Racer Athletics 2020 Hall of Fame Class



From Murray State Athletics...

The 2020 Murray State Hall of Fame class includes 10 inductees that come from seven sports. The group produced 31 Ohio Valley Conference awards of all kinds, including 11 annual awards i.e. OVC coach, player, freshman, defensive or athlete of the Year and 11 OVC team championships. The 2020 class marks the 38th class since the HOF started in 1965.

The 2020 class includes John Beaton-baseball (1965-66), Jenna Bradley-softball (2010-11), Tara Isbell-soccer (2007-10), coach Billy Kennedy-men's basketball (2006-11), Jackie Mounts-women's basketball (1975-79), Nick and Patrick Newcomb-men's golf (2007-10, 2009-13), Cameron Payne-men's basketball (2013-15), Walter Powell-football (2010-13) and Joi Scott-women's basketball (2005-07).

Hall of Fame weekend is Nov.13-14.

Here's a closer look at each inductee.

John Beaton
Baseball (1965-66)
Hometown: Paducah, Ky.|
Current: Poplar Bluff, Mo.

- Played for MSU legend, Coach Johnny Reagan.
- Part of a dominant decade of the 1960's. Beaton played with other MSU hall of famers including: David Gourieux, Tommy Wells, Lynn Bridwell and George Dugan.
- Was part of a pair of OVC regular season west division titles and one OVC championship series title.
- Top season was 1966 when he was honored as Co-OVC Player of the Year.
- A hard-throwing right-hander, was a workhorse in compiling 64 innings on the mound with a league-high 12 appearances and five wins.
- Selected in the Major League Baseball Draft in the seventh round (137th overall) by the San Francisco Giants in 1966.
- Pitched in three seasons from 1967-69 in a total of 258 innings as a starter, in which he produced a record of 21-12 with an earned run average of 4.26.
- 1967 in Medford, Oregon, won 11 games with an ERA of 1.69 in 177 innings. Had great command with 176 strikes, but only 71 walks.
- Played second season with Giants in Fresno, California in 1968 and final season in High Point, N.C. as a member of the Kansas City Royals farm system.
- Beaton is 19th baseball player/coach to be inducted and the first since Wes Cunningham in 2016.
- Beaton graduated from MSU in 1969 and from Tulane University Law School in 1972.
- Still practicing law and also served as a district judge for 12 years in Kennett, Missouri.

Jenna Bradley
Softball (2010-12)
Hometown: Matoon, Ill.
Current: Same

- Is the first player from MSU Softball to be inducted into the MSU Hall of Fame.
- Competed in the Racers' inaugural season of 2010 and its second season in 2011 for current MSU coach Kara Amundson (assistant in 2010-11) and former head coach Jay Pyron.
- With statistics that stack up against four-year players, Bradley still ranks among the best in MSU Softball history.
- First in runs, second in slugging (.671), third in home runs (30) and third in on base percentage (.431), fifth in RBI (105) and eighth in batting average at .408.
- Bradley was the first 30/30 player in Racer history with at least 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases and she did it in only two seasons. In recent times, Alexa Becker (2012-15) and Jessica Twaddle (2014-17) have joined Bradley in this exclusive group in MSU Softball.
- Bradley's senior season of 2011 still stands as one of its top seasons. Was most feared hitter in the OVC and was named OVC Player of the Year.
- In 2011, led the OVC with 18 home runs, 121 total bases and was second in slugging (.807) and second in RBI (56).
- Named to the All-Region Team by the National Fast Pitch Coaches' Association.

Tara Isbell
Soccer       (2007-10)
Hometown: Mayfield, Ky.
Current: Nashville, Tenn.

- Set the gold standard for goalkeeping for the Racers from 2007-10 for Coach Beth Acreman.
- Helped the Racers win their first OVC regular season championship with a 7-1 league record in 2008.
- Named 2008 OVC Defensive Player of the Year and is still today, the only Racer to win the award since MSU Soccer was launched in 2000.
- In the 2008 season, was second in the OVC with a goals against average of 0.91 and first with a league-best 1,876 minutes in goal. Isbell made 87 saves to help the Racer defense allow only three goals in eight matches.
- Led Racers to 2009 OVC Soccer Tournament championship, sending the Racers to the program's first NCAA Tournament appearance at Virginia Tech.
- Finishing career in 2010, had a program record eight shutouts.
- Career saves leader at MSU with 293 and leads Racers in games played (69), wins (31), shutouts (25) and minutes played (6,213). Third in goals against average (1.09) and save percentage (.796).
- Named to 2007 OVC All-Newcomer Team as well as All-OVC twice.

