Tom Bolyard earned prep All-America honors and helped lead South Side High School to a boys state basketball championship.
As Central Catholic coach Terry Coonan once said, "Bolyard can tie his shoestrings without bending over."
And Tom Bolyard knew how to use those long arms. At 6-foot-4, he was a force inside on a basketball court.
Now the associate alumni secretary at Indiana University, Bolyard scored 1,420 points in his three years at South Side High School and then 1,299 points at IU.
He was also a starting forward on South Side's 1958 state champions as a junior. That team -- which also featured Dan Howe, Mike McCoy, Rich Miller and Carl Stavreti in its starting lineup -- lost only to Muncie Central and Michigan City before winning its last 20 games in a row.
As a senior, Bolyard was named to the Parade All-America team and was the Most Valuable Player in the Indiana-Ohio All-Star game.
"In my senior year (1959) I thought we would be just average," said Bolyard in 1991, "but things went together very well and we made it to the semistate, where we lost on a last-second long bomb by Kokomo's Jimmy Rayl. But then, if I had not missed a free throw a bit earlier, we would have won."
Bolyard wasn't a one-sport athlete at South Side. He anchored the state championship mile relay team, finished second in the state in the half-mile and played football.
At Indiana, he was a three-year starter, averaging 18 points per game. When he graduated he was Indiana's No. 10 all-time scorer, earning All-Big Ten honors in 1963. After graduating from IU, Bolyard signed with the Baltimore Bullets, then decided instead to return to graduate school. He was an assistant at North Side High School for one year and an assistant for five years at IU.
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