TriCounty Community Guide 50 Greatest Sports Figures in the Tri-County - Page 10

Steve Bird Bird Bird was an All-State football player for the Redhound football team and was the leading rusher and leading scorer on the 1976 state champion team. He was a four-sport star for Corbin, also participating on the basketball, baseball and track team. After his high school career, he signed with Eastern Kentucky University. Bird was a four-year letterman and three-year starter at wide receiver for the Colonels. He played in four straight national championship games (1979-82). In 1982, he helped lead Eastern Kentucky University to a perfect 13-0 season which led to the school’s second national championship. Bird was a fi rst-team All-OVC choice in 1982 when he was also selected to the I-AA All-American team by Kodak, The Sporting News and Associated Press. He was also chosen as the OVC’s Male Athlete of the Year for 1982-83. He won the Chevrolet Most Valuable Player of the Game three times his senior season when he led the Colonels and the OVC with 63 receptions for 1,056 yards and 10 touchdowns. Bird was drafted in the fi fth round of the 1983 National Football League Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals and played two seasons of professional football which ended in the 1984-85 season with the San Diego Chargers. Since 1987, he has served as assistant coach for 10 diff erent colleges and is currently on the coaching staff at South Carolina State. Roy Bowling Bowling One of the greatest high school coaches in Kentucky history, Bowling was instrumental in the success of girls’ basketball once it was reintroduced by the Kentucky High School Athletic Association in the 1970s, winning four state titles (1977-79, 1985) while at Laurel County High School. He was honored as Kentucky Coach of the Year in 1978, ‘79 and ‘89. He was the National Coach of the Year in 1980, 1984 and 1989, and was selected to the KHSAA Hall of Fame in 1990. Bowling also coached girls’ softball at Laurel County, where he was 91-13, baseball, where he complied 286 wins, and boys’ basketball (Hazel Green and London) where he had a record of 138-86. He coached three local teams in baseball to a 286-99 record (Hazel Green, London and Laurel County). Bowling later became the girls’ basketball coach at Louisville Mercy Academy and North Laurel High School. He retired after 25 years of coaching girls’ basketball, where he fi nished with a career record of 568-174, which ranks him in the Top 10 in Kentucky history. 10 | 50 GREATEST SPORTS FIGURES