Jerry Bush, Mens Baskeball Coach (1946-54)
Jerry Bush was head basketball coach at The University of Toledo from 1946 to 1954. Born in Brooklyn, New York and a graduate of St. Johns University, Jerry won All-America Honors as a collegiate player and played professional basketball until 1946. He was on five National Pro League championship teams and was All-League five times. From his first season, when the Rockets won twenty-one games and lost only five, to his last season in 1953-54, Jerry Bush was extremely popular with his players and with the UT fans. He won 129 games and lost only 59. That's a winning percentage of .686, the second best among Toledo coaches who were here more than two years. Only Harold (Andy) Anderson, who's also in our Hall of Fame, ever had a better record. Several of Jerry's Rocket teams were nationally-ranked as high as 17th in 1949-50. The team was ranked 12th in 1950-51 when Toledo was invited to the eight-team National Campus tournament, 20thth in 1952-53 and his 1953-54 team won UT's first ever Mid-American Conference championship and won the first ever bid to the NCCA tournament. Many of UT's greatest individual players were Jerry Bush's Boys, including Hall of Famers Cal Christensen, Chuck Harmon, Phil Martin, and several more who are considered for Hall of Fame membership each year. Bob Nichols was a Jerry Bush product and has named an annual award after him for the player who puts team interests above those of his own. Jerry Bush left Toledo to become head coach at The University of Nebraska and lived there until his untimely death only a few years ago.