Inducted – 2005
The man who turned an all-women’s college into a national small college men’s basketball power, Kenneth Curtis Cochran guided the Marymount Spartans to national prominence in the 1970s and early ‘80s. The Salina college started enrolling men in the late 1960s and Cochran moved across town from Kansas Wesleyan to Marymount where he started the basketball program in 1970. In 11 seasons, the Spartans won the NAIA District 10 title five times and finished second the other six times. Cochran posted a dazzling 401-118 record and his teams won 106 consecutive home games from 1970 to ’78 and were nationally ranked every year. Cochran was a four-sport star at Joplin (Mo.) High School before attending Graceland (Iowa) College for two years and Kansas State Teachers College of Pittsburg for three more. He was the starting catcher on the 1956 U.S. Olympic exhibition baseball team, which played in front of 125,000 fans in Melbourne, Australia – the largest crowd ever to see a game at that time. Cochran was a high school coach for seven years before coming to Kansas Wesleyan in 1963 where he led the Coyotes to three conference titles in basketball and baseball. Following his retirement from Marymount in 1981, Cochran invented the Pop-A-Shot electronic basketball game in 1982 and the Foul Shot Free Throw Trainer in 1992. He has been inducted in five different halls of fame. Born December 16, 1932 – Pratt, Kansas. Graduated Joplin (Mo.) H.S., 1950; Kansas State Teachers College of Pittsburg, 1955; MS – Kansas State College of Pittsburg, 1959.