Taylor University, Jefferson Township, Eastbrook High School
John Bragg was born in Upland, Indiana but spent most of his youth in Fort Wayne. The Fort Wayne summer baseball league was enjoyed every year and honed John’s skills, love of athletics and competitiveness. John graduated from Fort Wayne South Side High School in 1946 where he was a standout basketball and track athlete. As a Morse Code specialist, John spent two years (1946-1948) in the Navy aboard the minesweeper USS Macomb.
After transferring from Butler University, John played basketball at Taylor University for Coach Don Odle from 1948-1952 and graduated with a degree in education. He was known to have an excellent jump shot on the basketball floor and John was fortunate to play at Taylor with his cousins Ted Wright and Kenny Wright. Both guards, John and Ted often led the team in scoring and enjoyed an excellent season their senior year.
The Indiana Pro Basketball League was formed in the 1950s and John played professionally for the “Anderson No. 1 Beverage” team for several years.
John taught sixth grade at Matthews Elementary from 1952-54 where he was known to play ball with the sixth-grade boys and encourage their athletic pursuits. One of the sixth-grade classes he taught became the Jefferson Township Class of ’60. Having positively impacted these students, they initiated the Taylor University John F. Bragg ’52 Endowed Scholarship Fund to help Eastbrook graduates attending TU.
From 1954-1965, John taught at Jefferson Township High School and coached basketball, track, and baseball. With sponsorship from the Lions Club, John helped to initiate the summer baseball league in Upland. Youth of all ages were engaged in instruction and play. High schoolers traveled to other towns for competition with John coaching and driving the bus.
When consolidation formed Eastbrook High School in 1965, John was named as the school’s first athletic director. He started the football program during his tenure. Eastbrook students witnessed Mr. Bragg in the gym at lunch displaying his free throw skills often making as many as seventy-five shots in a row.
John went on to serve as Assistant Principal, Business Manager, and Interim Superintendent at Eastbrook before his retirement in 1994. His educational career spanned 42 years.
John and Marilyn have been married for 67 years and have five children; Susan, Nancy, Bob, Janna, and Mike. They have ten grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.