Wilcox Inducted to NAIA Hall of Fame

Benedictine's Wilcox Inducted into NAIA Hall of Fame

Published: Monday, January 9, 2017

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics held its annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony on January 8, 2017, during the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) convention in Nashville, Tenn. The 2016 HOF class was made up of four athletes and four coaches, including Benedictine’s own Larry Wilcox.

A 1972 Benedictine College graduate, Wilcox is the all-time winningest four-year collegiate football coach in the history of the state of Kansas. He has guided Benedictine football to 12 appearances in the NAIA Football Championship Series with two trips to the semifinals in 1992 and 2001. Since joining the Heart of America Athletic Conference, he has led the Ravens to six conference Championships.

After the 2016 season, Wilcox has an overall record of 268-143, with all of those games coming as the head coach at Benedictine College. He also holds the second-most all-time wins in NAIA history and is one of only two football coaches with more than 260 career wins.

“It’s not something that you’re thinking about at the time,” Coach Wilcox said. “It’s exciting and I’m happy to join such an elite group of players and coaches who have represented the NAIA.”

Coach Wilcox is a two-time AFCA Region Coach of the Year, most recently earning the award in 2013, and has been named the Heart Coach of the Year four times. He is an NAIA District 10 Athletic Administrator of the Year, has been a member of the AFCA for 33 years and is a former NAIA Football Coaches Association President.

“I’ve spent my entire career at the same institution,” Coach Wilcox said. “This is about more than football. It’s a reflection of a great institution, great players, some great coaches who have been with me for so many years and a supportive administration that has allowed us to grow the football program.”

One of those assistant coaches who has been with Coach Wilcox from his first days as the head coach for the Ravens is current Benedictine Athletic Director and defensive coordinator Charles Gartenmayer.

"I am very happy for Larry to be recognized with this prestigious honor of being elected to the NAIA Hall of Fame,” Gartenmayer said. “His commitment for so many years to the development of the total student-athlete is exemplary. He has been a leader at the NAIA level, Conference level and at Benedictine. It has been an honor for me to work with him and to watch him grow as a leader and become a strong role model for so many people on our campus and within the Atchison community."

One of the many people Coach Wilcox has influenced as a student-athlete at Benedictine is current college president Stephen D. Minnis.

“You will find few people more deserving of Hall of Fame recognition than Larry Wilcox,” Minnis said. “His dedication to Benedictine College and to his student-athletes over the years is inspiring. I have appreciated his enormous talents as President of the College and going back over the years to my freshmen year at Benedictine when he was named the Head Football Coach. Benedictine College and his players always come first with Larry and his success is directly connected to his love for his players.”

Under the leadership of Coach Wilcox, the Ravens have earned 69 NAIA All-America selections, 406 All-Conference selections in the Heart, 83 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athletes and one CoSIDA-Academic All-America selection.

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas.  The school is proud to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report as well as one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide.  It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging.  It has a mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.