Utah Utes Fan Board

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Ute Hoops was my first love

I’m old enough to remember when my dad took me to games at the Special Events Center before it was the Hunty.  These were those good Pimm teams with Jonas, Bankowski, Judkins, etc. prior to the Jazz relocating from New Orleans.  And Ute football was UNLV type bad.

I’d love for any hype around Utah hoops, but it just isn’t there.  Its as low as its been in a long time.  Sigh.  

  • utefansince79

    My first Ute event was a hoops game where my dad took me to see the Utes beat Loyola Marymount back in 1969 when the SEC was brand new.  Didn’t go to a lot of games after that until started college back in 1979 but a friend and I and my parents have had season tickets for a long time and still attend together 50 years after that first game.

    • PlainsUte

      Also from Jerry Pimm days; during that time hoops was huge.  Lines to get student seats for key games, wild crowds, etc.  Sad that attendance and enthusiasm as waned so much, and its that way at a lot of universities, including where I work now, even with a name brand coach (Lon Kruger, speaking of UNLV!).  I remain a college hoops fan but the game is not the same iwth the one-and-done players and a lot of catering to player egos you’d never see back in the day.  Utah has been a frustration for me; I like Larry K, but really miss the X-Os of Majerus, and of course his W-L as well.   Have made a point to try to make it out to the Kruiger radio show and several local games; show some support for the local NCAA hoops that way.

  • UteBacker

    I, for the life of me, can’t figure out if my general indifference to our basketball program is because the Utes haven’t done anything of note in a long time or if my interest in college basketball is gone.  I didn’t even tune in to watch any March Madness games this year.  That ought to tell me something, I guess.  

    • EagleMountainUte
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      My indifference stems from the rampant cheating and general hypocrisy of NCAA basketball. It is literally pointless to play poker when everyone stacks the deck.
      Edit: It also doesn’t help to see the turnover and constant disappointing performances. I wish Larry would just start cheating like the rest of the conference. Joining the P12 was actually bad for the program I think now in hindsight.

  • GameForAnyFuss

    I’ve always been a Ute basketball fan first, for a couple reasons I guess: First, my Ute fandom began in the 90s, when our hoops team was great and football wasn’t. Second, the game has always appealed to me more than football. I still go to every home basketball game. But it’s getting harder. I feel like my little group are the three Indians fans at the game at the beginning of Major League. It’s just hard to cheer when you’re the only ones there and there’s little to cheer about.
    Basketball is now a 2nd-tier sport at Utah and around the country. And that’s OK. The sports consumer chose football to be king. But man, I could sure do for as much hype for b-ball as we get for football.

    • UteBacker

      You guys that still go to games religiously get mad respect from me.  I totally feel like a fair-weather fan, but the truth is I think my interest wouldn’t be that much more intense even if the Utes were really good.  

      • utefansince79

        I fondly remember times when the student section was A through F (lower and upper) and when BYU came in, the entire section was packed to the top (with some not getting in) and the place was simply bedlam.  Games like Wyoming, New Mexico, and UTEP would get great turn outs too.

        Now on a good night we get most of 2 LOWER sections filled is all.

        KUDOS must go out to the small group of students still down there cheering on the team and harassing the opposing bench, but about 99% of the students just don’t seem to care for hoops any more.



        • EagleMountainUte

          Lobos and UNLV always good games at the Hunty with them. And MOOSE! What a s**tty ref. 

        • astUTE

          Yes, and in those days, the student sections at the football games were nearly as bleak as the student sections at BB games are now.  I recall very vividly, how Urban in two seasons, by meeting with and firing up students, and by offering an exciting/winning product on the field, flopped the student participation from BB to football.  He created the MUSS.

          Perhaps one day, a BB coach will do enough to restore interest.  Our current coach and AD think that playing loud 1980/90s NBA arena music, having a motocross/arena cross style announcer, shooting flames in the air, and handing out light wands in a dark arena, will fill the stands, the student section, or keep people on their feet.  When all of the props turn off and the music goes silent – there is a vacuum of noise in the Hunty.  Exciting basketball, and WINNING fire up the crowds and fill the stands.

