A Look At Gozanga University Men’s College Basketball History

By Jason Forthofer

Without a doubt one of the best and most storied collegiate men’s basketball teams on the West Coast of the United States is none other than the Gonzaga University Bulldogs. The Spokane, Washington based school is a perennial powerhouse in the West Coast Conference and year and year out are always in the NCAA Men’s Division I basketball tournament affectionately dubbed March Madness. It wasn’t until the late 1990’s though that the Gonzaga Bulldogs started to make a name in collegiate basketball. Ever since that time, the team has been a perennial top 20 powerhouse in the national rankings.

Gonzaga University started its mens basketball program over 100 years ago during the 1907-1908 college basketball season. That first team was one that went 9-2 but the weird thing about it was that they did not have an official head coach. As a matter of fact over the next couple of seasons, they would have a different head coach each season. Over the ensuing years the team would have several notable coaches. Some of those coaches were: Claude McGrath, who starting 1933 would be the first Bulldog coach to amass 100 wins; Hank Anderson would have 290 wins from 1951 to 1972; Dan Fitzgerald, who would take the team to its first NCAA tournament appearance in 1995 and leave the school with 252 wins; Dan Monson, who only coached the team for two years but was able to get an NIT bid and was most remembered for his run in the 1999 NCAA tournament in which Gonzaga upset Minnesota, Stanford, and Florida. That team would lose to the eventual national champion Connecticut Huskies in the regional final. This was the year that would put Gonzaga on the national map for basketball powerhouses.


After that season, Gonzaga was labeled as one of the so called ‘mid-major’ powerhouses. They showed that with beating some of the top teams in the country. The 1999-2000 season would introduce head coach Mark Few to the Gonzaga Bulldogs and he has been at the helm ever since. It is very safe to say that it has been Mark Few that has turned the Bulldog program into what it is today. He is one of the winningest coaches in the NCAA over his tenure. The team has the West Coast Conference championship every year that he has been the coach of the program. Between 2001-2008, a member of Few’s team was named the player of the year in the conference. Gonzaga has been consistently in the top 25 of the national polls each year and over the time period has had 2 first team All Americans in Dan Dickau and Adam Morrison, both who have had careers in the NBA.

Mark Few is certainly setting the road to becoming the best coach in the history of the Gonzaga Bulldogs basketball program. They have had a highest seeding of 3 in the NCAA tournament and have been in and out of the top ten in the national polls over the last couple of seasons. The history of the Gonzaga University mens basketball program is one that has been around for a long time. With the success of Head Coach Mark Few and his ability to bring a quality team to the court year in and year out, that history looks to be going on for a long time to come.

About the Author: Jason Forthofer is the owner of

Gonzaga Basketball Tickets

where fans can get tickets to all the big Gonzaga hoops games.



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