A list of highs and lows in the Kansas Athletic Department. These are the best a worst times to be a Jayhawk, from the birth of Kansas' rivalry with the University of Missouri to the 2010 football season.
Created by laurantg on Oct 6, 2010
Last updated: 10/18/10 at 03:09 PM
Tags: University of Kansas
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With new head coach Turner Gill taking over, fans were optimistic for the 2010 season. In the season opener, Kansas invited North Dakota State looking for a non-conference victory. Instead, KU was surprised by the Bison and fell 6-3 in the game. More shocking than the score, KU fans blatantly booed and insulted Kansas players.
The following week against Georgia Tech, who was then ranked No. 15 in the nation, the Jayhawks took the field in Memorial Stadium again. Freshman quarterback Jordan Webb led the Jayhawks to their first win since October 2009 in a 28-25 upset. At the buzzer, fans rushed the field to celebrate with players, a much warmer reaction than the hostility displayed the week before.
A loss at Southern Mississippi and a home victory over New Mexico State put the Jayhawks at an even 2-2 entering conference play. In the first two conference games of the season, Kansas has been handily defeated by both Baylor and Kansas State.
Amid the scandal of athletic director Lew Perkins' early resignation, the Kansas Athletics Department took a beating in the media. With a new and inexperienced head coach, and a newer more inexperienced interim athletic director at the helm, optimism wavered for Kansas fans. The inconsistency of 2010 makes it hard to predict what we will see next—from players or from fans.
photo by Ryan Waggoner (University Daily Kansan)
The careers of storied Jayhawks Todd Reesing, Sherron Collins, and Cole Aldrich end on a sour note. the 2009-2010 athletic year did not meet fans expecations.
After starting the season a perfect 5-0, Reesing and the Jayhawks dropped seven consecutive games to end the 2009 football season. Head coach Mark Manino resigned later in the year in midst of a high pressure internal athletics investigation.
After winning Big XII regular season and tournament titles, the Jayhawks entered the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament as the overall No. 1 seed. Kansas, however, failed to even make the Sweet Sixteen, falling to Northern Iowa in a disappointing second round loss.
photo by Jeff and Laura Jacobson
After finishing the season 12-1 (a school record in total victories) and with an Orange Bowl victory after defeating Virginia Tech 24-21 on Jan. 3 http://www.kuathletics.com/sports/m-footbl/recaps/010408aaa.html. The Jayhawks defeated the Memphis Tigers 75-68 in overtime to win the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament Championship on April 7 http://www.kuathletics.com/sports/m-baskbl/spec-rel/index-08ncaa-champs.html. The two teams combined for a record of 49-4, the most combined wins ever by an NCAA program. In the Summer of 2008 athletic director Lew Perkins was named TIME Magazine's Sports Director of the year, proving that Kansas athletic's was the best department in the nation. http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1820667_1819759_1819795,00.html photo by Jeff and Laura Jacobson
A three-pointer from Texas A&M senior Acie Law with 20 seconds remaining gave the Aggies the final advantage in a 69-66 defeat of Kansas. Kansas rebounded to defeat Kansas State a week later to spur what has become a nation-leading 59-game home court winning streak. photo by Jeff and Laura Jacobson
The Jayhawk baseball team made its first and only appearance in the College World Series in 1993. In the NCAA Medeast Region Championship, head coach Dave Bingham was left with few options after a long post season run. Jimmy Walker, who served as a reliever most of the season, was Bingham’s choice. He allowed only two runs in a complete 10-inning victory, earning himself an All-American title. The winning run came in the bottom of the 10th inning when Brent Wilhelm crossed the plate, guaranteeing the Jayhawks a trip to Omaha (pictured as Wilhelm appears in the 2010 Media Guide).
The Women's Basketball program rides a wave of success with three consecutive Big 8 victories (1979, 1980, 1981) and appearances in the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women National Tournament. During this time the Jayhawks were led by forward Adrian Mitchell, who was named to the Wade Trophy List in 1978 and 1979. Mitchell (pictured at left as she appears in the 2010 Media Guide) was the first to reach the 2,000 point mark and remains second on the all-time scoring list with 2,124 career points.
Former Jayhawk Al Oerter becomes the first Olympian to win four consecutive gold medals in a single event. Oerter captured his first Olympic title in 1956, while a sophomore at KU. Oerter, who is remembered as one of the greatest athletes KU has produced and widely known as one of the greatest Olympians, once told the Kansas City Star, "I am just a big, strong dude who can throw things a far ways."
More than 17,000 people arrived in Allen Fieldhouse when the Jayhawks defeated the Kansas State Wildcats 77-66 in the dedication of Allen Fieldhouse. Since its opening, the Fieldhouse has been a gathering place for more than 8 millions fans.
The 1950's was a notable decade for the Kansas Men's track program under Bill Easton. The Jayhawks claimed a total of 17 conference championships in Indoor and Outdoor Track. This inclued 1959, in which they won both conference titles and claimed a national title at the outdoor championships. The Jayhawk Men's Cross Country team was undefeated in conference titles in the dacade, claiming every one from 1950-1959, and a national title along the way in 1953.
A member of the cross country and track teams from 1958-1962, was Billy Mills. Mills was Olympic Champion in 1964 in the 10,000 m (the only Olympic champion the USA has produced in this event). At KU, Mills was a cross country All-American in 1958 and 1959.
picture via usatf.org
Historic coach Phog Allen takes the Jayhawks to consecutive Helms National Championship titles. Kansas showed appreciation for this coach, who also earned the University's first NCAA title in 1952, by naming the venue Allen Fieldhouse in his honor, where a statue of his likeness welcomes fans (pictured). Allen was also included in the inaugural class of the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1959.
The University of Kansas finally allows women to participate in University sports. The Women's Athletic Association (WAA) was founded on February 8, 1912, and female students who wished to join would sign an agreement to keep her “body physically fit by obeying the rules of health [and] live up to the rules of good sportsmanship.” Although the WAA only promoted intramural competition, this organization sparked interest in women's athletics and led to the creation of the women's division of the athletic department.
In December 1891, the first game of "Basket Ball" is played at Springfield College, invented by James Naismith. Naismith brought the game to KU and started the University's basketball program in 1898.
The Rock Chalk Chant is birthed by KU chemistry professor E.H.S. Bailey. Originally pronounced, "Rah, Rah, Jayhawk," the chant evolved into "Rock Chalk" some years later in honor of Mount Oread, which lies on a bed of limestone.
A group of geurilla rebels, led by William Quantrill, attacked Lawrence in what is also known as the Lawrence Massacre, igniting a rivalry between Kansas and Missouri that has lasted for centuries. Every meeting between the two Universities is part of the ongoing "Border Showdown," dating back to this battle. Every year, each athletic event between Kansas and Missouri is scored in the M&I Bank Border Showdown, the winning school accepting bragging rights until the teams battle again the following school year.