Former Texas Tech Basketball Gather for Reunion in Fort Worth
Prior to the Texas Tech - TCU basketball game in Fort Worth on Jan. 8, a group of players – who put Texas Tech basketball on the map in the early 1960s – held a reunion and met with Joe Parker, deputy athletics director, and the men’s basketball head coach, Chris Walker.
The group has held four reunions – two in Dallas and one in Lubbock when the United Spirit Arena was opened. The Fort Worth reunion, attended by 35 former players and their wives, was the fourth.
Back in those days, the Lubbock Municipal Coliseum was packed for every Texas Tech home game. There was a long list of people wanting to purchase season tickets. Some games were even were shown in the Lubbock Municipal Auditorium next door via closed circuit TV to accommodate overflow crowds.
This group was responsible for a Southwest Conference championship in 1960-61 and a co-championship in 1961-62.
The team members at the reunion included Trenton Bonner ’68, La Jolla, Calif.; Harold Denney ’65, Dallas; Joe Fox ’65, Dallas; Bobby Gindorf ’64, London, Ky.; Mike Gooden ’65, Dallas; Roger Henning ’63, Mathis; Harold Hudgens ’67, Ballinger; Dub Malaise ’66, Dallas; Milton Mickey ’63, Seguin,Wash.; Del Ray Mounts ’62, Garden City, Kan.; Dave Olsen ’67, Almagordo, N.M.; David Patty ’69, Paris (Manager); Tom Patty ’64, Weatherford; Mac Percival ’63, Houston; Norman Reuther ’66, Decatur; Charlie Steinman ’64, Geneseo, Ill., (Trainer); Billy Tapp ’67, Arlington; Gilbert Varnell ’63, Saratoga, Calif.; Sid Wall ’66, Miami, Fla.; and Royce Woolard ’66 , Midland.
The 1960-61 team was the last one coached by Polk Robison, who had been the basketball coach from 1942 to 1946 and 1947 to 1961. Before he stepped down to become athletics director, Robison compiled a 254-195 record and won two conference championships, one co-championship and earned an NCAA tournament bid, the first ever for the Red Raiders. They advanced that year to the Sweet Sixteen before losing to Cincinnati. They finished ranked 18th in the country.
The 1961-62 team was the first season for Gene Gibson, who had been an assistant to Robison. That team also advanced to the Sweet Sixteen before losing to Colorado.