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Men's Basketball at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee - Archives Dept.: Timeline

A brief history of men's basketball at UWM, from its beginnings at Milwaukee State Teacher's College to the present day.

UWM Basketball Timeline

1895: The first men’s basketball team is established at the Milwaukee Normal School. No record of the Normals' first season remains, but they dominate the next two seasons, playing exclusively against city high schools and local YMCAs. 



1911: Starting in 1911 with new head coach Emmet “Doc” Angeli, the Normals win two state normal championships and one South Wisconsin State championship in the Wisconsin Normal Conference. In his four seasons, Angeli accrues a .750 win percentage.


1930: Guy Penwell begins his first of 18 seasons at the recently renamed Milwaukee State Teacher’s College. His coaching leads the “Green Gulls” to four regular season league championships, including the only undefeated season in UWM basketball (1940-1941, 16-0).



1960: The UW-Milwaukee Cardinals, led by Russ Rebholz, win the Wisconsin State Colleges Conference championship, leading to UWM's first ever post-season appearance.


1973: Following a series of disappointing seasons, Coaches Ray Krzoska and Charles Parsely turn around the UW Panthers' record, and in 1973, these efforts elevated the Panthers into Division I of the NCAA for the first time.



1980: After mixed performances in Division I, the Panthers are dropped to Division III.  With the help of Coach Bob Voight, Milwaukee quickly rebounds, landing in the NCAA III regional tournament in 1982 and moving up to Division II in 1987.



1989: UW-Milwaukee makes it to the Elite Eight in the Division II NCAA tournament, but are defeated by Southeast Missouri State, 93-84.


1994: UW-Milwaukee joins the Horizon League (formerly the Midwestern Collegiate Conference).


2003: The Panthers win their first Horizon League Tournament championship, which leads in turn to a slot in their first NCAA Division I tournament. Their post-season run is cut short with a 70-69 loss to Notre Dame in the first round.



2005: After a nail-biting win over Detroit in the Horizon League Tournament, the Panthers, coached by Bruce Pearl, upset Alabama and Boston College in the NCAA Division I Tournament before finally bowing out to Illinois in the sweet sixteen.


2006: The following season with new head coach Rob Jeter would see the Panthers repeat as Horizon League Champs and upset sixth seed Oklahoma in the NCAA tournament before losing to the eventual champions, Florida, in the second round.  

Corresponding Photographs