In 1988, a couple of KU students hatched an idea, created a banner and left a legacy that has come to define KU’s storied Allen Fieldhouse, known to many simply as “the Phog.” Thirty years later, the friends and KU alumni reunited to reminisce about the banner and how it all came to be.
“I was in class one day and had been thinking about it for a while,” Todd Gilmore revealed in a recent article in the Kansas City Star. “Then we started talking about building it.”
Gilmore, a’88, and classmate Michael Gentemann, a’88, went on the record in a short documentary aired by ESPN this week, sharing the story of how their partner in crime, Tom Kippenberger, a’88, managed to secure ten shower curtains from McCollum Hall, pinning them together to form one massive banner.
Gentemann did the honors by sketching out the now-famous phrase while a group of friends painted the sacred text on the banner sprawled across the floor of a hallway in Marvin Hall.
The banner was first hoisted into the rafters of the fieldhouse on Feb. 20, 1988.
“I’d never ever heard the words ‘the Phog,’ and he coined it,” Gentemann said of Gilmore’s reference to Forrest Allen’s nickname, now synonymous with the fieldhouse that bears his name. “It took off from there. Now it’s on T-shirts, coffee mugs, credit cards… it’s on everything.”
The short documentary can be watched in its entirety here, with comments from Coach Bill Self, ESPN College Game Day Analyst Jay Bilas and Allen’s own granddaughter, Judy Morris, c’60.
“What it has done is not only give the opposing team a little shudder maybe as they come through the doors,” Morris reflects in the mini-documentary, “but it also puts my grandfather’s name, “Phog,” out there and makes people remember him.”
Phog Allen’s legacy, and the phrase inspired by his name, live on inside Allen Fieldhouse where a vinyl version of the banner has replaced the original. It hangs in the Booth Hall of Athletics, enshrined behind glass, where Gilmore can admire their handiwork and marvel at that magical time in 1988.
“To win the national championship our senior year, Danny’s last year, we had this banner put up, what a perfect way to end a college career,” he said. “Can’t get any better than that.”
The creators of the famous “Beware of the Phog” banner, hanging at Allen Fieldhouse, home of the Jayhawks, tell you how they did it in this interview with Jesse Newell for the Kansas City Star.
As the 2017-2018 Kansas basketball season enters conference play, the “Commemorate the Gr8s” tour continues to provide fans a behind-the-scenes look at the history of KU Basketball.
The exhibit celebrates the anniversaries of the 1988 and 2008 title teams with memorabilia from KU’s national championship seasons. Thanks to a partnership between the University of Kansas Libraries and the KU Alumni Association, the exhibit is making its way across America on a 28-city tour, visiting watch parties and other Jayhawk alumni network events.
LeAnn Meyer, assistant director of advancement at KU Libraries, has seen firsthand how the Jayhawk connection brings people together on the tour stops.
“Connecting with alumni, both near and far, has been incredibly rewarding,” Meyer said. “Jayhawk pride can be found coast to coast, and these events provide an opportunity for friends and alums to mingle with one another while perusing iconic photographs and memorabilia from the University Archives. The exhibit items often spark fond memories, and the stories shared create bonds between local Jayhawks.”
The exhibit includes the newspapers and magazines chronicling Danny and the Miracles’ amazing run and Mario Chalmers’ tying shot against Memphis, pictures from before, during and after the games that made the titles possible, and other artifacts from the championship teams.
“I have had the opportunity to see the last three KU Library exhibits that have been here in Colorado Springs and each of them have been fun and interesting,” Merriman said. “The library staff has a track record of putting together amazing presentations of artifacts and memorabilia. Those of us living out of state truly appreciate the chance to view and relive those moments.”
The stops on the tour also provide a chance for local Jayhawks to get to know fellow KU alumni who live in their area. Visit our networks page to find a Facebook group with nearby Jayhawks, and visit kualumni.org/commemorate to learn more about the tour and see when it comes to a city near you.
With legendary programs such as Michigan State, Kentucky and Duke joining Kansas for the annual Champions Classic doubleheader, the stars were out in Chicago’s United Center.
One famous face, Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, was spotted in the stands sporting a KU shirt and hat. Men’s basketball band members improvised a chant to invite Smith to come jam with the Jayhawks. “He was actually really nice and super excited to play with us,” says band director Sharon Toulouse, f’97, g’05. “A memory these guys will never forget!”
Watch the video below, posted by Chad Smith himself! The original video is from Kolby Coons, c’13.
