Story by Wayland Baptist Athletics
PLAINVIEW, Texas – Wayland Baptist's (Texas) women's basketball team, the Flying Queens, became the first collegiate women's basketball team to win 1,600 games, with an 88-79 victory on November 30 against Texas Wesleyan.
The win reflects only a part of the Flying Queens' rich history. From 1953 to 1958 the Flying Queens won 131 consecutive games, a record that is still unbeaten today by either a men's or women's collegiate team. In addition, the team has won 10 National AAU Championships (Amateur Athletic Union), 9 consecutive NWIT titles (National Women's Invitational Tournament), and received 206 All-American Honors.
"The Queens and their coaches, over the decades, have strongly influenced women's collegiate basketball," said Wayland Baptist University President Dr. Bobby Hall. "Through educating athletes, advancing the concept of postseason play, winning championships, modernizing rules and playing internationally, this team has a strong history of trailblazing that has laid the foundation for today's game."
The Queens began play in the early 1900s, competing against high school teams. The 1600 count began in 1948-49 when the Flying Queens first competed in AAU Basketball which included both college and semi-professional/industrial teams. Shortly thereafter, the team attracted a benefactor, Claude Hutcherson, who provided private air travel for the team, thus earning them the nickname the Hutcherson Flying Queens.
In the early 1950s, Wayland began providing 13 full scholarships for women's basketball players, becoming the first four-year college program to do so. As a result, annual tryouts attracted women from all over the country.
The Flying Queens have had eight individuals and one team inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tenn. This included longtime head coach Harley Redin and sponsor Claude Hutcherson. Both were inducted for their lasting and unique contributions to women's basketball. The 1953-1958 teams were inducted as Trailblazers by the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.
As a program, the Flying Queens are under consideration for entry into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.