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1971-05 Interview with Adolph Rupp, May 1971 AF007:1996OH023 A/F 538 00:48:27 University of Kentucky Athletics Project Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Rupp, Adolph, 1901-1977 Allen, Forrest Claire, 1885- Naismith, James, 1861-1939 University of Kansas--Basketball Basketball coaches--Biography Basketball--History Freeport (Ill.) UKAW Adolph Rupp; interviewee Russell Rice; interviewer 1996OH023_AF538_Rupp 1:|11(7)|21(5)|31(9)|40(9)|53(6)|63(4)|73(8)|96(14)|107(7)|119(10)|132(13)|143(4)|155(4)|167(2)|178(7)|189(10)|204(2)|215(9)|227(5)|238(9)|248(8)|260(3)|270(13)|281(10)|292(1)|303(1)|318(8)|328(5)|337(4)|346(7)|356(2)|366(11)|376(7)|386(14)|397(1)|405(6)|415(8)|425(6)|435(12)|445(10)|455(6)|465(11)|476(13)|487(8)|498(2)|515(2)|524(8)|535(4) audiotrans ARupp interview RUPP: I had the privilege, to have an opportunity, in 1919 when I came to the University of Kansas, to meet Dr. Naismith, and of course, he wasn't a difficult man to find, because he was always in the gymnasium early and late. He was a hard worker. He was interested in developing the youth of the land. That was right after the war. And of course, at that time, the boys that came back after the Army soon got soft, because they were a tough bunch of boys that came back from World War I. Naismith was chiefly concerned in seeing that these boys would maintain a good physical condition, and not get out of shape, because he believed that that was harmful, and that everyone should be required to take some form of physical education. The game of basketball, of course, at that time, had already grown to great proportions, and almost every school in the country had a basketball team. I remember the first class I ever had under Dr. Naismith was a class in hygiene. He was a very interesting teacher. He taught largely from his huge knowledge, he seldom had any notes, he lectured very interestingly, and he talked very plainly. He didn't hesitate to call a spade a spade, and he was mainly concerned to see that the boys conducted themselves the way gentleman ought to that attend a state university. He was interested in basketball, but Naismith told me many, many times, that he never believed that the game of basketball would ever be a game that would draw national attention, and he never believed that it would ever grow to the point where admission would be charged to see the game played. I wish that it were possible for Dr. Naismith to come back and see the game as it has developed now, because he wouldn't believe that you could turn out crowds as large as we have today, to see the games. He later, of course, as we had this game, as I mentioned a while ago, I believe it was war ring, he called it, where we took those tires and put them out there on that football field, and he thought that might be a great game. But I think after the first demonstration, he felt that the game would not be popular at all, and he gave up on it. But his mind was always active, thinking about developing the youth of the country, and particularly the youth there at the university. He was also a minister, and I never heard him curse at any time. I--he never lost his temper. He attended basketball practice, and he was very much interested in the boys that played basketball. They were his darlings, and you could go into his office at any time that you wanted to, and have a nice chat with him. I remember when we sent him to the Olympic Games in Berlin in 1936. It was my assignment, at that time, to call him out of the room, because the National Association of Basketball Coaches didn't have a great deal of money at that time, and they were thinking of sending Dr. Naismith and his wife to the Olympic Games, and--because they were being played, for the first time, in Olympic competition, and they thought that the inventor of the game should make the trip. And I called him out, and I didn't think they'd ever get that vote taken and find the money to send him, because I ran out of everything to talk to the man about, and he was getting fidgety, and I guess he wondered, What in the world does Adolph want with me out here? Why doesn't he get to the point? And I couldn't tell him that they're talking about you in there, because that would have given it away. But soon they came to the door and they motioned for me to bring the doctor in. I brought the doctor in, and when they told him that they had decided that they would send he and his wife to the Olympic games, the doctor choked, and was really deeply impressed with the fact that now the game had really and truly become an international sport, where teams from all over the world were competing, and it made him so happy to think that the game was being played in the Olympics. And of course, Dr. Allen was responsible for the acceptance of the game in the Olympics. He fought and fought to get this by the Olympic committee. But for some reason or another, they didn't think that basketball would be a good game. I think they've changed their mind on this now, and I think basketball will be a part of the Olympics for a long time to come. But as I say, it was my privilege to work with Dr. Naismith. I'd often go into his