Bumper Tormohlen

Eugene R. "Bumper" Tormohlen (May 12, 1937 – December 27, 2018) was an American professional basketball player and coach. He was born and raised in Holland, Indiana; he attended Holland High and helped lead the Dutchmen to an IHSAA Sectional in 1953.

Bumper Tormohlen
Personal information
Born(1937-05-12)May 12, 1937
Holland, Indiana
DiedDecember 27, 2018(2018-12-27) (aged 81)
Holland, Indiana
Listed height6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)
Listed weight230 lb (104 kg)
Career information
High schoolHolland (Holland, Indiana)
CollegeTennessee (1956–1959)
NBA draft1959 / Round: 2 / Pick: 11th overall
Selected by the Syracuse Nationals
Playing career1961–1970
PositionPower forward / Center
Number12, 34
Career history
As player:
1959-1961Cleveland Pipers
1961–1963Kansas City Steers
19631970St. Louis / Atlanta Hawks
As coach:
1976Atlanta Hawks
Career highlights and awards
Career NBA statistics
Points1,191 (4.4 ppg)
Rebounds1,122 (4.1 rpg)
Assists257 (0.9 apg)
Stats Edit this at Wikidata at NBA.com
Stats Edit this at Wikidata at Basketball-Reference.com

He was recruited to the University of Tennessee by former Purdue star Emmett Lowery. During his time in Knoxville, Bumper became a 3-year starter, set the Tennessee career rebounding record (1,113 rebounds), a 16.9 rpg rate; was twice named All-SEC and was named to Converse's All-American team and become known to scores of Vols fans as the "Chairman of the Boards."

After a splendid college career at the University of Tennessee, Tormohlen was selected with the fifth pick in the second round of the 1959 NBA draft by the Syracuse Nationals. However, his first years as a pro were spent in the NIBL with the Cleveland Pipers before being traded to the Kansas City Steers in the fledgling American Basketball League. After two seasons in that league, he moved to the NBA, joining the St. Louis Hawks) in 1962. His entire NBA playing career was with the Hawks; five seasons in St. Louis and one season in Atlanta. He retired as an NBA player in 1970, having spent the 1968-68 & 1969-70 seasons as a player-coach for the Hawks. He was a member of the 1970 Western Division champions during his final season in uniform.

He remained with the Hawks, becoming an assistant coach for four seasons. With the Hawks at 28–46 and mired in a ten-game losing streak, he was promoted to replace Cotton Fitzsimmons on an interim basis on March 30, 1976.[1] The next season, the team hired Hubie Brown as their full-time head coach. He spent several seasons as the Director of College Scouting for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Tormohlen died on December 27, 2018 at age 81.[2]


  1. ^ "Cotton pickin'," The Associated Press (AP), Wednesday, March 31, 1976. Retrieved March 15, 2022.
  2. ^ "Tennessee Basketball Great Gene Tormohlen Passes Away". wtlv.tv. December 31, 2018. Archived from the original on April 11, 2019. Retrieved January 1, 2019.

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