Jenkins, Lamar inducted into NAIA Hall of Fame
KANSAS CITY, MO -- Steve Jenkins of Evangel University (Mo.) and Jon “Rocky” Lamar of MidAmerica Nazarene University (Kan.) were inducted into the 2013-14 NAIA Basketball Hall of Fame on March 18 at the 2014 NAIA Men's Division I Basketball National Championship banquet.
The NAIA Hall of Fame is the association's highest honor for individuals who demonstrate outstanding character, fine leadership ability and are held in high esteem by their colleagues and student-athletes.
Jenkins, who has spent his entire career at Evangel, is the winningest coach in school history and has compiled an overall record of 605-410. He’s led his teams to six Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC) titles, 11 NAIA Men’s Basketball National Championship appearances and one NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball National Championship (2002). He has been named the HAAC Coach of the Year six times and the NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball National Coach of the Year once (2002). He is a member of the Evangel University Athletics Hall of Fame (2006) and the Springfield Area Sports Hall of Fame (2011).
In all, Jenkins has spent 37 years as a coach at Evangel University. He was an assistant men’s basketball coach under Aundrae Curtis for five years (1977-82) before taking over as head coach, a position he has held for 32 seasons (1982-present). He also spent six years as the head baseball and has served as the head men’s golf coach since the program’s inception in 1999.
“As important as the wins and championships are, Steve Jenkins’ value on our campus is measured more in terms of the man he is—a person of integrity and impeccable character. Long before we were articulating the Champions of Character program, Steve Jenkins was epitomizing those qualities,” said Robert H. Spence, Evangel University president.
After 28 years at the helm, Lamar is the winningest coach in MidAmerica Nazarene history, having guided the Pioneers to 21 20-win seasons and compiled an overall record of 655-329 (as of Feb. 17). He’s led his teams to 12 Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC) titles, 16 NAIA Men’s Basketball National Championship appearances and one NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball National Championship (2007).
At MidAmerica Nazarene, Lamar has been recognized as the HAAC Coach of the Year six times and as the NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball National Coach of the Year once (2007). He has also been inducted into MidAmerica Nazarene University Athletics Hall of Fame as a player (1984) and the Greater Kansas City Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame as a coach (2008). Perhaps the greatest honor of Lamar’s illustrious career came in 2008, when the Bell Family Arena hardwood was renamed the Rocky Lamar Court.
“There are a handful of coaches we run across in our lifetime that embody all that is right with collegiate athletics and personify the ideal of integrity in coaching. Rocky Lamar is in that elite group,” said Kevin L. Steele, MidAmerican Nazarene athletics director. “He has never lost sight of the fact that his chosen profession is not about coaching a sport, rather it is about coaching and developing young men of significance.”