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Kansas State athletics, 1905-06: the Ahearn era truly begins

Basketball returns to the calendar, too.

The 1905 KSAC Aggies.
The 1905 KSAC Aggies.
Morse Department of Special Collections, Kansas State University Libraries

While retaining control of the KSAC baseball program, Mike Ahearn took over at the helm of the football operation as well. The results were immediate and stunning.

The season began with a 20-0 win at home over Ottawa. A 12-5 loss to Washburn followed, but then the Aggies started winning. On the road at Kansas Wesleyan, KSAC notched a 24-0 win before returning home for a three-game stretch. Saint Mary’s fell 10-5, Wichita was dispatched 11-6, and then the Aggies really opened up in a 60-0 rout over Haskell. A trip to Lawrence was a hiccup, as the Jayhawks prevailed 24-0, but they returned home to knock off Emporia State 10-0 to close out a stunning 6-2 campaign.

KSAC had never had a winning season before, but Ahearn had in one year turned the program around. Only two obstacles remained unvanquished, and they’d soon be dealt with.

Running total: 21-33-6, 15-33-1 against colleges

Barely a week after the conclusion of the successful football campaign, basketball returned to KSAC. C.W. Melick, about whom little is known, was hired to oversee the program.

The season began on December 8, with a two-day tournament at Glasco, Kan. The Aggies did not acquit themselves particularly well, losing their first four games before closing out the tourney with a win over Minneapolis High School.

After that, though, the Aggies played well at home, going 5-2. However, other than a March 2 blowout win against Emporia State, all the home wins were against the likes of Fort Riley and the KSAC faculty. The highlight of the home schedule was a visit by the Cornhuskers of Nebraska, which resulted in a 50-14 loss. The Aggies also lost the season finale against Ottawa.

On the road, KSAC was hopeless. They lost at Fort Riley in January, and on March 15-16 lost at Emporia State and Washburn. The season ended with a 7-9 mark, but that was definitely preferable to the abortive first attempt at basketball.

After the season, Melick departed, setting the stage for Mike Ahearn to take complete control over the KSAC athletic program.

Running total: 7-14, 1-9 against colleges

Ahearn didn’t let up on the diamond. The 1906 season was a thrilling affair, with the Aggies posting a 14-4-1 record — and one of those losses hardly counts, as it was a loss to Saint Paul of the American Association, the top minor league in the land.

The Aggies did suffer home losses to Nebraska and Kansas, and fell at Washburn. But they also beat Washburn at home twice, and toppled the Jayhawks in Lawrence.

The big story in 1906, though, was a pair of games in mid-April. In back-to-back games, K-State hurlers recorded no-hitters. Arthur Furey blanked Emporia in a 13-0 win on April 17, while Carl Mallon shut down Ottawa on the 20th. (The media guide reports the score of that game as 23-7, which sounds bizarre, but a snippet from a news report indicates the game was played in absurdly muddy conditions, which would probably have resulted in a lot of errors.)

The success of the season pushed KSAC’s all-time record above .500, where it would remain for over 50 years.

Running total: 62-57-1, 62-56-1 against colleges