Released February 12, 1999
Centre Hosts Reunion of NCAA Final Four Teams
DANVILLE, KY -- Centre College will host a Feb. 21 reunion and presentation of the college's four basketball squads that qualified for the NCAA Division III Final Four. Team members will be presented during Centre's last men's and women's home games of the season, to be played that day on campus.
Centre's men's and women's basketball programs have each had two teams play for the national championship: for the men, those teams were the 1978-79 and the 1988-89 squads; for the women, the 1988-89 and 1989-90 teams were in the final round.
Centre hosts Rhodes on Feb. 21, with the men playing at 1 p.m. and the women at 3 p.m. The men's Final Four teams will be introduced at halftime of the men's game and the women's teams during intermission of the women's game. A joint reception will be held for members of all four teams, families and guests between the games, at about 2:30 p.m., in Sutcliffe Hall adjoining the gym.
Former head coaches Tom Bryant, Lea Wise and Cindy Noble-Hauserman have been invited, along with players and members of the coaching support staff.
The 1978-79 men's team was Centre's first to make the Final Four. Led by Most Valuable Player Steve Curtis, who averaged 16.2 points a game, and sophomore Neil Sterba (14.2 ppg), the Colonels under Bryant posted a 25-5 record. Centre defeated Lane College and Savannah State in the South Regional, then took two overtime periods to defeat Baldwin-Wallace 68-65 in the NCAA quarterfinal round. Centre lost by four to Postsdam in the semifinal game, then fell to Franklin Marshall by a point in the consolation game.
In 1988-89, Centre made athletic history when both the men's and women's teams made the Final Four. Only one other college has done that in the history of the NCAA tournament.
That year, the Centre women, coached by Lea Wise, hosted the event in Danville. The men hosted the South Region tourney while Danville was the site of both the men's and women's quarterfinal round. The men's final record was 24-7, with wins over Rose-Hulman and Washington University in the regional and a thrilling 124-123 double-overtime decision over California State/Stanislaus in the quarterfinal round.
Centre lost by seven points to Wisconsin-Whitewater in the semifinals and to Southern Maine in the consolation game. That team was led by senior Danny Johnson, who averaged 20.8 points per game and was named team and conference Most Valuable Player, and senior forward Bo Wyenandt, who averaged 15 points and a team-high 8.3 rebounds a game. Bryant was named South District Coach of the Year for the seventh time after the 1989 season. It was the fourth straight NCAA appearance for the team's seniors.
Wise's team was 23-8, earning Centre's women their first Final Four appearance in 1989. Led by All-American Shannon Collins, the program's all-time leading scorer, and guards Susan Yates and Kimy Kyker, Centre posted wins over Virginia Wesleyan and Nazareth in the regional, then knocked off Wisconsin Eau Claire 82-62 in the quarterfinal round. In the championship round, Centre lost to Elizabethtown in overtime 73-64 before rebounding to take the third-place game 106-78.
Under coach Cindy Hauserman, Centre came back to make a second successive Final Four appearance after the 1989-90 season. Yates, an All-American, was the leading scorer on a 22-8 team that posted regional wins over Marymount and Maryville and advanced to the Final Four with a 70-65 decision over Concordia. The Colonels fell to Hope 75-62 in the semifinals, then lost to Heidelberg 71-70 in the consolation game.
Centre's men have appeared in the NCAA tournament on eight occasions, the most recent in 1992. The women made four straight post-season tournaments, beginning in 1986-87. All three head coaches have indicated they will attend the ceremony. Centre will also recognize alums who are in the coaching profession during halftime of the men's game with Hendrix on Feb. 19. A reception will be held prior to tip off at 7:30 p.m. with the ceremony expected to begin at about 8:40 p.m.
For more information about the Final Four reunion or the coaches recognition, contact the Centre athletics office at (606) 238-5484.
600 W. Walnut Street
Danville, KY 40422
Sports Information Coordinator: Glenn Osborne
Telephone: (606) 238-5489