Flashback: Murray State Legend Bob Doty



Ferguson was his third father.

"The first time I met him was at Carr Health Building," Doty said. "It was the week before school started in 1961. So he set me down and asked me what I was going to major in. I told him PE and history because that was the easy way out. And, he tore my scholarship up and told me to go back to St. Elmo, because I wouldn't be able to get a job and that I wasn't going to run for him if I was looking for the easy way out.

"So I asked what I should major in and he said I could major in PE and Industrial Arts. So that's what I did. Coach Ferguson's main thing was to get me through school, and I graduated in four years."

In 1963 and '64 Doty won the 100 yard dash at the OVC Championships.

As a junior he qualified for the Olympic Trials but the school couldn't afford to send him. And, in 1965 MSU's 4 x 100 relay team, which Doty anchored, was ranked fourth in the nation.

And track was as big as anything else on MSU's campus.

"In 1965 we ran against the University of Wisconsin and we had 5500 people at the track meet and every time we had a home meet we'd fill that stadium," Doty said. "Today there are too many things going on. There's more in this old world for people to do than watch a track meet today. And track gets far less coverage now. The main things are football and basketball. The other sports tend to get left out."

Doty, ever the comedian, pulled one of his more famous pranks at the meet with Wisconsin.

"I had won the 100 and 200 and coach Ferguson told me the sprinters were going to run the mile relay, he recalled. "I got the anchor and the three guys up front didn't give a great effort so I was way behind when I got the baton.

"The Wisconsin anchor was the world record holder in the 800, Elzy Higginbottom. When I got on the back straightaway he was turning for the finish line so I cut across at the 50 yard line and met him there and we raced to the finish line and I knew I was in trouble. So the next morning I was up at six o'clock doing an hour and a half workout."

That same year at another meet Doty got a bad start and had to pass five other runners to win. As he passed each of them he made the Road Runner's -"Beep-beep!" Ferguson was waiting for him at the finish line and he was up again the next morning at six.

Doty ran against Bob Hayes in the 60 yard dash at the Mason Dixon Games. Hayes was a world record holder in the 100 and went on to play wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys. That day he broke the record in the 60 by a tenth of second as he ran it in 5.9. Doty was right behind him at 6.1.