San Francisco Dons

Are part of the West Coast Conference, were established in 1906, and their home arena is War Memorial Gymnasium, University of San Francisco in San Francisco, California.
San Francisco Dons

In the annals of NCAA basketball, few teams have a story as compelling as the San Francisco Dons. Emerging from the University of San Francisco, this team has carved out a unique place in the world of collegiate basketball, marked by a blend of extraordinary talent, unyielding determination, and a deeply ingrained culture of excellence. The Dons’ journey through the decades serves as a testament to the transformative power of sports, blending individual brilliance with collective effort to create a legacy that resonates far beyond the hardwood of the basketball court.

Intriguing Facts About the San Francisco Dons

The San Francisco Dons’ history is replete with remarkable achievements and trailblazing moments. Notably, the Dons secured back-to-back NCAA championships in 1955 and 1956, a testament to their dominance in the sport. These years were marked by the towering presence of Bill Russell, whose defensive skills revolutionized basketball. The team also boasts of two undefeated seasons during this period, showcasing their unparalleled prowess on the court.

A pioneer in racial integration, the Dons featured three African-American starters in the 1950s, a bold move during a time of widespread segregation in sports. Furthermore, the Dons hold an impressive record for the third-longest winning streak in Division I men’s basketball, with a staggering 60 consecutive wins, a feat that stands as a testament to their consistency and skill.

The Historical Tapestry of the San Francisco Dons

The origins of the San Francisco Dons’ basketball program trace back to the early 20th century, marking a gradual ascent to prominence. However, it was in the 1950s, under the guidance of coach Phil Woolpert, that the Dons truly emerged as a national powerhouse. This era was illuminated by the brilliance of Bill Russell and K.C. Jones, who together propelled the team to new heights. Their impact was not just in terms of victories and titles, but also in how they changed the game itself, introducing strategies and styles of play that were ahead of their time.

The Golden Era

The golden era of the San Francisco Dons is inextricably linked to the tenure of Bill Russell and the strategic vision of Coach Phil Woolpert. Woolpert’s coaching philosophy, which emphasized defense and teamwork, was revolutionary for its time and became a blueprint for success in basketball. The era was defined by Russell’s dominance in rebounding and shot-blocking, and K.C. Jones’ all-around excellence on the court. Together, they led the Dons to historic championships and left an indelible mark on the sport.

Legendary Figures in San Francisco Dons History

The history of the San Francisco Dons is marked by legendary figures who have left an indelible mark on the program. Bill Russell stands out not just for his athletic prowess but for his impact on the game’s defensive aspects. Coach Phil Woolpert’s innovative strategies and leadership were crucial in the team’s golden era. K.C. Jones, known for his exceptional defensive skills and leadership, was instrumental in the team’s success.

A Game to Remember

The 1955 NCAA Championship game remains one of the most memorable in the history of the San Francisco Dons. In this game, the team, led by Bill Russell, defeated La Salle in a display of skill and teamwork that epitomized the Dons’ dominance in college basketball. This victory was not just about winning a title; it was a statement of the team’s excellence and a pivotal moment in their storied history.

San Francisco Dons [year] Schedule

Regular Season

Week Date Opponent Result
Week 1 Date: Mon 06/11/2023 Opponent: Bethesda Flames Result: W 128-59
Week 1 Date: Thu 09/11/2023 Opponent: St. Francis (PA) Red Flash Result: W 84-52
Week 1 Date: Sun 12/11/2023 Opponent: Boise St. Broncos Result: L 58-63
Week 2 Date: Fri 17/11/2023 Opponent: Grand Canyon Antelopes Result: L 72-76
Week 2 Date: Sun 19/11/2023 Opponent: DePaul Blue Demons Result: W 70-54
Week 3 Date: Wed 22/11/2023 Opponent: Purdue Fort Wayne Mastodons Result: W 76-60
Week 3 Date: Sun 26/11/2023 Opponent: Minnesota Golden Gophers Result: W 76-58
Week 4 Date: Sun 03/12/2023 Opponent: Arizona State Sun Devils Result: L 61-72
Week 5 Date: Wed 06/12/2023 Opponent: Vanderbilt Commodores Result: W 73-60
Week 6 Date: Mon 11/12/2023 Opponent: New Orleans Privateers Result: W 85-72
Week 6 Date: Wed 13/12/2023 Opponent: Seattle Redhawks Result: W 62-59
Week 6 Date: Sat 16/12/2023 Opponent: Utah St. Aggies Result: L 53-54
Week 7 Date: Wed 20/12/2023 Opponent: Northern Arizona Lumberjacks Result: W 91-51
Week 7 Date: Fri 22/12/2023 Opponent: Fresno St. Bulldogs Result: W 77-57
Week 8 Date: Sat 30/12/2023 Opponent: Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils Result: W 92-42
Week 9 Date: Thu 04/01/2024 Opponent: Pacific Tigers Result: W 92-88
Week 10 Date: Thu 11/01/2024 Opponent: San Diego Toreros Result: W 83-63
Week 10 Date: Sat 13/01/2024 Opponent: Portland Pilots Result: W 96-69
Week 11 Date: Thu 18/01/2024 Opponent: Loyola Marymount Lions Result: W 90-74
Week 11 Date: Sat 20/01/2024 Opponent: Saint Mary’s Gaels Result: L 60-77
Week 12 Date: Thu 25/01/2024 Opponent: Gonzaga Bulldogs Result: L 72-77
Week 12 Date: Sat 27/01/2024 Opponent: Portland Pilots Result: W 76-64
Week 13 Date: Thu 01/02/2024 Opponent: San Diego Toreros Result: W 95-79
Week 13 Date: Sat 03/02/2024 Opponent: Pacific Tigers Result: W 79-73
Week 14 Date: Thu 08/02/2024 Opponent: Pepperdine Waves Result: W 80-74
Week 14 Date: Sat 10/02/2024 Opponent: Santa Clara Broncos Result: W 71-70
Week 15 Date: Sat 17/02/2024 Opponent: Loyola Marymount Lions Result: W 82-59
Week 16 Date: Tue 20/02/2024 Opponent: Saint Mary’s Gaels Result: L 66-70
Week 16 Date: Sat 24/02/2024 Opponent: Pepperdine Waves Result: W 92-68
Week 17 Date: Thu 29/02/2024 Opponent: Gonzaga Bulldogs Result: L 68-86
Week 17 Date: Sat 02/03/2024 Opponent: Santa Clara Broncos Result: L 62-69

Post Season

Week Date Opponent Result
Conf. Tournament Date: Sun 10/03/2024 Opponent: Portland Pilots Result: W 72-51
Conf. Tournament Date: Mon 11/03/2024 Opponent: Gonzaga Bulldogs Result: L 77-89
NIT Date: Wed 20/03/2024 Opponent: Cincinnati Bearcats Result: L 72-73

Home of the San Francisco Dons: War Memorial Gymnasium

The War Memorial Gymnasium, the bastion of the Dons since 1958, is more than just a sports venue; it’s a repository of history and tradition. Known for its intimate and electric atmosphere, it has been the site of many of the team’s most memorable moments. The gymnasium’s historical significance and the passionate support of the fans make it a formidable arena for any visiting team.