At an organizational meeting called in 1906 by Donald Wilhelm, a student from Ohio, GW made its entrance into organized college basketball. The first basketball team won the newly organized "Southern" championship.
From 1930 through 1943 Men's basketball did not have a losing season. This included seven winning seasons under Bill Reinhart. The 1943 team, directed by Arthur (Otts) Zahn, won the University's first Southern Conference championship with a record of 17-6. After the '43 season, varsity sports were suspended until the conclusion of World War II.
The Men's team won 21 games in the 1946-47 season and in 1954 again won the Southern Conference championship with a 23-3 record. That 1954 team received GW's first National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Tournament berth. The following two years also were very successful for the Colonials as they notched 24 triumphs in 1954-55 and 19 victories in '56. The Colonials earned a second NCAA trip after their unexpected Southern Conference Tournament title in 1961. These teams also were under Bill Reinhart's leadership. Fifteen years later, Bob Tallent's 1975-76 squad won 20 games in the opening season at Charles E. Smith Center.
Mike Jarvis became the 24th head coach of the Colonials in 1990 and led the team to a 19-12 season. After reaching the '91 Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament championship contest against Penn State, the Colonials participated in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT), a first for the University. The Men's team had a record of 16-12 in 1992 and in '93 had a sensational 21-9 record, which included the school's third trip to the NCAA and first in 32 years. After defeating New Mexico and Southern (La.) at Tucson, Arizona, the team's "Cinderella" campaign ended with a narrow loss to Michigan in the Sweet Sixteen at Seattle, Washington.
In the ‘94 season, GW finished at 18-12, recording the team's fourth consecutive winning season under Jarvis. Returning to the "Big Dance" in '94, it marked the school's first back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances in history. After upsetting Alabama- Birmingham in the first round, GW lost a second-round battle against Big East power Connecticut in the East Regional at the Nassau (NY) Coliseum. In 1996, GW earned another NCAA trip, though it lost an opening round game to Iowa at Tempe, Arizona. In 1997 GW received a second NIT bid. The bid marked the fifth straight year that GW has competed in the post season. The GW men's basketball team received an at-large bid to the 1998 NCAA Tournament with a 24-8 record after finishing second in the 1998 Atlantic 10 Championship tournament. The team had its best season in 44 years. The 24 victories equals the most in the 81-year history of the program. (The 1954-55 Colonials were 24-6.) The Colonials lost to Oklahoma State in the first round of the ‘98 tournament. In June 1998, Tom Penders became the new head coach of the Colonial Men's Basketball. Mike Jarvis accepted the head coaching position at St. John's University.
GW captured its first outright Atlantic10 Conference West Division title in the 1998-99 season. The Colonials finished with a 20-9 record. The team also earned an at-large bid to the 1999 NCAA Tournament.
During the 1999-00 season, Penders reached an exclusive coaching milestone with career victory number 500, winning the prestigious BB&T Classic with victories over Seton Hall and Maryland.
Karl Hobbs was hired as head coach on May 7, 2001, after eight seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Connecticut, where he earned a reputation as a top recruiter. He is credited with the recruitment of current Washington Wizard Richard Hamilton, as well as Khalid El-Amin and Kevin Freeman - all starters on the '99 national champion Huskies. Karl Hobbs is in his second year as head coach.
The University Archives site is maintained by G. David Anderson, University Archivist and Lyle Slovick, Assitant Archivist. Please e-mail us if you have questions or comments.