MOREHEAD – Three former All-Ohio Valley Conference student-athletes will be inducted into the Morehead State University Athletics Hall of Fame this fall. The 2014 class includes men’s basketball all-time leading scorer Ricky Minard, men’s basketball career assist leader Marquis Sykes, and one of the most accomplished tight ends in football program history, Gary Shirk.
This year’s trio will be inducted during a banquet on Oct. 3 and recognized during the Homecoming football game on Oct. 4.
“The Athletic Hall of Fame is the ultimate individual accolade our department can award,” Director of Athletics Brian Hutchinson said. “It’s my pleasure to welcome these outstanding individuals to that list. Ricky, Marquis and Gary are three of the most decorated athletes in MSU history. We are excited to induct them into our Hall of Fame.”
A native of Mansfield, Ohio, Minard was an Honorable Mention All-American and the OVC Player of the Year in 2002-03. As a junior that season, he helped the Eagles to a share of the league’s regular-season title and just their second 20-win season in school history. Minard guided MSU to a 66-49 record (.574) in four years. He continues to hold Morehead State’s all-time scoring record (2,381) and ranks second on the school’s career assists list (417).
Minard was a First-Team All-League choice as a sophomore, junior and senior and a Second-Team All-Conference selection as a freshman. He earned All-South Region honors from the National Association of Basketball Coaches twice. Minard’s No. 24 jersey is retired in Johnson Arena. He was selected by the Sacramento Kings in the second round of the 2004 National Basketball Association Draft.
Minard has played for 12 different professional teams overseas. He helped his current program, BC Budivelnyk, in Kiev win the Ukrainian Cup in 2013-14.
Also a Mansfield, Ohio native, Sykes was a senior on the 2002-03 unit that shared the OVC regular-season title, the program’s first since 1983-84. He continues to hold Morehead State’s all-time assists record (606) by nearly 200 over fellow inductee, and his cousin, Minard. Sykes tallied more than 100 assists each of his four campaigns, including the single-season record of 189 in 2001-02.
Sykes led the league in assist-to-turnover ratio three consecutive years and tied the school’s single-game assists record with 16 in 2002-03. A Third-Team All-OVC selection as a junior and senior, he also posted 865 points and 165 steals in 113 career games.
He is currently the junior varsity boys coach at his alma mater, Mansfield High School.
Shirk, originally from Richwood, Ohio, was a First-Team All-OVC choice in 1972. He hauled in 96 career receptions for 1,236 yards and five touchdowns. Shirk led Morehead State with 30 catches in 1970 and 29 receptions in 1972. He paced the Eagles with 402 receiving yards as a sophomore.
Following his collegiate career, Shirk spent seven seasons (1976-82) with the National Football League’s New York Giants where he caught passes from fellow MSU Athletic Hall of Fame member and eventual Super Bowl MVP Phil Simms. Shirk amassed 1,640 career yards and 11 touchdowns with the Giants. He also played for the Memphis Southmen of the World Football League and Memphis Showboats of the United States Football League. Shirk was inducted into the Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010.
Established in 1985, the Athletic Hall of Fame honors former Eagles whose achievements in athletics and as ambassadors of the university have had a positive impact on Morehead State. The Hall of Fame has enshrined 134 members.