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WSU Team at Ceremony
WSU Team at Ceremony

Wright State University Men, 1983 NCAA Division II National Champions


Wright State University, 1983 Men’s NCAA Division II National Champions

Wright State University

1983 Men’s NCAA Division II National Champions

Seated: T.C. Johnson, Steve Purcell, Anthony Bias, Tom Holzapfel, Gary Monroe, Andy Warner, Fred Moore, Phil Benninger.
Standing: Rob Smock (Manager), Bob Grote (Assistant Coach), Rob Sanders, Eric Ernst, Theron Barbour, Mark McCormick, Mike Grote, Eric Ellis, Ralph Underhill (Head Coach), Jim Brown (Assistant Coach), Dave Shon (Trainer)

Before its basketball program achieved NCAA Division I status in 1987, Wright State University built a strong Division II program over 17 seasons. Ralph Underhill became WSU’s head coach in 1978, and the Raiders won the NCAA Division II championship in his fifth year.

The 1982-83 Wright State team featuring Gary Monroe, Anthony Bias and Mike Grote began to believe in itself in January when Grote made a sensational last-second, fall-away jump shot that sealed a 65-64 victory at Kentucky Wesleyan.

They took a 23-4 record into the NCAA competition. and brushed aside Lewis University, 71-57, in their first game. Then they faced Kentucky Wesleyan on its home court and won a 69-67 decision when Bias sank two clutch free throws.

A week later Wright State won, 73-53, at Bloomsburg State to reach the Final Four the following weekend at Springfield, Mass.

The Raiders defeated Cal State-Bakersfield, 57-50, in the semifinal and trounced tourney favorite District of Columbia, 92-73, in the championship game. Monroe, an All-American and the team’s Most Valuable Player, averaged 18.7 points and 7.5 rebounds and was named most outstanding player of the tournament.