Central Stands Alone in National Record Book
- Taken from Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette, November, 1980
It’s semi-official now. Champaign Central is one of a kind – in the nation.
A note in the December National Sports News Service (NSNS) newsletter raised the possibility when it stated that, based on records complied, by Doug Huff in Wheeling, W. Va., Champaign is the only school anywhere that has won 1,000 basketball games and 500 football games.
Back in August, Huff had suggested that there were a few schools that had reached the 500-1,000 mark, but the evidence now is fairly conclusive that there is only one.
“We have looked into this before and I really don’t think there are any others,” said NSNS managing editor Barry Sollenberger, “A couple of years ago, when we had the National Sports Magazine, which had a circulation of about 80,000, we did a story on most basketball and football wins and we concluded that no school had reached both 1,000 and 500.
“We didn’t get any feedback refuting that then and we haven’t gotten any feedback this time challenging Champaign. To the best of my knowledge it is the only one.
“It would have to be a unique case for one school to reach both. Most of the schools with all the basketball wins are inner-city schools and you’ll find that they’re not usually so strong in football.
Central notched its 500th football victory during the state playoffs in its 7-4 season this past fall, while the basketball team has notched will over 1,100 wins.
The national leader in football is Massillon (Ohio) High, which had an overall record prior to the 1980 season of 555-142-33. Longtime downstate power Centralia leads the country in basketball with a 1,479-626 record through the 1979-80 season. The Orphans are 3-5 this year.
That Central should be the first school to reach both magic numbers is an outstanding achievement. What is also impressive is that current coaches Tom Stewart and Lee Cabutti have accumulated so many of the total wins.
Stewart’s record is 175-66-9 in 28 years at Central while Cabutti has won 385 games in 25 years.
While both marks are noteworthy, Stewart’s deserves special mention. According to Huff, there are only 15 to20 coaches nationally who have recorded 200 wins at the same school.
Stewart would need a heavy dose of youth pills, however, in order to approach the national record. A. Wright Bazemore of Valdosta, GA., holds the record for most winds at the same school. From 1943 to 1978 he compiled a record of 290-43-0.
The winningest coach overall is Gordon Wood of Brownwood, Texas. Prior to the 19870 season his recorded is an amazing 364-70. That’s more victories than most schools have recorded since that day they were built.
It’s doubtful that anyone will ever match Wood, but it is even more unlikely that any coach will come close to the standard set in basketball be Centralia’s Arthur Trout. From 1912-1934 his teams won 809 games and lost 384, by far the most winds for a coach at one school.