1973 Hall of Honor
Described as a “smashing guard and hard-hitting fullback,” Dan Kuick was a four-year letterman who starred on several of Tommy Mill’s greatest teams and also competed in basketball and track. An All-conference selection as a sophomore, when Beloit won league and state championships while posting a 6-1-1 record, he concluded his career by being chosen on Walter Esckersall’s 1925 All-Western Second team. Kuick was switched to the backfield as a senior, and helped Beloit again dominate conference and state foes in winning six of eight games. The high esteem he earned among opponents that season was echoed by Knute Rockne after Notre Dame’s hard-fought 19-3 victory in a game which found the press citing Kuick as “a tower of strength on defense” and “unstoppable” on offence. After graduation, he played with the professional Milwaukee Badgers and later with the independent Stambaugh All-States. A high school teacher in Michigan until his retirement nine years ago and a former athletic-equipment firm owner, he also coached 25 years in Iron River, Flint, and Midland. The Midland system recognized his outstanding contributions as a dedicated educator and coach by naming him its “Teacher of the Year” in 1960.
The late “Sammy” Ransom once said of his college experience, “I may have been a greater athlete had I gone to Chicago, but by going to Beloit I am a better man.” An athletic prep star in Chicago, where he was a teammate of Walter Eckersall, he was termed “as good an athlete as Beloit has ever had” by the 1909 yearbook for his two years as an outstanding football back, basketball guard, baseball infielder-outfielder and track broad jumper-weight man. He played professional football with the St. Paul Colored Gophers before coaching at two Tennessee colleges – first at Meharry, where his teams won two Southern football championships and shared a third, and then at Lane. As an Army officer who received a Purple Heart for heroism during World War I, Ransom also trained men in athletics and was with the 33rd Division’s baseball and track champions. Intensely proud of his country and his Black heritage, he was an early civil rights worker in Minnesota, helped establish its first Governor’s Interracial Commission and received a citation in 1969 for distinguished service to the state. A retired postal employee and National Guard major, he died at age 87 in 1970.
“Bill” Sayres has earned recognition as Beloit’s greatest tennis player by his domination of collegiate opposition in the late 40’s. He grew up playing tennis in Michigan, where he was an interscholastic champion as well as State and Detroit-city titlist in boys, juniors, and men’s competition. Ranked the Number One Junior by the Western Lawn Tennis Association, he twice was a member of the Western Junior Davis Cup team. Before coming to Beloit in 1946, Sayres served a year in the Navy after being the top player on the undefeated University of Texas Southwestern Conference champions and representing the league in the National Collegiate Tournament. He proceeded to win three consecutive Midwest Conference singles crowns and two state titles to score duel-met victories over two Big Ten champions and other major-school foes. Under his leadership, Beloit captured one conference and two State championships. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate who was president of his Senior Class, Sayres has remained in academia; he is a professor at Columbia University’s Teachers College and director for International Education. He recently began a two-year stay in Afghanistan as an advisory team member in the National Ministry of Education.