Kansas Golf Foundation Kansas Golf Hall of Fame - 2000
Without question Ed Kriwiel is the most successful high school golf coach in Kansas history. As an educator and coach at Wichita’s Kapaun Mt. Carmel High School since 1969, Kriwiel has amassed 20 state golf championship titles. In those years that his team did not win the state title, Kapaun Mt. Carmel finished second three times and third four times. The 20 state titles are believed to be a national record. Kriwiel, now age 73, has coached boys’ golf at Kapaun since 1970, girls’ golf since 1997 and he was that schools football coach from 1969-90. He also coached football at Wichita West High School from 1953 to 1966.
Modestly, Kriwiel claims that he does not have a huge hand in developing his golfers. With limitations placed on high school coaches by the state activities association, Kriwiel’s involvement on “game day” must be limited to a brief contact between the front and back nine. Teaching the basics of the game he has left to the golf professionals. But when it comes to the mental aspect of golf, Kriwiel is a master with the young and sometimes explosive temperament of high schoolers.
Staying relaxed and focused is what Kriwiel teaches. All players from his program have a common trait. They recognize that golf is a game of good and bad breaks. When adversity strikes, they accept the challenge and never let their emotions get the best of them. They also tend to “have fun” while playing.
Ed Kriwiel is also a member of three other Halls of Fame: Wichita State University (Inducted in 1980), Tilden Tech High School in Chicago (Inducted in 1981) and Kapaun Mt. Carmel High School (Inducted in 1992). He has been named Kansas Boy’s Golf Coach of the Year three times (1988-89, 1993-94 and 1998-99) and the Kansas Girl’s Golf Coach of the Year in 1998-99.
Since its inception in 1991, Ed Kriwiel is the first golf coach to be honored with induction into the Kansas Golf Hall of Fame. In response to his selection, Kriwiel said, “To be among this select group of Kansas golf honorees is truly a humbling experience. Success in the sport of golf can only be achieved through sincere dedication and commitment beginning at an early age. It is this special breed of players, both past and present that this award represents. I have been privileged to coach many true champions, who consistently performed at peak levels, never settling for less than they were capable of, thus earning numerous state championships for the team! It is with a great deal of pride that I have had this opportunity to share in their success.”
Kriwiel passed away on December 3, 2007 at the age of 81.
Robert C. Reid
Contributor to the Game
Very few people one runs across these days have the capacity for friendship and the dedication to duty as Kansas Golf Foundation Hall of Fame inductee Bob Reid. He made his second career after retiring at age 60 as an honored TWA captain, as a golf association executive. And not just one association, but three; the Kansas Golf Association, the Kansas City Golf Association, and the Missouri Golf Association. Add yeoman service to the United States Golf Association to the list too.
For the Kansas Golf Association, Bob Reid was chosen a director from Brookridge Country Club in Overland Park, KS in 1967, then that was the only Kansas City area director. He became President of the Board and served from 1978-1980. During his term of service he was able to encourage the Board to bring in Directors from five of the Kansas City private clubs, leading to access to those clubs for tournaments presented by the KGA. Bob also served as Rules Chairman for the Kansas Open from 1972-1985, and for the Big Eight Conference Golf Championship for the same years. He was responsible for expanding Minimax handicap service statewide for the KGA.
For the Kansas City Golf Association, Bob Reid became a Representative in 1965 from Brookridge, the club he had joined after moving here in 1960, and became director in 1967; he was elected President in 1975-1978, and served as Executive Director from 1983-1997. He successfully encouraged the Board to add Public Links and women members to the Board. During his tenure, he saw the addition of three women's tournaments to the KCGA program (a Mid-Am team event, a Match Play Championship, and the Tournament of Champions for women club champs). He brought about an increase in club membership from 29 to 51 and raised the number of golfers on the handicap service to 18000.
