1973 – Pete Elliott Home
Illini Football Coach
As I mentioned in the Dick Butkus encounter Pete Elliott was the football coach of the Illinois team that won the Rose Bowl in the 1963-64 season. He coached till 1966 when he was forced to step down because a disgruntled coach had blown the whistle on recruiting irregularities.
As I mentioned in the Joe Garagiola encounter I attended the Tony Lema Memorial Golf Pro-Am on Marco Island in the summer of 1973 to honor Tony who had recently died in a plane crash. I noticed that Pete was playing. I saw him on the practice tee and went up to him and told him that I had traveled to the Purdue game as a freshman when they broke their 15 game losing streak. I thanked him for the thrill that he had given me by winning the Rose Bowl in 63. I said “It sure was fun.” After a short pause he said “Yes it was.” I mentioned that Bob Easter and Dickie Kee (see Dick Butkus) were friends of mine. He said they were both good players and that Dickie was a good defensive back.
I followed Pete that day for several holes and was surprised at what a good golfer he was. Looking up his bio on the net I see he was just an exceptional all around athlete. He was playing with Bobby Goldsboro the singer who had the hit single "Honey" about a young man whose wife who sat home all day crying over sad movies while dying of cancer. It came out in 68 while I was in LA and since I was feeling lonely out there without any social life I guess it struck a chord with me.
That fall he became the coach at Miami and coached thru 1975.