Inductees Honored as one of the all time greatest coaches in collegiate sports, Alfred James "A.J." Robertson will probably be more remembered for his wonderful humanitarian contributions toward the youth of America.
The athletic director at Bradley for 28 years, "Robbie" was probably the finest three-sport coach in America during his tenure on the Hilltop. While he guided the football team to 26 straight wins in the mid 1920s, he also began building a basketball powerhouse which blasted onto the national scene in the early 1930's. His Braves made appearances in the first two National Invitation Tournaments, finishing third in 1939 in New York City. And while this was being accomplished, his baseball squads remained one of the finest in the Midwest. Robertson Memorial Fieldhouse, Bradley's former home court venue was named in his honor.
The all-time winningest basketball coach at Bradley, he ran up a 316-186 (.629) record in 26 years of hardcourt coaching. He is a member of the Bradley Hall of Fame, the Montana Sports Hall of Fame, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Helms Hall of Fame for both football and basketball.
But a list of his accomplishments could go on forever. It's his contributions to society and coaching that people still talk about, for "Robbie" will always be remembered first as a great teacher of youth. The Bradley Robertson Memorial Field House is named in his honor.
Honored as one of the all time greatest coaches in collegiate sports, Alfred James "A.J." Robertson will probably be more remembered for his wonderful humanitarian contributions toward the youth of America.
|Dawdy Hawkins |
"Dawdy" Hawkins, one of the most successful high school basketball coaches in the nation, directed his teams to state titles in two different states. His Lincoln Northeast High School team won a Nebraska state prep crown in 1948, just before he left to take over at Peoria Central. He quickly forged a powerhouse at Central, his 1952-53 team, led by brilliant center Hiles Stout, making it to the championship game of the Illinois state finals at the University of Illinois' old Huff Gym before bowing to LaGrange, 71-60. Hawkins took three other Peoria Central teams to the state tournament (1954, 56, 59) and then, switching to Pekin, had five other state appearances (1964, 65, 66, 67, 73), including state championship teams in 1964 and 1967.