Favorite coach: “That would be a tie among (Rich) Herrin, (Matt) Painter, (Jerry) Kill and (Bruce) Weber. Those would be the four. Herrin kept this a Division 1 program. Weber modernized this as a Division 1 program and really kind of revived my career. And, Painter is the smartest basketball person I ever met. I learned so much basketball from him.
Rey Dempsey has a lot to do with a rapid improvement I made. I was a punk at the start. I wasn’t as good as I thought I was and he helped bring me down to earth, but in a way where he coached me up. I still remember to this day the things he taught me. And, Itchy Jones, he is someone I could always count on. I could count on him to tell me when I was wrong. I could count on him to tell me when I was right.
Kill is important both personally and professionally. Personally, he is one of my closest friends. Professionally, if his program doesn’t succeed, SIU probably drops football and who knows where-or if-I have a job! And not just me. It just seems that no matter what he touches at SIU, it succeeds more than it doesn’t. Because of that success rate, I think he is critical to SIU’s future.
Favorite player: “Favorite player as a fan was Mike Glenn. My favorite player to broadcast was Darren Brooks. The biggest impact player I’ve broadcast was Kent Williams because it seemed starting all four years and being the leading scorer all four years, that was a magical stretch. Brooks was such a sensational talent that could do so many things. A lot of the calls I like involved Darren Brooks.
Lowest time: “1980-81 when they didn’t win a league game and it was my fault. ‘Why don’t you do this? Why don’t you tell the coach to quit? Why don’t you tell them the coach should be fired?’ It doesn’t work that way. The pressure was intense at that time. It was the first time I experienced it. One of the things I did, I’ll never forget it, I went to junior high games because they just played. That was the lowest time.
“The second lowest time, I consider Chris Lowery a friend. I like him a lot, and when he stumbled at the end, that hurt me too. There was a lot of reasons he stumbled, and he has a lot to do with those reasons, but I don’t like when one of our own fails.”
— Les Winkeler