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History

 

Men's Past Rosters (Pre - 1969)

Chris Biegler

1988-89: March To the Final Four

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Regina College was established in 1911 as a high school.  In 1925 it became a college  affiliated with the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon.  Regina College offered first year arts and science classes as well as those for their two year certificate programs. The college featured both men's and women's basketball teams during this period. They competed in adult leagues and played exhibition games against other colleges from both Canada and the United States. 

The origins of the Cougar full varsity programs date back to the early 1960's. In 1961-62, Regina College became a fully accredited degree granting university, although it would take several years for third and fourth classes to be offered in all faculties. 

The athletic powers that be at the University of Saskatchewan, Regina Campus (USRC), as it was known as, decided that they wanted their athletic programs to be as recognized as well as those of their bigger sister's to the north. However, more than motivation was needed to assemble high quality, competitive teams. Tradition, established academic programs, and a history of athletic success were all attractions to drawing talented student-athletes north. The USRC initiated a concerted effort to recruit quality coaches and players. 

In the 1960's, Sue Higgs and Gene Rizac were two of Canada's outstanding basketball players. Both later moved into coaching and were brought to the USRC. Their job was to build basketball programs worthy of acceptance into the CIAU. In 1968-69, the USRC Cougars began play in Canada's university system. 

The CIAU had been steadily gaining basketball prestige since the inception of national championships in 1962. If any school wished to compete in this growing game, it was required to make a substantial commitment to provide coaching, conferences, facilities, and a quality schedule. 

In 1974, the USRC gained its autonomy from the U of S and became the University of Regina. Its athletic programs were now known as the U or R Cougars. During the mid 1970's, however, the University withdrew from interuniversity competition for three years to re-evaluate the role of varsity athletics. 

The men's program under Gene Rizak faced a more challenging start to their GPAC play. Lakehead and later Brandon, recruited international athletes and other non-regional players. This created stern competition for the Cougars who were made up of players from Regina and southern Saskatchewan. Never the less, Coach Rizac's teams never lacked for intensity or desire. 

In the 1980's Ken Murray became the head coach and slowly molded his team into a national contender. Led by players such as James Hillis and Chris Biegler winning now became a tradition for the men. In 1989, the Cougars made it all the way to the final four at the nationals before finally losing to a tough Victoria Viking team. 

It is a new millenium and after a few losing seasons, coach James Hillis has the team back to its winning ways. With young, talented teams returning, the next years should be extremely successful!!