2001-2002 proved to be a flash of golden basketball brilliance for the oldest athletic program at Kent State. Your men of the court advanced to the Elite Eight for the first time, the run on the back of a regular season that saw the school set three MAC records: overall wins (30), conference wins (17) and longest winning streak (21).
In a season that opened 4-4, Kent caught lightning late in December and only dropped a single game the rest of the regular season. The clinical showing led to the regular season MAC title, a first for the Navy and Gold, and was followed up with the MAC Tournament title and a trip to the NCAA Tournament—where the magic really unfolded.
Major underdogs against No. 2 Alabama in the second round, the Flashes lit up the court and knocked off the favorites. Then, to prove it wasn’t a fluke, they repeated the upset action with a win over third-seeded Pitt in the Sweet Sixteen for an Elite Eight berth, a school record. Pay homage.
Golden Flashes football kicked off October 30th, 1920, but when Trevor Rees took the reins as head coach in 1946, the team really began making headlines. Rees coached for 18 seasons, and during his time, Kent joined the Mid-American Conference (1951), made its first bowl appearance in the Refrigerator Bowl (1954) and posted thirteen winning seasons.
In 1972, three years after the team’s current home, Dix Stadium, was finished, the Golden Flashes had their most successful season, winning the MAC Conference title and advancing to the Tangerine Bowl. Much of the success came on the backs of Nick Saban—yes, that Crimson Tide Nick Saban—and Pro Football Hall of Famer Jack Lambert. Don the Blue and Gold with this instant-classic and gear up for another action-packed season at Dix Stadium. Fight on, Flashes!
With a century of hooping it up on the hardwood, your Golden Flashes joined the MAC in 1951 and have established a dominant tradition in the last three decades. Beginning in 1998, your team has been dominating the boards with 20-win seasons from 1998 through 2008, and during the tenure, they’ve won the MAC five times and made it to the title game five additional times. Whether you’re watching your Blue and Gold trounce the Zips front-and-center at Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center or cheering from afar, flash your eternal allegiance in this super-soft classic.