Cowley's Mr. Basketball
Dan Kahler (second row, far left) was the Tigers’ new assistant basketball coach during the 1951-52 season. W.G. “Bunt” Speer (same row, second from right) was in his final season as head coach. Kahler would take over the Tigers in 1952. Members of the 1951-52 team, front row from left: Larry Penner, Frank Baker, Jerry David, Cecil Hawkins, Ray Potter, Jerry Garris. Second row, from left: Kahler, Bill Austin, Dick Eustice, Fred Rindt, Speer. Back row, from left: Johnny Gaddis, Leo Johnson, Fred Menefee, Jim Roberts, Bob Beck, and manager Ted Purvis.
Right photo: Kahler, the winningest men’s basketball coach in Cowley history, gets a hug from Cowley Athletic Director Tom Saia as Cowley President Dr. Pat McAtee looks on. Kahler was honored Nov. 12 by having the floor of W.S. Scott Auditorium dedicated in his name. From now on, it will be known as Dan Kahler Court. Kahler compiled a 170-49 record in seven seasons, from 1952-1959. During that time, he guided the Tigers to four national tournament appearances, including a runner-up finish in 1953, six Jayhawk Conference Western Division championships, and he coached 13 All-Americans.
The man known as the “Silver Fox” also was a beloved instructor in the classroom, and his commitment to quality education has spanned several decades. He earned 15 letters at Southwestern College in Winfield and was inducted into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1993.
He played for the United States in the fall of 1950 in the first-ever World Championship Basketball Tournament in Buenos Aires, Argentina. And he capped his Southwestern playing career as an All-American in football and basketball and playing in Madison Square Garden in the East-West All-Star Game.
In 2000, he became one of the first people to be inducted into Cowley’s Tiger Athletic Hall of Fame.