I didn't know Bill Stearman, but lord knows I praised him enough and cussed him a little too during my own personal basketball "sickness" from the years 1962-1970. I recall passing Bill in the hallways of Columbus High School and saying hi to him, Bill always nodding with that trademark, friendly smile and saying hi back, or watching him on the court when the Bulldogs played their home games during my high school years. I have many fond memories of watching the Bulldogs in action. One of the most exciting years was 1964, when the Bulldogs went to state. None of the games were televised during that 1963-64 season, but the family would gather around the radio (tuned to WCSI) and listen to our favorite team with Sam Simmermaker doing the announcing. It was my custom, back then, to build a backboard out of a piece of cardboard, glue a "hoop" made out of paper to it, make just the right size "basketball" from a wadded up piece of paper, and shoot hoops during the game. Taking into account the Bulldogs winning streak that season, I think my parents got more enjoyment watching me at times than listening to some of the games. I watched the 1964 Bulldogs go to state on Channel 4, along with all the other Columbus residents that weren't lucky enough to go to the game, and Sam Simmermaker announcing the play by play. That game was one of the most exciting games I do believe I've ever seen. I felt like the entire world had come down crashing around me when the Bulldogs lost to Huntington, along with all the Columbusites that watched or attended the game, and accompanied my parents downtown to see that great team ride through town as our way of saluting their remarkable accomplishments.
Out of all the times I saw Bill on the streets, in the supermarket, or standing in line while I waited for Lucas Brothers to finish up my order, I never went over to him and introduced myself. I never thanked him for all those wonderful moments. Now, I'll never have that chance again...Thanks Bill...
The 1943 Columbus Bulldogs
The 1941 Columbus Bulldogs
The 1942 Columbus Bulldogs
Bill Stearman, Raymond Scott, Max Andress, 1952/53 season
March madness strikes loudly and passionately in Columbus 1963/64
The 1964 Columbus High School Bulldogs
This photo and caption from the 1966 CHS yearbook seems to say it all today, as well as back then...
Bill Stearman's senior photo, 1943
Bill's basketball photo, 1943
Bill, 1952-53, when he became coach of the Columbus Bulldogs
*taken from the Republic, 9/24/2003
2/24/24 born to Charles and Bertha Stearman, 719 Brown St.
12/39 a promising freshman, dressed for the varsity for the first time and plays nearly two quarters against Franklin. He did not get a shot.
1943 graduated from CHS after being president of the junior and senior classes, elected most outstanding senior boy, letter winner in basketball, football and softball.
6/23/43 entered the Army serving with the 3rd Army Combat Engineers in England, France, Luxembourg and Germany
8/28/49 married Margaret Eddelman
1949 hired by Waldron High School as math and PE teacher, athletic director, head basketball coach, track and softball coach.
8/52 hired by CHS where he would teach math, PE, driver education and family relations, serve as athletic director from 1954 until his retirement in 1998; head baseball coach from 1954-1993; head golf coach for two years; head basketball coach from 1952-1996.
11/21/54 dedication of the CHS Physical Education Building, a gift from the people of Columbus.
12/17/54 Charles William (Bill) Stearman born. Bill played for his father, followed his dad's advice into law school rather than coaching. He played volleyball for 2 years and was named IU's intramural athlete of the year for 1975-76.
2/62 Bull Dogs beat Anderson 87-71 to start a 47 game regular season winning streak that included undefeated seasons and a No. 1 ranking in 1962-63 and 1963-64.
12/64 Indianapolis Manual defeated Columbus 79-71 to end the Bull Dogs winning streak, the third longest in Indiana history.
1/10/68 named to the Silver Anniversary Basketball team by the Indianapolis Lions Club.
12/14/73 Columbus North beat Madison 63-56 for 400th career victory.
12/12/81 Columbus North beat Scottsburg 61-52 for 500th victory.
3/24/83 inducted into Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame.
1983 named District Coach of the Year for District 4 (Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin).
1/27/85 Columbus North beat East 71-61 for 600th victory.
4/19/88 named the National Federation of Interscholastic Coaches Association Distinguished Service Award Winner for Section 4.
1990 named the winner of IU's Z H Clevenger Award.
10/8/92 announced retirement from the head baseball coaching position.
3/10/93 received 1992 National Distinguished Service Award for Region IV from the National High School Athletic Coaches Association for extraordinary contribution to high school sports.
3/15/93 named a member of the 1943 Indiana All-Star team in a ceremony delayed 50 years since no All-Star teams were selected during World War II.
3/5/94 Columbus North beat Columbus East 60-53 for Stearman's 700th victory.
5/95 announced that 1995-96 would be his last year as head basketball coach of Columbus North.
1999 inaugural Stearman shootout.
8/2003 suffered stroke.
9/23/2003 died from complications of stroke.
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