office and just sit down and breeze with him. He always had time to talk. He always was interesting. He had a little Canadian accent, and he had a moustache, and always had that twinkle in his eye, you could always tell he was glad to see you, and you could stay just as long as you wanted to, and he had the time for you. I learned a lot from this man. I learned a lot of his philosophy, his philosophy in life, the way he felt about things, and then, of course, he also passed some of this on to Dr. Allen, as I mentioned before, and from the two of them, I got the philosophy of basketball that I now embrace. Have you about got that? [Pause in recording] RUPP: Are you ready? Well, I finally graduated from the University of Kansas in 1923, and I think there were 666 in our graduating class. [Pause in recording] RUPP: Start all over again? RICE: Yes sir. RUPP: I graduated from the University of Kansas in 1923. I think there were 666 in our graduating class. I remember we had our commencement exercise in a big tent, and oh, it was hot. I think it was around the fifth of June, and the sun just beat down, we had a big speaker, I don't remember, some important fellow came down there, tried to save, not only the country, tried to save the world that day, and he--a long winded old guy, and then of course we had to walk across the platform and get our diplomas. And that took an awful lot of time. They've improved on that situation since then. And then of course came that awful realization that you had to find a job. Well, I couldn't find a job of any kind. I was a graduate of the school of business administration, and so I came back the following year, and I again went up to Jayhawk and there I had my job again, and I enrolled in school, and took graduate work, and was an assistant in the department of economics. I would help supervise the classes, and I graded a lot of papers. And that was a thankless job, I can tell you that right now. Whenever these cute little old girls found out who was grading the papers, you don't realize how popular you get all at once, and girls didn't like to study any more in those days than they do now, and especially economics. They didn't care about that a great deal. I don't know if you ought to teach girls economics, maybe you ought to just hand them a little money every morning, and when they get that all spent that's the end of the economics for them. But these girls found out I was grading the papers, and so they'd come down to Jayhawk and see me, and they'd ask me a lot of questions, you know, and act awful important, and when I'd get those papers back, and find just blank, blank, blank pages that they hadn't answered, and then that true and false thing, and that sure was a mess, and the little old things would come in there and want to know what their grades were, and I'd tell them, "Well, I just don't remember what your grades were. You'll have to go up and get that from the professor." And then they'd go up and see the professor, and the professor would tell them, "Well, you got an F," or something like that, and they'd come down there crying, and wanted to know if I couldn't do something about it, that they're going to get kicked out of their sorority if they don't get a good grade. And of course, that wasn't my fault, my fault was that I had to grade those papers and just give them the grade that they earned. But I think that I did kind of get a little lenient with these--the question- -the true and false, you couldn't do anything about that. They came out true or false, and there wasn't anything you could do about that. Now, the essay-type questions, you could kind of overlook a thing like that, and I knew the professors weren't going to check two hundred papers and see whether I was a little lenient with some of these little angels, so I helped some of those little girls a little bit. And, it was quite an experience. So the next year I got a job coaching in a little town of Burr Oak, Kansas, and I had a chance to go to Arkansas City, or to Burr Oak, and I--salary was exactly the same. Arkansas City was in the old league with Newton and Wichita, and Hutchinson, and Burr Oak was out in the western part of the state, I don't know why I ever took that job, and I was football coach, and basketball coach, and track coach, and baseball coach, all of it. Had seven or eight teachers there and we finally started what was supposed to be football practice. Well, we had a football, everybody showed up in overalls. And, never had a bit of equipment. Not one bit of equipment. So, we finally, the principal and I made a trip around, we watched some of these other teams practicing, all of them had equipment, that we were going to play, they were on our schedule, there wasn't anything we could do about it, we didn't have any equipment. So, we met with the superintendent of schools, and president of the school board, and they said, "Well, go ahead and order that equipment and order as little of it as you can get by on." Well, we ordered as little of it as we could get by on, and checked this stuff out to the kids, and it wound up that I had to pay for most of it, and so when I got through, I wasn't going to stick around a place like that. They