Local Loyola NCAA champ reflects on 1963 win
RACINE, Wis. (CBS 58) – A Racine man who was on the 1963 team that won Loyola’s first and only NCAA title shares his excitement as he too heads to San Antonio.
Chuck Wood is ready to watch his Ramblers go head to head, hoping they make history once again.
Wood remembers that moment as if it were yesterday. The Ramblers beat the University of Cincinnati 60-58 in the 1963 NCAA Championship.
The 76-year-old Racine man says me that although that day was a time of celebration, the team also faced challenges, being the first basketball team to have four black players on its starting five.
Saturday will be somewhat of a college reunion as he meets up with his old teammates ahead of Saturday’s game.
“Oddly enough when you’re playing on the court in the ball games, it was just like any other game. It wasn’t the buildup that we have today,” Wood said. “And you got Sister Jean there so something is happening. It’s kind of special that we’re all enjoying.”
Wood also says beating Michigan is more important than people think because Wolverines beat the Ramblers in the regionals the following year, keeping them from returning to the Final Four.