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State Historical Society
Ron Clark awarded first school letter by Beverly Kerr as coach Chuck Smith looks on, 1967
In 1969, after only 3 years in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), the Rivermen basketball team finished with a 19-7 record and placed 12th in NAIA nationwide scoring with 95.8 points per game. The Riverman won their District Championship.
(Coach Chuck Smith and senior forward Dennis Caldwell display the NAIA District 16 championship plaque. Caldwell made the winning basket with seconds remaining as the Rivermen defeated Drury College 68-66.)
With their best season ever (19-5), the Rivermen were selected to host the 1971-1972 NCAA Midwest Regional Tournament. Before a crowd of over 5,500 at the Mark Twain fieldhouse, the Rivermen defeated the Coyotes of South Dakota, and the Lincoln University Tigers to win the tournament and advance to the NCAA quarterfinals. Riverman, Mark Bernsen was named the tourney MVP.
(Mark Bernsen chases the ball while teammate Greg Daust looks on. Bernsen scored 42 points as the Rivermen routed the Coyotes 114-72.)
Three time All-American Bobby Bone became UMSL's leading scorer in 1977 with 2,678 points. He was a starting player all four years, captain of the team his sophomore year and record holder for most points (44) in a single game.
Rolandis Nash goes in for the lay-up.
Rivermen baseball started in 1969 under the direction of coach Arnold Copeland. Home games were played at Forestwood Park in Ferguson until UMSL's filed was built. In 1973 the Rivermen won the Midwest Regional Title, a berth in the NCAA tournament and were ranked number three in Division II schools. In 1976, Rivermen shortstop Ron Tesller was signed by the Atlanta Braves. In 1977, coach Jim Dix led the Riverment to the NCAA Division II World Series where they lost to California-Riverside.
(2nd baseman and basketball star, Bobby Bone, during the 1974 season.)
The men's soccer program began in 1968 under head coach, Don Dallas. Practices were held at Normandy Junior High School until the completion of UMSL's athletic field in 1972. By 1973, Dallas led his team to the NCAA Division II championship by beating Adelphi University and the University of California.
UMSL's wrestling team debuted in 1972. Here wrestling standout Greg Holmes participates in UMSL's NCAA Division II championship in 1974.
The UMSL Women's Intercollegiate Sports Program began in the 1972-1973 season under the leadership of Judy Whitney. Teams included Field Hockey, Volleyball, Tennis, and Basketball. In 1974, the team took third place in state finals.
The women's volleyball team finished fourth in state in the 1974-1975 season. In 1977 they finished third in state and advanced to the 5 state regional tournament where they placed fourth out of eight teams.
In only their second year of play, the women's basketball team won the division title by defeating St. Louis University 55-40. The team, coached by former Riverman basketball center, Greg Daust, and Rita Hoff, compiled an 11-1 record.