|School Name:||Winthrop University|
|Location:||Rock Hill, South Carolina|
|Head coach:||Randy Peele|
The Winthrop Eagles are a basketball team that represents Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina competes in the Big South Conference. The Eagles are currently coached by Randy Peele and play their home games in the 6,100 seat Winthrop Coliseum. Winthrop has appeared in nine NCAA Tournaments and has won 17 conference championships (season and tournament). The Eagles have played 33 seasons of basketball since their inaugural 1978-79 campaign.
Rise to Mid-Major Prominence
During the late 1990s and 2000s, Winthrop established itself as one of the premier mid-major programs in college basketball, reaching the NCAA Tournament eight times in ten seasons. From 1999-2008, the Eagles posted a 216-95 overall record and went 114-28 in Big South play. During this stretch, Winthrop defeated such major conference programs as Georgia Tech, Miami, Notre Dame, Marquette, Mississippi State, Providence, Missouri, Georgia, and Clemson.
Gregg Marshall Era (1999-2007)
Gregg Marshall coached the Eagles from 1999–2007, engineering one of the great program turnarounds in NCAA history. He posted a 194-83 overall record during his nine-year tenure and remains Winthrop's all-time winningest coach. Marshall led the Eagles to a 104-24 conference record, six Big South season titles, and seven Big South tournament titles. Winthrop also appeared in seven NCAA Tournaments, posted six 20-win seasons, and averaged 21.5 victories per year during the Marshall Era.
Randy Peele Era (2008-Present)
Current coach Randy Peele has a 65-62 overall record (40-28 Big South) since taking over as head coach in 2008. He has led the Eagles to one Big South season title and two Big South tournament titles. In addition, Peele's 2010-11 squad defeated Wake Forest in Winston-Salem. Winthrop has appeared in two NCAA Tournaments and has one 20-win season under Peele's leadership.
2007 Season: Top 25 and Second Round
Winthrop achieved its greatest success in 2007, as it went 29-5 under Coach Marshall and finished #22 in both the AP and Coaches' Final Polls. The Eagles posted a perfect 14-0 mark in conference play, winning the Big South regular season championship. Notable regular season non-conference victories included wins against Mississippi State and Old Dominion. Each of Winthrop's four regular season losses came at the hand of a Top 25 opponent, with two of the games decided by single-digit margins.
After winning the Big South Tournament, the Eagles were given a #11 seed in the NCAA Tournament and a First Round matchup against #6 seed Notre Dame. On March 16, 2007 (day before St. Patrick's Day), Winthrop defeated the Irish by a score of 74-64, becoming the first Big South men's basketball team to win an NCAA Tournament First Round game. In the Second Round, the Eagles lost to Oregon by a score of 75-61 to close out their season.
All-Time NCAA Tournament results
Winthrop has appeared in nine NCAA Tournaments and has a combined record of 1-9. The Eagles have twice appeared in the tournament's Opening Round Game (formerly called the "play-in" game) and participated in its debut contest in 2001.
|1999||First Round||Auburn||L 80–41|
|2000||First Round||Oklahoma||L 74–50|
|2001||Opening Round Game||Northwestern State||L 71–67|
|2002||First Round||Duke||L 84–37|
|2005||First Round||Gonzaga||L 74–64|
|2006||First Round||Tennessee||L 63–61|
|2008||First Round||Washington State||L 71–40|
|2010||Opening Round Game||UA-Pine Bluff||L 61–44|