Inductees Orville Nothdurft officiated high school and college basketball and football games for 50 years - or was it really longer than that?
"Actually I started my officiating career as a student at Chillicothe High School," he explains, "when I umpired some softball games at the grade school."
He started his official striped shirt career in 1935 and when he finally put aside his whistle in 1985 he had worked at least 5,000 high school and small college games.
It all started at Princeville in November of 1935 when he worked his first high school game for $1.00. Many times, in those early days, he worked alone for $5.00, this in the days when a center jump followed each basket. He worked football playoff games, and IHSA Basketball Tournaments for 38 years, being selected five times for the Sweet Sixteen. Nothdurft made a major impact in the Missouri Valley Conference. He was Bradley's faculty representative to the conference for many seasons and served as president of the conference. He was a voting representative to the NCAA and a member of the eligibility committee.
Orville was in education for 43 years - Woodruff High School teacher, Principal at Chillicothe, Director of Admissions at Illinois Wesleyan, and Dean of Admissions for 25 years at Bradley University, being a Past President and co-founder of the National Association of College Admissions.
He has served as President of the Peoria Officials Association, is a charter member of the Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame committee, and a member of both the Bradley Sports Hall of Fame and the Illinois Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame.
A quiet, affable person, his volunteer community activities include B'Nai Brith, Arthritis Foundation, Salvation Army, Goodwill, Bradley "B" Club, United Methodist Church Board, and 50 years with Camp Highlands for Boys in Northern Wisconsin. A Bradley University graduate, he played varsity tennis at the school, and is still active in the sport.
Orville Nothdurft officiated high school and college basketball and football games for 50 years - or was it really longer than that?
Tom Coker coached tennis at Bradley University for 27 years after compiling an outstanding record as a tennis star in his undergraduate days at Bradley.