didn't even have a place to play basketball. And then they took an old barn and renovated that thing and made a skating rink out of it. Well, whenever they didn't skate, we could play basketball in there. And that was a mess. If you can imagine skating in there and getting the floor all slick and everything else, and then having basketball practice. And then track team was the same thing, and then the baseball team, I had all I wanted; I didn't want any more of that. So I left there, and the following year I went to Marshalltown, Iowa. And, I got in there as an assistant coach. Marshalltown is a big town. And, had a lot of good factories in it, and just a nice situation. And they were building a new high school; they were getting in it the next year, and just had nice people to work with. There was a fellow by the name of Brian Miller, who was from my home town of Halstead, who was the principal of the high school, and he got the job for me there. And, I went up there, and I stayed at the YMCA where all the young men stayed. We all stayed there. And, we had just had a nice, good time, all would go swimming in the evening, and play cards, and just have a good time around there. But, I finally wound up being the wrestling coach. Now, I didn't know anything about wrestling, I'd never seen a wrestling match in my life. And, I didn't know anything about the thing, and they had a boy named Allie Morrison who turned out to be one of the finest wrestlers, in fact, the year before, he won the AAU championship while he was in high school, in his weight. He was a clever little rascal, but he was too old to compete in high school. So I said, "Allie, while I'm out here now then with the football team," I was line coaching football, "while I'm out there helping with that business, you get these wrestlers going." So I bought a book on wrestling, and I didn't know one hold from another. I just--all I knew is you just take a guy and throw him on his back and try to pin him, that was all I knew about it. So I'd sneak in there and kind of watch, see what they were doing, and Allie was doing a fine job. Well, we won ever single match that we had. Of course, I was a faculty advisor, let's put it that way, I wasn't the coach, because I couldn't coach anything. So we finally went to the state tournament, and we all got ready to go, and superintendent of schools decided that Allie couldn't make the trip. And, I wanted him with me. And, we, of course, had already worked through some of these preliminary elimination tournaments, and we went to Iowa State, and that was at Drake. No, it wasn't, that was--where is Iowa State? RICE: Ames? RUPP: Ames, Iowa. Ames, Iowa. That's where it is. Ames, Iowa. And I had a--we stayed at a fraternity house, and I know I had an eighty pounder. A kid weighed eighty pounds, and he wrestled, and that night I had him in an upper bunk, and he fell out of bed, and he cried all night long, said he hurt his shoulder and everything else, and he couldn't wrestle. I said, "You've got to wrestle." There were only four left in that division, and I had to have that point. I said, "If you don't win anything, we'll at least get one point out of the deal," and by Jove, that was the point that we won the state wrestling championship with. We were down, and had a win with a fall in the heavyweight division in order to win it, and we won that in twenty-six seconds. By the time those two heavyweights got in there, our boy pinned this other boy, and we won the state championship. You can imagine how I felt walking up there and getting the trophy for having coached the state wrestling championship team. Oh, they had a big crowd. They turned out crowds there, and at Okalahoma State, and places like that, bigger than they do for basketball. They really turn out crowds. Man, that place was jammed. Well, we finally came home, and they had a big assembly, and they had--of course, I had to present this trophy to the high school principal, and I never felt as bad in my life as I did that day when I knew I was presenting something to a high school and didn't have a thing to do with it, except I was just a chaperone of a team, and that Allie Morrison should have had the credit for it, and of course we gave him all the credit for it. And, he was just a tremendous help, and if it hadn't been for Allie, I don't think we'd have had a wrestling team that year, because I sure didn't know anything about it. Well, the next year, that spring, I got a nice raise there. And I liked those people there. They were just nice. We were going into a new high school, and I remember they had a superintendent by the name of Shirley, and they had a--this principal by the name of Brian Miller, and, oh, I liked those two fellows. In fact, I liked everybody there at that school. It was just a nice group to work with. And, going into a nice school system intrigued me. Well, I got a letter one day from Freeport, Illinois, wanting to know if I'd be interested in their job. They had a brand new high school, they were moving into it that year. And I said, "Well, there's no harm in going over there and looking at this thing," so I got on a train, I went to Freeport, Illinois, and I stayed there at