Penn Athletics will be inducting its Hall of Fame Class VIII this Saturday, May 5 at the Inn at Penn. As we prepare for the upcoming ceremony, we will be introducing each inductee over the next several days. Click here to find the original release on all the inductees, from February 22.
To longtime Penn fans, Bob Weinhauer will forever be connected with one thing: The Final Four.
Weinhauer was the coach of Penn's 1978-79 men's basketball team, which stunned the nation with a run through the Eastern Regional that took them all the way to Salt Lake City, Utah and the Final Four. The Quakers would end up playing a vital role at that Final Four, which is still considered one of the great ones of all-time. The final game pitted Magic Johnson's Michigan State squad against Larry Bird's Indiana State team. (Penn lost to Johnson's Spartans in the semifinal, and then fell in a thrilling consolation game with DePaul, 96-93 in overtime.)
Weinhauer was head coach at Penn for five seasons, overseeing the program at the end of a golden era of Quaker hoops. He went a perfect 5-of-5 in the Ivy League, winning the title each year, and snagged a pair of Big 5 championships. Weinhauer left Penn to go to Arizona State following the 1981-82 campaign. His overall record at Penn was 99-45 and his Ivy mark was a staggering 61-9 (including a perfect 35-0 in the Palestra).
Weinhauer was an assistant coach with the Quakers for four seasons before taking the reins from Chuck Daly prior to the 1977-78 season. Penn went 20-8 that first year, including a 12-2 mark in the Ivy League, and knocked off St. Bonaventure in an NCAA Tournament first-round game before falling to Duke, 84-80, in the Eastern Regional semifinals.
The 1978-79 team finished the regular season 21-5, going 13-1 in Ivy play and 3-1 in Big 5 action to earn both titles. When the postseason began, nobody could have predicted what came next: after a 73-69 win over Iona in an Eastern Regional prelim game, Penn stunned the Regional's No. 1 seed, North Carolina, 72-71. (The No. 2 seed, Duke, would lose that same day to St. John's. The day continues to be known as "Black Sunday" on Tobacco Road.) Penn's win over UNC took place at Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh; to this day, it remains the only time the Tar Heels have lost an NCAA Tournament game in their home state (they are 31-1 in such games).
Penn moved on to Greensboro, N.C., knocking off Syracuse in the Regional semifinal before downing St. John's in the final, 64-62. With that, the Quakers were off to Utah. The run was stifled by Michigan State in the semifinals.
Penn came back in 1979-80 to go 17-12 overall, and tied with Princeton for the Ivy League title as both teams went 11-3. In the one-game playoff to determine the Ivy's NCAA representative, the Quakers outlasted the Tigers, 50-49. They then went on to beat Washington State in the first round of the NCAAs before falling to Duke in the second round.
Penn went 20-8 in 1980-81, including a 13-1 Ivy League mark as the Red and Blue split the season series with Princeton (losing by one at Old Nassau, winning by nine at The Palestra). Once again, it took a third game in Easton, Pa., to decide matters, and this time Princeton held the day, winning 54-40. Penn went on to the NIT, losing to host West Virginia in the first round, 67-64.
Penn was 17-10 in Weinhauer's final season. After being swept in its first Ivy League weekend -- losing by one point at both Brown and Yale -- the Quakers rolled through their final 12 Ancient Eight games to earn their fifth straight crown. In the NCAA Tournament, Penn fell to St. John's 66-56 in what was essentially a home game for the Redmen, as it was played in Uniondale, N.Y.
Three Penn players earned Ivy League Player of the Year honors during Weinhauer's five-year tenure -- Keven McDonald in 1977-78, Tony Price in 1978-79, and Paul Little in 1981-82. Price also was the Big 5 Player of the Year in 1978-79.
A 2002 inductee into the Philadelphia Big 5 Hall of Fame, Weinhauer has continued his involvement with the program, consulting several times a year with current John R. Rockwell Head Coach of Men's Basketball Jerome Allen and his staff and the players.
"A good coach leaves a legacy to his players that they in turn pass down to the next generation. At Penn, I was blessed to have players and staff whose work ethic and team play produced results beyond our expectations and dreams. But as important as the basketball successes were, the academic achievements of these young men at Penn were equally as impressive. All graduated and moved on to successful places in life. I am proud to be a continuing member of the Penn family as well as an ongoing presence in the lives of my players. They have given me a legacy that I will forever cherish."