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Former Louisville RB Michael Bush Named to Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame

The Male High School product is one of the greatest running backs in program history.

Press Release from the University of Louisville:

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Former University of Louisville running back Michael Bush headlines the inductees for the Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame.

The announcement was made today at a press briefing at Freedom Hall by the Louisville Sports Commission, owners and operators of the KSHOF.

Comprising the 45th KSHOF class are Bush, football star at Louisville Male High School, the University of Louisville and in the NFL in the early 2000s; Mitch Barnhart, nationally renowned athletics director at the University of Kentucky (UK) since 2002; Sue Feamster, former UK athletic administrator and trail blazer for girls' and women's participation in athletic competition starting in the late 1960s; and Dallas Thornton, basketball star at Male, Kentucky Wesleyan and the Harlem Globetrotters in the 60s, 70s and 80s.

A selection committee comprised of 17 sports media professionals from throughout the Commonwealth, along with the Bygone Era Selection Team, chose this year's class. All votes by the selection committee were independently tabulated by regional accounting firm Dean Dorton, one of the largest accounting and advisory firms in Kentucky, with offices in Louisville and Lexington.

The 2022 KSHOF class members and their families will be honored on Aug. 22, 2022, at the Galt House Hotel in downtown Louisville. For ticket information or sponsorship opportunities, contact Julie Howell at jhowell@louisvillesports.org / (502) 587-6742.

The KSHOF is owned and operated by the Louisville Sports Commission, a Kentucky-based non-profit whose mission is to attract, create, host and operate sporting events and activities that enhance the quality of life of the Commonwealth. The KSHOF was founded in 1963 to recognize athletes and sports figures who are Kentucky natives or who participated in their respective sport or made a significant impact in their sport in Kentucky.

"The KSHOF Class of 2022 recognizes four outstanding individuals who represent a broad spectrum of sports and occupations – individuals who had a major impact on sports in the Commonwealth and on the national stage," said Louisville Sports Commission President and CEO Karl F. Schmitt Jr. "Sue Feamster's role championing girls' and women's sports is compelling and a fitting way for the KSHOF to celebrate the 50th anniversary year of Title IX legislation. The selection of Michael Bush and Dallas Thornton acknowledges the long history of outstanding athletes from Male High School, the University of Louisville and Kentucky Wesleyan. And the selection of Mitch Barnhart celebrates the on-going success of UK athletics under his tenure dating back more than two decades."

A standout running back for the Cardinals, Bush rushed for 2,508 yards and 39 touchdowns and caught 50 passes for 651 yards and two touchdown during his three seasons with the Cardinals. He had six 100-yard rushing games in 2005 when he set a single-season school record for rushing touchdowns (23) that still stands.

Bush played in three bowl games, including a dominating fourth quarter rushing performance in a 44-40 win over Boise State in the 2004 Liberty Bowl in a top-10 match-up. In 2004, Bush was a key component in leading the Cardinals to an 11-1 record and a Conference USA title.

As a senior, he rushed for 128 yards and three scores in the Cardinals' opening win over Kentucky before suffering a season-ending injury in the third quarter. Bush was drafted by Oakland, and played four years for the Raiders and two with the Chicago Bears, recording 3,250 yards rushing and 29 touchdowns and 1,010 yards receiving and two touchdowns.

A two-sport athlete at Male High, Bush twice earned the Paul Hornung Award as the state's best prep football player, was named Mr. Football and Gatorade Player of the Year as a senior and was runner-up for Mr. Basketball, averaging 21.1 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. As a sophomore and junior, he amassed 3,031 yards and 37 touchdowns as a receiver and led the team in tackles. As a senior quarterback, he passed for 2,891 yards and 35 touchdowns and was a workhorse in the memorable 59-56 state championship loss to Trinity: he passed for 468 yards and six touchdowns, rushed for 116 yards and a score, caught two passes, recorded five tackles, and returned one punt and one kickoff.

(Photo of Michael Bush: Joe Robbins - USA TODAY Sports)

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