Varsity competition for the Maryland Agricultural College cadets (the forerunners of today’s Terrapins) began on a chilly January evening in 1911. A squad of seven players traveled south from New York University to play a series of games against colleges in the Washington, DC, area, and the Aggies were their chosen opponent on January 9.
Unfortunately we have not been able to locate many details about this game, but we do know that the Violets’ (named for the color of their uniforms) thrashed the MAC cadets 29-7. Evidently the “dash” with which the Aggies played, according to a mention in the February 1, 1911, Triangle, was not enough to overcome the strength of the defending intercollegiate champions from NYU.
The Aggies’ mainstays that season were Paul Goeltz and Herbert White at forward, Augustus Rupert at center, and guards H. Burton Shipley, Arthur (Doc) Woodward, and Paul Binder. Woodward also served as the team’s manager, and Shipley as the captain.
Shipley has a particularly interesting connection to his alma mater. After his graduation from the two-year degree program in 1914, he took some coaching courses at the University of Illinois, then began his coaching career at the Perkiomen, Pennsylvania, Prep School, leading the football, basketball, and baseball teams. Positions at the helm of all three sports followed at Marshall College and the University of Delaware. Shipley also spent a summer as the manager of the Martinsburg, West Virginia, baseball team in the Blue Ridge League before returning to the University of Maryland as the baseball and basketball coach. He led the Terps on the hardwood from 1923 to 1947, winning the Southern Conference championship in 1931 and making the conference finals in 1939. “Ship” also coached Maryland’s first All-American, Louis “Bosey” Berger.
He is better known, perhaps, for his leadership of the baseball team. Shipley took the helm in 1924 as he was finishing up his first season with the basketball team, and led the squad until 1960. The ball field was named for him in 1956 and today is part of Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium.
These six young men established a program which has risen to national prominence, including an NCAA championship in 2002.
This is the fourth in a series of blog posts the University Archives will be featuring as part of the commemoration of the 100th season of Maryland men’s basketball, 2018-2019, with our colleagues in Intercollegiate Athletics. Visit the #Terps100 website for more information about and to participate in the celebration.
Follow Terrapin Tales throughout the season for additional features on landmark days in Maryland men’s basketball history. Next in line is January 27, when we commemorate the Terps’ historic 1979 win against the #1 Notre Dame Fighting Irish.