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Iowa History Daily: December 10 - Paul Moon's Hardwood Success

Iowa History Daily: On December 10, 1996, legendary Davenport basketball coach Paul “Spats” Moon passed away. Moon’s teams captured a record seven state titles during his 26 year run at Davenport High School while posting a 541-111 record.

Arriving as head coach at Davenport after serving as a cavalry captain during World War I, Moon first coached under the legendary Aldoph Rupp in Freeport, Illinois. When Moon crossed the Mississippi to take the job at Davenport in 1928, he brought a no-nonsense leadership style to his coaching on the hardwood. 

In 1929, the Davenport Blue Devils captured their first state championship under Moon’s leadership. Moon’s teams went on to win championships in four consecutive decades by embracing an up-and-down the court running style of play. Known for an efficient zone defense which produced turnovers to start the fast break, the Blue Devils ran opponents ragged throughout the historic sprint to seven championships.

At one point, Moon’s teams won 52-consecutive games against other Iowa schools by focusing on discipline and organization. "He didn't take a lot of crap from anybody and he didn't talk to too many people," said Don Robbins, a starting guard on Moon's 1951 and 1952 title teams. "He just concentrated on basketball." #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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