the YMCA the first night, went up and looked at the high school, and there was a fellow, principal of the high school named L. A. Fulwider, and I'll tell you, there's a man that's a principal, he should have been the principal of every high school in the United States. He reminds me of another man that I think is an outstanding principal of a high school, and that's Mr. Sweeney down here in Shelby County High School. There were two men that came out of the same cast, the same mold. I tell you they were men that you just don't run across very often in the school system. And, this fellow was just as loyal as he could be. Well, I was coaching the line in football, and coaching the basketball team. They have two divisions in Illinois. They did at the time, I don't know if they do anymore or not. They had the lightweights and the heavyweights. Anyone that weighed under 130 pounds had to play in the 130 pound division, and of course the bad feature of that was that the lightweight coach always got these kids that weighed around 140 to 145 pounds, and had them train down, and lose weight, to take them off the heavyweight squad, so that he'd have a good lightweight team. Well, I didn't like that. So I went in and I told the principal I didn't think much of that, I thought that the heavyweight team was the team that represented the school, and that anybody that I wanted, I ought to have. He agreed with me, and so after fussing around a little bit, I got a nice bunch of boys out and we went to work. And, we had a brand new gym, and we had a fine team the very first year we were there. It was awful difficult, because they had won the state championship the year before, and they only had one boy back, and that kid's name was Ruthie, and the rest of the boys hadn't played, and hadn't played lightweight ball or anything. So I had to go to work fundamentally, right from the very beginning, and we just worked and worked and worked, and we, of course, had some practice games. We practiced against some of the smaller schools in our area. They'd come over and play us on our court, because it was a new court, it was a bigger court. They'd come over and we'd have three or four practice games before the season started. I remember the first game that we played was the school of the deaf. Well--and it was during the Christmas holidays, and the principal said it didn't make any difference whether I stayed there or not, and I didn't stay there, but I went home for the vacation, which, of course, was a mistake. It was just an exhibition game anyway. I never could figure out how the school of the deaf could play basketball and hear the whistles and all that, it was just strictly an exhibition game. And I think we got beat two points or something like that, or maybe we won it by two. I don't remember the score at all. And then we got ready to go into our regular season's game. And the first year was difficult, because I had installed an entirely new system of play. Pat Holmes, who was a coach there the year before I came, was an excellent coach, he was not only an excellent basketball coach, but he was an excellent football coach. He had the national championship team in football two years straight, and then went back and played New Britain, Connecticut in a post-season football game at New Britain, Connecticut, and beat them 33-0. And, the town was just wild. They were wild. And then of course you had a state championship basketball team, and Pat was such an excellent coach, that the University of Wisconsin hired him the following year to come up there and coach their freshman football team. So, that gave me the opening to come into Freeport. Well, they offered me three hundred dollars more, I believe, than they offered me at Marshalltown, so I was coming up the ladder pretty well, and I went back and told the folks at Marshalltown that I thought I was moving on to Freeport. Well, of course, I hated to leave there. I really did hate to leave there. I didn't know anyone at Freeport; I was just going into another strange situation. And, you can move too many times. But, I knew this was a good opportunity, I wanted to coach basketball anyway, I didn't want to fool with this wrestling anymore, and I wanted a job of my own. And, I was getting three hundred dollars more, going into a beautiful school system, and the people I met there all looked honest to me, but they tried to talk me out of it there at Marshalltown, but I stayed hitched. And, I do say this, that those men insisted that I go on and get my master's degree. They said, "If you're going to get anywhere in the school business, you've got to have an advanced degree." So that spring, one of the other boys there and I went to Columbia University in New York for the summer session. And, we went four consecutive years to summer school, and got our advanced degree there. We got our masters degree, and then we got a principal's diploma. I was going in the school teaching business when, of course, I got the call to come down here to coach basketball at the University of Kentucky. But, there's a lot to place in between. [Pause in recording] RICE: Wait a minute. Time out. RUPP: All right, whenever you've got it running. Now, of