Sports Headliners

Notable past sports figures with ties to Evansville

Evansville has a long line of elite sports figures — coaches and athletes alike — who were born and/or raised in the River City. And after more than 30 years as a sportswriter, Gordon Engelhardt has covered many of them. Here, Gordon gives us his top 30 ranking of Evansville’s notable sports figures. (Read more by Gordon in the main feature story.)

1. BOB GRIESE, Miami Dolphins, quarterback, 1967-80, two-time Super Bowl champion, College and Pro Football Hall of Famer
2. LILLY KING: two-time Olympic swimming gold medalist, 2016-present
3. DON MATTINGLY, New York Yankees, first baseman, 1982-95, ’85 AL MVP, 2020 NL Manager of Year, Miami Marlins
4. SCOTT ROLEN, 4 MLB teams, third baseman, 1996-2012, 7-time All-Star, National Baseball Hall of Famer. member St. Louis Cardinals’ 2006 World Series champions
5. CALBERT CHEANEY, 5 NBA teams, forward, 1993-2006, 1993 Naismith National College Basketball Player of the Year, College Basketball Hall of Fame
6. ANDY BENES, 4 MLB teams, pitcher, 1989-2002, ’93 NL All-Star, 1988 Olympic gold medalist
7. KEVIN HARDY, 3 NFL teams, linebacker, 1996-2004, First-team All-Pro 1999
8. ARAD MCCUTCHAN, UE men’s basketball coach, 1946-77, 5 NCAA College Division titles, Naismith National Basketball Hall of Famer, College Basketball Hall of Fame
9. SCOTT STUDWELL, Minnesota Vikings linebacker, 1977-90, two-time Pro Bowl
10. LARRY STALLINGS, St. Louis Cardinals linebacker, 1963-76, Pro Bowl 1970
11. WALTER MCCARTY, 4 NBA teams, forward, 1996-2006, member Kentucky’s ’96 NCAA champion
12. DON HANSEN, 4 NFL teams, linebacker, 1966-77, member Illinois’ 1964 Rose Bowl champion
13. DAVE SCHELLHASE, Chicago Bulls guard, 1966-68, consensus first-team All-American at Purdue, 1966
14. BOB HAMILTON, 10 wins PGA Tour, including 1944 PGA Championship
15. PETE FOX, 2 MLB teams, outfielder, 1933-45, 1944 AL All-Star, member Detroit Tigers’ ’35 World Series champions
16. JOHN BARNHILL, 6 NBA/ABA teams, guard, 1962-72, member Indiana Pacers’ 1970 ABA champions
17. JAMEY CARROLL, 6 MLB organizations, infielder, 2002-13
18. DEKE COOPER, 7 NFL teams, safety, 2000-08, NFL Europe Defensive MVP, ’02
19. TOM “BOOM BOOM” Johnson, 1993 IBF featherweight champion, defended title 11 times
20. MARTY AMSLER, 6 NFL teams, defensive end, 1965-71
21. JERAD EICKHOFF, 3 MLB teams, pitcher, 2015-22
22. BILLY HILLENBRAND, 2 teams, AAFC running back, 1946-48, consensus all-American at Indiana, 1942
23. SEAN BENNETT, 2 NFL teams, running back, 1999-2003
24. JEFF OVERTON, PGA Tour 2006-present
25. DRU SMITH, Miami Heat/Brooklyn Nets guard, 2022-23, current member Heat
26. NICK LEE, 5-time all-America wrestler, Penn State University
27. BRIAN TENNYSON, PGA Tour, 1988-92
28. BOB FORD, 1973 Memphis Tams, forward, ABA, two-time all-Big Ten at Purdue
29. SCOTT CANNON, MLS, 1996, ’98, 2001, defender
30. BRAD BROWNELL, 2002-present, men’s college basketball head coach, Clemson’s all-time winningest coach

Jodi Keen
Jodi Keen
Jodi Keen is the managing editor of Evansville Living and Evansville Business magazines.

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