Fall 2006

Found Stories


Retired artist Wayne Clark ’50 earned respect on campus at WU as a football player, but the fine arts major also managed to set a record (of sorts) in his blink-and-you’ll-miss-it turn as a Shocker basketball player.

Clark originally enrolled at the university in the mid-1940s, but was called away from his studies to serve in the military near the end of World War II. Like many others of his generation, he later returned to finish his degree.

Students weren’t the only ones affected by the war, of course. To cite a related example, Shocker basketball coach “Cactus Jack” Sterrett left the university to join the Army. Filling in for him was WU football coach Mel Binford, who worked double duty for several years.

Clark spent his time in a basketball uniform warming the bench. Then came his shining moment: Coach Binford put him in a game for one minute — and Clark managed to score two points. Teammates joked that had he been allowed to play an entire 40 minutes, he could have been the leading Shocker scorer of all time!

But Clark’s minute of fame doesn’t end there. Legendary Kansas University basketball coach Phog Allen came to see a Shocker game, hearing that WU was employing a football coach to run the basketball team.

He intended at first to poke fun at Binford; however, at the game, he happened to notice that the inexperienced Binford had taped Clark’s ankle incorrectly. Allen kneeled and re-wrapped the ankle himself.

Despite the short-lived nature of Wayne Clark’s Shocker basketball career, he will go down in history as both the top (potential) scorer in WSU history, and he may well be the only Shocker ever to be personally attended to by Phog Allen.


Historic Connections

Stained glass evidences the historic relationship between Wichita State and Fairmount United Church of Christ.

Found Stories

Retired artist Wayne Clark ’50 earned respect on campus at WU as a football player.