Hutton Arena

Virtual campus tour

The birthplace of intercollegiate basketball

The Piper men’s and women’s basketball programs and volleyball team call the historic Hutton Arena their home. Hutton Arena uses a Robbins maple floor. First opened in 1937, the arena has been the site of many historic victories, including Hamline's National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) championship-winning men's basketball teams in 1942, 1949, and 1951. Legendary head coach Joe Hutton, Sr., coached the Pipers to 12 NAIA tournament appearances and 19 MIAC Championships (won or shared). Under Hutton, Hamline’s total MIAC record was 347-99.

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Seven “Huttonmen” went on to professional basketball careers after their collegiate days, including John Norlander, Howie Schultz, Rollie Seltz, Hal Haskins, Vern Mikkelsen, Jim Fritsche, and Joe Hutton, Jr. Hutton also had the opportunity for a professional career, but in 1949, he turned down a chance to coach the Minneapolis Lakers to stay at Hamline and coach his older son. Hutton retired in 1965 and in 1986, the fieldhouse was renamed the Joe W. Hutton Arena in honor of his phenomenal career at Hamline.

Hamline University is known as the “birthplace of intercollegiate basketball.” Hamline hosted and played in the world’s first intercollegiate basketball game on February 9, 1895. The Pipers took on the School of Agriculture, which was connected with the University of Minnesota, losing by a score of 9-3. Though the rules and the way the game was played are different from today’s game, the game was truly an historic moment, not only for Hamline, but for the future of collegiate basketball.

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