Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Possibilities for Next Season, and beyond, Excite Outgoing Washburn Coach

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Possibilities for Next Season, and beyond, Excite Outgoing Washburn Coach

Article excerpt

When someone spends more than 40 years coaching at the same program, changes become obvious.

Bob Chipman lived through them at Washburn.

After announcing his retirement Tuesday, Chipman reflected on his longevity and conceded that the advancements made by both the university, and its athletics department, often revived his passion.

Chipman was just 26 when the first changeover happened. That was when Glenn Cafer accepted the athletic director position and promoted Chipman, his assistant, to head coach in 1979-80.

"The timing, with coach Cafer moving on, then the scholarship money changed, we started building more buildings on campus, we went from NAIA into Division II and everything kept improving," Chipman recalled, stating an impressive progression for a school, and a basketball program, he guided to the NAIA title in 1987.

He then paused and reflected on all the transition, which included a move into Lee Arena from Whiting Fieldhouse.

"I started changing jobs from time to time," he said, "without changing jobs."

Through the course of time Chipman averaged 22 wins per season and will be in position to crack the 800-win plateau in 2016-17, a mark he admits that inspired him to remain in coaching.

"I was definitely wanting to get there," he said. "More than that, you want to win championships, but as your career winds down, 800 sounds pretty sweet.

"Especially with these kinds of guys, to do it with this group. These guys are some unbelievable students, getting great degrees, with great facilities and great parents. To do it with this group, I think, is very special."

Washburn returns all but one player off last year's team, which showed promise but also showed its inexperience, finishing 15-13 overall and 11-11 in the MIAA.

Javion Blake was named MIAA freshman of the year after leading the Bods with a 13.4-point average. Brady Skeens was named MIAA defensive player of the year. Cameron Wiggins and Randall Smith also return as starters, while big man David Salach will be returning off a foot injury after the Bods were outrebounded last season. …

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