Athletics: Men's Basketball: History

Athletics: Men's Basketball: History

The beginning of men's basketball and athletics at Danville Jr. College

DACC Men's Basketball

Basketball was the first sport to be added into the athletic program at DACC.  In the fall of 1947, several young men attending Danville Jr. College, then an Extension Center of the University of Illinois, pushed for an athletic program.  The students, without a coach, practiced football plays and trained in the hope a team would be organized.

Danville Jr. College played home at numerous locations before the Mary Miller Gymnasium was completed in 1972.  Danville High School, the Danville Armory and several area schools in both Illinois and Indiana served as home courts for the Jaguars.  The teams have held practice sessions in  numerous places also.  Practice sites range from the DHS girls gym to Washington Grade School.

1947-48 SEASON
Glen Murphy, the director of the Danville Y.M.C.A., was hired as a part-time instructor at Danville Jr. College and was then hired as the first head men's basketball coach.  His salary was one hundred dollars a year. The team had two games on their schedule and went undefeated that season. The last game of the year had an altercation  involving a DJC player and a referee. Before the skirmish was over several players and spectators were involved.

1948-49 Season
The second season had a 10 game schedule.  Unlike the undefeated season a year ago, Danville Jr. College failed to win a game.  After the season Murphy resigned.

The DJC Basketball team, led by Coach Joe Ward, who was also the Track and Field coach at Danville High School, played the majority of its games in the Military League. Home games were played at the Danville Armory, and the Jaguars faced opponents such as the Army Reserves, the Navy Reserves, and Bunker Hill Air Force Base. DJC won the Military League Championship in 1962 and placed fourth at the Canton Tournament.

Ed Evemeyer, an instructor at DJC, became the head coach.  Evemeyer was instrumental in forming the Central Illinois Athletic Conference.  Some of those teams include Danville, Parkland College, Kankakee Community College, Lake Land College, and Lincoln Land Community College.   Danville Jr. College  played several other junior colleges on Illinois. No records were available.

Dick Bodine, the assistant basketball coach in the 1965-66 season became the head coach for the 1966-67 season.  Bodine was a prep star from Covington, Indiana.  He received his B.S. degree from Indiana State.  Bodine played two years at ISU.  No records are available.

1966-67 SEASON
DACC played a nineteen game schedule this year.  Danville completed the season with a 5 win and 14 loss record.  No statistic are available.

1967-68 SEASON
DACC played 19 games this season.  Danville finished with the most successful basketball season in the school's history.  This was the first winning basketball season.  The highlight of the season was the defeat of Canton Jr. College with the reserves.  The entire starting line-up became ineligible after the first semester.

1968-69 SEASON
The Jaguars had a season record of 20 wins and 9 losses, a new school record.  Four times during the season, the team scored over one hundred points.  The largest number of spectators at a DACC athletic contest saw the opening game against Thornton Jr. College.  The estimated attendance was 1,600 at the Schlarman High gymnasium.

1969-70 SEASON
The Jaguars went 15-10 this year.  The were beat by Olney 61-57 in the Region IV Sectional Tournament.   At one point  of the year DACC was the top defensive junior college team in the nation.  The Jags avereaged 70.6 points per game and allowed their opponents only 60.9 points per game.

Jim Heeren was named to succeed Jim Williams as head basketball coach.  Heeren graduated from Edwardsville High School and was a member of their state tournament teams in 1951 and 1954.  He received his B.S. Degree at the University of Lousiville.  At Louisville, Heeren was a member of the 1956 N.I.T. championship team.  His last coaching position was at Spoon River College on Canton, Illinois.

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