Basketball season is here! The KU men’s basketball team takes on Kentucky in the State Farm Champions Classic on Tuesday, Nov. 14. The game tips off at approximately 8 p.m. (CT), following the first matchup between Duke and Michigan State.
Champions Classic Pregame Party
Join fellow Jayhawks in Chicago for a pregame party! We’re teaming up with Kansas Athletics and the Williams Education Fund to host an event three hours before the first game.
Revel Fulton Market 1215 W. Fulton Market Chicago, IL 2:30-5:30 p.m.
Admission to the pregame party is $40 for members, Presidents Club members, and Williams Education Fund Members. Admission is $50 for nonmembers, and $15 for non-drinkers and those under 21 years old.
Your ticket includes an open bar and light appetizers. Plus, enjoy the pep rally and tailgate games while perusing the KU Libraries exhibit “Commemorate the Gr8s,” which celebrates the national title teams of 1988 and 2008.
Game watch parties
If you’re not traveling to Chicago, watch the game with fellow alumni, fans and friends at an official KU Alumni watch party! These events are hosted by alumni volunteers and you’ll certainly be surrounded by crimson and blue.
Click here for a list of watch sites. Please note, if there isn’t an official party scheduled on our calendar for a site, we can’t guarantee that the watch sites will show the KU game, especially if there are other college or professional sporting events happening at the same time.
Watch and listen
Watch the Jayhawks on ESPN or listen to the game live on the Jayhawk Radio Network.
Find out what fellow Jayhawks are up to in our biweekly edition of “In the News.” It’s like an online version of Class Notes.If you’ve seen Jayhawks in the news who should be featured, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
After graduating in May of 2017, University alumna Savannah Rodgers became a producer on the project, “Out Here in Kansas.” The documentary revolves around the LGBTQ community and how it intersects with Christianity in Kansas. Read full article.
The University of Kansas Sport Management Program is thrilled to announce the inaugural Board of Directors. These eleven KU alumni will provide invaluable insight to the faculty and students as the program continually grows and adapts in a ever-changing sporting landscape. Read full article.
Marah Schlingensiepen-Malleck is a 2016 Public Affairs and Administration grad who is now a PhD Student at University of Florida. Following her time at KU, she is able to reflect on what she learned through her research and give advice of her own. Read full article.
By now, almost 10 full years after Mario’s Miracle and the Kansas men’s basketball team’s run to the 2008 national championship, many of the stories about that team, its tournament run and the title game against Memphis have been told. Read full article.
Doug Richmond, who earned a Juris Doctor from the KU School of Law in 1989, received the Alumni Achievement Award from Fort Hays State University during its Homecoming celebration. The award is the Alumni Association’s highest honor. Read full article.
Low-income, at-risk students will have a greater opportunity to graduate college in four years without crushing debt because of a new partnership between Kansas State University and the Peter and Veronica Mallouk Give Back Program. Peter Mallouk is president and chief investment officer of Creative Planning Inc., one of the largest independent wealth management firms in the country. A graduate of the University of Kansas and its Graduate School of Business, he and his wife, also a KU graduate, are co-founders of KC CAN!, an organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the quality of life of children in Kansas City. Read full article.
The Kansas City Chiefs created the position to oversee new business, renewals, activation and service for corporate partnerships, suites and media rights revenue streams. Kimberly Hobbs was hired to the new role of vice president of corporate partnerships and premium sales. She’s a 20-year veteran of the sports marketing industry and is also a member of the Greater Kansas City Network of the KU Alumni Association’s board of directors. Read full article.
Johnson County manager Hannes Zacharias on Sunday, Oct. 22, was recognized with the Edwin O. Stene Award for Managerial Excellence. The honor was given at the KUCIMAT banquet — a yearly KU alumni event hosted at the International City/County Management Association annual conference. Read full article.
Allen Frame ran for simple reasons. “Because I won,” he said. “That’s the reason I enjoyed it.” Frame won plenty of races at East High and the University of Kansas during a golden era of track and field. He moved to Wichita from Iowa, following his father’s job at Beech, for his final three semesters and joined Fritz Snodgrass’ track team at East. Read full article.
Wells Fargo Middle Market Banking announced today that it has promoted three executives within its Illinois commercial lending operations. The company named 21-year banking veteran Chris Nay to lead six teams statewide as division manager, effective immediately. Nay earned a degree from the KU School of Business in 1993. Read full article.
Former Kansas basketball guard Ryan Robertson, his wife Andrea — a former Missouri soccer player — and their three children are all Jayhawk fans. Robinson was unable to attend the charity exhibition game, but he shared his thoughts on the rivalry. Read full article.
