Fike Field House Lore
(Photo Uploaded By Alan Cutts)
Today’s photo is from the early 1960’s and shows Clemson basketball against Wake Forest in the early 1960’s at Fike Field House. Littlejohn Coliseum was not built until the 1968-1969 season.
Former Wake Forest coach Horace "Bones" McKinney had these humorous comments about taking his team to Fike Field House to take on the Tigers back in those days:
"That place was soooo dark" he said, "that the referees had to come in wearing coal miners' helmets. It was dark brown everywhere, and when they started playing things were pitch black. People's feet were the out-of-bounds marks and they'd sit there and pluck the hair on our players' legs when they tried to throw the play in."
"I'd call a timeout to change strategy, and there'd be 30-40 young men looking over my shoulder as I wrote on the sideline in chalk. They'd keep hollering, 'No, Bones, that'll never work,' 'You better get back on the bus,' 'That plan wouldn't win in Peewee League,' things like that. The din would never stop."
Banks McFadden described Fike Field House in these terms:
"We could put 3000 or so people in there, including some who had to sit around a live steam pipe that ran around the top of the seats. And the team had to sit on the first row of bleachers."
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Scott Rhymer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org