GAME DAY MAGIC
Beginning in the early 1960s, GLEN McCULLOUGH ’50 MA ’56 volunteered to manage game day activities with a mission to save his university some money. Above, he works at a Bradley volleyball game.
It began innocently enough when GLEN McCULLOUGH ’50 MA ’56 and the late ALLEN UPTON ’48 MA ’49 attended a Bradley basketball game together in 1959. McCullough noticed two young men keeping stats and another typing.
“Somehow we got around to the conversation that these young men were getting paid to keep stats,” McCullough said. “We can’t afford that, I told someone. I can get it done for nothing.”
McCullough proceeded to find two volunteers who could type and one to keep the stats. From the simple philosophy of saving his alma mater some money, McCullough evolved into the consummate Bradley volunteer and director of Bradley’s game management crew for more than 40 years. The Bradley University Alumni Association recognized his outstanding commitment and service by naming him the 2008 Lydia Moss Bradley Award winner on Founder’s Day.
McCullough, who was a manager for nationally ranked Bradley basketball teams during his student days (see photo below), has become a modern-day icon in basketball and volleyball at Bradley. His crew’s behind-the-scenes work includes everything from preparing the locker rooms and greeting the visiting coaches to protecting the officials and serving the media, plus a list of additional duties essential to the success of the athletic events. McCullough estimates he and his crew volunteer for approximately 50 events each year, totaling at least 250 hours. The 1999 recipient of the Missouri Valley Conference Award of Merit and his crew have done such an outstanding job of game management for Bradley University that they now manage MVC, NCAA, and the Illinois State High School Association basketball tournaments — as volunteers.
Ironically, the Bradley Athletics Hall of Famer claims he is not a sports fanatic; he is motivated, instead, by his penchant for taking on the challenge of organizing people and making things happen. He touts the fact that his communications crew could develop final stat sheets at halftime and at the end of games within five minutes.
“We were the talk of the Missouri Valley, and I did nothing more than organize the crew. They did all the work, and they were good at it.” Of course, it didn’t hurt that the retired Caterpillar administrator knew how to “network” before the term became part of popular vernacular. McCullough has had remarkable success persuading friends to donate office machinery to expedite the stats process — and to volunteer time.
His family joined in his volunteer efforts, as well. Their home near campus provided ideal parking for friends and a convenient place to party after every home game for 43 years. In years past, Joan, his wife of 52 years, his son Christopher, and daughter Laura Heiden took turns running stats and supporting his mission of saving the university money. Heiden now travels from California to work the press gate at the MVC tournament in St. Louis.
McCullough’s current crew includes Ron Anthony, Tom Chambers, MIKE CONNORS ’83, Gloria Meyer, JULIE SUTTER NELSON ’80, Keith and Carole Rassi, Dan Ricks, CURT WARDELMAN ’77, JIM WOLFE ’74 MS ’89, Wes Foster, and Andy Loyd, who started with McCullough in the mid ’70s when he was in high school.
One of his favorite fundraising memories once again involved Allen Upton. They set up a booth to benefit the Alumni Association and took orders for Bradley rocking chairs and captain chairs. McCullough diligently lugged the rocking chair from his home on the corner of Glenwood and Columbia Terrace to the Field House for every home game. “We sold all of them and made quite a profit,” he said.
A long-time member of the Alumni “B” Club, McCullough prefers to watch the Braves on a TV in a back room of the Civic Center — his “office.” He is constantly attached to his radio and is available to answer questions, provide hospitality, and ensure there is no confusion behind the scenes — his favorite place to be.