The men's basketball program at Williams College is one of the most successful programs nationally in Division III.
Williams is ranked eighth nationally in both number of victories 1,453 and winning percentage (1,453-744, .661).
The Ephs have played in seven NESCAC Championship games and won the title in 2003, 2004, 2007 & 2010.
Curt Tong coached the first Eph NCAA Division III team in the 1975-76 season, leading the Ephs from 1974-81 and then in the 1982-83 season. Athletic Director Bob Peck filled in one season for Tong, 1981-82, and then Harry Sheehy '75 was hired as the full-time coach taking over for Tong at the beginning of the 1983-84 season. Sheehy had been an All-American playing for the Ephs and he came back to coach the Ephs after a long career with Athletes in Action, where he ended up as the all-time leader in points and rebounds for the team that represented the USA in many international tournaments.
Dave Paulsen '87 who was coached by Harry Sheehy at Williams took the reins of the program in the 2000-01 season. Paulsen led the Ephs to the NCAA title in 2003 and was twice named the NABC National Coach of the Year, After the 2007-08 season Paulsen left Williams to become the head coach at Division I Bucknell University.
Mike Maker followed Paulsen and he coached the Ephs from 2009-14, leading Williams to two runner-up finishes and one third place finish in the NCAA Tournament. After the 2013-14 campaign Maker left to take the head coaching position at Division I Marist College.
Kevin App whose first collegiate coaching job was as an assistant under Mike Maker at Williams, returned from assisting coaching stints at Cornell and West Point to lead the Ephs in the 2014-15 season, making Williams the site of his first collegiate head coaching position. App was 15-10 in his inaugural Eph season.
Eph Coaches in NCAA DIII Era Since 1975-76
|Harry Sheehy '75||1984-2000||324-104||.757||6||15-6||.714|
|Dave Paulsen '87||2001-08||170-53||.762||4||10-3||.769|
|Kevin App||2015 -||15-10||.600|
Williams was the first New England team to win 1,000 games and in 2003 became the first New England team to win the NCAA DIII championship. Video Highlights: 2003 NCAA Championship.
|Ephs end Holy Cross' 26-game home win streak|
A recent signature win for the program came on December 4, 2003 when the Ephs traveled to play Division I Holy Cross in Worcester. Williams stunned the Crusaders 78-71. Holy Cross was trying to protect a 26-game home court win streak. The senior trio of Chuck Abba, Mike Crotty, and Ben Cofffin led the Ephs by combining for 63 points.Even ESPN's famed Dick Vitale was impressed.
On Dec. 4, 2004 Williams defeated UMaine-Fort Kent 106-54 for their 63rd consecutive home court win, breaking the previous NCAA Div. III best of 62 held by North Park (IL). The Ephs' NCAA Division III-best streak ended at 64.
On Dec. 4, 2014 senior Hayden Rooke-Ley was the first NCAA Division III men's basketball player to be named the U.S. Basketball Writers Association Player of the Week for setting the DIII free throw mark of 67 straight makes. Read Mike Lopresti's profile of Hayden on NCAA.com.
Although the first NCAA Division III men's basketball champion was recognized in 1976, NESCAC teams by conference agreement were not permitted to compete in the NCAA Tournament until the 1993-94 season.
The Ephs have made seven trips to the Final Four in Salem, VA. Williams edged Gustavus Adolphus College (MN) 67-65 to claim the 2003 NCAA crown.
NCAA DIII Tourney Final Four
Eph NCAA DIII Tournament History
Ephs Named to NCAA ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM at FINAL FOUR:
1997: Michael Nogelo '98
1998: Michael Nogelo '98
2003: Ben Coffin '04 & Michael Crotty '04
2004: Michael Crotty '04 & Tucker Kain '05
2010: Blake Schultz '10 & Troy Whittington '11
2011: Nate Robertson '13
2014: Mike Mayer '14 & Duncan Robinson '17
|Michael Nogelo '98|
|Blake Schultz '10|
Michael Nogelo '98 set an NCAA Division III Tournament Record when he tallied 178 points in six games in the 1998 tournament. Nogelo also holds the Eph record for most points scored in one NCAA Tournament game. He erupted for a career-high 38 points in his final collegiate contest a 105-93 win over Wilkes University, securing 3rd place for the Ephs.
Nogelo was the first winner of the prestigious Jostens Trophy as Division III's top player in 1998 and graduated as the Ephs' all-time leading scorer with 2,002 points.
Additionally, Nogelo was an NABC First Team All-American three years in a row – 1996-98 and in 1998 was named the NABC National Player of the Year.
Blake Schultz '10, a First Team NABC All-American in 2010, was the second Eph player to win the coveted Jostens Trophy. Schultz tallied 1,528 points in his career.