Gonzaga University’s intercollegiate men’s basketball program is The sponsor of The Gonzaga Bulldogs. This team competes in West Coast Conference Division 1 games of The National Collegiate Athletic Association. Their home court is The McCarthey Athletic Center and it is located in Spokane, Washington where The University is based. Whether you’re a fan of The Bulldogs or not, here are 10 interesting facts we discovered that you probably don’t know about them.
1. Gonzaga basketball became an official program in 1907
Gonzaga has a long history of collegiate basketball. Their first team competed in The 1907-08 basketball season. This makes The program more than a century old. Another interesting fact about their first year playing is that there was no official coach for The team. As incredible as this may seem The first ever Gonzaga basketball team went on that season to achieve a 9-2 record.
2. They got their first coach in 1908
George Varnell was The first official coach for The Gonzaga basketball program. He served The team for The 1908-09 season and coached them into a great season with a 10-2 record. This was two fabulous seasons back to back for The new team. It looked as though having a coach on board helped them to improve their stats, but only by one game. This would be Varnell’s first and only year with The team as he was replaced with another coach by The next basketball season.
3. The Bulldogs first three coaches didn’t last over a year each
Varnell joined The team as coach in The basketball program’s second official year. He was replaced with William Mulligan The following year with an 11-3 record. Then Frank McKevitt was named as The coach of The team for The 1910-22 season leading The team to an 8-1 record. This makes one year without a coach followed by three consecutive years with a different coach for every season.
4. Their first post season Tournament was in 1993-4
The Gonzaga Bulldogs basketball team had earned a few regular season titles in The mid to late 1960s. They repeated this in The 1993-4 season and They finally qualified for their first post season Tournament which was The NIT that season. They went on under coach Dan Fitzgerald to appear for The first time ever in The 1994-5 season in The NCAA tournament.
5. Their greatest rivalry has been with St. Mary’s
The men’s basketball teams greatest rivalry has been with St. Mary’s. The two rival teams maintain consistent scores in The conference and They present The greatest challenges to one another. Between these two teams They have a cumulative 19 out of 23 conference championship wins. When They come together to play against one another it’s always a big event for both sides for The players, coaches and schools, as well as for The fans cheering them on in The arena.
6. They broke a record in 2008
The Zags men’s basketball team were a hot commodity for The 2008 basketball season. They were playing some great ball and when They went up against Connecticut, everyone wanted to be there to watch The game live. This was a regular season college basketball game and amazingly, They had a record number of attendees in The crowd. The game completely sold out and The statistics showed that there was a total of 16,763 fans there to watch their teams play ball.
7. Fifteen Gonzaga players received WWC Player of The year awards
The Gonzaga basketball program has a lot to be proud of. They’ve turned out 15 players who have won The WCC Player of The year award. Notable recipients were Frank Burgess and Adam Morrison. Burgess averaged 32.4 points per game in 1961. Morrison’s average points per game in 2006 was 28.1 and he was also named The Co-National Player of The year during The 2005-6 basketball season.
9. University enrollment tends to jump when The Zags have a winning streak
We’re not sure if it’s a coincidence or if having a winning basketball team makes more people want to enroll at Gonzaga. However, when Gonzaga was on a winning streak in 1999 and 2000, enrollment of freshmen went up and it happened again in 2001. The same thing happened again in 2003. It’s been reported that between 1997 and 2003 The University has seen an increase of 65 percent in The freshman enrollment during this period.
9. The Gonzaga basketball program is responsible for bringing millions into the school
One of the most interesting things that we learned about the basketball program at Gonzaga is that They are good for the growth and prosperity of The University. It is because of their success that The U was granted $23 million to the school. This is something to be proud of
10. Spokane loves their basketball team
The millions of dollars that were given to use toward building of The McCarthey Athletic Center came as gifts from the heart. The money was given by various donors who made significant donations to this cause. The wealthy fans in Spokane love and support their team and they put their money where there hearts are.