Guilford Athletics through the ages

Intro: The following article explores the rich history of Guilford Athletics by tracing its timeline and showcasing alumni experiences on how Guilford Athletics affected their lives.

1838-1888: In this time, hunting and a modified version of “soccer” were popular. Soccer consisted of throwing the ball into bounds and having both teams attempt to advance towards the goal.

1867: Men’s baseball was introduced at the “New Garden Boarding School,” the predecessor to Guilford.

1888: “Girls should have advantages equal in every respect to those offered to boys,” wrote President Lewis Hobbs. True to his word, he opened a physical education program and a baseball team for women, despite the Guilford Collegian publication’s warnings that the girls would surely steal all the baseballs.

1893: Guilford commenced their men’s football team with their first game against the Charlotte YMCA.

1900-1920: Guilford’s golden era of men’s baseball begins, and Guilford wins baseball championships in 1906, 1908, 1913, 1917 and 1918.

1902-3: Guilford Science Professor Raymond Binford starts men and women’s track and cross-country teams.

1906: Guilford defeats Wake Forest University, 26-19, in basketball many claim it was the first Carolinian intercollegiate game.

1911: The Collegian advocated resources for women’s athletics.

1913: Lady Quakers created an association for women’s sports and appointed managers for women’s basketball, tennis and track, although they did not receive proper funding.

1968: First co-ed dance.

1940: Alumni Gym built over “The Barn,” where students used to play sports.

1968: Guilford Athletics logo redesigned to current version.

1970s: President Grimsley Hobbs, a former school wrestler and runner, promoted sports equality and funds to what had previously been known as minor sports. He also helped women’s sports achieve collegiate status and gave women’s sports long-desired grants-in-aid.

1973: Men’s basketball won the NAIA National Championship with future NBA players M.L. Carr, World B. Free and Greg Jackson.

1975-80: Women’s volleyball sets the bar high, winning second and third several times in the North Carolina Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women, before proceeding to the NAIA National Tournament.

1981-6: Women’s tennis excels, winning four conference titles.

1990s: Guilford joins the NCAA Division III and leaves the NAIA. The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted Guilford’s Tony Womack ’91. Lee Porter ’89 goes to the U.S. Open to finish 32nd.

2005: Jordan Snipes ’07 shoots an amazing, buzzer-beating, full-court shot. Someone captures this on video and it goes viral.

2006: Guilford renames new press box after longtime athletic director Herb Appenzeller.

2011: Guilford hosts the NCAA Division III Men’s Golf Championships in Greensboro at the Grandover.

2013: Guilford claims second straight ODAC Women’s Basketball Championship title.

Guilford Alumni illustrated how Guilford Athletics impacted their life and where they are today.


“The academics at Guilford were very demanding and I (realized I) must focus more on my studies if I was going to get the value from my education that I would need to be successful later in life,” said Baseball Player Larry Spainhour ‘70. “I played a lot of team tennis as a young adult and I have played golf since a teenager and continue to do so today. I retired at the beginning of this year, 2013 from telecommunications.”


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“I learned much from my coaches and mentors at Guilford; Clyde Parish and Jerry Steele, Stuart Maynard, and Herb Appenzeller, because they modeled traits that I admired and have tried to emulate for the rest of my life,” said Dan Kuzma ‘64. He played basketball for four years and baseball for one.


“I taught (38 years), coached (25 years) and officiated (25 years) on a high school level … and in recreation programs in my community. I am in my 49th year as a professional educator, 38 years on a high school level and 22 years facilitating teachers’ workshops and teaching educational courses on a graduate level,”


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“Guilford Athletics enhanced my collegiate experience by incorporating the rigors of athletics with the rigors of academic achievement,” said Chuck Scott ‘66, former basketball team captain. “There was a total spirit that was incorporated throughout the campus that included students, professors, coaches and athletes. Everyone was proud to be associated with Guilford College.


“I remained active in team sports for approximately 15 years after graduation and today still participate in individual sports. I went into the Apparel/Textile business in Executive Management, and retired in 2010.”


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“Playing sports had always been my passion; the Guilford experience gave me four more years of competition that I might not otherwise have had,” said Ed Parker ‘69.


“I taught mathematics and coached baseball and basketball in the public schools the first four years after I left Guilford. Since finishing my PhD in mathematics at Emory University I have been a mathematician and college professor, first at Pan American University in Edinburg, Texas for 7 years, then at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia for 28 years.”


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“I have kept in touch with classmates for over 50 years, and ski with the quarterback on our team every year,” said Curt Hege Sr. ‘52.


“I attended Guilford on a football scholarship and could not have gone to college otherwise. Today, I am CEO of a construction company.  I’m often at Guilford and served on Guilford board of trustees 18 years.”


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“I helped found Guilford’s first wrestling team,” said Warren Steward ‘68. “When I was in high school, I played three sports: football baseball and wrestling. I went to Grundy High School, the premier wrestling high school, which were stage champions for 25 years.




“At the time Guilford was trying to improve their sports teams and told me to come, and they would figure the scholarship out, which was irregular. I do sports every day … and the doctors have said to me multiple times that if I hadn’t been so athletic I wouldn’t be alive, and I’m grateful in part to Guilford for encouraging that. Herb Appenzeller and a local businessman worked with me, and I helped them get the program started, because I knew wrestling really well. I finished my PhD and was a school superintendent before retiring.”


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“Probably don’t have to convince anybody here about the physical benefits of sports…plus they are fun,” said Amy Alfaro, ‘90. “But I would submit to you that sports also teach us a lot of valuable life lessons. 35 years of soccer has taught me that we cannot succeed on our own. We depend on others for our success- whether you play a team sport or an individual sport there are coaches, trainers, teachers, fans, etc. to support you. Most goals, basket, spikes, touchdowns, or however you score follow a quality pass from a teammate.”


Special thanks to:

The Alumni Relations Office


Dave Walters, sports information director and assistant director of athletics


“Pride of the Past,” Former Athletic Director Herb Appenzeller’s book on Guilford Athletics history.