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Kansas City Roos
NCAA Division: Division I
Past Conferences: WAC, Summit, Mid-Cont, Ind
City: Kansas City, Missouri
Stadium: Swinney Recreation Center
NCAA Tournaments: None
National Championships: None
Conference Titles: None
The Kansas City Roos is the only Division I athletic program located in the heart of Kansas City. With over 30 conference championships across various sports, the school has flown under the radar when discussing its athletic excellence. The Roos have also produced some notable alumni, including four Olympians and two NBA players.
In March 1934, a student council decree determined the colors of the University of Kansas City, now known as the University of Missouri-Kansas City, calling them “old gold and royal blue.” Blue symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, and truth. An honorable and loyal person is symbolized by yellow.
The Kansas City Roos men’s basketball team played their inaugural game in the 1954 season, but there is limited information concerning the team’s overall performance for the following decades. Before the team joined the Mid-Continent Conference in the 1995 season, head coach Lee Hunt was in charge of the program in the early 90s.
Before the 1980s and 1990s, the Roos only appeared in one NAIA Tournament game in 1977. Unfortunately, any chance to make history was short-lived because Grand Valley State shut down any hope in the first round of the tournament.
Competing in the conference was no easy task, and the Kansas City team stats highlighted the overall struggles from top to bottom; producing just two winning seasons during their time in the conference. The program’s first stint in the Summit League was underwhelming, to say the least.
After a brief stint playing on campus at Swinney Recreation Center, the team returned to Municipal Auditorium for the 2013–14 school year. The Roos dealt with another brief stint, this time in the Western Athletic Conference, before transitioning back to the Summit League in 2021.
In the 2017 season, history was made with the team receiving an invitation to compete in the CBI despite registering an 18-17 record in the regular season. Making a run wasn’t on anyone’s mind, but the squad made the most of it, as the odds were against them to a degree.
However, before losing in the second round to the Wyoming Cowboys in the quarterfinals, the team took care of business against the Green Bay Phoenix, finishing with a 1-1 record in the tournament. UMKC joined the University of Missouri system in 1963, adopting its institutional name at that time before becoming the Roos in 2019.
Michael Watson 2,488
Tony Dumas 2,459
Ronnie Schmitz 1,939
Spencer Johnson 710
Darecko Rawlins 639
Carlton Aaron 631
Martez Harrison 393
Quinton Day 377
Michael Watson 357
Quinton Day 179
Michael Watson 173
Martez Harrison 162
What is the highest win total in program history?
Throughout its history, the program has reached the 20-win just once, and that was in the 1991-92 season, when the program was not a part of a conference. The team was able to register a record of 21-7.
Who is the winningest coach in program history?
On paper, the program has failed to get national recognition and struggled to build consistency within the structure of the program. During his short three-year tenure, Billy Donlon was the only head coach to post a positive win-to-loss ratio with an overall record of 46-39. Head coach Lee Hunt accumulated the most wins at 95 but had 99 losses on his resume.
Who is the greatest player in program history?
Tony Dumas and Trey McKinney-Jones were the only players to make it to the NBA, but Dumas had a longer career as McKinney Jones played only one game in the league. The Dallas Mavericks drafted with the 19th overall pick in the 1994 NBA Draft Dumas played 156 games in the league. In his professional career, he averaged 7.3 points per game and 1.3 rebounds per game.