BRANSON, Mo. – Legendary Grace College men’s basketball coach Jim Kessler added another milestone to his career when he was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame on Tuesday.
The induction ceremony occurred during the NAIA Men’s Basketball Div. II Banquet of Champions in Branson, Mo.
“I am honored to be recognized by the NAIA and my peers. This is not something I set out to do when I began coaching, but I’m thankful the Lord blessed my work at Grace,” Kessler said. “I’m thankful to Grace College for the opportunity to make a career coaching basketball. I have been blessed with supportive presidents, administrations and athletic directors who have stood by me through the ups and downs of a coaching career. No one achieves anything of note without the contributions of others, and I have countless people to thank for this award.”
Kessler becomes the second individual from Grace to be inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame. Chet Kammerer, former men’s basketball coach at Grace and Westmont (Calif.), received the honor in 2000.
The NAIA Hall of Fame was established in 1952 and recognizes an individual’s service to intercollegiate athletics, the NAIA and their sport. Induction into the NAIA Hall of Fame, and the ensuing title of Hall of Famer, is the highest individual honor bestowed by the Association.