Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Bartow Kicks Back, Enjoys Victory from His Office

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Bartow Kicks Back, Enjoys Victory from His Office

Article excerpt

Gene Bartow walked into the postgame interview room Saturday beaming the smile of a proud father.

For the first time in 39 seasons, including the last 17 at Alabama-Birmingham, Bartow couldn't sit on the bench for a game he was supposed to coach. The Great Midwest Conference had suspended him for bumping an official, then denied Bartow's appeal.

So he watched the telecast in his office, with plenty of popcorn and soda and potato chips on his desk, as son Murry Bartow and fellow assistant coach Joe Evans guided the Blazers to a 70-54 upset over St. Louis University.

"It doesn't make any difference if you're there," SLU coach Charlie Spoonhour chided Gene Bartow.

Bartow laughed and responded: "It might have been better with me not there. You've been coaching against me for so many years, there's nothing I can do to surprise you."

Truthfully, Murry Bartow and Evans didn't surprise Spoonhour with anything, either.

"I'm sure Murry's philosophy, at least for one game, is consistent with Coach Bartow's," Spoonhour said.

The Blazers prepared all week the same as usual and didn't find out about the suspension until Friday. Gene Bartow never designated his son or Evans as his bench replacement. They both knew to carry on tradition.

"He's given me a lot of input as a coach, a lot of responsibilities, the last few years," Murry Bartow said. "Tonight, Joe and I worked together well. I had to make some decisions. I'm just lucky they turned out the right way."

A victory would have pulled the Billikens into a second-place tie with Cincinnati and just one game behind leader Memphis in the Great Midwest Conference race. …

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