Billy Kennedy

Basketball (2005-11)
Hometown: New Orleans, La.
Current: College Station, Texas

- One of only four coaches to lead the Racers to victory in the NCAA Tournament, Kennedy led the Racers for five seasons from 2006-11.
- Was architect that rebuilt the Racers' roster and had a winning season in 2006-07.
- By the time the 2009-10 season rolled around, Kennedy had a team that was built for being a champion.
- MSU won the 2009-10 OVC regular season title with a school-record 17 wins, had a school record 17-game winning streak and a 31-2 record. One of only 10 teams to win 30 games that year.
- Upset Vanderbilt in the 2010 NCAA Tournament on a last second shot by Danero Thomas, MSU had the first 30-win season in OVC history and the Racers' first NCAA Tournament win 22 years.
- In 2010-11, MSU won 23 games and claimed their second straight OVC regular season championship with Kennedy earning OVC Coach of the Year award for a second consecutive season.
- From 2009 to 2011, Racers won 23 straight OVC games.
- Kennedy's stable included MSU hall of famer, Isaiah Canaan, OVC Freshman of the Year in 2010 and two-time OVC Player of the Year.
- All-OVC performers included Bruce Carter, Danero Thomas, Isacc Miles, Ivan Aska and Tony Easley, among the many others that won 107 games in five seasons.
- Kennedy's all-time record of 107-53 (.656) included a 54-14 (.794) record in his final two seasons. His teams won two OVC regular season title while posting a 70-24 (.744) record in the OVC.
- Was honored in 2011 by Fellowship of Christian Athletes with the John Lotz "Barnabas" Award. At the time, Kennedy joined other coaches who were honored including Homer Drew, John Wooden and Steve Alford.
- Kennedy is the fifth men's basketball coach and the 22nd overall coach to be inducted into the MSU Hall of Fame.

Jackie Mounts
Women's Basketball (1975-79)
Hometown: Springfield, Ohio
Current: Same

- Was the first woman student-athlete in Kentucky to receive a full scholarship at Murray State.
- Mounts is quite simply the greatest rebounder and one of the greatest overall players in Murray State women's basketball history.
- Playing from 1975-79, was first Racer to score 1,000 career points, the first Racer to ever tally 1,000 career rebounds and to this day, is just one of two players to do both.
- The program's ninth all-time leading scorer with 1,421 points and all-time leading rebounder with 1,170 boards.
- Was part of OVC women's basketball inaugural season in  1977-78 season and was named All-OVC and OVC All-Tournament.
- Holds MSU single-game rebound record of 28, at Vanderbilt in 1978
- Set MSU single-season rebound record of 375, will third in OVC history.
- Served as an assistant coach for the Racers from 1979-83 under Dr. Jean Smith
- Mounts earned two master's degrees, one in secondary education from Murray State and the other in counseling from Dayton.
- 20 year career as a teacher and counselor.
- Founded Young People Connect With God or H.O.P.E. in 1995, transforming lives of at-risk youth in the Dayton area by providing guidance, direction, training, support and positive role models.

Nick Newcomb
Men's Golf (2007-10)
Hometown: Benton, Ky.
Current: Murray, Ky.

Patrick Newcomb
Men's Golf (2009-13)
Hometown: Benton, Ky.
Current: Benton, Ky.

- The Newcomb brothers are the first set of brothers to be selected to the Murray State Hall of Fame.
- Nick (2007-10) was the first to arrive at MSU to play for Coach Eddie Hunt in 2007.
- Patrick (2009-13) joined the Racers when Nick was a senior.
- The Newcomb boys led the Racers to the 2010 Ohio Valley Conference championship along with teammates Cameron Carrico, Chris Griffin and Jared Wolfe. The Racers' dominant win of 18-shots, marked their first OVC title since 1991 and still the program's most recent.
- Combined for 19 team wins and 11 individual titles at Murray State (three by Nick and eight by Patrick).
- Nick won the OVC Tournament individual championship twice (2008 & 2010) and Patrick won it once in 2013 after being runner up in 2012.
- They produced three OVC Golfer of the Year awards, Nick in 2010 and Patrick twice in 2012 and 2013.
- Both played in the USGA United States Amateur with Patrick advancing to the quarterfinals in 2012. Nick played in the event in 2006 and the USGA PubLinks Amateur.
- Patrick won a pair of Kentucky State Amateur titles in 2011 and 2012. He also played in one NCAA Regional after he won the OVC championship in 2013.
- Both are still playing professionals.
- Began their pro journey in the Peach State Tour. In 2013, Nick finished in the top-10 of the money list and also played events on the Dakotas Tour.
- Patrick played in South Africa on the Sunshine Tour in 2015 and since played 44 events on the PGA Latinoamerica Tour where he won the Honduras Open in 2017.
- In 2011, Nick played in a pair of Nationwide Tour events and Patrick played in one in 2012 and also qualified for a pair of PGA Tour events, the McGladrey Classic and the Greenbrier Classic in 2014 and 2015.
- Patrick won his first pro event in 2015 in Paducah, Kentucky at the Irvin Cobb Championship and added an additional Cobb title in 2016.
- Nick also claimed a Cobb championship in 2018.

