Inductees Bontemps starred in every level of basketball and his teams were always champion ones which looked to him as their leader.
He first gained attention as the key member of the legendary Taylorville High School team of 1944 which compiled a remarkable 45-0 record in racing to the Illinois State Title. He achieved similar success at Beloit College and gave the small Wisconsin school a national reputation in basketball.
A versatile athlete who was an excellent shooter, an accurate passer and a solid rebounder, Bontemps controlled all facets of the game and often dominated a game from start to finish. But perhaps his greatest strength was his ability to inspire and motivate his teammates and thus serve as a "coach" on the floor.
Bontemps also was one of the greatest players in Caterpillar's illustrious basketball history, having paced three of Cat's National AAU teams. He also was a key member of the 1952 Olympic basketball team which won the coveted Gold Medal with a stunning victory over Russia in the title game.
Bontemps starred in every level of basketball and his teams were always champion ones which looked to him as their leader.
With an amazing career of 36 years, few Central Illinois football coaches were better known and more successful than George Taylor. Taylor spent 27 years as a football coach in Chillicothe, where for many years he also coached the baseball, basketball, and track teams. When he retired from coaching in 1972, his football record at Chillicothe was 162-79-11 with 12 conference championships and three undefeated seasons. His two sons, Ron and Tim, played quarterback for him, throwing for a combined 94 touchdowns. Ron went on to quarterback several University of Missouri bowl game teams, and Tim is now a successful television actor known as Josh Taylor.