Sunday, January 24, 2021

GONZAGA: Been champs before

| January 13, 2021 1:00 AM

On Dec. 31, sports writer Steve Cameron was lauding the qualities of this year’s Gonzaga basketball team. Cameron implied that after all the quality of previous Mark Few teams, this is the team that will yield the university’s first national championship.

I must take pause and remind everyone that Gonzaga has already fielded a national championship team. Check your records but in 1950, Gonzaga and the University of Idaho shared the NCAA national boxing title. The coach for Gonzaga was Joey August, who later became a well-known Spokane businessman and boxing referee.

I’m referencing an April 5, 1987, article by Dave Boling in the Spokesman-Review. He was reviewing the history of NCAA boxing and the fierce competition between our three local universities, Gonzaga, Washington State and the University of Idaho. Back in the days of ’40s and late ’50s, the majority of champions at the national tournaments were from these three schools.