Dale McNamara, Melissa McNamara Luella, Kenny Monday Honored at 25th Iba Awards
IBA CITIZEN ATHLETE CELEBRITIES: Honored celebrities at this years Henry P. Iba Citizen Athlete Awards event are, from left, Melissa McNamara Luellen, Kenny Monday, Dale McNamara and Doug Gottlieb.
GTR Newspapers photo
This year’s Iba Awards was another success as former University of Tulsa golf coach Dale McNamara, her daughter and former TU golfer Melissa McNamara Luellen, and former Oklahoma State University wrestler Kenny Monday were honored. The Keynote Speaker was Doug Gottlieb, Fox Sports Radio and former basketball player. Dave Hunziker, the “Voice of the Cowboys” on the Oklahoma State Cowboy Radio Network, served as the master of ceremonies. The event was held the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in June.
The Iba Awards were created in 1994 by the Rotary Club of Tulsa to recognize an influential male and a female premier athlete for their success in their sport, and more importantly, for being positive role models who give back to their communities – not only by donating to worthy causes but by being personally dedicated and involved in their chosen charities.
The awards are named after Henry P. Iba, former Oklahoma State University basketball coach and coach of three U.S. Olympic basketball teams. He was an unparalleled success as a coach, leader and citizen, and these awards recognize and honor athletes who best exemplify a high degree of citizenship in his image.
Dale McNamara and her daughter Melissa McNamara Luellen are the first female recipients of the Henry P. Iba Citizen Athlete Award. Dale McNamara was an overwhelmingly successful gold coach at TU, leading the team to a national championship. Her daughter Melissa was a great golfer at TU and went on to play professionally. She is now the head golf coach at Auburn.
Kenny Monday is a native Tulsan who started his successful wrestling career at age 6 at the local where wrestling became his passion. Monday won four State titles and went undefeated in high school with an amazing record of 140-0. In his collegiate career at Oklahoma State, he was a three-time finalist, who took top-prize in 1984 as the National Champion.
He was a three-time Olympian and two-time Olympic medalist, earning gold in 1988 in Seoul, South Korea, and silver in 1992 in Barcelona, Spain. He won the World championship in 1989 and finished with World silver in 1991. In 1988, he won gold at the Tbilisi Tournament, which was considered the toughest in the world at the time.