Raveling joins Cougar legends

Former WSU coach will get his banner in Beasley rafters

COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

RYAN ROOT, Evergreen men's basketball reporter

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During the WSU men’s basketball game against University of Washington on Sunday, former WSU coach George Raveling will be honored by WSU athletics with a banner in the rafters of Beasley Coliseum.  

Raveling coached the Cougars from 1972 to 1983 with a 167-136 record and is one of the winningest coaches in WSU history. When he signed with WSU in 1972, he became the first black man to ever coach in the formally referred Pac-8.

Before coaching, Raveling played college basketball for Villanova from 1957 to 1960 and became their assistant coach after graduating, according to a Villanova press release.

During 1963, Raveling stood beside Martin Luther King Jr. during his infamous “I Have a Dream” speech and received the original script written by King himself.

After assistant coaching for Villanova for six years and Maryland for another three years, he landed in Pullman to be the head coach for WSU. Raveling earned a pair of Pac-10 Coach of the Year awards in the 1976 and 1983 seasons before leaving WSU in 1983.

Raveling’s coaching legacy capped off with an induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015.

Head coach Kyle Smith said honoring Raveling on Sunday is what makes WSU such a special place to be a part of and play.

“He means a lot to a lot of people around here that remember him,” Smith said. “This place is special to him.”

Freshman guard Noah Williams’ father Guy Williams is a former player on the Cougars men’s basketball team. Raveling was Guy’s coach from 1981 to 1983 and Noah said this ceremony will feel somewhat personal to him.

“It’s a blessing; [I’m] happy for him,” Noah said.

Senior guard Jervae Robinson said this ceremony for Raveling will be another addition to the overall historic year for WSU basketball.

“It’s a pretty big honor for our program,” Robinson said.