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Three to be inducted into Kansas Hall of Fame

October 3, 2010

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— Lawrence High volleyball coaching legend Joan Wells today will be inducted into the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame at 4 p.m. at the Wichita Boathouse.

Wells, who played collegiately at Kansas University, will be inducted with fellow KU graduates Willie Pless and Steve Renko.

Wells ranked among the country’s all-time leaders in coaching victories (866) and winning percentage (90.7 percent) and led the Lions to 15 state championships and seven runner-up finishes. Lawrence High qualified for the state tournament 26 times in Wells’ 27 years as a head coach.

An Atchison native, Wells, who played volleyball at KU in 1971, is also a member of the National High School Sports Federation Hall of Fame and the Kansas State High School Activities Association Hall of Fame.

Pless, who was born and raised in Anniston, Ala., is the all-time leading tackler in Kansas football history. He finished his four-year career (1982-85) with 633 stops for the Jayhawks.

A three-sport athlete for KU, Renko shared the same backfield with Gale Sayers on the football field and also played basketball and baseball. A graduate of Kansas City’s Wyandotte High, Renko played 15 seasons in the major leagues and won 134 games.

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