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Mr. Edmond Broussard Bentley
3207 Ivy Falls
Houston, Tx 77068
|Bruce's Living Memorial to Coach Shipley was submitted for the 2001 Shipley Reunion and replaced with an updated LM on Oct. 3, 2017. Posted on Oct.3, 2017 by Dr. Ed Dugas.
COACH BERYL SHIPLEY TRIBUTE
EDMOND “BRUCE” BENTLEY
I met coach Shipley several times while I was in high school at Cathedral in Lafayette. My mother was on the staff at USL and knew coach. He had visited our home on one occasion. When basketball season was over in the spring of 1966, my senior year, Coach Shipley met with me and told me that he wanted to offer me a full scholarship. He prefaced it with the statement that I wasn’t good enough to play much, if at all, since I didn’t have enough talent, but he liked my competitive spirit and love of the game. He also told me he wanted a kid from Lafayette to be in the first class of recruits that would include black athletes.
I originally declined the offer since I didn’t like the prospect of sitting on the bench. I didn’t like it when I fouled out, which I managed to do quite often.
That summer I went to summer school at USL and Elvin Ivory was in my algebra class. I had a job in the PE department and was in Long Gym when Elvin came in and took a couple of shots while he was still in his street clothes. They were long range bombs and he made all of them. Elvin was 6’7” and I had never seen anyone over 6’0” who could shoot like that.
I went over to Coach Shipley’s office and asked him if the offer was still available. I told him I had seen Jerry Flake play the year before, and after watching Elvin, it would be great to have a front row seat to watch a team with their talent play. Fortunately, he said yes.
I practiced with the team on many occasions, but spent the three years I was there primarily as the equipment manager. During that three-year period, I did see some fantastic basketball. In addition to Jerry and Elvin, Marvin Winkler also was a small college all American while I was there.
Coach Shipley was a fierce competitor and expected his players to be the same. Over my three years I observed a man who was willing to take on the prejudice of a state, a conference, and to some degree a school administration. He also treated his student athletes fairly, but was firm in his discipline.
He also had a good sense of humor. I remember he and Coach Cox once asking me if I would get them a cup of coffee. When I asked what they wanted in it, I was instructed that one of them wanted enough cream to make the coffee the same color as Winkler and the other wanted his the same color as Ivory. I asked them if they wanted me to use the Flake bottle of milk!
Coach Shipley helped mold all of us, in some fashion, to become the men we are today. In my case I learned that hard work pays off, winning is better than losing, and working as a team has better results than relying on only oneself. I also learned that getting to the next level generally involves taking calculated risks.
Upon graduation from USL with a degree in accounting, I moved to Baton Rouge where I worked in public accounting for several years and was a business office administrator at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital while completing my MBA at LSU and obtaining my CPA certification.
I moved to Houston, Texas in 1975 and was in hospital administration for several years before opening a CPA firm in North Houston in 1978. The firm became notable in size and quality of clientele and in 2005, I sold the firm while remaining as a principal still representing a small cluster of clients who are primarily in the medical field.
As an entrepreneur, I ventured outside of public accounting. In 1984 I was a co-founder and organizing director of a new bank in Spring, Texas. In 1989 I co-founder a residential construction company in Houston which grew to one of the largest privately owned custom home builders in Houston by 1997. One of our notable home buyers was Charles Barkley. I also dabbled in real estate including raw land speculation, and investment in an office warehouse and residential property.
Giving back to the education institutions that helped provide me with the expertise the achieve my financial and self-worth goals are extremely important to me. Because of Coach Shipley, I was afforded a free college education. At LSU I was awarded an assistantship. I owe those institutions and contribute to them annually to pay it forward for the next generation.
Giving back to my community is also important to me. I have served as a director and various officer positions, including President, of the North Harris County Division of the American Heart Association. I served on the Finance Committee including its chairman at my local parish church where I continue to serve as a Eucharistic Minister. I currently serve as a director, Vice-President of Development and chairman of the Finance Committee for Spring ISD Education Foundation which supports a 36,000-student body. I also serve on the Accounting Advisory Committee at Lone Star College.
Thank you for the opportunity to be involved with a great group of guys, to experience some wonderful basketball venues and to watch one of this nation’s great basketball coaches first hand.
|Basketball- (M):|| 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969|
|Managers:|| 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969|
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