NCAA Division: Division I
Conference: Mid-American Conference
Past Conferences: MAC, Ind
City: Oxford, Ohio
Stadium: Millett Hall
NCAA Tournaments: 1953, 1955, 1957, 1958, 1966, 1969, 1971, 1973, 1978, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1992, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2007
National Championships: 0
Conference Titles: 4
The Miami Ohio RedHawks men’s basketball team was formerly known as the Miami Redskins until 1997, when the program started competing as an individual team in the 1905-06 season. During the 1947-48 season, they made their first appearance in the Mid-American Conference under coach Blue Foster.
Making the jump was proven to be a challenging one, as success didn’t come right away with Foster’s tenure coming to an end just two years later. Eventually, Bill Rohr took over and made it to the NCAA Tournament in 1953, 1955, and 1958. After that season, he left the program to serve as Ohio University’s athletic director from 1963 to 1978.
Miami RedHawks lost to Indiana Hoosiers 98-91 in the Regional Third Place game under Richard Shrider. They were both head coaches during their respective seasons. With three appearances in the tournament in 1971, 1973, and 1978, Miami Ohio had maintained some level of success.
Six years later, the RedHawks men’s basketball team achieved their highest seeding (eighth seed) on the biggest stage. With a 24-6 record and a 16-2 conference record, the odds were at their highest ever on paper. Unfortunately, Miami was blown out in the first round by the ninth-seeded SMU Mustangs.
Decade of Losing in the First Round
Over the next decade, Miami lost in the first round every time it reached the dance. During the 1995 season, the RedHawks made it past the first round by upsetting the fifth-seeded Arizona Wildcats before falling to the Virginia Cavaliers in overtime.
In 1997, Miami once again lost in the first round to the Clemson Tigers. However, Miami was finally able to achieve the unthinkable as the No. 10 seed. Wally Szczerbiak was inevitably one of the greatest players during that year. The Miami RedHawks team stats showed that they were going to turn the tables in the Tournament.
Coach Charlie Coles was a part of the Cinderella run as they beat the seventh-seeded Washington Huskies in the opening round and the second-seeded Utah Utes in the second round. Their season finally came to an end in the Sweet 16 as they fell to the third-seeded Kentucky Wildcats. The Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame inducted 11 players and coaches in May 2013, including Miami’s Wayne Embry, Randy Ayers, Ron Harper, and Wally Szczerbiak.
Miami made it to the Tournament one last time in 2007 and lost in the first round. Miami University Athletics has hired Travis Steele as the 28th men’s basketball head coach in program history but will face some long NCAAB odds because the team hasn’t reached the Tournament in 15 years.
- Points Scored
- Ron Harper 2,377
- Wally Szczerbiak 1,847
- Devin Davis 1,828
- Ron Harper 1,119
- Wayne Embry 1,117
- Devin Davis 1,027
- Eddie Schilling 629
- Rob Mestas 438
- Jamie Mercurio 413
- Defensive Win Shares
- Wally Szczerbiak 8.2
- Michael Bramos 6.9
- Chet Mason 6.8
- What Was the Best Season in Program History?
The 1998-1999 season may not showcase the best record in the Miami RedHawks’ program history; however, the team was able to reach the Sweet 16. At its peak, the program was ranked 22nd in the AP Top 25 Poll.
2. Who Is the Winningest Coach in Program History?
The debate is between two coaches, which feature Charlie Coles and Darrell Hedric. Coles had more wins overall, but Hedric had the better win percentage when comparing the two. Hedric sported the highest NCAA Tournament ranking in the school’s history, while Coles had a memorable Sweet 16 run.
3. Who Is the Greatest Player in Program History?
Ron Harper and Wally Szczerbiak were the highest-drafted players in the program’s history; both were selected in their respective NBA Drafts. Harper was a five-time champion, while Szczerbiak has had one All-Star appearance during his career. Szczerbiak is currently a color analyst for the New York Knicks on the MSG Network.