course, Freeport is just a small little German Dutch community, in an agricultural area. And it's really a rich agricultural area, and the farmers there are very, very thrifty. They had very fine homes, they had very fine farms. The barns were nice, the outbuildings were all nice, and farming really was a very stable crop. The--every farmer there seemed to raise a good crop of corn. I don't think there were any allotments in those days. I know there were none. And, they all fed out cattle, and sold these cattle, of course, you know, on the Chicago market, and then they sold their hogs on the Chicago market, and that was the chief source of income. Cattle, hogs, and some of them, of course, just raised the corn, and sold the corn. Now, it was said at the time, that Freeport did not have a depression during the depression. Freeport, along with Hershey, Pennsylvania did not miss a payroll during the big depression. We had some factories in town, and for a small town of about twenty-five, twenty-six thousand we had some fairly nice factories there in town. We had some steel casting plants, and we had two windmill plants, because in those days, the farmers still, to a large extent, in the west, depended on windmills for their water supply out on the range. And, you could sell all the windmills that you could manufacture. Then we had the W. T. Rawleigh Company, which was a--it wasn't exactly a patent medicine firm. I wouldn't call it that. It was a very fine plant. It employed a lot of people. Run with an iron hand by a man by the name of W. T. Rawleigh. He sold everything that they needed on the farms, and as you will recall in those days, they had men coming through almost every section of the United States with a horse and buggy, and you wouldn't call them peddlers, but they had salesmen, let's call them salesmen, selling the W. T. Rawleigh products. They had all the extracts that they could manufacture, and of course, the vanilla extract made by the W. T. Rawleigh Company was supposed to be the very finest that could be manufactured. They made talcum powder, they made hog feeds, and they made hog medicines, and cattle medicines. They made just everything that a farm would need. They made pills that they sold for almost everything that you could think of. Then, two men, of course, started the Furst-McNess company. I think it was a man by the name of Furst, and one by the name of McNess, and they started a similar plant, not far, I would say about five or six blocks from the W. T. Rawleigh Company, and they did the same kind of manufacturing as the W. T. Rawleigh Company did. It was door to door selling. They sold salves, and they sold talcum powders, and they sold extracts, and they sold everything that they could get their hands on. They were very competitive. Then there was, of course, another company, the Watkins Company, and I think that was based in Minnesota somewhere and those were the three that were the big companies that were peddling products to the farmers all over the United States. And, I would say, at one time, that the stock in these companies, you just could not buy it. It was just so valuable; they just had a fortune, the way they were operating. And so, of course, they had a good payroll, their employees were all well-satisfied, and of course they had then after the prohibition was repealed, some breweries started coming in there. But, they did have some good little factories in town there. But Freeport, for some reason or another, did not go, because late in the '20s, they had some labor trouble. And, for some reason or another, factories have a tendency to avoid a community where there's a lot of labor problems, and so the factories did not come in there. There was a town by the name of Rockford, some twenty-eight miles east of Freeport that had a lot of furniture factories, and they employed, of course, thousands and thousands of people, and many of the people in Freeport went over there to work in the same plants. Then, of course, we had also some insurance companies there. I think we had four insurance companies based there in town. The Crum and Forester insurance agency was there. They had a branch there, and they put up a new building while I was there in town, and they had some automobile insurance companies that the local men there established, and if I'll say this, I say it with pride, because these men made a fortune out of these companies. I don't know what happened to them later on, because, as I say, I left there after four years, and I do not know what happened to them after that. But, the town has not changed a great deal. I was back there several years ago. The town looks very much the same. But, it was always wild about football, and wild about basketball, and we, of course, ran into a very nice situation when we came there to coach. I got a room at the YMCA, which was a new building. They had seventy rooms that they rented, and of course all the young men in the community that didn't have a place to stay, salesmen, and others, stayed at the YMCA building. We had a bowling alley, we had a poolroom, we had swimming pools, and we just enjoyed staying there. Then later, they had a restaurant open in the building so that you