Bob was elected from Brookridge to be a Director of the Missouri Golf Association in 1982 and was chosen Executive Director in 1983, serving that role until 1986 and is still a Director of the MGA. He served as a Rules Chairman for the Missouri Open from 1978-1993. During his Executive Directorship, he was responsible for securing Board approval to add the Missouri state Senior and Junior Championships to the MGA schedule, and he started a statewide handicap service MGA auspices.
Concurrent with his involvement with the three golf associations, Bob Reid provided exemplary service to the United States Golf Association from 1970-1999. He was a member of the overall USGA Committee, as well as a member of the smaller Regional Associations Committee from 1983-1997. Having attended 11 USGA-PGA Rules seminars and taught other rules officials, he has long been recognized as one of the foremost authorities in this area. Bob has worked over 20 USGA majors (Opens, Senior Opens and Amateurs) plus the 1982 Walker Cup Matches at Murifield Golf Club in Scotland. And that is just the big ones. Always obliging when his assistance is requested, Bob did rules work for the PGA Senior Tour in Kansas City, as well as the former Hogan Tour, the Midwest (mini) Tour and the Prairie (mini) Tour. Others have recognized and appreciated Bob's contributions. Mark Passey, Regional Manager for the USGA's South Central Region, paid tribute to Bob in 1999 with these words: "You have made the game of golf vastly better in your region. You have had a profound effect on the KGA, MGA and KCGA. You have given of yourself graciously, tirelessly and generously. I know of no one with a bigger heart or more generous spirit. You have touched the lives of juniors, seniors, amateurs, pros, men, women, players, volunteers, USGA officials, club officials, and made us all better…"
Robert Carter Reid was born in St. Louis, MO, on April 26, 1920. He graduated from St. Louis Country Day School in 1938, ironically having not lettered in golf. He had taken up the game at a public course when in high school and believed it was played with wooden tees not only from the teeing area but from the fairways too. The school's golf coach had heard that Bob played the game, but was utterly dismayed to discover his method; Bob's phone did not ring. He attended Washington University in St. Louis, leaving to enter the Army Air Corps as an Aviation Cadet in 1941. He won his wings as a Second Lieutenant in 1942, and became an instructor of Cadets and then pilots of B-24 and B-29 heavy bombers until the war ended.
He joined TWA as a co-pilot in February 1946, and after being based in Detroit for four years and Los Angeles for six years, he came to Kansas City. He married Jan Brown in 1954. They had two children, Shirley and Robert Carter II, and have four grandchildren, the family of Shirley and son-in-law Glen Posladek.
After succeeding Loren Laberth as Executive Director of the Kansas City Golf Association, Bob set up the offices in the Reid basement on Ensley Lane, not a spacious area. Soon, Nancy Sedorcak came on as Bob's assistant director. Jan Reid's mother was also a resident of the home as were Walter, the Siamese cat, and three dogs named Jack, Taylor and Happy. Loudly and vigorously greeting visitors, the otherwise loveable dogs barked up racket that routinely shattered any hope of peace and quiet.
At the heart of golf association operations is the Rules specialist, and that is where Bob shines. One major decision that tested his courage occurred when he was working the USGA's Senior Open at Ridgewood Country Club in Ridgewood, N.J. in 1990. During the third round, Jack Nicklaus and Lee Trevino were paired in the final group, and arrived at Bob's assigned hole, a par 5. Bob was near the green when Nicklaus hit his drive into the right tough to an embedded lie. Reid was without wheels and had to walk about 300 yards to the spot. The huge crowd parted to allow him to get through to look at the situation, just as he saw Nicklaus leaning over on tiptoes, stretching away from the point of the ball's landing place. Addressing Bob, Trevino announce that 'everything is already taken care of… we've handled it.'
