Gonzaga basketball is the men's basketball program at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. The program is known for its consistent success and has become a perennial contender in college basketball. The Gonzaga Bulldogs compete in the West Coast Conference (WCC) and have earned a reputation as one of the top mid-major programs in the country.
The Gonzaga Bulldogs have a long and storied history that dates back to the early 1900s. The program was founded in 1907, and it took some time for the team to establish itself as a competitive force. The Bulldogs had their first successful season in 1955-56 when they won the Evergreen Conference championship.
In the early 1990s, Gonzaga hired Dan Fitzgerald as its head coach, and he quickly turned the program around. Fitzgerald's teams were successful, but it was his successor, Mark Few, who would take Gonzaga basketball to new heights.
Mark Few Era:
Mark Few took over as head coach of the Gonzaga Bulldogs in 1999 and has been at the helm ever since. Few has led the team to unprecedented success and has turned Gonzaga into a national powerhouse. Under Few's leadership, the Bulldogs have made the NCAA Tournament every year since 1999, with the exception of the 2020 tournament that was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gonzaga has also won the WCC regular-season championship every year since 2001, a streak that is unmatched in college basketball. The Bulldogs have advanced to the Sweet Sixteen or better in each of the past six NCAA Tournaments, including reaching the national championship game in 2017 and 2021.
Over the years, Gonzaga has produced numerous standout players who have gone on to successful careers in the NBA. Some of the most notable Gonzaga players include:
- John Stockton: Stockton played for Gonzaga from 1980-1984 and went on to become one of the greatest point guards in NBA history. He spent his entire career with the Utah Jazz and was a 10-time All-Star and a two-time Olympic gold medalist.
- Adam Morrison: Morrison played for Gonzaga from 2003-2006 and was one of the most prolific scorers in college basketball during his career. He was a consensus All-American in 2006 and was selected third overall in the 2006 NBA Draft by the Charlotte Bobcats.
- Kelly Olynyk: Olynyk played for Gonzaga from 2009-2013 and was a key player on the Bulldogs' team that reached the Elite Eight in 2013. He was selected 13th overall in the 2013 NBA Draft by the Dallas Mavericks and has had a successful career in the NBA with the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat.
- Domantas Sabonis: Sabonis played for Gonzaga from 2014-2016 and was a dominant force on the Bulldogs' team that reached the Sweet Sixteen in 2015. He was selected 11th overall in the 2016 NBA Draft by the Orlando Magic and has become one of the best young players in the NBA with the Indiana Pacers.
Gonzaga basketball has a state-of-the-art home arena in the McCarthey Athletic Center, also known as "The Kennel". The arena opened in 2004 and has a capacity of 6,000 fans. The Kennel is known for its intense and intimidating atmosphere, and it has been named one of the toughest places to play in college basketball.
Gonzaga basketball has a significant impact on the Spokane community and the surrounding region. The team has brought national attention to the area and has generated millions of dollars in revenue for the university and the local