The Bradley men's basketball program experienced its second staff change of the day today with the announcement that assistant coach Chuck Buescher plans to retire. Earlier in the day, head coach Jim Les announced the hiring of Midland College assistant Alvin Brooks III to fill the vacancy created when Lennox Forrester left for the head coaching job at Southern Illinois-Edwardsville.
A member of the Bradley University Athletics Hall of Fame in honor of his legendary high school coaching career, Buescher, 62, recently completed the second year of his second stint on the Bradley coaching staff. In his two seasons on Les’ staff, Buescher helped the Braves to their first back-to-back 22-win seasons since 1958-59 (25-4) and 1959-60 (27-2) and a pair of postseason tournament appearances. Bradley’s 44 total wins the last two years were the most for the Braves in a two-year period since compiling 49 wins in 1985-86 (32-3) and 1986-87 (17-12). The two-year run with Buescher on the staff was highlighted by the run to the 2006 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 and culminated with last season’s appearance in the second round of the MasterCard National Invitation Tournament.
“Chuck interupted his retirement to lend his expertise to Bradley Basketball for two years, and for that we are extremely grateful,” said Les. “He has been instrumental in putting Bradley Basketball back on the map and we wish both he and his wife, Barb, the best of luck in his retirement.”
Prior to returning to his alma mater two years ago, Buescher enjoyed one year of retirement after a 26-season high school head coaching career. From 1979 through 2004 he led Peoria (Central) High School to a 528-184 (.742) record, 21 regional championships and back-to-back Illinois High School Association Class AA state championships in 2003 and 2004. He began his high school head coaching career at nearby Washington Community High School, compiling a 16-10 record during the 1970-71 season, giving him a 544-194 (.737) career record as a head coach.
In between his high school head coaching jobs, Buescher was an assistant basketball coach at Bradley from 1971 through 1979, serving on Joe Stowell’s staff his first seven years and Dick Versace’s staff in his final season. He also worked as Bradley’s 12th head baseball coach from 1973 through 1979, compiling a 127-136-1 record on the diamond.
A 1967 Bradley graduate, Buescher was a two-sport letterman for the Braves, playing both baseball and basketball. After playing for an undefeated freshman basketball team during the 1963-64 season, the 6-foot-1 guard helped the Braves reach the 1965 NIT and achieve a 20-6 record during the 1965-66 season. While averaging 2.5 points and 1.0 rebound per game during his three-year varsity basketball career, Buescher also hit .240 with 19 RBI and seven doubles in his 53-game varsity baseball career.