Inductees Bob Smith, a graduate of Peoria Central and Bradley, had one of the most successful and varied football coaching careers in local history.
Starting at East Peoria High School in 1970, his teams went 18-12 for three years and he was named the 1972 Coach of the Year by his fellow Greater Peoria coaches.
Switching to Peoria Manual, he posted a 44-9 record for five seasons (1973-1977), his 1975, 1976 and 1977 teams going unbeaten before losing in the state playoffs. In 1976 he was named a national coach of the year by Who’s Who.
He was an assistant coach at Illinois between 1978 and 1983 for Mike White, and in 1988 for John Mackovic. He coached in the 1982 Liberty Bowl, the 1983 Rose Bowl and the 1989 All-American Bowl.
He was head coach at Southeast Missouri State in the 1984-87 seasons, going 21-19. His 1987 team won the Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association Conference and he was named the conference’s Coach of the Year.
Smith was head coach at Southern Illinois between 1989 and 1994, going 19-32. His 1991 team was named the most improved team in the nation in Division 1-AA.
His overall coaching record is 102-72.
Bob Smith, a graduate of Peoria Central and Bradley, had one of the most successful and varied football coaching careers in local history.
A 1974 Bradley University graduate and longtime financial consultant for MassMutual Financial Group, Paul Herzog has served as the public address "Voice of the Braves" for nearly 600 Bradley men's basketball games for the past 39 seasons, including every game the Braves have played at Carver Arena and Renaissance Coliseum. In addition to his volunteer service for Bradley, Herzog has served as the volunteer public address announcer for every game the Peoria Civic Center has hosted in the IHSA Boys Basketball State Tournament during its 20-year run in the River City.
While "PA" Paul is well-known for his role with Bradley Basketball and the IHSA, his community service extends far beyond Carver Arena. A Braves Club Board of Directors member for 20 years and a past president (1992-94) of the organization, Herzog also served as president of the Central Illinois Bradley Alumni Chapter (1983-85) and the Bradley University National Alumni Association (1990-91). He also has began emceeing the IHSA State Cross Country Championships awards ceremony in 1996.
Closer to his home in Germantown Hills, Herzog has coached in youth baseball and basketball house leagues and from 2006-13 he was a member of the Germantown Hills Athletic Association Board of Directors. He served as a committe co-chair in the effort to acquire land for the expansion of youth sports in Germantown Hills, which led to the addition of 20 acres to school district property. Herzog also brought a little of the Bradley Basketball experience to the Germantown Hills Grade School Boys Basketball program by serving as the public address announcer from 2008-12.
Herzog is the recipient of numerous service awards, including the Bradley Varsity Club Billy Stone Service Award, the Bradley University Lydia Moss Bradley Award, the IHSA March Madness Volunteer of the Year and the IHSA Distinguished Service Award. He was inducted into the Bradley Athletics Hall of Fame in 2011.