By Walter Villa
Gonzaga, with its dramatic run to the Elite Eight of the 1999 NCAA Tournament, was Butler before Butler became Butler.
Gonzaga, a Catholic school founded in 1887 in Spokane, Wash., got to be Gonzaga because of the talent, skill and hard work of numerous people, including athletic director Mike Roth, who started working for the Bulldogs as a men’s basketball assistant coach during the 1982-’83 season. Point guard John Stockton, who went on to a Hall of Fame NBA career, was at Gonzaga at the time.
Roth became athletic director in 1997 and oversaw the Bulldogs’ glorious 1999 season as well as its current run of 15 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances.
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