could get your meals there, and we just had a good time visiting back and forth. The rooms weren't very elaborate. I don't remember even having a picture in the entire bedroom, except one that I had on my dresser. And, I had a dresser, and I had, of course, a bed. And, the bathroom was right across the hall from me. There were about four or five shower rooms, and the necessary place to shave, and things like that, which you have in all the YMCAs. Now, in November the thirtieth of that year, we had the kick off for the first basketball game, and we had Charlie Paddock, who was the world's fastest human, at the time, come in there to speak to us. And he made a fine talk. He spoke in the assembly, which was, of course, the gymnasium, and talked to us for quite a while. Very inspirational. And, I thought we kicked off the basketball season in a nice vein. Now, we had, of course, a tough proposition, as I said. I only had one letterman back, the lightweight coach didn't have anyone back, and we had, as I said before, we played the school of the deaf in a practice game, and then, of course, we played several other practices with some of the smaller teams in that area. Now, as I said before, I also missed that first game, I didn't stay there for it. I went home for Christmas, which was possibly a mistake, because I think a man should stay with his team during the Christmas holidays, because a team develops best at that time. If he doesn't, those that you leave in charge just don't do the job the way you would want them to. Now then when we returned from the holidays, we started then, to get into our regular schedule. We got down to playing the members of the state championship team of the year before. And, of course, they beat us 32-25. Not unusual, of course, because they had a very fine team, and many of those boys were going away to college, and they came back in good shape, that was during--right after the Christmas holiday, and before they returned back to college. Then our first game was against Dubuque. We beat Dubuque 21-16, and then we lost to Belvidere 12-16, before our opening conference game, which was at West Aurora. We won that 25-22. Then, interesting thing about this, in our game against Belvidere, we didn't score a single field goal in the first half. Now, in East Aurora game on January twenty-second, our team was held scoreless, twelve to nothing in the first half, we lost 21-10, only made three field goals in the whole game. You can't imagine a game like that being played today, but basketball has changed a great deal. Then we played Elsah, and we beat Elsah 20-19. We changed a few things, and it seemed to work better. We came back then and we beat Belvidere 19-14. Then--we always played some teams out of Chicago, we played New Trier High School, which was a big school. As I remember, they had either three or six thousand students at the time. And they had two brothers there, Paletti boys, and they beat us 24-36, and we beat Joliet 19-17. That was the first game that they lost, they were supposed to be unbeatable. Then we got in our tournament games, records, and we beat then, of course, you had to play whoever you drew at the tournament, we beat Warren, a small school 28-11, and then we beat Stockton 44-11, and then against South Beloit, the semi-finals, our regulars only played a little more than a quarter, and I put in the second team and they polished them off 35-11. Now Rockford had a very powerful team that year and they beat us 32-15 in the finals, and there were a large number of fouls called in that game, several of our boys fouled out, and it was, of course, just about the way we expected the game to turn out. The--Jim Laude, a boy from Iowa, coached the Rockford team, a very fine coach. Later on he went to Columbia University, and it was my privilege to always have classes with him back there, and every evening we'd meet and have dinner together, and it got to be to where we really got to know each other very well. The--I finally got to where I was working out the junior high school boys then, in the springtime, trying to develop them and get them interested, a little bit, in basketball. There were so many of them that showed up, that I don't know if I accomplished anything by this or not, because so many of them showed up there. And, we, of course, worked about two or three weeks, you don't accomplish much at that time anyway, and we'd go to our games, we didn't have a school bus in those days, didn't have any school busses at all. You got to school the best way that you could, and if you lived out in the country, of course it was your business to see that you got there. If you lived six or seven miles out, that was your business. And so, you see, things have changed a great deal now. If you live three or four blocks, school bus picks you up. So, we always had some of our friends who would take us on these trips, and we had a fellow by the name Red Greb, who had a big car, and we had Elmer Hoffman, who turned out to be one of the best friends that I had down through the years, and still is a very dear friend of mine, and we had Ross Hepner, and then one or two of the parents of the boys would drive us, and the--since the