Additional Marquette Golden Eagles Basketball Info
How to Buy Marquette Basketball Tickets
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Marquette Golden Eagles Men's Basketball History
Founded in 1916 under head coach Ralph Risch, the Marquette Golden Eagles men's basketball team managed to find success in their first season. Risch, who only led the team in its inaugural year, managed the "Warriors" to eight wins and just three losses in their first season. Marquette coach John Ryan took over leadership of the team starting in 1917, earning a 13-9 record over three seasons. Former University of Wisconsin-Madison center Bill Chandler took the reins of the team in 1930, hoping to resurrect its dominance of the early 1920s under Frank Murray, who helped the team post a-then club-best record of 19-2 in the 1922 season. Starting in 1925, Marquette would have just one winning season in the next six years.
Chandler would become the longest-serving head coach in Marquette sports history, with a tenure lasting 20 years. He also became the basketball team's most successful coach during that time, earning 193 wins through the 1950 season. Following his dismissal, Chandler was involved in expanding the NCAA Tournament to allow more teams to qualify. Head coach Jack Nagle would lead Marquette to their first tournament berth in 1955, where they would defeat Miami-OH and Kentucky before losing to Iowa in the elite eight.
Al McGuire & the 1977 Championship for Marquette
Following the impressive six-year tenure of head coach Eddie Hickey, who compiled five consecutive winning seasons through the late 1950s and early 1960s, former Belmont Abbey College coach Al McGuire was hired to fill the vacant spot at Marquette. McGuire was a past graduate of St. John's University, where he coached their basketball team, before playing with the New York Knicks and Baltimore Bullets in the NBA. While at Belmont, McGuire posted five straight seasons where the team won at least fifteen games, including a pair of twenty-win seasons, along with five tournament appearances.
Starting at Marquette in 1964, McGuire would recover from a poor first season and lackluster second with eleven consecutive twenty-win seasons. By 1972, in just his eighth season with the team, McGuire overtook Chandler as Marquette's all-time most successful coach, and by the end of his tenure, McGuire would record an astounding 295 wins and just 80 losses. In 1977, his final year as head coach, McGuire led the Golden Eagles through a twenty-five-win campaign to their first ever final four tournament appearance. Paired with the University of North Carolina – Charlotte for a chance at the championship game against North Carolina, a controversial last-second shot by Jerome Whitehead put Marquette into the finals. Almost forty years later, that shot is still considered the most important in Warriors/Golden Eagles history, as well as the most debated. In a low-scoring affair against North Carolina, Marquette would claim its only NCAA title to date, with point guard Butch Lee named the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament.
In total, Marquette has reached the NCAA Tournament thirty-one times since 1955. In 1974 they lost to North Carolina State in the championship game (their only appearance other than 1977,) in the finals.
Marquette Rebuilds Their Program Once Again
Just a couple of years ago this Marquette program was on the rise. In 2013 they reached the “Elite Eight,” losing to Syracuse 55-39. They returned the next season with a deep and experienced roster, as well as a loaded recruiting class. They began the season ranked in the top 15 of every poll out there, and had big aspirations. Some thought that they would be “cutting down the nets” in April, at the end of the NCAA Tournament. How quickly things can change.
They began the 2013-2014 season slowly. Marquette finished the year 17-15 and made changes in the middle of the season. The Athletic Director resigned mid-season and the program finally hit rock bottom when Buzz Williams, Tom Crean's handpicked successor, left to take the job at Virginia Tech. Marquette replaced Buzz Williams with longtime Duke assistant Steve Wojciechowski. The 2014-2015 season was even worse, as the Golden Eagles finished at a pretty miserable 13-19.
The Golden Eagles started their 2015 season losing two of three games. In game four, Marquette was facing a top-ranked LSU team. Marquette defeated LSU 81-80, in a stunning upset. From there, Marquette went on to win their next eight games. Seaton Hall handed the team their second-worst loss that season. The team then lost to Georgetown but took down eighth-ranked Providence by blocking a last-second shot.
Marquette looks to play some of the top-ranked teams this season.
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