$50 for the 50th: 1961 NJCAA National Champions
On Friday, March 18, the family of Harry Simmons and Colorado State University – Pueblo recognized the 50th Anniversary of Pueblo Junior Colleges’ 1961 National Junior College Basketball Championship.
Behind the play of starters Norm Colglazier, Waymond Dean, Greg Smith, Sam Smith and Bob Warlick, PJC defeated Tyler College 79-66 in Hutchinson, Kan. to capture the state of Colorado’s first college National Basketball Championship at any level. Other members of the only national team championship won by an athletic program at PJC, Southern Colorado State College, the University of Southern Colorado and now Colorado State University at Pueblo were Ron DeLeon, Anthony Hegler, Jerry Hummitsczh, Jack Milam, Isaac Pope, Lennie Roybal and Charles Williams. Simmons was assisted by Bill Kennedy. Pete Gray and Caesar Gutierrez and Howard Snyder were the student managers.
The 1961 team was making PJC’s sixth appearance at the National Junior College Basketball Tournament. The Indians defeated Snead (Ala.) College 80-62 in the first round, then beat Broome Tech (N.Y.) 69-64 and Eastern Oklahoma 91-79 to reach the title game.
The men’s basketball program at PJC, SCSC, USC and CSU-Pueblo has been the cornerstone of the University’s department of athletics. In an effort to maintain the excellence of that 1961 team, Harry Simmons’ family and the CSU-Pueblo Department of Athletics, have created the “$50 for the 50th” Fundraising Campaign to benefit the ThunderWolves men’s basketball program.
In an effort to tip off the campaign, Tim Simmons has offered to match all $50 donations up to $1,000.
Thank you in advance for considering a gift to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the 1961 National Championship Team and The Chief. If you are interested in donating to the “$50 for the 50th” campaign, please fill out the form by clicking here and return.