Inside Spencer: The KSRL Blog

Flashback Friday: Bonus Olympic Edition

August 12th, 2016

Each week we’ll be posting a photograph from University Archives that shows a scene from KU’s past. We’ve also scanned more than 28,000 images from KU’s University Archives and made them available online; be sure to check them out!

Yesterday’s post focused on members of the KU men’s basketball squad who played on the U.S. men’s basketball team at the 1952 Summer Olympics. With women’s basketball also underway at the 2016 Olympics, today’s post focuses on Lynette Woodard, who played basketball at KU from 1978 to 1981. Twice a member of the United States Olympic team, she was captain of the 1984 squad that captured the gold medal in Los Angeles – the first gold medal in U.S. women’s basketball history.

Photograph of Lynette Woodard wearing her Olympic gold medal

Lynette Woodard with her Olympic gold medal from the
1984 Los Angeles Olympics. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 66/20/13 Lynette Woodard:
Athletic Department: Women’s Athletics: Basketball (Photos).
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Melissa Kleinschmidt, Megan Sims, and Abbey Ulrich
Public Services Student Assistants

Throwback Thursday: Olympic Edition

August 11th, 2016

Each week we’ll be posting a photograph from University Archives that shows a scene from KU’s past. We’ve also scanned more than 28,000 images from KU’s University Archives and made them available online; be sure to check them out!

Men’s basketball is underway at the 2016 Summer Olympics, so this week we’re sharing photographs of the U.S. men’s basketball team that played in the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki, Finland. Team USA consisted of fourteen members: seven players from KU’s 1952 championship squad plus five members of the Amateur Athletic Union‘s Peoria (Illinois) Caterpillar-Diesels and two members of the Phillips 66ers. KU head coach Phog Allen was an assistant coach for the Olympic team.

Photograph of "Welcome NCAA Champs - On to Helsinki" banner, 1952

Olympic banner stretched across Massachusetts Street at Seventh, 1952.
This view is looking south; the Eldridge Hotel is on the right.
University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 66/13 Team Olympic 1951/1952:
Athletic Department: Basketball (Photos).
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Photograph of the USA Men's Olympic team, 1952

Members of the U.S. men’s Olympic basketball team, 1952.
Assistant coach Phog Allen is standing on the far left.
The seven KU players are kneeling in the front row; from left to right they are
Dean Kelley, Charlie Hoag, John Keller, Bob Kenney, Bill Hougland,
Bill Lienhard, and Clyde Lovellette. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 66/13 Team Olympic 1951/1952: Athletic Department: Basketball (Photos).
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Photograph of the USA Men's Olympic team on podium, 1952

The 1952 U.S. men’s Olympic basketball team won the gold medal, defeating the USSR
(also known as the CCCP) 36-25. Uruguay won the bronze. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 66/13 Team Olympic 1951/1952: Athletic Department: Basketball (Photos).
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

The Crimson and Blue Handbook describes KU’s road to the Olympics.

[Phog] Allen had recruited his 1951-1952 team members with the promise that they would be the squad to represent the United States in the ’52 Olympics…

[After winning the national championship in 1952], KU went back to Kansas City to face the Springfield Missouri State Teachers [1952 NAIA champion; now Missouri State University] in the first round of the Olympic playoffs. The Jayhawks won 92-65, establishing a new single-game scoring record. The NIT champion, LaSalle, was next, and KU won 70-65 in the semifinals at Madison Square Garden as [Clyde] Lovellette scored 40 points.

The win over LaSalle had assured the Jayhawks of placing seven players on the Olympic squad, and KU met the AAU champion Peoria Caterpiller-Diesels in the Olympic finals to determine who would coach the team in Helsinki. Peoria won in the final eight seconds when Howie Williams, a former Purdue guard, hit a short jumper to break a 60-60 tie. Peoria coach Warren Womble was named the Olympic coach, and Phog Allen was named an assistant.

Allen had kept his promise.

Learn more about the Jayhawks who were members of the 1952 Olympic basketball team and other KU basketball players and coaches who have been involved with U.S. Olympic teams.

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

Melissa Kleinschmidt, Megan Sims, and Abbey Ulrich
Public Services Student Assistants

Celebrating National Running Day with Jim Ryun

June 1st, 2015

In honor of National Running Day on June 3rd, we’re highlighting our collection of one of KU’s most talented and famous milers, Jim Ryun. Starting his career at Wichita East High School, where he became the first high school student to run a mile in under four minutes, Ryun continued to break records at the University of Kansas. Not only did he set a new world record while running for KU in 1966 with a 3:51.3 minute mile, but he also won a silver medal at the Mexico City Olympic Games in 1968. To learn more about Ryun’s extraordinary life and running career, check out “Ryun’s Run” by KU History’s Mark D. Hersey.

