One Team. One Tradition. One Century.
The Washington College men's basketball team is celebrating 100 years of competition, beginning on December 7th, 2011, and culminating with a celebration on December 7th (the 100th anniversary of the Shoremen's first-ever game) and December 8th, 2012.
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Friday, December 7th
7:00 p.m.: Welcome Reception - O'Connor's Pub (844 High Street, Chestertown)
Saturday, December 8th
11:00 a.m.: Alumni Game - Cain Athletic Center
4:00 p.m.: Shoremen v. McDaniel - Cain Athletic Center (Alumni honored at halftime)
6:00 p.m.: Cocktail Hours & Silent Auction - Hynson Lounge, Hodson Hall
7:00 p.m.: Dinner & Ceremony - Hodson Lounge ($75/adult, $15/child 12 and under)
For a registration card, please contact Rob Nugent at email@example.com. RSVP is due by November 15th.
A Brief History of Shoremen Basketball
In its 100th season of competition and with 1,039 victories to its credit, the nation’s 10th oldest college is rich in men’s basketball tradition and achievement. Basketball was first played intercollegiately on the Chestertown campus only 20 years after Dr. James Naismith originated the game in Springfield, MA. Washington College’s first season was played in a wooden bandbox gymnasium that stood on the present site of Hodson Hall. The Shoremen's first-ever game was a 54-11 loss to Baltimore Medical College on December 7th, 1912. The year 1913 saw the construction of the “state-of-the-art” Cain Gymnasium and the hiring of legendary coach J. Thomas Kibler.
“The Bald Eagle of the Eastern Shore,” Kibler consistently produced good teams prior to World War I and outstanding ones in the two decades that followed. He was the architect of the 1921-25 teams known as the Original Flying Pentagon. The 1924-25 team upset several national powers and produced the school’s only undefeated team with a record of 20-0. Kibler guided the Shoremen against traditional powers such as Duke, Georgetown, Villanova, Temple, LaSalle, St. Joseph’s, Seton Hall, Maryland, Delaware, and Princeton. By the 1930s, the team had moved out of the old Cain Gym and was playing in the Chestertown Armory. It was here that “Nifty” Nick Scallion and “Dandy” Dan Samele graced the hardwood for the Shoremen.
An unfortunate heart condition forced Kibler’s retirement in 1940, and he turned the reins over to his assistant Fred “Dutch” Dumschott, a one-time member of the Original Flying Pentagon. Dumschott’s 1942-43 team went 14-4 and captured the Mason-Dixon regular season championship.
From 1952 to 1956 the Shoremen, led by “Jumping” Jack Bergen, showcased their skills in the Chestertown High School gymnasium. In 1956, Russell Gymnasium was completed in the Cain Athletic Center and it has remained the home of the Shoremen ever since. Thirty of the 35 members of the Shoremen 1,000-point club have played on the Russell hardwood.
One of those members, Tom Finnegan, scored 1,120 points in just two seasons at Washington. A transfer from Seton Hall, Finnegan helped revitalize the Shoremen winning tradition and earned All-American recognition in 1964 and 1965. His 29.6 ppg career scoring average is just one of several school records he holds.
Returning as head coach in 1970, Finnegan ushered in a new era of success. Finnegan guided four teams into the NCAA Division III Tournament. His 1983-84 team was the first, while his 1985-86 team finished in third place in the Middle Atlantic region. The 1988-89 squad advanced to the Sweet Sixteen, paving the way for the 1989-90 team, led by All-American Tim Keehan, that went 25-6 and captured a third-place finish at the Division III Final Four.
After 29 seasons coaching the Shoremen during which he amassed 378 wins, Finnegan retired prior to the 2000-01 season for health reasons. Michael Hart served as interim head coach in 2000-01.
Rob Nugent began a new chapter in Washington College basketball history when he took over as head coach in 2001-02. In just his second season, Nugent led a team with the third-shortest average height in Division III to a Centennial Conference playoff berth. Three years later, the Shoremen returned to the conference playoffs, winning a postseason game for the first time under Coach Nugent. In 2009-10, Nugent’s Shoremen reached the semifinals of the Centennial Tournament. Nugent was named the conference’s Coach of the Year.