SCORE International founder and former Tennessee Temple University athletic director and four-time national champion basketball coach Ron Bishop died Monday evening in a local hospital. He was 68. Bishop, also known in the region as a preacher and for years of doing television commentary for college basketball, had entered the hospital a week earlier for treatment of a blood clot and developed pneumonia and sepsis.
"We're going to be OK -- we'll see him again on the other side -- but we're going to miss him. What a great man," said Tampa-based John Zeller, another former Temple athlete and coach who succeeded Bishop as SCORE's executive director. "He just had a tremendous love for people, wanting to help people, and he was a great motivator to get you to do your best. He was going to go all out in everything, and his greatest passion was to see people come to Christ. That's why he preached, why he traveled, why he did what he did."
Said Lefty Glascock, Bishop's assistant coach through the years of National Christian College Athletic Association dominance: "He was a great friend, and we had great times coaching together. He'll surely be missed. He certainly had a big impact on me."
• Blakesley Warren from Chattanooga and Baylor School and Lee University's Courtney Shelton from Franklin are tied for third place at 72 after the first of two days of stroke qualifying in the 82nd Tennessee Women's Amateur golf tournament at Cherokee Country Club in Knoxville. Kendall Martindale from Jefferson City leads at 68, three strokes ahead of Nashville's Irina Gabasa. University of Tennessee at Chattanooga golfer Emily McLennan is in the group tied for seventh at 75, and Baylor graduate Lauren Johnson shares 13th at 77 while former Lady Red Raiders teammate Katherine Holmes is tied for 15th at 79. Polk County's Lydia Triplett also is in the top 20 of the championship division at 80. In the flighted division, Cleveland's Lisa Daubner is tied for fourth at 83 and other area players Maggie Scott, Ryann McCuistion and Linda Mullins also are in the top 10 at 85, 88 and 89.
• Brian Young from Calhoun, Ga., won the $1,500 top prize in the Super Pro class Saturday night at the Brainerd Optimist Drag Stip. He won with a 5.56-second run on a 5.56 dial in a Camaro Z-28 he recently bought for $60. Its engine is a 555-cubic-inch Chevrolet big block. Lee Powell of Rising Fawn was second in a 1976 Pontiac Firebird with a 6.25-second run on a 6.24 dial. Gary Blankenship had five perfect 5.20 runs before his transmission failed. David Bigham of Calhoun won the Foot Brake class with a 7.82 on a 7.80 in a 1969 Dodge Dart, with Harrison's Stan Curvin second in his 1976 Dodge pickup, and Kaleb Winters of Soddy-Daisy was the Junior Dragster winner with Flintstone's Khloe Wilson the runner-up. Cynthia Warnock again had the low elapsed time (4.70 seconds) and top seed (149.501 mph) of the meet in a 632 Chevy-powered dragster.
• Former Tennessee Temple women's soccer coach and track and field coach Emmanuel Awotula has been hired as the women's soccer coach at Oakland City University, an NCAA Division II school in Indiana. The 32-year-old Awotula, a Nigeria native who had been connected with Temple since he was a seventh-grader in its former academy, had two job offers after he was told last month his TTU contract was not being renewed. He picked Oakland City over a National Christian College Athletic Association school in Arkansas. "The men's coach at Oakland City and I recruited together at an international camp in Florida. He had let me know there was an opening there," Awotula said Monday. "It was a hard decision, but after talking to my wife and family, [Oakland City] being a little closer to Chattanooga was a plus, and to coach in the NCAA realm was a big plus. They won 10-plus games last year and have the core of players coming back -- they graduated two -- and I'm told they've already signed five, so it's a good situation."