Chippewas Highlights

General Team Information:

NCAA Division: Division I

Conference: Mid-American Conference 

Past Conferences: MAC

City: Mount Pleasant, Michigan

Stadium: McGuirk Arena

NCAA Tournaments: 1975, 1977, 1987, 2003


National Championships: 0

Conference Titles: 2

Team History

The Central Michigan Chippewas men’s basketball team commenced much later than most of the teams in the Mid-American Conference. As soon as the school’s basketball program began, it joined the MAC in the 1972-1973 season. However, during its first season, the program wasn’t considered a major school.

Under coach Rick Parfitt, the team punched its ticket to the NCAA Tournament in just three years. In the 1974-75 season, the team was able to perform well on the big stage, since they beat the Georgetown Hoyas in the opening round but lost to the Kentucky Wildcats in the next round. 

The outcome was still considered a major feat as the team won against the Oregon State Beavers in the Regional third-place game in a narrow one-point victory. In the 1976-77 season, Parfitt and the Chippewas entered the Tournament once again but were bounced in the first round in a close loss against the Charlotte 49ers.

Success came at a fast pace for the program; the 1976 season was the low point in the young program’s history. Since then, the program has struggled to maintain success for numerous periods.

Head Coach Charlie Coles

It would take the program another decade before it became relevant in the organization, with Charlie Coles as head coach. Before joining the Chippewas, Coles was coaching the Miami Ohio RedHawks for quite some time as he had a memorable Sweet 16 run in the 1998-99 season. 

When he was coaching Central Michigan, they made it to the Tournament in his second to last year. With a 22-8 record and a 14-2 record in conference play, the odds were pretty high as many believed that Cole would bring his winning mentality over to the program. 

As a 13th seed, the Chippewas met their kryptonite; they couldn’t get any momentum on their side against the UCLA Bruins. The Bruins pounced on the opportunity and crushed their opponent by a score of 92-73.

Central Michigan would go through a long trial period before making it back to the dance in the 2002-03 season, with coach Jay Smith calling the shots. This would be the highest seed in the program’s history, since they were the 11th seed if one excludes the sixth seed they achieved during the 2015 NIT.

The Central Michigan Chippewas were going to take advantage of this opportunity as they had a record of 25-7 while going 14-4 in conference play. As the ninth-seeded Creighton Bluejays rallied in the second half, the Central Michigan Chippewas team stats showed heart in their opening-round performance by cutting the party short.

However, the team was dominated on both sides of the court when they faced the Duke Blue Devils; they got crushed by a 26-point margin. The program would go through three more coaching chances looking to find its magic once again.

Tony Barbee was named new head coach a season ago and will guide a team in 2022-23 that will have some astronomical NCAAB odds, since they only won seven games last season.

All-Time Records

Points Scored

    • Mel McLaughlin 2,071
    • Dan Majerle 2,045
    • Braylon Rayson 1,885


    • Dan Roundfield 1,031
    • Dan Majerle 834
    • Ben Poquette 813


    • Chris Fowler 686
    • Giordan Watson 489
    • Derrick Richmond 456


    • Chris Kaman 182
    • Luke Meyer 131
    • Sefton Barrett 105


What Was the Best Season in Program History?

During their last NCAA Tournament appearance, the team was able to compile 25 wins during the 2002-03 season. However, during the 1974-75 season, the Chippewas would reach their only Sweet 16 in the program’s history.

Who Is the Winningest Coach in Program History?

Dick Parfitt is the winningest coach in the program’s history, with 178 wins and 168 losses. Keno Davis is the only other coach with over 100 wins in the program’s history.

Who Is the Greatest Player in Program History?

The Central Michigan Chippewas have retired 6 numbers for seven players, since No.14 was worn by two players. However, Chris Kaman had the longest career in the NBA, retiring in 2016. Kaman was drafted sixth overall in the loaded 2003 NBA Draft and was selected for one NBA All-Star appearance. 

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