Inductees He did just about everything for Bradley University during a stay on the hilltop that covered almost a half-century.
John "Dutch" Meinen was football stalwart, assistant football coach, assistant basketball coach, jack of all trades in the athletic department, and, finally, athletic director.
Born in Pekin, Meinen first played football for Bradley in 1919 when the forward pass was almost unknown. He was a big, tough lineman who played in the trenches for the Braves for three years.
In 1920, his junior year, a young coach named A. J. Robertson came to Bradley to coach football, basketball and baseball and the two became synonymous with BU athletics.
Meinen captained the 1921 football team and by 1926 was Robbie's right arm in both football and basketball. When Bradley was entering the basketball big time with the advent of the Famous Five in 1936-37 and through the first two National Invitational tournaments and for many years after, Meinen was at Robertson's side through all the amazing wins of that era.
Meinen was named athletic director in 1956 and was in charge of the athletic department during Bradley's three NIT championships during Chuck Orsborn's basketball reign.
Upon his retirement in 1965 he held the rank of Professor of Physical Education Emeritus. In 1969, Bradley's new baseball field was named in his honor. He died in 1971.
He did just about everything for Bradley University during a stay on the hilltop that covered almost a half-century.
In January of 1994, Steve Kouri led a small group of civic minded citizens in seeking to persuade the IHSA to move its Boys State Basketball Finals to Peoria after it had been held in Champaign for 77 years. Few thought the goal possible, but Steve kept the focus sharp in months of quiet discussion with IHSA officials.