It won’t register in either team’s standings or record books, but the Oct. 22 KU-Missouri men’s basketball exhibition game at Kansas City’s Sprint Center counted in a way that mattered much more than sports: The made-for-charity game between two schools that haven’t played each other in men’s basketball since 2012 generated $1.75 million (and rising) for hurricane relief.
“Kudos to both administrations and fan bases for doing something so special,” said KU coach Bill Self. “I admit, I had butterflies. I was excited to be out there.”
After a few pregame chants of the unpleasant, old-school variety—the sort of enmity that made many fans relieved the rivalry was halted by Missouri’s departure for the Southeastern Conference—reverberated inside Sprint Center, the great majority of Jayhawks and Tigers appeared eager to instead root hard for their team while also applauding the afternoon’s real purpose.
During timeouts, the scoreboard played video clips with KU and Mizzou athletes from hurricane-ravaged regions describing the devastation and challenges faced by their families, and thanking fans for supporting the game. Those short video clips generated loud applause by fans from both schools, evidence that the big picture remained clearly in focus, even as a hard-fought game was unfolding on the court.
“You can tell how much juice there was in the building,” said KU senior guard Devonte’ Graham, who led all scorers with 25 points, along with 10 rebounds and five assists. “It was a great atmosphere to play in.”
After KU’s 93-87 victory, both Self and first-year Mizzou coach Cuonzo Martin noted the value in the rare opportunity to play an exhibition game against a Div. 1 opponent—normally not allowed, with exceptions made this year only to support relief causes. Not only did young players get to experience a big-game atmosphere, but the contest also generated game tape that will provide countless teaching moments for the coaches as they continue their season preparations.
“The things we’ve been telling them they’re deficient at,” Self said, “now they’ll believe.”
KU’s next exhibition game is against Pittsburg State, Oct. 31 in Allen Field House.
Update: According to Kansas Athletics, the charity exhibition basketball game generated $2.011 million for victims of recent natural disasters in the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The donations are a combination of ticket sales ($1.15 million), the Pay-per-View stream ($768,000) and text-to-give contributions ($68,000). Donations from other entities totaled approximately $25,000, bringing the total donation to some $2.011 million.
Less than a week after Homecoming on the Hill, KU men’s basketball welcomed back one of its most recent stars. In preparation for Friday’s NBA preseason game at Sprint Center, Joel Embiid and his Philadelphia 76ers teammates traveled from Kansas City to Lawrence to hold practice at Allen Field House.
“We looked at it, and we were that close playing in Kansas City we thought it would be appropriate to visit this historic place,” coach Brett Brown said. “The historic perspective of this building, along with Joel’s history here, made it a no-brainer we should drive 45 minutes down the road and experience the building and practice here.”
The Sixers’ practice in Allen Field House gave their lone Jayhawk a rare in-season opportunity to visit the campus he dearly adores.
“I was supposed to take the bus with the team, but I wanted to walk around,” Embiid said. “I wanted to do that just to feel like I stayed for three more years, and I’m definitely going to come back to finish school.”
A secret revealed
The chance to relive his college days led Embiid, ’17, to share a secret about how much time he could have spent on the Hill: “I don’t think anybody knows this story. I actually decided to stay because I love this place so much, but I was kind of pushed to leave. Any time I get the chance to come back I’m going to do that. Stepping on this court, this is where it all started for me, so I’m really thankful.”
The Sixers selected Embiid third overall in the 2014 NBA draft, but the athletic 7-footer has been limited to 31 regular-season NBA games due to foot and back injuries, setbacks that almost led him to quit the game during his second year as a pro. The lack of game experience has not slowed Embiid’s development, due in large part to his capacity as a visual learner.
“It’s a rare skill,” coach Brown says. “He’ll see Dirk Nowitzki do something or Kevin Durant or Tim Duncan back in the day, and the next day it’s in his game and he’s trying it. His spirit is great. We need it to be great.”
This year, expectations for the Sixers include a potential playoff spot, which with a healthy Embiid would not be surprising. As he looks to lead his team to long overdue success, Embiid also knows what he left behind just three years ago.
“I miss the culture,” he says. “You know, the fans were amazing over here. We have some Duke teammates who think they got the best arena, but I always tell them, ‘You never been here.’ Sixteen thousand people cheering, you can’t even hear.”
The Sixers and Heat will tip off at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13, in Kansas City’s Sprint Center.
Rob Riggle, the actor, comedian, Fox NFL Sunday contributor, and Dos Equis “Most Interesting Fan” spokesperson, is a Kansas Jayhawks football fan. He’s an alum of the school and passionate to the point that when he hosted the ESPYs a couple of years ago, he had the house band play the fight song and was flanked by KU cheerleaders for his entrance. Read full article.
