The Greatest Era: A Team to Know: Men’s Basketball 1965-67

From the President
April 19, 2018
Earnest Contributor Andrew Koehl
April 19, 2018

There is no greater honor for any athletic team than to be recognized as the greatest of its era. The 1965-67 Roberts Wesleyan College men’s basketball team took time to grow and nurture into this lasting legacy, realizing it goes beyond individual players and team stats. These young men, most Hall of Famers in their own right, learned to fill their role for the success of the entire team. Led by Coach Bill Hughes, they learned to communicate well, focus on goals and results, support each other, and develop a mentoring culture and become good leaders. They became a brotherhood where everyone contributed their fair share, felt a sense of belonging and were committed to the team’s success. What an example, especially for today’s student-athletes.

It was a special era for Roberts Wesleyan men’s basketball. Basketball fever was at its peak and over-capacity crowds were often the case. Because Roberts had no suitable gymnasium, games were played in the Churchville Chili high school gym. For the game against regional powerhouse Buffalo State, parking lots overflowed with fans hours before game time. When the team returned from the NAIA playoffs, students and community members lined the streets around campus to welcome the players. “It was the best time to be a Raider,” team member Stan Ziblet ’66 said.

The seeds were planted and nurtured in 1964-65 under the leadership of by Coach Hughes when the team was 14-6. Their record was 18-4 in 1965-66 and they came back the next season—during the college’s 100th year—with a 20-5 record that included an incredible run of 16 straight victories, numerous school records and the first Monroe County Tournament Championship, which would go on to run for 50 years and become the longest in-season tournament in the country.

This era of the men’s basketball program has a lasting significance on the Roberts Wesleyan campus, where the memories echo in the arena and create inspiration for future student-athletes. Current athletes walk in the footsteps and reflect on the preparation and hard work of these players. It is not only about being remembered for these legacies, but also setting a lasting example of respect, love and the true meaning of teamwork that will never fade away.

Led by Coach Hughes, the members of the 1965-67 Roberts Wesleyan College men’s basketball era represent value, community and God’s faithfulness. The team included:
Coach Bill Hughes
Bob Ahlin ’66
Bill Bachmann ’67
Frank Carter ’67
Darwin Champan ’69
Paul Crowell ’69
Ken Curtis ’69
Dale Easterly ’68
Harry Hutt ’65
Keith Moore ’67
Paul Mroz ’68 (manager)
Ralph Roach ’71
Glen Schultz ’68
Herm Schwingle ’67
Dave Scribner ’69
Noel Smith ’68
Stan Ziblet ’66