U OF EVANSVILLE REMEMBERS ‘77 PLANE CRASH VICTIMS: Today marks the 30th anniversary of a plane crash that took the lives of the University of Evansville men’s basketball team:
THE SOUTHERN ILLINOISAN looks back on the tragic event, and how the community honors & remembers those who perished.On December 13, 1977, a plane carrying members of the Purple Aces men’s team left Dress Regional Airport for a game at Middle Tennessee State. 90 seconds later, the plane went down.
All 29 people on board, including the team and first-year coach Bobby Watson, were killed.
Since the crash, the university honors the 1977 squad by awarding four scholarships in the team’s name. Each year, the scholarships are presented at the beginning of the first home game of the season, followed by a moment of silence.
On the university grounds, a Memorial Plaza sits in the middle of campus in remembrance of the plane crash victims, with the words inscribed in the limestone, “Out of the agony of this hour we will rise.
In the nearby town of Eldorado, IL, two of the crash victims had played high school ball. Before Eldorado High’s basketball game On Tuesday night, a 29-second moment of silence was observed for all 29 crash victims.