In Saturday’s mens basketball home win against the Tiffin University Dragons, one play electrified the crowd more than any other. Early in the second half, an errant pass sent the ball out of bounds and into the Charger bench. The ball landed in the hands of a short, bulbous man in a blue suit. The man, in anger and in derision, launched the ball toward the hoop. The beautiful, low-arching shot landed just a few feet short of the rim. The crowd went wild, and began a passionate chant. The man was head coach John Tharp, and the chant was “Roundy!”
This iconic nickname originated in Tharp’s hometown of Sheboygan, Wisconsin, or as Tharp calls it, the streets of SheVegas. Tharp’s original nickname was “Roundhead,” given by his brother Mike Tharp to eloquently encapsulate the roundness of his noggin. But with age came other forms of roundness, thus the name “Roundy” has stuck to this day.
It should be noted that while “Roundy” may not seem like the nicest nickname, it is fairly mild by the standards of the Tharp family. You can ask the basketball players about some of the less fortunate nicknames coined by the Tharps.
His Roundness has coached the Chargers for ten seasons. He has earned the second-most wins in Hillsdale history, and has given out the fourth-most nicknames in NCAA Division II history. The Chargers are poised for another successful season, led by Hillsdale legend Roundy.
So, why do we care? A strong culture of student spirit benefits everyone. Even though our athletes kill it out on the court regardless of how many fans they have, there’s no doubt that an electric crowd fuels the players’ fire even more. We’d even go so far as to say it helped contribute to Saturday’s big win.
Even if the only kind of dunking you’re interested in is Oreos in milk or you think that touchdowns are the way to win a basketball game, coming out and joining the student section at our home games can bring you joy. Take yourself a little less seriously and bring out your most ridiculous outfit for theme games, laugh with friends, cheer your lungs out, and we promise you, sitting back down to study Plato will be a little less of a drag. So, grab your new ‘Roundy’s Rowdies’ shirt and come out to watch both the men’s and women’s teams crush Ohio Dominican at home this Saturday.
A special thank you to Nick “The Big Stink” Archer, Senior Men’s Basketball Player for his contribution to this post.