Today’s Throwback Thursday historical photo is a bit somber, in remembrance of Cliff Paulin, who passed away just a couple weeks ago at the age of 83. If the name sounds familiar, but you can’t quite put your finger on it, here’s the backstory.

From his obituary: “Clifford attended Indiana State University while also being a photographer for WTHI TV, where his photos were found in a variety of publications. After leaving WTHI, he returned to ISU where he worked for the audio-visual department before retiring as the director in 1995.

Clifford loved the outdoors, including hunting and fishing, and in 1973 took his love of fishing and developed the Indiana State University Bass Fishing Institute. He helped develop basic fishing educational programs and video education nationwide, and even joined forces with professional fishermen Billy Murray. Clifford also organized many regional and local fishing groups and clubs including Hoosier Big Country and the Lunker Shed. Due to his role in expanding knowledge and education in the area of freshwater fishing, Clifford was inducted into the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame in 2008 as a “Legendary Communicator.”

Cliff was a formidable local bass angler, and he parlayed that interest into a fishing educational program hosted at the University (Indiana State) in the mid-1970s as part of their Continuing Education and Extended Services program. The initial weeknight courses charged $20 for men and $10 for their wives and was restricted to 250 paid registrations.

The highly popular course grew, and by 1979, the program had moved to a full weekend program (Sat & Sun), with attendance exceeding their 1500-person facility quota. He paired with Billy Murray’s American Institute of Bass Fishing during those efforts, drawing in people from 10 states and 309 cities. The courses would continue to grow, expanding to other cities and universities in the 1980s.

Those first full ISU programs were organized by Cliff and 11 assistants, with additional instruction from numerous professional angling personalities. For example, the 1979 class of instructors at ISU included Tom Mann, Jim Rogers, Frank Morris, Dan Basore, Kim Whitaker, Billy and Bobby Murray, Al Lindner, Forrest Wood, and Jerry McKinnis.

Although enshrined in the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame, he has yet to be inducted into the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame, despite most of those early instructors and participants already having been done so. He could rightly be considered the OG of instructional bass fishing classes and courses, and perhaps will garner some attention from the BFHOF for those early efforts in the future.