          My son went to Gonzaga.  There, students sleep in tents to reserve a place in line to buy game tickets.  There is never an empty seat.  It’s all about winning, exciting rivalries, and making the game experience the highlight of a student’s week.  I’ll wager, that if I had a student id, I could walk up after game time and get a 4th row student ticket to any game this season.


          I’m sure I sound like I’m bitching – I’m not!  I keep buying tickets and going in spite of all of this, but I REALLY want Utah Basketball to return to what is was for most of my life – my FIRST CHOICE SPORT!


  • Summit Ute

    I was lucky enough to be a freshman during the BBall National Championship run, work in the HPER for some personal Majerus annecdotes (pizza, towels, and uhhh swimming), as Bball faded Utah Football picked up, first class of the MUSS and finished Grad school with the Fiesta Bowl.  Snagged cheap season tickets in the NEZ in 07….the rest is history! 

  • Charlie

    The Einar Nielsen Fieldhouse was the utes home before 1969, my memories there were mostly the HS basketball state championships. Crazy raised stage court with chainlink fencing behind the baskets where anyone could stand.
    Lived out of town and wished I had ute memories there. In the 70s the SEC was often full, students waited in line for hours for big games, BB was the big activity on campus by far. Great time to be a student. The 80 were usually full for conference games and was the last of the low priced tickets that kept the place full. The 90s seemed to be always full, only low priced tickets were above the concourse. The 90s were the golden years. The first decade after 2000 was a challenge, some awesome players but struggles with coaches. The second decade has been nice in the PAC but only a small upgrade from the MWC in the 90s. With every game on TV and all kinds of start times, we may not get back to the level of arena interest in the 70s thru 90s. The Jazz coming to town in 79 also divided interest that once went to the only game in town. FB and BB together could be considered the full year entertainment plan.

    • astUTE

      I started occasionally attending BB games with my father and grandfather in the Einar Nielsen Fieldhouse, in, I think, ’61, when I was five.  My grandfather had seats near midcourt, and perhaps 10-12 rows back.  Never, in the years since we moved out of that building, do I remember being anywhere at a basketball game that was that intense.  The seats were right on top of the court, and I remember thinking that my dad, grandpa, and seemingly every other adult in the area was crazy, as they were yelling at everyone; players, opponents, coaches, opponent’s coaches, refs, announcers, literally everyone.

      Probably wasn’t that intense, but certainly seemed like it to a young boy.

      Several times in the mid-sixties, my elementary school performed half time shows, at the field house, and I remember hanging out with friends in the dirt under/behind the seats.  The crowds were so loud in those days that I remember thinking that the building or stands were going to collapse.  Again, probably the exaggerated perspective of a young boy.

      There were some great teams, and final four years, during Gardner’s time.  But his program slumped in the late 60’s as the team moved to the Special Events Center.  I did not attend a lot of games in the early years of the SEC, so missed most of Gardner’s final years and virtually of the Foster era.

      My father-in-law took me to a lot of games in the Pimm era, and there were some great teams, post season success, great attendance, and fabulous fans, both community and students, during all of those years.  After Pimm left for Santa Barbara, and Archibald flamed out, the fat man came to Utah

      I started buying season tickets when my son was young, in the early Majerus years.  I’ve had season tickets since. The Majerus era, will go down as my own personal favorite.  I don’t need to tell any of you why.  He was, also a fascinating character – if you’ve never read his book, I recommend it.

      I suffered through Giac (you don’t know Giac), knew Boylen personally, but watched in pain as his program failed, and was hopeful when we hired coach K and brought back Tommy Connor – whose Westminster program (I’m also a Westminster Alum) had done extraordinarily well in a minor league.

      I was thrilled with the progress of coach K’s teams, in the first few years, and took my family to Madison Square Garden in December of 2015, rather than attend our usual bowl game (who wants to go to Las Vegas to see Utah in a bowl game against BYU!?!?).  We enjoyed watching the bowl game on TV after the BB win against Duke, in the bar at the Marriott Marquis, at a table next to coach K and family.  It was a GREAT day to be a Ute.

