University of Arkansas at Little Rock Athletics has announced the five inductees that will comprise the 2019 Trojan Athletics Hall of Fame class. Karen Aston (’87), Bill Ballard, Mike Morrison (’68), Chastity Reed (’11), and Sara Wikstrom (’09), have each left their legacy on the Little Rock Athletic Department and will officially take their place during Hall of Fame weekend Feb. 1-2, 2019.
“Where this athletic department stands today is because of the efforts and successes of those who have come before, and this Hall of Fame class certainly have been foundation builders as they have left their legacy on the program,” said Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Chasse Conque. “This year we have five honorees who have represented our program at the highest level, both as student-athletes and among the coaching ranks, and we’re excited to honor them and celebrate their achievements in February.”
Little Rock will hold an induction ceremony for the five honorees on Friday, February 1, the night prior to the Trojans’ basketball doubleheader against Arkansas State as part of Letterman’s Weekend.
A Letterman’s social will be held Friday, Feb. 1, at the Jack Stephens Center following the induction ceremony. Former letter winners will have the opportunity to visit with their programs through individual activities the morning of February 2 and will receive two complimentary tickets to the doubleheader while being honored at halftime of the men’s game.
With the additions of Aston, Ballard, Morrison, Reed. and Wikstrom, the Little Rock Athletics Hall of Fame now consists of 68 individuals and four teams.
More information about the 2019 Hall of Fame inductees:
KAREN ASTON (Women’s Basketball, 1987)
Karen Aston is a 1987 graduate of Little Rock, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in physical education. A native of Benton, she played two seasons of standout basketball for the Trojans after transferring fromOuachita Baptist, leading the team in scoring and field goals made in 1985-86.
Following graduation, Aston entered the coaching ranks where her experience ranges from high school to the collegiate ranks. She was named the Arkansas Basketball Coach of the Year after leading Vilonia to a 36-1 record and the Class 2A state title in 1992-93. Her stops at the collegiate level include Charlotte and North Texas as Aston is currently the head coach of the University of Texas, boasting an overall coaching record of 243-125.
The 2016-17 Big 12 Coach of the Year, Aston has led her teams to six NCAA Tournament appearances. including three Sweet 16 finishes and an Elite Eight appearance in 2016. Aston was named a finalist for the Naismith Coach of the Year award in 2016-17 and has led Texas to 22 or more victories in each of the past five seasons, finishing second in the Big 12 for the last three years.
BILL BALLARD (Men’s Basketball/Administrator)
Coach Bill Ballard came to Little Rock from the College of the Ozarks in the late 1950s and began his extensive involvement with the Trojan Athletic Department. Serving as an instructor in health and physical education, Ballard served as the Trojans’ men’s basketball coach from 1961-65 and won 44 games during his tenure.
Ballard’s experience was not limited to the court, however, as he was tasked with creating the Little Rock baseball program, along with serving as the program’s first head coach. He earned the title of Dean of Men and was named the head of the health and physical education department.
Ballard later served as the program’s Athletic Director, making a number of notable hires, including Trojan Hall of Fame coaches Dr. Newman McGee and John Torbett. He continues to be one of the department’s biggest fans, serving as an ambassador for the Lettermen’s Association and creating the Bill and Juanita Ballard Endowed Student Scholarship in 2015. He remains a fixture at Trojan athletic events and remains a staunch supporter of Little Rock’s Team.
MIKE MORRISON (Men’s Golf, 1968)
Mike Morrison was one of the foundations of the Little Rock golf program, competing for the Trojans for three seasons. During his time with the Trojans, Morrison ranked among the national leaders in scoring average and was named an NAIA All-American in both 1967 and 1968.
After earning his degree from Little Rock in 1968, Morrison remained active in the golf community, winning a number of tournaments. He captured the prestigious KB Rand Tournament in Searcy as well as the annual Fourth of July Tournament at War Memorial Golf Course. Morrison captured the club championship at Maumelle Country Club in both 1974 and 1975.
Morrison worked as a furniture sales representative for over 40 years, moving to Broken Arrow, Oklahoma after his time in Little Rock. He continued to be an avid golfer and passionate advocate for the sport until his passing in 2010.
CHASTITY REED (Women’s Basketball, 2011)
One of women’s basketball’s all-time greats, Chastity Reed helped build the Little Rock basketball program into the dynasty that it is today. Reed was a three-time All-Sun Belt Conference first team selection for the Trojans, being named the Sun Belt’s Player of the Year and earning AP All-America Honorable Mention recognition in 2010.
Reed’s name is listed throughout the Trojan record book as she is the program’s all-time leading scorer, becoming the only player in program history to surpass the 2,000-point mark. Reed is also the program’s all-time rebounding leader with 896 and ranks second all-time in career steals, fifth all-time in career assists and fifth all-time in career blocks.
Reed was a Regional Finalist for the State Farm Coaches All-American award in 2009 and 2010 and helped guide the Trojans to their first-ever NCAA tournament appearance. Following her playing days for Joe Foley, Reed played in the WNBA for the Tulsa Shock and Phoenix Mercury before continuing her playing career overseas in Israel, Romania, Lithuania, and most recently in Switzerland.
SARA WIKSTROM (Women’s Golf, 2009)
Sara Wikstrom made her mark on the Little Rock women’s golf program from 2005-09, going down as one of the top golfers in school history. She holds the record for the Trojans’ all-time lowest scoring average at 74.63, competing in 126 rounds of golf for Little Rock, the most in program history.
Wikstrom also holds the program’s single-season scoring average record, posting a 73.78 average in 2006-07, en route to competing in the NCAA Regional tournament. Of her 126 career rounds played, 35 of them were par-or-better, including seven rounds in the 60s, the most of any Trojan golfer. She is also the program’s all-time career leader with 309 birdies, 59 better than the number two total.
During her Trojan career, Wikstrom won eight individual titles, which ranks among the top-25 in NCAA Division I golf history. She was a three-time All-Sun Belt Conference selection and was a three-time NCAA regional qualifier in 2005, 2006 and 2007.