Flashback: Murray State Legend Bob Doty

MurraySports

 

That coach was John Griffin and he would play an important role in Doty's life. 

"In my life I've had three fathers," Doty said. "My dad, who was very supportive was one. The second was John Griffin, my high school coach in football, basketball, and track. He really made me the athlete I turned out to be. I looked up to him about as much as I did my dad."

"My senior year in football I was leading the state in scoring. One day in practice we ran a dive play and the people up front didn't block and the defender tackled me. So we ran the same play five times in a row with him telling the defender what was coming. Finally I said I wasn't going to run it anymore. And he told me to turn in my equipment.

Doty handed Griffin his helmet and headed home. But before he arrived Griffin had already called his father on the phone to tell him what had happened.

"My dad met me at the front door," Doty recalled. "And with one shoe in my rear-end he walked me back to the truck and we went back to town. And he told the coach I didn't quit and wasn't going to quit. And I finished out the rest of the season."

But as good as he was in football, Doty was even better in track as he won state championship in the 100 yard dash becoming the first kid in 25 years from a school outside Chicago to do so. And he finished second in the 200.

"I had 44 kids in my graduating class," he noted. "And the papers in St. Louis and Effingham would send reporters down because here was a kid from a small school that was competing against guys from the big schools and beating them.

"We had a big track meet in Shelbyville, Ill., the Shelbyville Relays. I ran the 100 that day in 9.8. Then I came back in the 200 and ran 21.7 and both were meet records. I beat all the kids from the big schools and I long jumped 22 feet and won that."

Of course few of the other kids at St. Elmo had the kind of talent that Doty did. And to letter you had to have a certain number of top three finishes. So everyone wanted to run on the relay team with him.

As his high school career came to a close Doty received numerous offers from college recruiters.

"I was recruited in both football and track," he recalled. "But mostly it was track. I only weighed about 132 pounds, but some smaller colleges recruited me in football, Illinois and Eastern Illinois University.

"I had 23 or 24 offers in track. Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Oklahoma State, and North Carolina all offered me. And I ended up going to Oklahoma State. But I felt like I was lost there, being a kid from a small town. So, I came back and called Bill Ferguson at Murray State and asked if I could come down and look the campus over. He had been one of the coaches that contacted me the most."

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