Endowed $25,000 scholarship honors former UNK Men’s Basketball Coach Jerry Hueser
The University of Nebraska at Kearney has announced establishment of the Coach Jerry Hueser Men’s Basketball Scholarship Fund in honor of Jerry Hueser, the winningest coach in UNK history.
The $25,000 permanently endowed fund at the University of Nebraska Foundation enables the athletic department to award annual scholarships to members of the UNK men’s basketball team.
Hueser said he feels this scholarship honors his family, the basketball players and their families. He hopes the scholarship will honor the former players who started the Lopers’ winning tradition.
“When Coach Wayne Samuelson recruited me away from high school coaching to be his assistant basketball coach in the spring of 1967, little did I know that I would have the privilege of coaching basketball for nearly 30 years at Kearney State College and UNK,” he said. “Over those years, many outstanding players and students made my job fun and rewarding.”
The UNK athletic department hosted an event last fall to honor Coach Hueser and recognized the 1982 basketball team as a Team of Distinction. The 1982 team was one of Hueser’s most successful, finishing fourth in the NAIA National Tournament and was awarded the team sportsmanship trophy. The banquet drew more than 100 people, including 45 former basketball players, and helped raise funds for the endowment.
“With the numerous contributions made to this endowed fund, the UNK Athletic Department is very excited to honor the legendary career of Coach Jerry Hueser and also provide the men’s basketball program with timely perpetual scholarship support,” said Jon McBride, UNK athletic director.
As UNK’s basketball coach with the most wins, Hueser compiled a 519-256 record in 26 seasons from 1970 to 1996. His teams won Nebraska College Conference titles 15 times, the Central States Intercollegiate Conference championship three times, and his 1972, 1975 and 1978 through 1987 teams represented District 11 in the NAIA National Championship Tournament. His teams from 1977 to 1987 still hold the all-time NAIA record for their ten consecutive appearances in the national tournament.
Hueser was named NAIA District Coach of the Year three times, the Omaha World-Herald College Coach of the Year two times and the Lincoln Journal Star Coach of the Year twice. He was elected to the NAIA Hall of Fame in 1991 and the UNK Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001. Hueser retired in 1996 from UNK.
As UNK joins the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association, increasing available student scholarships is more important than ever, said McBride. Gifts to support the Coach Jerry Hueser Men’s Basketball Scholarship may be made at nufoundation.org or by contacting Lucas Dart at the University of Nebraska Foundation at 308-698-5272.
The University of Nebraska Foundation is an independent, nonprofit organization that has connected the dreams and passions of donors to the mission of the university for more than 75 years. In 2011, donors gave a record $172 million in gifts for scholarships, academic programs, medical research and other priorities at the university. The foundation’s current fundraising initiative, the Campaign for Nebraska: Unlimited Possibilities, concludes in 2014. For more information, visit campaignfornebraska.org.