Calmly, Bob said to Mr. Nicklaus, "I'm sorry, but that is not the correct drop." And he asked Jack to re-drop correctly. And Jack re-dropped. Bob was satisfied, and went back to the green area. Postscript: Lee Trevino won the championship and Bob had finished another good day at the office. Bob was a member of two clubs, Meadowbrook and Milburn. Mr. Reid passed away at age 95 on December 15, 2015. This one-of-a-kind gentleman has been a blessing to golf.
(Appreciation to Ken Krakauer for this contribution.)
Long-hitting Johnny Stevens, a former PGA Tourist, has won titles in three different states and claimed the intersectional Trans-Mississippi crown in a career that has spanned five decades.
He might still be winning championships except for a lower back problem that kept him off the golf course for more than a year.
Stevens is the most accomplished amateur golfer the state has ever produced. He is the only golfer ever to win the KGA's trifecta - the Junior, the Amateur and the Senior.
He won the KGA Senior Amateur title in 1993 in a memorable long-driving showdown at Wichita's Rolling Hills Country Club with Lou, the former New York Yankee and Boston Red Sox slugger.
Stevens wasted no time claiming crowns. He was only 16 when he won the Wichita match play tournament and the 1959 Texas State Junior. At age 17, he added the Kansas Junior, the Kansas Amateur and the Kansas Amateur stroke play titles.
He has won five Kansas state titles and five Wichita city championships. He also won the Missouri Valley Conference individual title in 1964 playing for Wichita State University. Four years later, Stevens tried his hand at the PGA Tour. He played in 1968 and 1969 and earned top10 finishes in the Buick and Canadian Opens. He was also ranked among the longest drivers on the Tour in 1968.
From tee to green, Stevens' numbers were as good as any player on Tour. His putting stroke kept him from becoming a consistent big winner. As he approached senior status, he tried every putting method known to man, sometimes carrying three different putters in his bag. Stevens regained his amateur status and established a business and quickly began winning again. He won the Wichita stroke-play title in 1982, then teamed up with Nick Onofrio of Wichita to begin the long-running "Slim-and-Arnie" show. The lanky Stevens was known a "Slim" and he called Onofrio "Arnie" for his mannerisms on the course, which resembled the great Arnold Palmer. Slim and Arnie captured four Wichita city fourball titles and the 1986 Trans-Mississippi fourball crown. When Stevens turned 50, he immediately won the 1993 Kansas Senior Amateur and in 1994 was the low amateur in the USGA Senior Open. That earned him back-to-back KGA Senior Golfer of the Year honors.
He capped it all off with a victory in the 1997 Trans-Miss. Not the senior. He beat everybody over 25 years old.
Stevens comes from a golfing family. It all started with Uncle Willie Lewis, the brother of Johnny's mother, Annie. Uncle Willie taught Annie the game, he then taught her husband Nick, a former Wichita State football player. Annie won a Wichita city title and two state senior crowns and Nick won one city and one state senior championship. Every member of the family got lessons from Uncle Willie, a pro at Wichita Country Club and later a pro at Patty Jewett public golf course in Colorado Springs, Palm Rivers Country Club in Naples, Fla., and Bay Hills in Orlando, Fla. Johnny's brother Jack won a state tournament and two city events and daughter Cathy won a record seven city titles, four states and one Big Eight Conference crown playing for Oklahoma University. She also coached the Wichita State golf team. And Johnny's son Charlie won a state junior and was medallist in the Kansas Amateur twice. The family owns 16 state championships. No other Kansas family comes close to that number. It could be a national record but there is no clearinghouse for that type of information.
Johnny was also heavily involved in real estate and golf course development. He joined George Ablah in developing Willowbend Golf Club in 1987 and at one time was partner in Hidden Lakes, a public course near Derby. Johnny Stevens has long been a driving force in Kansas golf, as a player and a golf course developer. Before his back problems, he always made time to participate in local and state events. He has begun playing again but has not been able to work hard at his game. If his health improves, he could once again begin to add to his impressive list of championships or at least make the winners work harder for their victories.
(Appreciation to Mal Elliott for this contribution)