Allen named to MVC Hall of Fame
By Abby Wilson ’10
Inside the Burklund Family Heritage Hall in the Renaissance Coliseum hangs a basketball jersey with “31” on the back, one of only seven retired numbers in Bradley basketball history. The jersey was worn by JOE ALLEN ’72.
Allen was inducted posthumously into the Missouri Valley Conference Hall of Fame on March 4 during Arch Madness.
Allen is Bradley’s sixth all-time leading scorer (1,763) and rebounder (865) and the fifth top scorer among three-year players in the MVC. He was named to the All-MVC second team in 1966 and to the All-MVC first team in 1967 and 1968. He was also named both MVP and a Helms Foundation All-American in 1967 and 1968 and was the 1968 national statistics leader with a .655 field goal percentage. With a .602 career field goal percentage, Allen still holds Bradley’s record. He averaged 22.2 points and 10.9 rebounds per game during his career.
Allen’s record is impressive, especially since he had only one healthy leg. A staph infection after knee surgery his freshman year almost took his left leg. For the rest of his career, Allen wore a brace. The rigid apparatus was custom made of cloth and steel hinges and covered his leg from mid-thigh to mid-calf, limiting his agility on the court.
Visit bradley.edu/hilltopics/go/allen to watch a recent news story on Allen’s career.
The leading scorer during the 1968 U.S. Olympic team trials, Allen didn’t make the team because his brace didn’t allow him to play at the speed that coach Henry Iba desired. Allen went on to play professional basketball in Europe and was named MVP of the Italian Professional League three times, which earned him a private audience with Pope John Paul II. He returned to Bradley to complete his degree in physical education in 1972, then worked until 1977 as an assistant coach for JOE STOWELL ’50 MA ’56.
Allen later worked at the Youth Farm in Peoria helping troubled children. He was manager of Peoria School District 150’s first charter school in 1997 when he suffered a fatal heart attack at age 51.
Bradley’s club hockey team won its first Mid-American Collegiate Hockey Association (MACHA) Silver Dollar Championship on February 20 in Peoria. It was the sixth championship in the club’s 44-year history.
Dewey Kalmer, MARY ELLEN HILL SCHUPBACH ’00 and PAUL HERZOG ’74 were inducted into the 2011 Bradley Athletics Hall of Fame on February 12. Kalmer, baseball coach from 1980 to 2008, owns more wins (842) than any coach in Bradley athletics history. Schupbach, a four-time All-American and 10-time Valley individual champion in cross country and track, led the cross country team to the first conference title (1998) for any women’s sport in school history. Herzog has volunteered as the basketball public address announcer for 35 years and has participated in 510 Braves home games. Photo by Bob Hunt.