      I was in favor of the contract extension, for Coach K, but like most of you, have wondered aloud since what happened.  I have no basis for this belief, other than personal experience as a father of a HS BB athlete, and leader in the business world, but wonder whether Coach K is too old school to properly handle kids who grew up in AAU programs with the lack of discipline and all the praise and hype.  Don’t get me wrong, a program requires discipline, and accountability, but as I watch Coach K, on the sideline, and in the TV interviews, he seems a LOT more like someone that I would get along with than a young college athlete.

      I will be in my seats this year, hoping once again, that the promise of the incoming freshman class, and the potential growth of a small few returning players, will lead to a team worth Utah BB tradition.  We won’t make it to the post season this year, but if we grow our talent, and retain it, we could be a post season team next year, and the next.  If we don’t, this year will be my last as a season ticket holder.  I have great seats, mid court, about 13 rows back; I’ll be sorry to let them go.  But the reality is, I’ve been buying them for that last 15 years, on the hope the program returned to prominence, and the fear that I could never get the seats back.  The hope has not materialized, and the fear is no longer real.  I can buy these seats back in a heartbeat with the way the program is floundering.

      Go Utes!  Give me a reason to continue!!!





      • UtahFanSir

        “…have wondered aloud since what happened. I have no basis for this belief, other than personal experience as a father of a HS BB athlete, and leader in the business world, but wonder whether Coach K is too old school to properly handle kids who grew up in AAU programs with the lack of discipline and all the praise and hype. Don’t get me wrong, a program requires discipline, and accountability, but as I watch Coach K, on the sideline, and in the TV interviews, he seems a LOT more like someone that I would get along with than a young college athlete.”

        Your post should be required reading by the entire basketball staff and admin. K3 needs to read it every single day. Most of us see this and it is painful. K3 has admitted as much in a sports article down by one of the Utah newspapers several weeks back; that he needed to develop a new way to connect and communicate with this players. He is so intense I suspect he scares the living s**t out of the kids who are willing to put up with it for a year, maybe three, then they leave. He is willing to be publicly critical, particularly after a game. Clearly, K3 knows basketball, his teams overachieve. But there is no breakthrough due to continuity crushing turnover, in my unlearned opinion. Utah has gotten better players over the last several years, to be sure, at least ratings wise. Yet I suspect during recruiting trips, when the players are with recruits alone, and the recruits ask what K3 is like, a number of recruits elect to go elsewhere based on Ute player responses. All of that needs to change for the program to be more successful. Winning can change a lot of things.

        Utah basketball started for me in the fall of 1969, when I was a freshman at Utah. Jack Gardner was the coach and the best players were Mike Newlin, Ken Gardner and Jim Mahler. I held a Utah track scholarship and coach got us the job of cleaning up the Special Events Center after a game or concert and sweeping the basketball floor during halftime.

      • bopahull

        The old field house would vibrate with the crowd. The air would get so dusty it would trigger my asma, good times. Billy the hill  Mcgill and that unstopable jump hook.

  • ironman1315

    Y’all are old as s**t

  • oc_ute

    mine too.  as a kid i go back as far as the newlin, mahler, gardner days.  i remem matheney too.  then it was vranes, chambers, bank, martin.  can’t remem the shooting guard.  hopefully can get back to the glory years at at some point.

  • Tony

    I’ve been going to Ute hoops with my dad since I was a kid in the Pimm, Vranes, Chambers, Bankowski, Manion days. We still go to just about every game.  It’s more about hanging out with my dad these days, than it is about good basketball.  

    • Ute Bc

      Same here.  You could add Jeff Jonas, Judkins and Buster Matheny (sp?).  Lost my dad some years ago but I have to say those were some great memories.  

      I’ve tried to get my sons to the games, but these days the excitement level just isn’t there.

    • TheJuggernaut

      I take my 5 year old son with me to most games, for me it’s more about going with him than seeing good basketball.

      I graduated from the U in 1998, my four years up there we went 2nd round, Sweet 16, Elite 8, Final Four. I was spoiled.

      If K can keep this group together there’s a chance to do something special in the near future. This team has a ton of talent, they just need a little experience. We also have two immediate impact players coming in next year. This season is going to have some ups and downs, but the payoff down the road has the potential to be pretty big.