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Encyclopedia of Baldwin Wallace University History: Sports - B

An Index of Historical Content and Their Sources

Baldwin-Wallace Athletic Association

Citation: Gronewald, A. J., Grindstone (Berea, OH: German Wallace College, 1910), p. 79.

Two years ago the Athletic Association of German Wallace College drew up articles with Baldwin University, forming the Baldwin-Wallace Athletic Association, under which baseball, basket-ball and track athletics should be conducted. The joint association is governed by a joint board of control, consisting of one faculty member and three students, from each of the institutions. German Wallace also has its own athletic association, under which tennis, gym and general athletics are conducted.

Basket-ball will never be what it should be at G. W. C. until a new gymnasium is built. The need of an athletic field for baseball and the field sports is also generally admitted. Nearly every student at G. W. C. participates more or less in some form of athletics, but no one allows the sports to interfere with his school work. The students realize the value of good, clean athletics, but the lack of a suitable gym and an athletic field checks their realizations and puts a damper on their enthusiasm.

Baseball is played in front of the buildings on the campus, and quite frequently a wild throw costs the erratic pitcher a few dollars. In track work the fellows are forced to pass through the streets of Berea on their daily sprints to the country, and even this was prohibited by city officials. All these hindrances to successful athletics at G. W. C. would be clone away with, if we had an athletic field, on which a baseball field and cinder path would soon be put in good condition by the fellows. It's up to the alumni and men interested in G. W. C. and in our welfare to give us their financial support in bringing our athletic field to a realization.

Athletics should have its chapter in the history of every college. They should be under the control of the faculty to a certain degree, and should be participated in by as many students as possible. Whether a student takes his daily exercise in walking, playing baseball or tennis, it is as necessary to his mental and physical welfare as his scholastic work, and a real student will neglect neither. Athletics give a man confidence in himself, which develops into strength of character, and an athlete enters his future work in life with the same degree of confidence in himself that he has gained in his athletic contests. Athletic teams representing G. W. C. have made a name for themselves. through their sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct, wherever they have played. Other and larger institutions want to play us and we have such schools as Reserve. Case, Wooster, Mt. Union. Buchtel, Hiram. St. Ignatius and Ashland regularly on our schedules. Future students of G. W. C. should always bear in mind that the success of any institution depends to a certain extent on clean and moderate athletics. 

Bankson, Steve

Citation: Jack McDermott, “B-W Gets New Coach!!!,” The Exponent, May 2, 1980, p. 12.

Baldwin-Wallace College Athletic Director, Dr. Lee Tressel, today announced that Steve Bankson, head basketball coach at Lorain County Community College for the past 12 years, will assume the position of head basketball coach at Baldwin- Wallace.

Bankson, who will celebrate his 39th birthday on May 13, is a graduate of Port Huron (Mich.) High School. He graduated from Graceland College in Lamoni, Iowa and later received his Masters from Indiana University.

His first coaching position came at Richland High School in Newton, Ind. where he compiled a winning 12-9 mark during his first year as a head basketball coach. He then returned to his alma mater. Port Huron H.S. where he posted a 37-15 record in three seasons as head coach.

Bankson arrived at Lorain County Community College in Elyria, O. in 1968 and has since guided the Commodores to a 232-90 record, including six 2- victory seasons and trips to the National Junior College Athletic Association Regionals during 10 of his 12 years. During his 12 year stint, Bankson guided LCCC to a string of 30 consecutive league wins as members of the now defunct Turnpike Athletic Conference. During the 1979-80 season, Bankson guided his club to a fine 23-3 season and a trip to the  N.J.C.A.A. Regionals, where the club lost to regional power. Vincennes (Ind.[?] Junior College, a team which the Commadores had beated during the regular season. LCCC finished 10th in the final N.J.C.A.A. national rankings.

Bankson is also the director of the highly successful Steve Bankson Baskerball Camp, which has been held each summer for the past 10 years for boys and two years for girls, on the Lorain County Community College campus in Elyria

"We're very happy to have a man with Steve's ability joining the Baldwin-Wallace staff." Tressel stated. "We've interviewed many highly qualified people for the position during the past several weeks an it's a real tribute to Steve to be selected from such company. We feel it's a real asset to our athlet ic program at B-W to find a teacher and coach with Steve's background. Sieve handled both the Athletic Director post and the Director of the Health and Physical Education position at Lorain Community, making him an even more valuable addition to the Baldwin-Wallace program."

Bankson and his wife, Roselyn, reside in Elyria with daughters, Stephanie, 12, Michelle 10, and Barbara, 8. "

I'm very pleased with the opportunity to join the Baldwin- Wallace program," Bankson said, "and I'm anxious to become totally involved in the tradition and success the Baldwin Baldwin-Wallace sports program has enjoyed. I'd like to get out there right away and start meeting people and building B-W's basketball future for the 1980- 81 season."

The head coaching position at B-W opened to candidates on March 21 Bob Rupert accepted the position of head basket- ' ball coach at the University of Akron. In three seasons as head coach at B-W, Rupert compiled a 50-29 record. His 1978-79 squad was 20-7 and won the Ohio Athletic Conference regular season Championship and played in the NCAA Division Division III Great Lakes regional tournament. The team finished the 1979-80 season with a 14-12 mark.

Bechtel, Ruben W.

The Breezer Trophy

Citation: Maria J. Hoffmann, ed., Grindstone (Berea, OH: Baldwin-Wallace College, 1978), pp. 10 & 12.

One Baldwin-Wallace College Homecoming tradition is the awarding of the Breezer Trophy. The Breezer Trophy is named in honor of Myron W. Thornburg, more commonly known as the " Berea Breeze" or " Bree" for short. Mr. Thornburg was a resident of Berea and an avid sports enthusiast who attended all Baldwin-Wallace home football and basketball games and as many away games as possible. A game just was not the same if "Bree" was not there cheering and supporting his favorite team.

The "Berea Breeze" was known by his football attire which consisted of a black derby hat, brown polka dot tie, and a Baldwin-Wallace megaphone. Although Mr. Thornburg never graduated from Baldwin-Wallace College, he became a very dear friend. M r. Thornburg was made an honorary member of the Baldwin-Wallace Lettermen's Club, which is made up of a select group of outstanding college athletes. "Bree" was also made an honorary member of Lambda Chi Alpha, a men's social fraternity.

Because spirit is such an important part of spectator sports and because the "Berea Breeze" had so much spirit for Baldwin-Wallace, the Breezer skits have become an important Fall Homecoming tradition. Each dormitory, fraternity, and sorority create their own breezer skit, to be performed during the Homecoming game, on the track in front of the stadium. The primary basis for judging is that the skit should arouse spirit and enthusiasm in the crowd. This is usually done by using the opposing team's mascot in the skit. This is an enjoyable part of Homecoming and a great tribute to B-W's most avid and faithful fan, the " Berea Breeze."