Ole Miss’ first bowl team, which played in the 1936 Orange Bowl, was quarterbacked by McNeil “Doby” Bartling, a native of Itta Bena. He is a charter member of the Ole Miss Sports Hall of Fame.
As a high school sports star, Bartling earned 20 varsity letters at Itta Bena High. After his college playing days, Bartling coached and officiated. He led Canton High School to two Middle Mississippi Conference Championships in 1937 and 1938. He coached Meridian High to two Big Eight championships in 1940 and 1942.
Bartling then moved on to Vanderbilt University for two seasons in 1944 and 1945, returning to Mississippi to coach at Millsaps College from 1946-50. He is also a member of the Millsaps College Sports Hall of Fame.
Bartling was an official in college and high school sports for 25 years following his coaching career. He died in 1992 at age 79.
Courtesy of Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum director Rick Cleveland, author of Mississippi’s Greatest Athletes. Cleveland can be reached at email@example.com.