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Head Basketball Coaches 1904-2010
Research conducted in January 2010 confirms that John H. McIntosh was the first official head coach of basketball at Colorado State University. He took on the
coaching of basketball in the fall of 1904 after the football season ended. Research continues on the early days of CSU basketball.
Claude J. Rothgeb
(Univ. of Illinois)
10-10 (.500)
George Cassidy
(Univ. of Vermont)
5-4 (.556)
Harry W. Hughes
(Univ. of Oklahoma)
60-79 (.432)
Rudy H. Lavik
(College Unknown)
11-26 (.297)
Joe Ryan
(Valpariso University)
30-44 (.405)
Men's basketball is the only sport currently played by men at CSU that evolved from a women's sport. The game was originally invented by
James Naismith for his all-girls school in Massachusetts and in 1899 when the students at Colorado Agricultural College reformed their
athletic association, women began to play the game of basketball. By 1900 the women played against other colleges of the area, making it the
first women's intercollegiate sport. Men of the college began to show interest in the game and in 1902 formed a club team, playing against
other colleges in the spring of 1904. In 1905, after John McIntosh rebuilt athletics at CAC, he became the first coach of men's basketball
and in the fall of 1906 Claude Rothgeb took over as the athletic director and coached all four men's sports. After Rothgeb left the school in
the summer of 1910, George Cassidy took over for one season befor the legendary Harry Hughes came in as the new director of athletics.
Leonard "Saaly" Saalwaechter
(College Unknown)
6-6 (.500)
Sam Campbell
(Colorado State)
10-15 (.400)
Dr. John "Sap" Davis
(Ottawa University)
1937-1943, 1945
42-80 (.344)
Eugene "Doc" Taylor
(College Unknown)
38-63 (.376)
H. B. "Bebe" Lee
7-23 (.233)
Harry Hughes took control of all four sports in 1911-12 and coached basketball until the end of the 1924-25 season. The sport was not as
popular at CAC as football, baseball or track, so the Aggies rarely if ever challenged for the conference championship. Hughes handed
basketball over to one of his assistant football coaches, Rudy Lavik, in 1925-26 who coached the team as the new gym opened. Another
assistant football coache, Joe Ryan, took over basketball coaching after Lavik went to Northern Arizona and then a revolving door of
coaches swept through the basketball offices. None of these men stuck around the college for very long as the game continued to have less
emphasis than football and other sports. This period ended with H. B. Lee as coach in 1950 and a dismal season. The turn around came
from one of the University of Wyoming's finest All-Americans, then the greatest period of basketball in school history after his sudden
Bill Strannigan
(Univ. of Wyoming)
60-56 (.517)
Jim J. Williams
(Utah State)
352-293 (.546)
Basketball is reborn
Until 1954, basketball took the seat in the farthest back corner of athletics at
Colorado A&M, but Bill Strannigan, a Wyoming graduate began the
transformation that led to the greatest period of basketball in CSU history.
Strannigan's 1953/1954 team won the Skyline Conference Championship, the
first in school history for basketball. However, his success led to Iowa State
stealing him shortly after the 1954 season ended.

When Strannigan left, Colorado A&M hired longtime Utah native Jim Williams
to step in as the new basketball coach. Jim Williams is to CSU basketball what
Harry Hughes and Sonny Lubick are to CSU football. Williams took control of
the Rams and proceeded to win the 1960 and 1961 Skyline Conference
championships. Unfortunately the poor athletic facilities and de-emphasis on
athletics by the administration prevented Williams from winning more
championships during his greatest period of coaching. In 1963 Colorado State
was not allowed to enter into the Western Athletic Conference and forced to
compete as an independent. During that period, Williams' basketball teams
experienced better records than his championship seasons.
Williams continued to lead the Rams to NCAA tournaments and to bring in
nationally recognized talented players like Bill Green, Lonnie Wright and Kay
McFarland to name a few. He also was not afraid to shocase his teams
against the nation's finest and beat John Wooden's UCLA Bruins twice in Los

After the death of athletic director Bob Davis in 1965, Jim Williams took on
another role at CSU as the new director of athletics. The construction of
Moby arena had already begun when he took over and by the time the
university relieved him of his duty as athletic director, Williams saw through
the construction of Hughes Stadium. One of his finest teams will always be
remembered as the 1969 team that reached the Elite 8 in the NCAA

By 1980, athletic director Fum Mcgraw felt it was time for Williams to be
removed after 26 seasons as basketball coach. His 352 wins are the most for
any men's coach in school history and his legacy as the greatest basketball
coach will continue to live on for many years to come.
Tony McAndrews
(St. Ambrose College)
80-120 (.400)
Boyd Grant
(Colorado State)
81-46 (.638)
Stew Morrill
121-86 (.585)
Ritchie McKay
(Seattle Pacific)
37-23 (.617)
Dale Layer
(Eckerd College)
103-106 (.493)
Tim Miles
(Univ. of Mary)
2007 to 2012
71-88 (.446)
John H. McIntosh
(Univ. of Georgia)
First Coach in
school history
Larry Eustachy
(Long Beach State)

Hired April 11, 2012