Volleyball jersey No. 6 was displayed Tuesday night for the last time in the Bloomington High School South gym. The number once belonged to former student Jill Behrman.
As an IU freshman in 2000, Behrman disappeared after leaving for a bike ride. Her body was found in the woods in Morgan County three years later. John Myers II from Ellettsville was convicted of killing her in 2006.
“Six was just the number they gave Jill, but now anyone who wears that number anywhere holds a special place in my heart,” Jill's mom, Marilyn Behrman, said.
Members of the school’s athletic staff and volleyball program talked about how Jill was competitive, courteous, outgoing and a strong student. They presented her framed jersey to the Behrman family.
Everyone in the gym stood and applauded.
As Marilyn and Jill's father, Eric Behrman, walked off the court, friends and family surrounded them. Soon, they were engulfed in a sea of people wearing purple, Bloomington South's color.
Friends, family, coaches from both Bloomington North and South, current players and Jill’s former teammates waited to talk to Jill's parents.
“This is just so special for me,” Marilyn said. “Not even just that they’re retiring her number, but that they’re still thinking about her here even 17 or 18 years after she disappeared.”
The idea of retiring Jill’s number did not come from Jill's parents. Eugene Kim, head volleyball coach at Bloomington South, came up with the idea to honor Jill.
“I realized that we still had Jill’s jersey and thought it would be really cool if we framed it and donated it to Jill’s House,” Kim said.
Originally, Jill's House was built to give families a place to stay while their loved ones were treated at an IU cancer treatment center. The cancer treatment center closed, and the house was converted into an assisted living facility in 2016.
The founders of the house were family friends of the Behrman's and wanted to name it after Jill.
“The Behrmans have been a picture of strength for our community," Kim said.
Kim did not know Jill personally, but he said he remembers coaching at Bloomington North while she was a player at South.
“As a coach, what you want your kids to learn is that there’s a life beyond volleyball and honoring the Behrman family this way seemed like a great example of that,” he said.
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