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Kansas State athletics, 1911-12: the Guy Lowman era begins

Ahearn stepped aside, but things kept rolling.

Guy Lowman, the man with the impossible job
Guy Lowman, the man with the impossible job
1913 Royal Purple

Guy Lowman took over the reins of KSAC athletics in the wake of Mike Ahearn’s retirement. Lowman, who had spent a year in Warrensburg as head man and a season at Missouri as an assistant, had been hired by Alabama in 1910. After only one year in Tuscaloosa, KSAC hired away the Springfield (Mass.) graduate.

Lowman was, initially, unable to maintain Ahearn’s success on the gridiron — but in fairness, Ahearn’s 1909 and 1910 squads heavily relied on upperclassmen, and the cupboard was left bare for Lowman. Despite this, Lowman managed to start his career on the right side of the ledger.

The season started poorly, however. A 6-6 tie against Southwestern led into three consecutive losses. Two were at least respectable, a 3-0 defeat to Emporia and a 6-0 loss to the Jayhawks. In between, though, was a trip to Nebraska which resulted in a humiliating 59-0 defeat.

The Aggies returned home to beat Wichita 9-5 before traveling to Baldwin and doing the unthinkable: losing to Baker 3-0. A 12-0 win over Creighton at home followed, and then the Aggies traveled to Kansas City to face the Arkansas Razorbacks. In this first true neutral contest in KSAC history, the good guys prevailed 3-0.

A week later, Oklahoma A&M was handled 11-0 at home, and then Washburn was defeated 6-5 in Topeka to close out a forgettable 5-4-1 campaign.

Running total: 59-47-7, 53-47-2 against colleges

A major event marked the beginning of the 1912 basketball season: a new home for the Aggies, Nichols Gymnasium. The gym was named for former KSAC president E.R. Nichols, who’d advocated for the building and raised funds toward its construction before his retirement in 1909.

Only one school truly had the Aggies’ number in 1911-12: Baker, who beat KSAC both in Manhattan and Baldwin. The Aggies also lost at home to Emporia and, in a one-point affair, Nebraska. A loss at Kansas was avenged at Nichols at season’s end. Southwestern was vanquished twice in November, and twice the Aggies played and beat Washburn on consecutive nights, first at the start of February and later at the end.

The 1912 yearbook reports a game against the Kansas City Athletic Club, won by the Aggies; this game is not counted in the official record, which reports a final 9-5 mark.

Running total: 42-45, 34-38 against colleges

Lowman’s first turn at the diamond was a successful one. In their first six contests, the Aggies notched wins over Missouri twice, Oklahoma A&M, College of Emporia, Baker, and Kansas. On the squad’s first trip out of town, Missouri got revenge.

KSAC returned home for six more games, five wins; only Friends were able to get past the home side in a 3-1 win. One of those wins was against Chilloco Indian Agricultural School, which was formed at the same time as Carlisle and Haskell and at the time, like the other two, was considered an actual college. (Chilloco was located about a half-mile behind the current location of the Seven Clans Casino, just south of the Kansas-Oklahoma border on US 77 between Arkansas City and Newkirk.) The season ended with a 2-1 win at Saint Mary’s and a 10-2 record.

Running total: 146-76-2, 127-70-2 against colleges

There is no information regarding the 1912 track team.