Two Huntington University legends. Two named facilities. With a combined 36 conference championships, more than 20 team national championship appearances and 76 All-America student-athletes, Steve Platt (1974) and Tom King (1974) have left their marks on Huntington athletics.
This year, those marks became permanent. On Oct. 6, the track was named King Track and Field Stadium. One month later, the Merillat Complex gymnasium was named Platt Arena.
Over the summer, the university resurfaced the track and made other stadium improvements. As part of the Homecoming festivities, a ceremony was held to formally name the facility in honor of the longtime track and cross country coach.
King first came to Huntington in 1970 as the dean of men and shortly after launched his Forester coaching career in track and cross country.
Over the last four decades, he has coached more than 94 All-America Scholar Athletes and his athletes have earned more than 53 All-America honors, including four-time national shot put champion Jim Arnett (1998), two-time national 10,000 meters and marathon champion John Ngure (2003) and national runners-up Danielle Vohs (2002, 1,000 meters) and Jenny Keil (1998, 600 meters).
In the early 1990s, King led his women’s track program to four consecutive national championships in the National Christian College Athletic Association. Eleven of his cross country teams have earned berths to the NAIA National Championships with his 1999 men’s cross country team finishing sixth in the nation and the women’s team finishing 15th nationally that same year.
“It’s been a privilege during my time here at HU to count Coach King as a mentor, a role model, a colleague and a friend,” said Athletic Director Lori Culler (1986). “What a fitting way to honor such a faithful servant.”
Later this fall, another Huntington sports legend was honored for his service to the men’s basketball program.
On Nov. 10, before the championship game of the Ness Bros./Hall of Fame Tournament, a service was held to officially name the Merillat Complex gymnasium Platt Arena.
"I am very humbled by such an honor,” Platt said. “It certainly must be shared with my coaches, teammates and HU players. This is just one more example of how God has blessed me through Huntington University."
During his college basketball career, Platt helped the Foresters achieve an overall record of 77-35. He still holds several school records including most points in a game with 57 and most rebounds in a game with 33. For his career, he averaged 33.2 points per contest and remains Indiana’s all-time collegiate leader in scoring with a career total of 3,700 points.
During his 14-year tenure as head coach, he compiled 329 wins against 143 losses for a .697 winning percentage, the highest in school history. His players earned 23 All-America honors, including an NAIA National Player of the Year, 42 All-Conference honors, and on eight occasions under his direction, a Forester was named Conference Player of the Year.
He guided the Foresters to 10 conference championships, two NAIA final four appearances, including a national runner-up finish in 2006, and seven national tournament appearances during his last nine years at the helm.
Platt was recognized by Fort Wayne’s News-Sentinel as one of Northeast Indiana’s Top 50 Athletes of the Century and was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 1996 and the NAIA Basketball Hall of Fame in 1987.
“This is a fitting honor for someone, who as a basketball player, helped put Huntington College on the map with his athletic achievements, and as a coach, took our men’s basketball program to unprecedented heights during his tenure,” Culler said. “We are grateful for all he has done as an ambassador for Huntington University.”