O’FALLON – Rich Stein, a former athlete of New Baden High School and a starting guard for McKendree College who reached the “Final Four” in the N.A.I.A. State Championship Play-Offs with Western Illinois University, Wheaton College, and Southern Illinois University, was inducted in the Illinois Basketball Hall of Fame on May 4 at Illinois State University.
Rich spent 32 years as a teacher and coach at Pontiac Jr. High in Fairview Heights and one year at Belleville East High School. Rich spent three of his four years in the Air Force serving as a player and coach for Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico and had the privilege of coaching and playing along side Dick Bouska, an “All American” who just returned from winning a gold medal in the World Olympics.
“Most of my students went to Belleville East. One of the most memorable things was winning the ’73 – ’74 championship for the season,” Stein said. “I was really shocked about being nominated to be in the Hall of Fame. I was very honored to even be considered for such a thing.”
Rich was inducted into the McKendree College Hall of Fame in 1999. He and his wife Carol live in O’Fallon and have four children – Karen, Keith, Ken and Kay.