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Winter 2006 • Volume 12, Issue 1


Stowell’s greatest contributions

Coach StowellThank you so much for the recent feature story on a true Bradley icon, Joe Stowell ’50 MA ’56. Limited space and passage of time prevented coverage of perhaps Coach Stowell’s greatest contributions to Bradley basketball—the nine years before he became head coach. With freshman ineligible to play varsity sports, Coach Stowell served as freshman coach, assistant varsity coach, and primary recruiter during a sustained period of excellence. When a loss in Peoria was barely more common than an eclipse, Bradley won 3 NIT titles (’57, ’60, ’64) and beat Oscar Robertson’s powerhouse Cincinnati teams three times and both of Cincy’s national championship squads. Bradley’s NIT champs were a combined 73-15, with the 1960s team going 27-2 and rising as high as #2 in the national rankings. As for “Stowell Stats,” his record as freshman coach was a remarkable 120-15.

He was always so nice to me when I attended the games as a young schoolboy and approached him before, during, and after his regular post-game radio show with Tom Kelly or Bob Starr on WMBD. No question to Coach Stowell ever went unanswered. He treated me like a son.

Greg Florey ’69, Montgomery, AL

I just wanted to send a couple of comments regarding the article on Joe Stowell ’50 MA ’56 in the Fall ’05 issue. As a big basketball fan, I listened to many BU games on the radio as a senior in high school after I had been accepted to Bradley. Going forward to my first semester freshman year classes, we all had to take two semesters of PE classes. Imagine my surprise when my badminton and table tennis class instructor turned out to be Joe Stowell, who I think probably beat everyone he played in a class. Can you imagine a Division I NCAA coach nowadays teaching and participating in class like that?

When I was a junior and a resident advisor, my assistant resident advisor was Joe Stowell Jr. ’76. On several occasions we went over to Joe’s parents’ house on Sunday night for a home-cooked meal. I don’t remember what we had, but the warm home atmosphere of the Stowells was great.

Thanks for the memories.

Richard Kolar ’74, Naperville, IL

I just received the Bradley Hilltopics Fall 2005 issue. I can’t remember ever spending so much time reading the articles. I loved “From the court to the air” mostly because I remember having the coach as my PE teacher in the fall of ’67, and watching Bradley basketball with Coach Stowell for my four years in Peoria. The coach and the team would come over to the Tau Epsilon Phi house for dinner on Tuesday (steak night).

The cover story, “Milkshakes and Study Breaks” was a hoot. I remember those places like yesterday. Back in the ’80s, the South Florida Alumni Chapter held an Avanti’s Night and served gondolas on Avanti’s famous bread that was FedEx’ed in for the event.

The only place missing was Davis Bros. Pizza.

Your Hilltopics was very cool.

Steve Goldman ’71, Pembroke Pines, FL

Overseas appreciation of emeriti

I’m a student at Bradley currently away in Iraq. I thought that interviewing the faculty was a pretty sweet idea [Summer 2005]. I enjoyed their responses to questions regarding students, the University, and some general social changes. I figured I would let you know that I appreciated it. Someone or group put a lot of effort into doing it.

Don Lazarz ’06

Pi O K’s members identified

Pi O K's imageOn page 22 of the Spring 2005 issue, you had a picture of Pi Omicron Kappa fraternity members. My father, Holt Thomas, is in the first row of three boys. Dad is on the right. He did not attend Bradley, but like a few others, was invited to belong to this local fraternity. I have an original of the same picture. When I attended Bradley (1949-1953), my mother, Hazel Brown Thomas, class of 1909, got the picture out and would tell me about these great fellows and all the wonderful parties they had.
I can identify three others in the picture. The very handsome fellow on the far left end is Dick Whiting. He wrote popular music of the day, and his daughter is Margaret Whiting, a popular singer with well-known bands in the late 1930s-1940s.
Next to Dick is Charles Benford, my parents’ best friend. He and his wife Mildred moved to Lakeland, Florida, during the Depression. Charles opened a ladies’ shoe store called Benford’s Bootery. It was THE place to get shoes, even when I lived in that area in the ’50s and ’60s. Behind Charles Benford in the next row, left end, is his brother, Fred. Fred also went to Lakeland and opened a lovely bookstore.

I wish my mother were here to name all the Pi O K’s for you and give you their histories.

Martha Thomas Casselberry ’53, Pompano Beach, FL

Coach Stone football card imageBU football and Coach Stone

Enjoyed the article on Bradley football [Winter 2005]. I remember Coach Billy Stone as one of my instructors in 1957. Always enjoyed! In fact, I kept the football card I collected as a young boy. Go Braves!

Jerry Ennis ’61, Chesterfield, MO






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