MURRAY, KY – Murray State University recently retired eight of their past players’ basketball jerseys by raising them up to the rafters at half-time of a game between the Thoroughbreds and Southern Illinois University. Leading the way was the No. 20 jersey of Johnny Reagan, a four year All-Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference player at Murray State in the late 1940’s.
Reagan was a graduate of Bismarck HIgh School and helped lead the Indians to a state championship in basketball in 1944, when all the schools were lumped together instead of separate divisions by school size. Bismarck had only 60 boys enrolled in the school that year. Reagan returned to his home town to coach high school baseball for seven years.
But most of his coaching and even playing fame came from the baseball field of Murray State. In his 36 years of coaching the Thoroughbreds, they compiled a a 776-508-11 record and captured 11 Ohio Valley Conference titles. He was named OVC Coach of the Year nine times and was inducted into the Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1987. The baseball field that Murray State plays on is named in his honor.
Reagan has been inducted into five different Halls of Fame in his career including the Missouri Athletic and the Bismarck High School Halls of Fame.