Hall of Fame is also available via the KSHSAA “Gallery of Champions” at http://www.kshsaachamps.org/.
The honorees were chosen from nominations reviewed by a selection committee. To be eligible for the Hall of Fame, an individual must have made an unusually outstanding contribution in interschool activities, either as a student with exceptional talent, or as an adult working with youth (such as an activity coach, director or sponsor, an administrator, an official or a contributor). Hall of Fame inductees may no longer be active in the field for which they are nominated (exception: contributor with over 30 years of outstanding service).
Each year schools and communities throughout Kansas submit many nominations of individuals who have made tremendous contributions in the field of interschool activities. Hall of Fame information is available on the KSHSAA website at www.kshsaa.org. Nomination forms are available by contacting the KSHSAA. Any nominations to be considered for induction in 2024 must be submitted prior to November 1, 2023.