Excelsior Springs Athletes Shine at William Jewell College’s Hall of Fame Induction

Coach Vic Bonuchi and Rodney Keuck at the William Jewell College Athletic Hall of Fame Induction. Photo submitted by Terri Godsey.
Coach Vic Bonuchi and Rodney Keuck at the William Jewell College Athletic Hall of Fame Induction. Photo submitted by Terri Godsey.

September 28, 2023 marked a splendid occasion at William Jewell College as it welcomed new members into its Athletic Hall of Fame. Two standout athletes from Excelsior Springs, Vic Bonuchi and Rodney Keuck, were amongst the talented inductees celebrated at the ceremony held at Yates-Gill College Union. Inductees are selected by a Hall of Fame Committee, which implements a rigorous selection process that demands a minimum 10-year waiting period and a two-thirds majority vote.

Terri Godsey, who chairs the Hall of Fame committee, shared her enthusiasm about the dual recognition. “The cool thing was Rodney played for Coach Bonuchi at ESHS, so it was a great night for all and quite a story for Excelsior Springs,” remarked Godsey. The evening unfolded as a memorable experience for all.

Vic Bonuchi, Class of ’57

Bonuci was a three-sport athlete for the Cardinals from 1953-57 before returning to The Hill as a coach. On the football field, he led the Cardinals to a 26-9-2 record with conference championships in 1953 and 1956. In men’s wrestling he served as a student-coach, going 11-3 over two seasons. Additionally, he earned four varsity letters in baseball. He returned to his alma mater in 1973 as the defensive coordinator under head coach Jim Nelson before going back to the high school level where he went on to become a Hall of Fame coach in football and wrestling, going 137-44-7 on the gridiron, winning state titles in 1994 and 1996 along with 1974 and 1975 state wrestling championships. For his work as a high school coach, has also been inducted into the Missouri Football Coaches Association, Missouri High School Wrestling Coaches Association, Greater Kansas City Football Coaches Association, Excelsior Springs High School, and Missouri Sports Halls of Fame.

Rodney Keuck, Class of ’98

The best punter in program history, Keuck suited up for the Cardinals from 1994-97, playing under head coaches Sam Brown and Jeff Floyd. He holds four of the top-six spots on the all-time single season punting yards list, holding all four at the time of his graduation and is the all-time leader with a 10,849 career punting yards for an average of 41.9 per punt. He was a four-time All-Conference honoree and two-time All-American, including earning First Team honors as a senior in 1997, one of eight players in program history to do so. Keuck majored in social studies at Jewell and completed his degree in 2001 at Northwest Missouri State, followed by a master’s in 2006. Today, he is a teacher in the Independence School District (Mo.) and the proud father of two children.

To explore more stories and information on the William Jewell Athletic Hall of Fame, you may visit their official website.

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