Marquette Basketball 1977

The champions of the 1977 Men’s National basketball tournament had unique players, coaches, style and uniforms.

Teams of this era simply had a home and away jersey identified by one being light and one being dark. Seen below in Marquette in opponent 1981.

Led by head coach Al McGuire and player Maurice Bo Ellis Marquette took up an identity that would change basketball, and Marquette for years to come.

Marquette Archives (1977 National Championship team)

With a fiery attitude and determination to turn Marquette into a basketball school, Al McGuire did things that gave him the well deserved label of being unconventional. He simply did things his own way, creating a lasting legacy of original identity that as us still talking today. They players respected his style and appreciated his unique way of going about business. He was respect for “going into the hood to recruit players” and being unafraid of what people my think about him.

One of the key players of that ’77 championship team was a Bo Ellis. With a unique personality of his own, Bo had a noticeable interest in fashion.

Just before Bo had arrived to play for Coach McGuire, Marquette had already created it identity as a program with flare, attitude, talent, and really cool jerseys.

Marquette Archieves
Marquette Archives (1976–1977 team photo shoot)

One day at practice Coach McGuire ask Bo what he wanted to go to school for. Bo told him that he was interested in Fashion Design but Marquette didn't have a Fashion Design major. Now knowing this Coach McGuire allowed Bo to attend Mount Mary’s University. An all woman's school that offered the major that Bo was interested in.

Finding out Bo’s talents in fashion and drawing, his teammates talked Coach McGuire into letting Bo draw up a uniform. After Bo spent hours on his design and presented it to Coach it became am unexpected reality.

Marquette Archives (Bo Ellis in his design and Al McGuire)

The untucked jersey of Bo Ellis was a design that had never been seen before in the sport of basketball. Bo liked the untucked jersey because he felt restricted with it tucked in. The untucked feel gave him freedom and an original identity that would now be shared with the whole team.

The untucked jersey got a lot of attention around the NCAA. It was new, young and unique. The players loved it, both at Marquette and opposing teams. Players expressed their liking so much that coaches around the country began to think it was an unfair recruiting advantage for Marquette.

Marquette Archives

The NCAA later banned the untucked jersey due to it being “a safety precaution”. Former Marquette player, Doc Rivers thinks the rule came into effect because the style couldn't be copied due to the fact everyone would know where they got the idea from.

Marquette Archives

When it was all said and done. Al reflected on his time at Marquette. All the wins, the losses, the headlines, and players he had the pleasure to coach. Al said in an interview after the conclusion of his career that “I’m trying to make a person take one more step than they wanna take”. Al was all about pushing his players to not only become better players but during doing so, finding themselves and revealing their identity. Marquette Basketball forever has its identity

Marquette Archives

The home of some of the most flashy and cunning jersey in the game is still proudly here at Marquette.

Marquette Athletics (Henry Ellenson 2016)