Inductees Retired Journal Star sports editor Paul King joins in the Hall of Fame two of the men under whom he worked during a 46-year newspaper career, Fred Tuerk and Kenny Jones.
A graduate of Manual High School and Bradley University, King was 17 years old and still a high school senior when he covered his first game in the fall of 1946. He would be named assistant sports editor in 1957 and was promoted to sports editor in 1966, a position he held until retiring in March of 1991.
"Through the cooperation of our managing editors," said King, who enjoyed writing about all athletic events, with special emphasis on football and motor sports, "we changed our coverage focus - adding the Bears, Notre Dame, University of Illinois basketball, Illini football road games and spring training coverage of the Cardinals, Cubs, and White Sox."
Among King's favored memories in sports are the 1964 Rose Bowl, where coach Pete Elliott took the Illini after a 2-7 record the previous year, and the 1983 University of Illinois team that defeated every other school in the Big Ten Conference, the first and probably last football team to do so.
Already a member of the Bradley and Illinois High School Basketball Coaches Association Halls of Fame, King enjoyed covering football "because of the pageantry and color, even during losing seasons" and motorsports because of the combination of danger and speed.
Retired Journal Star sports editor Paul King joins in the Hall of Fame two of the men under whom he worked during a 46-year newspaper career, Fred Tuerk and Kenny Jones.
After a successful early career coaching elementary school athletics in the Champaign-Urbana area, Merv entered the Peoria athletic scene in 1962 as football coach at Spalding High School. His first three teams had a combined 24-2-1 record. His 1965 squad went 9-0-1, and in 1967 he was 10-0 followed by an 8-1 year in 1968. His last five Irish teams, 1972-1976, went 35-11-3.