Elford J. Stover, Jr. '58
Elford “Brud” Stover is perhaps the most versatile
athlete ever to grace a gridiron, court, or diamond beneath the
pines, playing three sports and excelling at three positions in two
Stover arrived at Bowdoin with a breathtaking athletic pedigree. During his senior year at Morse High School, Stover was a stellar two-way performer for the 1952 state champion football squad and the 1953 state champion baseball team; he was also the top scorer for the Shipbuilders in basketball. Playing an unprecedented six seasons in American Legion summer baseball – starting at the age of 12 – Stover was a member of teams that won three state titles and were runners-up three times. During a post-graduate year at Exeter, Stover starred in three sports and set a new school record in scoring in basketball.
While undoubtedly an outstanding two-way player on the Bowdoin football team and an excellent fielder both behind the plate and at first base for the baseball team, it was on the hardwood that Brud made the greatest impact on the Bowdoin record book. Graduating in 1958 with 1,144 career points, Stover was the first basketball player in Bowdoin history to break the 1,000 career point mark. This feat is made more remarkable by the fact that first-years were not allowed to compete at the varsity level during that era. In the more than forty-five years since Stover first cracked the 1,000- point ceiling, only fourteen others have accomplished the same, and only three have repeated Stover’s race to that benchmark in just three seasons. At the time of his graduation, Stover also held the best points-per-game average (18.2) in a Bowdoin career and also held the season high for baskets made (188). As a junior he was named both an All-New England and Little All-American performer.
While he had his greatest impact on Bowdoin’s record book in basketball, it was on the football field that he gained his widest recognition. The accolades were well-deserved as Stover led the Polar Bear offense from behind the line as the team’s quarterback—where he was the top passer among Maine’s colleges and universities—and was a stalwart on defense as well. To this day, his four interceptions in one game against Bates as a sophomore remain the greatest single-game performance by a pass defender in Bowdoin history. Not content to play only on offense and defense, Brud served as the team’s punter as well. On the baseball diamond, too, Brud excelled at a number of positions, playing catcher, first base, and shortstop. A two-way threat in baseball too, he found great success at the plate, with a career batting average of over .300. Captain of the baseball and basketball teams his senior year, Stover was the 1957 Maine College Athlete of the Year and was all-state in all three sports he played.
Stover graduated from Bowdoin with a degree in history. A native of Bath, he resides in West Bath with his wife, Marilyn. Together they raised five children and have five grandchildren. Their daughter, Susan Stover Garrett, is a member of the Class of 1983.