Kansas football and basketball alum Ray Evans had a legendary career as a two-sport star for the Jayhawks in the ’40s.
Very few athletes have what it takes to play multiple sports at the collegiate level. Incoming Jayhawk Keon Coleman is one example, but the cases are few and far between. One past Jayhawk, Ray Evans, not only played both football and basketball at Kansas but was an All-American in both.
Evans was a Kansas native, attending and graduating from Wyandotte High School in Kansas City, Kansas. He joined the Jayhawks in the early ’40s before joining the US military and fighting in World War II. Evans returned to Lawrence for the 1946 and 1947 seasons after the war.
Evans has quite a few records at Kansas, including the career interception record which stands at 17. Aqib Talib is No. 2 with just 13 interceptions. Evans is also the only Jayhawk to have his number retired in two sports at Kansas.
All in all, Evans amassed quite the list of accomplishments during his time as a Kansas Jayhawk:
- 2x Big Six Champion
- 1947 Orange Bowl runner up
- 2x All-American
- College Football Hall of Fame inductee
- Jersey retired
- 3x Big Six champion
- 1x All-American
- Jersey retired
After his Kansas football and basketball days were over, Evans was drafted by the New York Knicks in the second round as well as the Pittsburgh Steelers with the ninth overall pick.
As a multi-sport star at Kansas, Ray Evans is easily one of the greatest Jayhawks of all time. He had two incredible careers, and the fact that his jersey is retired in both sports is very special. He has since been inducted to both the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame as well as the College Football Hall of Fame, cementing his legacy.