Happy Birthday, Kelvin Hayden!

Coach Marshall Stoner

Forty years ago today, coach Harv Schmidt named 38-year-old Marshall Stoner to the Illinois' basketball staff. He joined Schmidt's Illini after leading Villa Park Willowbrook High School to three consecutive Des Plaines Valley Conference titles. The 1972-73 Illini finished 14-10 overall and took third place in the Big Ten with an 8-6 record. Schmidt, Stoner and fellow assistant coach Dick Campbell all were dismissed by athletic director Cecil Coleman after the team's 5-18 record in '73-74. Born in Henry, Stoner lettered four times in basketball at Western Illinois University and became an NAIA All-American. He finished his career as the Leathernecks' all-time leading scorer with 1,526 points and was inducted into WIU's Hall of Fame. Stoner started his coaching career as an assistant at Mount Carroll (Iowa) High School in 1956-57, then moved to Davenport (Iowa) Central a year later. In 1960, Stoner was hired by Schmidt at Davenport West High. When Schmidt was called to active duty with the U.S. Army Reserve in 1961-62, Stoner assumed head coaching duties. After four years as the Falcons' coach, Stoner took over at Willowbrook. Today, Stoner and his wife of 56 years, June, have four children and seven grandchildren. They live in Pekin and have spent their retirement breeding and raising Great Danes.

Illini Birthdays

Today: Perry Range, basketball (52)

Monday: Kelvin Hayden, football (29)

Tuesday: Kevin Hardy, football (39)

Wednesday: Suzanne Yario, volleyball (50)

Thursday: Tony Peressini, golf (30)

Friday: Annie Luhrsen, volleyball (22)

Saturday: Jeff Dawson, basketball (61)

By Mike Pearson, author of Illini Legends, Lists & Lore and assistant athletic director at Miami (Ohio)

Get Illini birthdays, trivia and historical tidbits daily on Twitter @IlliniLegends

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