|Dick Parfitt Gymnasium |
Opened: December, 2010
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|Dick Parfitt's name has been synonymous with success at Central Michigan University. |
Whether it was as a two-sport student-athlete or a championship winning coach, Parfitt's résumé of success stands out in the history of CMU Athletics, and now it will be synonymous with what helped him achieve all that success - practice.
In the new CMU Events Center, the Dick Parfitt Gymnasium, named after the coach who led the Chippewa men's basketball program to three Mid-American Conference titles in the 1970s, will be utilized primarily for team practices, but will also function as a space to hold gatherings, receptions and other multipurpose events.
A group of Parfitt's former CMU players came together to raise the $500,000 necessary to sponsor the naming of the facility.
Parfitt won 192 games in 14 seasons as CMU's head basketball coach, the second-most of any coach in program history. His three MAC titles-1975, 1977, 1979-are the most for any head basketball coach at CMU.
The Mount Pleasant resident was named MAC Coach of the Year in 1975. In his fourth year at the helm of the program, Parfitt led the Chippewas to an overall record of 22-6, their first MAC title and a 77-75 win over Georgetown in the Mideast Regional of the NCAA Tournament that season.
Parfitt's 1977 championship team also appeared in the NCAA Tournament, while the 1979 squad participated in the National Invitational Tournament (NIT).
Six of the seven Chippewas who have their jersey numbers retired played at least one season under Parfitt. James McElroy, Melvin McLaughlin, Ben Kelso, Dan Roundfield, Dan Majerle and Ben Poquette all were part of Chippewa teams led by Parfitt, and all six were eventually selected in the NBA Draft.
Parfitt's exploits were not limited to the sideline, however.
The dual-sport athlete lettered in both basketball and baseball during his collegiate career at CMU. He led the Chippewas in scoring both of his final two seasons, averaging 10.2 points per game in 1952 and 16.5 points per game in 1953. Parfitt was tabbed the team's most valuable player following his senior season in 1953.
He led the nation in free throw shooting percentage in 1953, converting 93-of-105 free throws for 88.5 percent. He still holds CMU's single-season free throw percentage record.
Parfitt was inducted into CMU's Athletic Hall of Fame in 1990. At the time, he was just the 10th coach to be inducted. The legendary coach has remained in Mount Pleasant, giving him a chance to stay connected with the university he called home for so many years.