1980-81 Men’s Basketball Team

The 1980-1981 men’s basketball team established several team, conference and Canadian records, enabling them to emerge as CIAU finalists.

Directed by head coach, Ian MacMillan and assistant John Archibald, the Axemen were led by the excellent performance of power forward Ted Upshaw, Phil Coldwell, Bo Hampton, Larry Hampton and Donnie Ehler. Equally outstanding contributions were made by such performers as Robert Upshaw, Ken Fells, Eric Skinner, Alfie MacLeod, Kevin Armstrong, Steve Cox, Mike Crowell and Wayne Kehoe. Manager Mike MacKay and trainer Sue Hannam added much to the team’s success.

Following a dramatic sweep of the Acadia Tip Off Tournament in November of 1980, the team won all of their league and exhibition contests. After the holiday the team continued to perform at a record-breaking pace, going undefeated in the Stu Aberdeen Memorial Tournament.

In subsequent play the Axemen improved their record to twenty wins and no losses -making them at that point the only undefeated team in Canadian intercollegiate competition. The Axemen ended regular season conference play with seventeen wins and one loss -defeated by perennial rivals St. Francis Xavier. In the play-off action the country’s No.1 rated Axemen were again defeated by St. FX, 96-95, in one of the conference’s best-ever encounters.

Drawing one of the two wildcat berths to the Nationals, the Axemen defeated host Waterloo and St. FX before bowing out to Victoria in the National Championship game.

The Axemen’ s overall thirty-one wins represented a record by an Acadia team. Their seventeen victories in AUAA play established a conference record and they were the first Canadian University team to average over 100 points per contest while they eclipsed the single game scoring with 137 points against Dalhousie.

Ian MacMillan was chosen Coach of the Year at both the conference and national levels and conference A1I- Star and MVP recipient, Ted Upshaw, was also named All-Canadian.

It is a pleasure to welcome for induction to Acadia’s Sports Hall of Fame members of the 1980-1981 men’s basketball team that enjoyed an “unparalleled record breaking season”.