Saturday, June 20, 2009
Orlando, Fla. Former Kansas University football great Gale Sayers was inducted into the John McLendon Minority Athletics Administrators Hall of Fame on Friday night. The ceremony took place at the athletics directors national convention.
KU athletic director Lew Perkins presented Sayers’ award on behalf of the John McLendon Foundation. The Hall of Fame recognizes the dedication of longtime minority athletics administrators in working toward the advancement of minorities in the field of athletics administration, while achieving the highest level of excellence in their own career.
McLendon, a KU graduate, was the first African-American man to study under James Naismith, inventor of the game of basketball and KU’s first basketball coach. McLendon went on to become an accomplished coach, leading Tennessee A&I State University to three straight NAIA championships.
Sayers was a two-time All-America selection for Kansas in 1963 and 1964. He rushed for 2,675 yards and produced 3,917 all-purpose yards during his Jayhawk career.
Sayers then put up NFL Hall-of-Fame numbers with the Chicago Bears, who made him their number one pick in the 1965 NFL Draft.
In 1976 he was selected athletics director at Southern Illinois University, becoming the first African-American A.D. in Div. I.
In 1984 he left college athletics administration to launch a computer business. Sayers has built that business into a world-class provider of technology products and services.