Kennesaw State has just announced the late Tony Ingle as the newest inductee into this fall’s Hall of Fame.
Ingle is recognized as the second inductee of this year’s class to have brought a national championship title home to Kennesaw. Ingle, former KSU men’s basketball coach, will join the Hall of Fame on Oct. 7 during the Hall of Fame ceremony.
Ingle has reached heights that no one has during his stay at KSU. Ingle resided with the Owls for 11 years. In those 11 years, he became the winningest head coach in program history with a 178-166 overall record.
Ingle, who passed away Jan. 18, 2021, is dearly loved and has left various marks of his legacy here at KSU. One of KSU’s fondest memories will forever be when Ingle led Owls to the 2004 NCAA Division II championship. Solely in just two years, with the guidance of Ingle, the Owls were able to transition from Division II to Division I play.
The caliber of play allowed KSU to witness success as the men’s basketball team successfully performed .500 records in their ASUN conference in each of its first two years of being a Division I program respectively. This record includes the 10-10 conference mark in the 2005-2006 season which is still the program-best for KSU. In a six-year run from 2003-2009, both KSU and Ingle were crowned with the second-highest winning percentage of any team that transitioned from Division II to Division I.
As the Owls were coached by Ingle, the team produced marvelous talents. The talents fans were graced with include: ASUN Freshman of the Year Andre Morgan (2005-2006), two All-ASUN selections (Ronell Wooten, 2006-2007 and Markeith Cummings, 2009-2010), two ASUN All-Freshman team selections (Kurtis Woods, 2008-2009; Cummings, 2009-2010), and five ASUN Players of the Week (Cummings, Jon-Michael Nickerson, Wooten, Shuan Stegall, and Golden Ingle). KSU saw its first-ever appearance in the ASUN Tournament semifinals in 2010. This was a result of the monstrous upset of the conference’s top-seed Lipscomb in the quarterfinals.
Ingle has been rightfully recognized with NCAA Division II Coach of the Year in 2003-2004 following the national championship season. Furthermore, during the 2002-03 season, Ingle was awarded the Peach Belt Conference Coach of the Year. In a historic 72-70 victory over Columbus State, the Owls racked up their only conference title in KSU’s school history. KSU won the 2004 Peach Belt Conference championship under Ingle.
Ingle’s success stretched far beyond KSU. In all of Georgia’s history, Ingle was the only coach ever to be named Coach of the Year at the high school, junior college and collegiate levels. Ingle recently retired in 2018, after 44 years of coaching which led him to two national championships and accolades.
Former Kennesaw State Director of Athletics Dr. Waples gave Ingle a call three years post-retirement. “When he arrived, he said he was going to win a National Championship for us in five years and I’ll be darned he won it in four years,” Dr. Waples said after Ingle’s passing. “That run was absolutely amazing. He was one of a kind. He was driven, a great person to be around and had a wonderful family. I can’t stress enough how much we are going to miss him.”