LEXINGTON, KY (UK Athletics)- Former Kentucky quarterback Tim Couch will be one of seven athletes inducted into the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) National High School Hall of Fame on Thursday, July 1 in Orlando, Florida. The induction ceremony will take place at the Orlando World Center Marriott in Orlando, Florida, and will be streamed live on the NFHS Network beginning at 6 p.m. ET at: https://www.nfhsnetwork.com/events/nfhs/evtfb1ffdd8eb
The NFHS will also conduct a press conference with the hall of fame class at noon on July 1, also to be streamed on the NFHS Network.
During his football career at Leslie County High School in Hyden, Kentucky in the mid-1990s, Couch set three national career passing records – 872 completions, 12,104 yards and 133 touchdowns. He helped Leslie County to a 13-1 record as a junior while completing an amazing 75 percent of his passes – a national record that stood for 15 years. As a senior, he passed for 42 touchdowns and led his team to an 11-3 mark, and he was named Gatorade and USA Today National Player of the Year while earning Mr. Football honors in Kentucky. ESPN.com selected Couch the sixth-best high school athlete in history. Couch was equally dominant on the basketball court. He scored 3,023 points in his career, leading the state in scoring as a senior at 37 points per game. He was two-time all-state in basketball. Couch’s football prowess continued at the University of Kentucky, where he passed for 8,159 yards and 73 touchdowns in his final two seasons. He led Kentucky to the Outback Bowl after his junior season and was fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting. Couch was the No. 1 pick in the 1999 NFL draft by the Cleveland Browns and passed for more than 11,000 yards and 64 touchdowns in his five years with the Browns.
Couch will become the 10th individual and just the fourth athlete from the Commonwealth of Kentucky in the NFHS Hall of Fame.
Joining the seven former athletes in this year’s class are three highly successful high school coaches, one former state association administrator and one speech and debate coach in the performing arts area.
These 12 individuals were selected in March 2020 and were scheduled to be inducted last year; however, the 2020 in-person NFHS Summer Meeting was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, these 12 honorees will be inducted July 1 at the 38th induction ceremony of the National High School Hall of Fame, which will be held at the NFHS Summer Meeting in Orlando, Florida. The induction ceremony will take place at 6:00 p.m. EST on July 1 at the Orlando World Center Marriott in Orlando, Florida, and will be streamed live on the NFHS Network at: https://www.nfhsnetwork.com/events/nfhs/evtfb1ffdd8eb
The four high school athletes who went on to professional stardom are Dave Logan of Colorado, Couch, Matt Holliday of Oklahoma and Alex English of South Carolina. Other athletes in the class are three female stars who landed Olympic gold in the Olympics: Karyn Bye of Wisconsin, Maicel Malone of Indiana and Michele Smith of New Jersey.
Three outstanding high school coaches are a part of this year’s class, including Rickey Baker, who led Hopi High School in Keams Canyon, Arizona, to a national-record 27 consecutive state cross country championships from 1990 to 2017. Another coach in this year’s class is Charles Berry, who retired in 2018 after a 57-year career as a girls and boys basketball coach in Arkansas. With most of his years at Huntsville High School, Berry won 1,377 games as a boys and girls basketball coach. The final coach in the class is Terry Michler, the winningest boys soccer coach in history from Christian Brothers College High School in St. Louis, Missouri. Michler has won 1,004 games and nine state championships during his 48-year career.
Completing the 2021 class are Bill Farney, who served on the administrative staff of the Texas University Interscholastic League for 32 years, including 14 years as executive director, and Robert Littlefield, one of the top speech and debate educators in North Dakota and nationally for 45 years.
About the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS)
The NFHS, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, is the national leadership organization for high school sports and performing arts activities. Since 1920, the NFHS has led the development of education-based interscholastic sports and performing arts activities that help students succeed in their lives. The NFHS sets direction for the future by building awareness and support, improving the participation experience, establishing consistent standards and rules for competition, and helping those who oversee high school sports and activities. The NFHS writes playing rules for 17 sports for boys and girls at the high school level. Through its 50 member state associations and the District of Columbia, the NFHS reaches more than 19,500 high schools and 12 million participants in high school activity programs, including almost eight million in high school sports. As the recognized national authority on interscholastic activity programs, the NFHS conducts national meetings; sanctions interstate events; offers online publications and services for high school coaches and officials; sponsors professional organizations for high school coaches, officials, speech and debate coaches, and music adjudicators; serves as the national source for interscholastic coach training; and serves as a national information resource of interscholastic athletics and activities. For more information, visit the NFHS website at www.nfhs.org.