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Men's Basketball

Basketball was the third major sport to be added to the Coe athletic program. The first season is documented as the winter of 1900-01. This team played with no coach, no uniforms, no home gym, using the YMCA gym for practices and home games. The 1903 annual gives a team roster: "Perry Munger and Ray Chandler as forwards, Hawley as center, and Milton Munger and Netolicky as guards, have the honor of being the charter members of Coe's basketball team. Hawley and Netolicky were new men at the game but both showed up well and played a good game." In fact, this team defeated the YMCA team, as well as the quintet from the Cedar Rapids Business College. Their season ended with losses against Western and Wilton Colleges.            

The year 1904 brought about the construction and dedication of the Men's Gymnasium, as well the hiring of Mr. Glasgow, Coe’s first official basketball coach. Unfortunately, these additions did little for the team, as they lost all seven games that season. The tide began to turn in 1907, however, with the return of George Bryant to campus. Bryant, an outstanding athlete at Coe and a Princeton graduate, helped the Coe team defeat Normal, Lenox and for the first time the State University was defeated, 33-31. Another banner year for the team was 1910, the first season first in which Coe beat Cornell at hoops, with scores of 35-19, 37-31 and 31-23.        

The first championship season was celebrated in the winter of 1912. The Crimson and Gold beat Grinnell 20 to 15 for the Iowa Conference championship. This victory was even sweeter for the Coe boys because, according to the Cosmos, "the defeat was the first dealt the ‘ex-champs’ on their own floor in eight years." Another championship was won four years later, under the new coaching of Ira Carrithers, who also served as athletic director. Throughout this season, the Coe team defeated Ames (in the first match-up between these 2 schools), State Teachers, Leander Clark, Simpson and Cornell twice, and the Nebraska champion team from Nebraska Wesleyan. Grinnell was again defeated for the championship, with a score of 17-15.

With yet another championship in 1922, Coe's only problem was finding enough room for their spectators. The Men's Gymnasium was no longer large enough to suit the needs of all the teams using the space. For this and other reasons, the New Men's Gymnasium (now known as Eby Fieldhouse) was built in 1930,and it is here that the Coe cagers still practice and play 75 years later.

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