BIG BLUE FANS FOR
THE DYNASTY BEGINS
In the spring of 1930. the UK athletic council, which included freshman student Ellis Johnson met to interveiw a candidate for basketball coach. The council was on the hot seat. Some people were upset because UK lost coach Johnny Mauer to Miami of Ohio because UK failed to match Miami's offer. Mauer taught a slow methodical style when he took over a losing team, and he produced three straight winning records.
The council was impressed by the brash young high school basketball coach from Illinois who had also taken over the high school wrestling team with no prior knowledge of wrestling. He read a book on wrestling and led his team to the state title.
On May 21, 1930, Adolph Rupp was given a two year contract as head basketball coach, freshman football coach, and an assistant track coach. Rupp met with his returning All America Corey Spicer and talked to him about the team running more to allow for more individual inititiave on the part of players. Rupp went away from the meeting convinced he had the personnel to make his fast break work and Spicer had totally bought into Rupp's ideas.
On Dec 18, freshman Ellis Johnson scored on a fast break pass from Corey Spicer to score the first two points of the Adolph Rupp.
UK's first national championship is the one most people don't talk about or even know about. UK went 20-3 and Aggie Sale was named The Helm's Foundation's national player of the year. UK secured it's spot on the national scene and was named Helm's national champions.
A stalwart on this team was Frenchy DeMoisey. According to Tev Laudeman, Rupp was recruiting Frenchy to UK before UK gave full athletic scholarships. Frenchy said he'd like to come to UK, but couldn't afford the tuition. Rupp told him tuition for the first semester would be $31.50 and he would try and find someone to pay for the next semester.
UK was led by Aggie Sale who was AA in 32 and 33, Ellis Johnson who was AA in 33, and John (Frenchy) DeMoisey who made AA in 34. Adolph Rupp was making $3,100.00 a year.
Submitted by Larry Butler
SugarHill Communications of Kentucky
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