Former Carthage, Mo., resident Gary Ainsworth has been inducted into the William Jewell College Athletic Hall of Fame, class of 2020. Gary is the son of Jim and Marilyn Ainsworth who were long time residents of Carthage.
Ainsworth was a key member of some of the greatest football teams in Jewell history in the early 1980s. Gary was a four-year defensive starter, two-years a Defensive Captain, a three-time HAAC All-Conference selection, a three-time All-District 16 selection, a two time NAIA All-American and was also named an Associated Press Little All-America his senior year.
Over his final two seasons alone, he posted 246 tackles, 18 tackles-for-loss, three interceptions, and 10 pass breakups as the Cardinals went 21-2-1 with their only losses coming in back-to-back national championship semifinals.
Ainsworth’s 136 tackles in 1980 are sixth all-time in a single season at Jewell while his 110 takedowns the following year is tied for 16th. He led the Cardinals through some of the best years in program history, going 36-7-1 during his career with three conference championships, two undefeated regular seasons, one bowl game and two NAIA National Semifinal appearances where he was twice named defensive player of the game.
The 26th class of honorees will be officially inducted on Friday, Sept. 18, 2020.