Cameron Payne
Men's Basketball (2013-15)
Hometown: Memphis, Tenn.
Current: Orlando, Fla.

- Became a star as a freshman in the fall of 2013, as Racers were beginning life without all-star Isaiah Canaan.
- Payne set an OVC record with nine Freshman of the Week honors on his way to becoming the OVC Freshman of the Year and the Kyle Macy National Freshman of the Year award finalist by CollegeInsider.com.
- Joined Lamont Sleets (1979-80) as the only MSU freshman to score 500 points in a season. His 185 assists were second on the MSU single-season list.
- As a sophomore in the 2014-15 season, Payne helped the Racers to an OVC record 25-game winning streak.
- Named 2015 OVC Player of the Year after averaging 20.2 points (13th NCAA) and 6.0 assists per game.
- Second-fastest in MSU history to reach 1,000 career points in only 57 games.
- 2014-15, scored 707 points to become the second player at Murray State to reach 700. His 209 assists made him the second to reach 200.
- 2015, named a third-team All-America by CBSSports.com, an honorable mention All-America by the Associated Press and named the Lute Olson National Player of the Year by CollegeInsider.com.
- 2015, OVC honored Payne with the OVC Athlete of the Year Award as the top student-athlete among all sports in the league.
- Became first sophomore and just the fourth player from the OVC to leave school early for the NBA.
- Selected June 25, 2015, by the Oklahoma City Thunder as 14th overall pick in the NBA Draft.
- In 2020, is into his seventh professional season and plays for the Phoenix Suns. Has also played for the Thunder, Bulls, Raptors and Cavaliers.
- Payne is the 42nd inductee from men's basketball.

Walter Powell
Football (2010-13)
Hometown: St. Louis, Mo.
Current: Phoenix, Ariz.

- The all-time leading receiver in the history of Murray State football after playing career from 2010-2013.
- Set MSU career records for receiving yards with 2,650, touchdowns with 29 and 100-plus yard games with 10 and is second all-time in receptions with 208.
- In 2012, had one of the best seasons in Murray State history when he caught a program single-season record 94 passes that led to a single-season record of 1,213 yards while scoring 13 touchdowns, the second-most in a single season all-time.
- Led the Racers in receptions in touchdowns in each of his final three seasons and in receiving yards in his final two.
- Was a two-time All-OVC selection at both a wide receiver and return specialist.
- First Team All-American as an all-purpose player in 2013
- Drafted in the sixth round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals.
- Spent four seasons in the NFL playing for the Cardinals, the New York Jets, the Buffalo Bills, the Oakland Raiders and the Jacksonville Jaguars.
- In 2017, helped develop the mobile app, Politiscope, which provides a roster of every member of USA government.
- Named to Forbes Magazine's prestigious "30 Under 30" list in the "Law & Policy" category.

Joi Scott
Women's Basketball (2005-07)
Hometown: Reynoldsburg, Ohio
Current: Ellenwood, Ga. 

- Tremendous two-year career at MSU - set the program record for career scoring at 21.1 points per game 2005-07 and scoring 970 points.
- With two seasons to play after transferring to MSU, Scott had 35 blocked shots in her first season (2005-06) to go with a scoring average of 20.3 and made All-OVC First Team.
- Set Racer record 43 points in single game vs Tennessee State in 2006 going 19-for-24 from the floor…still intact record for most field goals in a game and a shooting percentage of 79 percent.
- Was OVC Preseason Player of the Year before the 2006-07 season and brought home the OVC Player of the Year award after scoring at a clip of 21.7 points per game with 39 blocked shots a 43 steals.
- Her OVC Player of the Year award was the first for MSU women's basketball in 20 years.
- Her season would've been even better if not for a knee injury that cost her the final five games of her career and a shot at MSU 1000-Point Club.
- Scott recovered and played two seasons in Portugal and Finland as a professional (2007-09).
- Since 2014, has worked a Georgia State University as a researcher in the area of animal healthcare.

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