Sesher Created the Hutch Dynasty
Charles Sesher didn’t get off to such a hot start at Hutchinson Community College.
In 1930 on his first day on the job, Sesher was mistaken for a student by an English teacher, who demanded to know why he was roaming the halls before the start of class. From then on, though, it was nothing but glory for Sesher.
In his 26 years as a Blue Dragon, he coached football, basketball and track, one right after another, season after season, usually without assistants. And he was the athletic director all those years. To cap it all off, toward the end of his career, he started the golf program.
All told, he won 373 games - 114 in football, 259 in basketball. In 1998, Sesher was the first person inducted into the Quarterback Club Hall of Fame.
Hutch fans were so hungry for sports after not having had teams for three years during World War II that when Sesher’s squad went undefeated in 1947, they gave him a new Ford during halftime of the Salt Bowl. The next year the unbeaten streak was extended to 20 before it was snapped by Kilgore in the Texas Rose Bowl. Attendance at home games hit an all-time record.
Sesher established HCC as a sports powerhouse, and as athletic director, he hired coaches who would keep it that way. But Sesher’s biggest contribution to Hutchinson was the national tournament.
In 1948 he attended the first-ever NJCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament in Springfield, Mo., hoping to get Hutchinson named as a site for future regionals. Attendance was so bad in Springfield (3,800 fans in five days) that Sesher was offered the national tournament.
Speaking of that first tournament, the NJCAA president at the time, Chink Coleman, said it looked like “there were about 16 men and two dogs in the stands.”
Hutchinson was totally different, the NJCAA drew 20,000 people the first year, and HCC, an invited entry, ended up only two points shy of winning it all. It was love at first sight. The NJCAA awarded the tournament to Hutch and the city passed a $1-million bond to build the Sports Arena, making it the second-largest field house in the state.
Sesher died in 1982. The NJCAA Tournament Sportsmanship Award was named after Sesher in honor of his contributions.