lightweights always played before we did, they usually left a couple of hours before the heavyweights, and of course, we didn't have a chance to stay at any hotels. We got into a community, we'd usually go to a restaurant and get something to eat, and then go to the gymnasium and wait, watch the lightweights play, then we'd dress, and then we'd come home that night. Elmer and I, of course, lived together at the YMCA; he just lived the next room to me. Every evening, of course, we'd go and go to a Tinsley cigar store, and get the evening paper that came out of Chicago, The Hawkeye Limited. It got there at 8:30, and we'd get the evening paper and study it. At that time, I was playing the stock market a little bit, so was he, and we were getting ready for the crash that was eventually to come in a couple years from then. We didn't know that, of course, but then we thought things were going very good for us. We had one or two men there in town that gave us some very fine tips on some stocks that made us some good money, and we thought this thing had been going on pretty good, and it beat teaching school, and we thought, By George, this is an easy way to make some money. Only to find out that in 1929, in one afternoon, we lost about everything that we had and then some. We played golf together, and I, at that time, I think, was responsible for teaching Elmer, oh, I didn't teach him; I kidded him into playing golf left-handed. He was right handed in most everything else that he did. He eats right-handed, and does everything else right-handed, but he wanted to--he had trouble with his right-handed golf swing, so I says, "Well, play it left-handed." He turned out to be one of the best left-handed golfers in the state, and I think won the left-handed golf championship four or five times, and still makes a lot of these left-handed golf tournaments all over the country. Now, my lightweight coach left and went to Davenport, Iowa, where he turned out, I think, six or seven state championship teams before he retired. His name was Moon, and he was a very fine coach. Did a fine job at Davenport, Iowa, and a young man from Muscatine, Iowa, came in there as lightweight coach by the name of Kloos, and Kloos, of course, helped me with the heavyweights. Very--a lot of help to me. He helped me in scouting. He--we'd always sit together and talk about things, and talked about our mistakes and talked about our good things, and I got an awful lot of good from this young man, because he succeeded me there, then as coach, and I think in four or five years after I left, turned out a state-- [End of tape 1, side 1] [Beginning of tape 1, side 2] RUPP: Davenport, Iowa, where he turned out, I think six or seven state championship teams before he retired. His name was Moon, and he was a very fine coach. Did a fine job at Davenport, Iowa, and a young man from Muscatine, Iowa, came in there as lightweight coach by the name of Kloos, and Kloos, of course, helped me with the heavyweights. Very--a lot of help to me. He helped me in scouting. He--we'd always sit together and talk about things, and talked about our mistakes and talked about our good things, and I got an awful lot of good from this young man, because he succeeded me there, then, as coach and I think in four or five years after I left, turned out a state championship team. That year we finished eleven and five, Rockford beat us 28-21 in the finals of the district tournament. Then we got to 28-29, we won the district section tournament and we went to the state. We took third place in the state. We beat Peoria 27-15. And, we had Craig Ruby, who was the coach of Illinois, up as our speaker. We had about four hundred at the banquet, and Craig Ruby told me about this Kentucky job. And, he said that he would not recommend any of his boys for the job. And I asked him if he'd mind recommending me for it. He said no he wouldn't reco--mind at all, if I wanted the job, fine. He thought it was a good job, and he'd be more than glad to recommend me for it. Well, the first thing I knew, I got a telegram from the University of Kentucky, asking me if I'd be interested in coming down to discuss the deal with them. I told them I would be, and then several weeks later, I made the trip down here to be interviewed by them along, I understand, with fifty-five others before it was all over. [End of interview] Adolph Rupp begins the interview by recalling Dr. James Naismith, the inventor of basketball, who remained at the University of Kansas after his protege, "Phog" Allen, took over coaching duties in the 1919-1920 season (Rupp's first year as a student at KU). Specifically, Rupp remembers Naismith's belief that basketball would never become a popular sport with fans, and his part later on in surprising Naismith and his wife with a trip to the 1936 Olympics to see basketball played as an Olympic sport for the first time. Rupp then discusses various coaching positions at Burr Oak, Kansas, and Marshalltown, Iowa--where he also coached the wrestling team--and talks extensively about his time coaching at Freeport High School (Illinois). He concludes the interview with an explanation of how he came to know about the opening at the University of Kentucky.