George W "Woody" Grimshaw

Star Basketball Player for Brown University, Player for
NBA Providence Steamrollers, and Coach at Tufts University

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George W. "Woody" Grimshaw led the Brown University basketball team to the New England championship in 1945, with a college career total of 1,021 points. Woody was inducted into the Dean College Hall of Fame for basketball and football in 1977. He played - as guard - for one year with the National Basketball Association team, the Providence Steamrollers, in 1946, when they had a record of 28 wins and 32 losses (average 0.467). The team shut down in 1949. Starting in 1953, Woody Grimshaw coached at Tufts University for 18 seasons before retiring in 1971. He died just three years later, in 1974, at the young age of 55. It is not yet known which Grimshaw family line Woody was descended from.


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Woody Grimshaw College Basketball Photograph

Woody was 6 feet, 1 inch in height and weighed 185 lb in college.



College Basketball Career at Brown University, Providence, RI


It was 1919 before basketball at Brown was revived through the efforts of Louis A. R. Pieri ’20. In the 1920s there were three winning seasons under coaches Wally Snell ’13 and Harold “Chick” Evans, 13-10 in 1922, and 10-6 in 1925 and 1926. The team of 1938-39, coach George “Eck” Allen’s first team, was chosen to represent New England in the first championship tournament conducted by the National Collegiate Athletic Association. That team, undefeated on the home court, won seventeen of its twenty games, beat every New England opponent excepting Dartmouth and including Providence College for the first time since 1922, but lost to Villanova, 42-30, in the tournament. Harry Platt ’40 broke all of Brown’s scoring records with a single game score of 48 points against Northeastern in 1938, a season scoring record of 404 in 1937-38, and a career record of 866. In 1945 the team, led by George “Woody” Grimshaw ’47, won the New England title. Grimshaw, whose career record was 1,021, later coached at Tufts. After 1945 Brown basketball experienced a long run of losing seasons, but had its star players. Francis “Moe” Mahoney scored 828 points in his two-and-one-half seasons. The high point of the 8-11 season of 1950-51 was Brown’s first victory on Rhode Island State’s home court in sixteen years, a one-point win on a basket by Fred Kozak ’50 in the last three seconds of the game. Stan Ward’s fifteen-year coaching record from 1954 to 1969 was 133-261. Joe Tebo ’58 set a career record of 1,319 points, which was broken four years later by the 1,331 record of three-time All-Ivy Mike Cingiser ’62. A low point in Brown’s basketball history was the 3-23 season in 1969-70. Under coach James G. “Gerry” Alaimo ’58 the team improved slowly, and in 1972-73 had its first winning season since 1959-60, as five sophomores, Phil Brown ’75, Jim Busam ’75, Vaughan Clarke ’75, Lloyd Desvigne ’75, and Eddie Morris ’75, finished 14-12 and third in the Ivy League, and went on to 17-9 and a tie for second in the league in 1973-74, and 14-12 and a tie for third in 1974-75. Alaimo left in 1978 with an 88-148 record, 57-59 in the Ivy League. Joe Mullaney, successful coach at Providence College, took over and coached until 1981, and was followed by Mike Cingiser ’62. The disappointing seasons continued until 1985-86, when Brown, in its first winning season (16-11) since 1975, won its first Ivy League championship, but lost to Syracuse, 101-52, in the opening round of the regional NCAA tournament. Cingiser’s ten-year record was 93-170.



The Woody Grimshaw '47 Memorial Award is named in honor of former Brown player Woody Grimshaw '47, who was also a long-time successful basketball coach at Tufts. It is presented annually to that member of the team showing the most positive attitude and the best spirit: Rob Humm '04, manager of the team from Barrington, RI.



Professional Career at the Providence Steamrollers, Providence, RI


The Providence Steamrollers were a National Basketball Association team based in Providence, Rhode Island. The Steamrollers remain the last pro sports franchise from one of the Big Four leagues to be based in Rhode Island.

Franchise history

The Steamrollers were one of the original eleven NBA franchises (when the league was called the Basketball Association of America). The franchise posted an all-time record of 46-122 (.274) before folding after three seasons.

The Steamrollers still hold the dubious NBA record for least games won in a season with 6, in the 1947-48 season. (The team does not hold the record for lowest winning percentage – that distinction belongs to the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers.) Also during the 1947-48 season, the Steamrollers' Nat Hickey, at age 46, established a still-standing mark as the oldest player in NBA history.




Coaching Career at Tufts University, Medford, MA


Title: Tufts basketball co-captains John Schwarz and Glenn Smith with Coach 'Woodie' Grimshaw, center, 1971

Document ID: tufts:central:dca:UA046:UA046.003.DO.04479

Photographer/Illustrator: Young, Donald T.

Date: 1971

Date of Publication: 04/01/2004



Year Coach Captains W L T
1953-54 George Grimshaw John Sussenberger 9 14 0
1954-55 George Grimshaw Frank O'Brien, John Heneghan 12 8 0
1955-56 George Grimshaw Robert Fasciano 4 14 0
1956-57 George Grimshaw Bert Meunch 8 10 0
1957-58 George Grimshaw Bert Meunch, Phil Shaw 7 11 0
1958-59 George Grimshaw Jim Miller 2 16 0
1959-60 George Grimshaw Tom Bond 5 13 0
1960-61 George Grimshaw John O'Leary, Bill McGrath 7 12 0
1961-62 George Grimshaw Joel Peckham 4 15 0
1962-63 George Grimshaw Paul Berger 3 17 0
1963-64 George Grimshaw Evander French 8 10 0
1964-65 George Grimshaw Dave Spath 5 12 0
1965-66 George Grimshaw Bill Lewis 11 8 0
1966-67 George Grimshaw Ken Neiman 8 12 0
1967-68 George Grimshaw Art Marquardt 13 7 0
1968-69 George Grimshaw Mal Kiniry 4 13 0
1969-70 George Grimshaw David Whitley 5 13 0
1970-71 George Grimshaw John Schwarz, Glenn Smith 1 17 0
Totals 116 222 0
Total Games 338
Percentages 34.3% 65.7% 0.0%



Family Origins

Woody Grimshaw was born on September 24, 1919 and died in October 1974 at the young age of 55. It is not yet known which Grimshaw family line Woody was descended from.






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Webpage posted November 2007.