Legendary Gill Coliseum -- The House That Slats Built
Dec. 29, 2009
Corvallis, Ore. -
December 16, 1949 is arguably the most important date in Oregon State basketball history.
That night 5,694 fans braved a stormy evening to witness the first game in the new home of Oregon State basketball as Amory "Slats" Gill's team battled Utah. Oregon State College, as it was known then, defeated the Utes 53-41. Sixty years later "legendary" Gill Coliseum is still home to the Oregon State Beavers - men's and women's basketball, wrestling, volleyball and gymnastics. The building also has hosted a plethora of concerts, OSU's commencement, Luau's, Native American celebrations, NCAA Tournament games and much more.
Gill Coliseum was actually known as "The Pavilion" until an official dedication ceremony on Jan. 13, 1951 to honor what some call "the house that Gill built."
The decade of the 50s was a mixed bag for Oregon State basketball, highlighted by the 1955 Pacific Coast Conference championship team. The '55 team went 22-8 overall, 15-1 in the PCC and defeated UCLA twice in the league playoffs to advance to the NCAA Tournament. OSC opened the NCAA West Regional played in Corvallis with an 83-71 victory over Seattle before falling the following night to Bill Russell's No. 1 ranked San Francisco Dons 57-56.
Gill later led his team to a share of the PCC title in 1958.
Oregon State won 22 of 36 games against the rival Ducks of Oregon in the decade, the first three Far West Classic titles and defeated No. 1 Indiana in December of 1953.
It was a decade of stellar basketball players at Oregon State and here is your chance to vote for the best of that decade by participating in the Fan Poll.
Remember to get your tickets for the upcoming Pac-10 season, including the annual Civil War Feb. 6.
Did You Know: Prior to Gill Coliseum's opening, students had to take turns going to games on alternate nights and no tickets were sold to the general public due to the lack of space at the Men's Gym. Two unusually severe winters delayed the opening of what was originally known as "The Pavilion."
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