TOPEKA (KSNT) – The 2016-17 college basketball season will mark Bob Chipman’s 38th year as Washburn’s head coach. It will also be his final one.
Sports icons such as Kobe Bryant, Bob Davis, and now David Ortiz all had ‘farewell tours’ to end their careers. Now it’s Chipman’s turn.
“Wow it’s gone by so quickly, it’s been so much fun, and I just can’t thank Washburn and all the supporters for the opportunity,” said Chipman. “It’s been one heck of a ride..
Chipman’s journey began in 1979. That was his first season as head coach. 2016 will be his final season. The all-time winningest coach in MIAA history has one last chance to improve an already astounding career resume.
“The timing of this, I think, is perfect,” said Chipman. “It’s going to be disruptive a little bit with the 800 wins, but I think the fact that we’re doing it now is good. Then let’s forget about it, and let’s go win a championship.”
Washburn won the 1987 NAIA National Championship under Chipman, and he sits at 788 career wins. That’s 17th-most all-time in all NCAA levels, and the 6th most in NCAA Division II history.
“I think every day I woke up, excited to come here, excited to be a part of Washburn and building a team, and being part of the Washburn community,” said Chipman.
2016 should be a memorable season, with hopes of another national championship, but that isn’t the only thing he wouldn’t mind receiving leading up to retirement.
“I’m going to play a lot more golf,” said Chipman. Washburn gave me clubs on my 500th win, and I’m still playing with those sticks. This is about to be 800, so you can imagine how old those sticks are. So any golf clubs, that would be nice. I’ll do away with the rocking chair, I’m not ready for that.”
Chipman’s farewell tour will take him to Allen Fieldhouse to play the Kansas Jayhawks, and his alma-mater, Kansas State, this November for a pair of exhibition games. He’s produced 23 All-Americans, and has won nearly 70 percent of the games he has coached.
“You know I just can’t thank everybody here enough for all they’ve done for us,” said Chipman. “I’ve loved every day, enjoyed every day. And trust me, I am going to enjoy every day next year and for years to come.”