ahearn michael
Ahearn, Michael

  • Charter Inductee KSHOF 1961
  • Served as KSU Athletic Director for 26 years
  • Known as the father of K-State Athletics
  • Born in Rotherham, England
Ahearn, Michael
Inducted 1961

Born: November 28, 1878 - Rotherham, England

Died: February 5, 1948 - Manhattan, KS

Graduated: Framingham (Massachusetts) H.S.; Massachusetts State University at Amherst, 1904


Known as the "Father of Kansas State Athletics," Michael Francis Ahearn served as a coach in nearly every sport at Kansas State University and was the school's Athletic Director for 26 years from 1920 to 1946.  Widely known for his honesty and integrity, Ahearn was once described by the executive director of the Big-Eight Conference as "the most sincere and completely honest man in intercollegiate athletics."

Early Life

Born in Rotherham, England, Ahearn came to America in 1882 where his family settled in Boston.  He was a great all-around athlete at Massachusetts State in several sports.

Beginnings at K-State

Ahearn came to Kansas State University in 1904 as a horticulturist.  A year later, he was drafted to coach the football team.  His football teams from 1905-10 won 38 games and lost only 12.  His 1908 baseball team was 14-1 and his 1909-10 basketball team finished 11-3.  Ahearn also served as K-State's first tennis coach and first golf coach

Career Highlights

He served for 10 years as a member of the National Football Rules Committee and was the only Kansas representative on the National Boxing and Wrestling Association.  As KSU's director of athletics, he was instrumental in obtaining the new Nichols Gymnasium in 1911 and Memorial Stadium for football in 1924.  Ahearn spent 10 years, beginning in 1935, working for construction of a new basketball facility.  The structure was named Ahearn Field House and was the home of Kansas State's basketball team from 1950 to 1988.  Born Nov. 28, 1878 - Rotherham, England.  Died February 5, 1948 - Manhattan, KS.  Graduated Framingham (Massachusetts) H.S.; Massachusetts State University at Amherst, 1904.