Those are the words of Sarah Frazier, CBS Radio Houston market manager, who has her team working frantically to keep the community informed during Hurricane Harvey. Frazier, j’94, told Radio Ink that Monday morning it was clear there was a need to offer local residents a constant stream of evacuation and shelter information. Read full article.
Former Kansas guard Michael Lee resigned his post as Portland (Ore.) Roosevelt High basketball coach in order to work on lifelong buddy/former KU guard Aaron Miles’ Santa Cruz Warriors NBA G-League staff. He and former KU point guard Miles are grads of Portland’s Jefferson High. They actually attended middle school, high school and college together — true definition of best friends. Read full article.
When you think biology degree, you may picture someone sitting in a lab or collecting specimens outside. For Stephanie Downes, a biology degree led to a different path, where skills in analyzing and experimenting help her engage audiences with digital media. Read full article.
Prosecuting Attorney Debra Mclaughlin was named as the judge for the 23rd Judicial Circuit Court in the Eastern Panhandle. McLaughlin, l’93, came to West Virginia in the late 1990s, and since 2002, has been a Morgan County Prosecuting Attorney. Read full article.
The 2018 edition of Best Lawyers in America® has honored two Jayhawk attorneys from Monnat & Spurrier, Chartered. Sal Intagliata was honored for his work in the sectors of general practice and white collar criminal defense, and Trevor Riddle was honored in the criminal defense general practice sector. Both earned juris doctor degrees from the KU School of Law. Read full article.
Former Kansas Lt. Gov. Tom Docking died Thursday night at age 63. Docking served with Democratic Gov. John Carlin from 1983 to 1987. He was the Democratic nominee for governor in 1986 but lost to Republican Mike Hayden. Read full article.
Barry Swanson, the university’s chief procurement officer, has left Kansas after spending the better part of his career in Lawrence. Swanson, c’83, began working at the University of Kentucky at the end of June as its Chief Procurement Officer. Read full article.
Former KU basketball player C.B. McGrath, an assistant coach at the University of North Carolina for the past 14 seasons, is hosting basketball clinics as the new head coach at UNC-Wilmington. Read full article.
Topeka native Mark Turgeon, c’87, had last been to Lawrence in March 2011, when his fourth and final Texas A&M team fell to the Jayhawks 64-51 as part of KU’s Senior Day festivities at Allen Fieldhouse. Read full article.
Shelly Freeman, a 30-year veteran with a specialty in employment law, joined Jackson Lewis PC’s Overland Park office as a principal. Freeman, l’88, previously worked at her firm, Freeman & Fowler LLC in Kansas City. She also is president of FineLine HR Consulting. Read full article.
Remember that Kansas team that reached back-to-back Final Fours (2002-03) and the national title game in ’03? Although he played just two games in the Association, Keith Langford might have had the most successful professional career of anyone on that squad. His list of overseas accomplishments make him look like the Kobe Bryant of Europe. Read full article.
Jeffrey Dingman is a finalist for the city manager’s job in Topeka. Dingman has more than 20 years of local government experience and earned a law degree and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Kansas. Read full article.
Former University of Kansas player Aaron Miles is the new head coach of the G League’s Santa Cruz Warriors. Miles comes from Florida Gulf Coast, where he was an assistant under head coach Joe Dooley, a former KU assistant. Read full article.
Clinkscales Elder Law Practice, P.A. announced last week that Adam C. Dees recently joined its team of professionals. Dees, l’11, joins the firm as an Associate Attorney and will focus on estate planning and elder law. Read full article.
With a busy coaching career and family life dominating most of his time, former Kansas sharp-shooter Jeff Boschee has not been able to get back to Lawrence as often as he would have liked since the end of his playing days. He returned last weekend for the Hardwood Classic AAU tournament at Sports Pavilion. Read full article.
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Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce the addition of Peter Goplerud, l’74, who joins the firm as Of Counsel and brings more than 40 years of legal experience to the firm’s Business Transactions practice. Read full article.
The Woodward family has a deep history in Lawrence, including the Round Corner Drug Store, which they owned and leased for decades. Pete Woodward’s great-grandfather was an early member of the University of Kansas Board of Regents, and his grandfather was president of the KU Alumni Association. Read full article.
Former Kansas forward David Magley has stepped down as commissioner of the National Basketball League of Canada after fulfilling terms of his two-year contract and will serve as president/chief operating officer of the new North American Premier Basketball League. Read full article.