George Chianakas, better known as "Mike," was unarguably the greatest athlete to ever come out of the town of Eureka, Illinois. No one else ever won 16 athletic letters at Eureka High. No one else ever ran back 13 interceptions for touchdowns in one football season. In his senior year, Mike won a gold medal at the 1943 IHSA track meet by winning the discus throw.
After a hitch in the U.S. Navy during WWII, he nearly went to the University of Illinois before deciding on Bradley. He didn't do nearly as well at Bradley where he was able to win a mere 10 athletic letters - 4 in track, 4 in basketball and 2 in football. It seems that the track coach would not let him play baseball during the track season.
Mike will always be remembered for his part in bringing Bradley into the World of Major College Sports during that magical time after the war. Mike obtained his degree and spent the remainder of his adult life working with youths through the YMCA movement in Peoria, Canton and Freeport. He also spent a year working with youths in Greece as a Fulbright Recipient.