Trimmell going into Hall of Fame Saturday

By Steve Sell
June 26, 2015

Roger Trimmell probably needs a speech writer.

The former longtime McPherson College men’s basketball coach is busy these days formulating Hall of Fame speeches, as he’s being inducted into halls twice in the next five months.

His first induction comes Saturday afternoon when he becomes the newest member of the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

Trimmell, who coached the Bulldogs for 26 years and won 370 games, also will be inducted into the McPherson College Hall of Fame in October along with his former All-American player Jonathan Coachman, now of ESPN fame.

“All I ask is that I get to speak first,” Trimmell quipped about his October induction. “If Coachman speaks first, then everybody will get up and leave. I can’t follow that.”

First things first, Trimmell will be honored at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the KBCA ceremony in Salina on the campus of Kansas Wesleyan University at Pioneer Hall.

“I would say surprised,” Trimmell said when notified of his induction into the KBCA Hall. “It hadn’t really crossed my mind. I’ve been a member of the organization for a long time and like what they do. I know a lot of guys who were on the ground floor like Allen Tiller, Jerry Jones and, of course, Clint Hill (the first executive secretary from Canton-Galva). It’s an honor.”

Trimmell, who played at McPherson College under coach Don Widrig, coached briefly at Canton-Galva before going to Haven for seven years, five as a head coach. The Wildcats were ranked No. 1 in the state during the 1977-78 season, only to lose in the sub-state to Donnie Campbell and the Lyons Lions.

Trimmell took over as McPherson College coach in 1982 and had a stretch where the team had eight winning seasons in nine years. Twice the Bulldogs won 20 games and that’s back when they didn’t play as many games.

Among his standouts were Kurt Kinnamon, Clint Kinnamon and Matt Richardson, all of whom coached their teams to undefeated seasons this year at McPherson, St. John and Hesston, respectively. All three will be coaching in the KBCA All-Star Game Saturday night, as is Scott City’s Glenn O’Neil, who was a Trimmell student assistant.

After retiring from McPherson College in 2008, Trimmell decided to keep busy as he became athletic director at nearby Canton-Galva High School, where he assists Eagle coach Shane Duncan so he can stay around the game.

Trimmell points out that he’s actually already in the KBCA Hall of Fame. He was the star of the 1968 Wamego Red Raiders, who recently were inducted as a team. Their coach, Paul Markham, is a member of the McPherson College Hall of Fame.