John Busch Remembers The Fox with a Gift for the Future

Mar 15, 2013

When the word went out about the project to build a new Stadium, John Busch, Class of 1955, was one of the first to step up and support the project.

“I wanted to honor The Fox,” he said. “He did so much to help me get through school. He was just a prince of a man.”

Naming the training room in the new stadium was the perfect naming opportunity for Busch. As a student in the early 1950’s, he was Paul Hoernemann’s football and basketball trainer for four years.

He was encouraged to take on that role by Coach Hoernemann, who helped him think through his initial plans to become a team manager.

“Paul pointed out to me that if I took on the training role, I could travel to all the away games,” Busch said.

After going for training over the summer, he was on the road in 1951, riding with the coach to all the games. On the road, he sometimes had other responsibilities, like taking the Catholic athletes on the team to Sunday Mass.

As a trainer, his role involved everything from taping ankles, getting players ready for practice, and giving the right treatments if there were injuries. Busch enjoyed the trainer role so much he initially planned to pursue that path as a career, before going into the family business after the unexpected early death of his father.

Busch credits Hoernemann with helping him apply himself to school as well as in his training role. “He had a nice way of putting his foot in the middle of your back, very gently,” Busch recalled with a laugh.

Supporting the Stadium project is also part of the strong ties and long tradition of support that John Busch has for his alma mater. His wife and son are also alumni, he’s a lifetime member of the Fellows and a former President of that group, and is a member of Heidelberg’s Radio Hall of Fame which he also supported with a major gift.

When he’s been back to campus recently, he likes what he sees. “The campus is beautiful,” he said.

He’s also glad to support sports and Heidelberg’s liberal arts education.

“Sports are part of the tradition that goes with Heidelberg, they have a following,” Busch said. “And I also feel it’s always best for young people to go to a small liberal arts college to get your basics, and then go on to specialize in what you really want to do.”