Back in the days when a bridegroom was expected to have at least $1,000 in the bank and a job that paid $100 a month, Bill Bowerman was coaching at Franklin High in Portland in l934. He loved Barbara in Los Angeles, but he was earning only $80 a month and saving for medical school.
Bowerman would become a famous University of Oregon track and field coach, train 31 Olympic athletes, and co-found the Nike footwear company.
Medford School Superintendent Ercel Hedrick remembered him as a star football player, and offered him a job coaching football at Medford High. Bowerman said Hedrick told him, in these words, “You’re a Medford product. You know how I like to run my schools. I know in Portland you get paid $1,000 for the year. We pay $1,500. We hire people a year at a time. You may change your mind and stay after a year. Think that over and let me know tomorrow.”
Bowerman proposed to Barbara, moved to Medford, taught history, and as a 24-year-old coached his first season of varsity football.
The Bowermans married a year later.
Source: Moore, Kenny. Bowerman and the Men of Oregon; The story of Oregon’s Legendary Coach and Nike’s Co-founder. Rodale Press, Inc., 2006. Print.