Jim Ryun running for Wichita East High School

Ryun running at Wichita East High School, where he became the first high school student to run a mile in under four minutes. University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 66/19 Ryun, Jim Prints: Athletics: Track and Field (Photos). Click image to enlarge.

 

KU’s Alumni Magazine feature on Jim Ryun

A portion of an article from KU’s Alumni Magazine reporting on Ryun’s mile time that broke the world record in 1966. University Archives. Call Number: Biographical/Morgue File Jim Ryun. Click image to enlarge.

 

Notes on Jim Ryun, 1967

This document, created by Jay Simon, the Sports Information Director at KU in 1967, lists Ryun’s mile times that were under four minutes. University Archives. Call Number: Biographical/Morgue File Jim Ryun. Click image to enlarge.

 

Jim Ryun and Campanille

Ryun in his KU track uniform with the Campanile in the background, circa 1967. University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 66/19 Ryun, Jim Prints: Athletics: Track and Field (Photos). Click image to enlarge.

 

Jim Ryun signing autographs

Ryun signing autographs at the 1969 Kansas Relays. University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 66/19 Ryun, Jim Prints: Athletics: Track and Field (Photos). Click image to enlarge.

 

Jim Ryun at Kansas Relays

Ryun running in the Kansas Relays in 1987. University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 66/19 Ryun, Jim Prints: Athletics: Track and Field (Photos). Click image to enlarge.

 

Mindy Babarskis
Spencer Research Library Public Services

Coaching Basketball Gold: The John B. McLendon Collection

August 10th, 2012

Public Services Student Assistant Jessie Meiers explores the pioneering career of basketball coach and KU Alumnus, John B. McLendon.

John B. McLendon, Jr. was born in Hiawatha, Kansas and graduated from KU in 1936 with a degree in Physical Education. While at KU, he studied basketball under its creator, Dr. James Naismith.  Though not allowed to play on the varsity team at KU due to the university’s color line, he would go on to an impressive career as a basketball coach.  He won eight CIAA (Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association) championships.  He also invented several facets of the game, including the fast break, zone press, and four corners offense.

Photograph of John B. McLendon
John B. McLendon at the time he was coaching the Cleveland Pipers; detail from a photograph
“New Members of Pipers Team.”  Call number: RH MS-P 586, Box 1, Folder 14

McLendon became the first African American to win an integrated national championship, lead the National All-Star Team, coach at a predominately white college (Cleveland State), and coach a professional basketball team (the Cleveland Pipers in the American Basketball League).  He was also the first coach to win three consecutive National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) championships (1957, 1958, and 1959).

Photograph of completed scorecard from Cleveland Pipers vs. U.S. Olympic Team game on August 6, 1960.     Photograph of a page from one of John B. McLendon's scrapbooks

On August 6, 1960, John B. McLendon coached his Cleveland Pipers to victory over the U.S. Olympic team in the lead
up to the Rome Olympics. Left: Detail from one of John B. McLendon’s scrapbooks: a completed scorecard from Cleveland
Pipers vs. U.S. Olympic Team game. Call number: RH MS E198 vol. 13, page 21 (verso, detail); Right:  Page from one of
John B. McLendon’s scrapbooks documenting the win.  Call Number: RH MS E198 vol. 11, page 24 (recto). Click images to enlarge.

In 1964, McLendon became the first African American coach appointed to the U. S. Olympic Committee.  McLendon would also act as a scout for the Olympic team, starting in 1966 and continuing until 1976.  In 1968, he would join the coaching team of the USA’s gold-winning Olympic team in basketball and would return in 1972 to coach the team again.

U.S. Olympic Basketball Scouting Scoring Book
McLendon’s copy of the U.S. Olympic Committee Basketball
Scouting Scoring Book. Call Number: RH MS 586 Box 1, Folder 3.

John McLendon donated a series of scrapbooks to the Spencer Research Library covering his career from 1954 to 1979 (RH MS E198).  They feature newspaper clippings, pamphlets, and letters and cards from players, coaches, and major names in basketball congratulating him on his many honors.  His personal papers include his “United States Olympic Committee Basketball Scouting Scoring Book” (RH MS 586 Box 1, item 3.8) and a typescript of “The Chronological History of Basketball in Black Colleges in the USA, Period IV 1950-1960” (RH MS 586, Box 2, item 12), which he wrote in 1980.

Jessie Meiers
Spencer Research Library Public Services Student Assistant

Want to explore further?  Consult the online Guide to the John B. McLendon Collection