John Kesler (2012)

2012 Inductee

Mr. John A. Kesler II and his wife, Diana, have been married for 32 years. They have three children. Trey resides near Seattle, Washington with his wife Robbie and their son, Jack. Ashley teaches 2nd grade at Farrington Grove and is married to Greg Luken. They have two children: Ellie (4) and Trip (2). John and Diana’s youngest child, Madison, is a freshman at Indiana University. Madison was an Indiana High School three- time State Finalist in girls’ tennis for Terre Haute South.
John began the practice of law in 1979 and is in his 34th year as a practicing attorney. He graduated from West Vigo High School in 1972 and then went on to Butler University on an athletic scholarship. John graduated from Butler in ‘76 with a Business Administration degree and graduated law school at Ohio Northern University Pettit College of Law ‘79.
John earned nine varsity letters while at West Vigo: three in cross country, three in basketball, and three in track and field. In his senior season, he was voted the Most Valuable Runner in cross-country, the co-MVP in basketball, and the Most Outstanding Performer on the track team. In cross country, John set the school record. In track and field, he set the school record in the one-mile run. In track and field, he was a three-time Vigo County Champion, winning the County Championship in the two-mile run as a sophomore and the one mile run as a junior and senior.
At Butler University, he earned eight varsity letters: four in cross country and four in track and field. In 1975, he was Butler University’s Most Valuable Runner in cross country. In 1975 and 1976, he was Most Valuable Runner in track and field. He was the winner of the prestigious Andy Williams Award in 1976, being selected as Butler University’s Most Outstanding Senior Athlete. While at Butler, he set the school record in the two -mile run, the three-mile run, the 5000m run, and the 3,000m steeple chase. He also set the Indiana Small College State Record in the 3,000m steeple chase and the 5,000m run. He was a four- time Small College State Champion in track and field and was the Small College State runner up in cross country. Most importantly, as a senior at Butler, John qualified for and participated in the NCAA Division 1 National Championships held in 1976, during our country’s Bicentennial at historic Franklin Field at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. In 2002, he was inducted into the Butler University Athletic Hall of Fame. Upon graduating from law school, he played men’s fast pitch softball and was fortunate enough to compete in two men’s Class A National Championships. Later, he was elected to the Terre Haute Softball Hall of Fame.
His fondest memory of high school athletics is the fall of 1970 when the cross country team won the first-ever Sectional Championship in the history of West Vigo High School. John recalls, “We were undefeated in dual meet competition and won the Wabash Valley Championship and the Sectional Championship, advancing to the Regional.” As a sophomore at Butler, his cross country team was undefeated in dual-meet competition and won the Indiana Collegiate Conference Championships and the Small College State Championship. That same year in track and field, they were also undefeated and won both the Indiana Collegiate Conference Championships and the Small College State Championship. Between May 1972 and October 1979, he competed in 15 full marathons. In 1977, he ran in the first-ever Indianapolis Mini -Marathon finishing 3rd place behind Olympic Gold Medalist Frank Shorter and Indiana AAU Champion Bill Gavagan.