On Exhibit at Robeson Library: Remembering Coach Wilbur “Pony” Wilson
Remembering Coach Wilbur “Pony” Wilson is on display at Paul Robeson Library from January 26 through March 8, 2017.
For over 28 years, Wilbur “Pony” Wilson loomed large over Rutgers–Camden as the athletic director from August 1969 through February 1998. During his tenure with the athletic department, he served three separate stints as the men’s basketball coach, compiling a 187-275 career record.
During his first stretch as head basketball coach, it took Wilson two seasons to get the team up and running, but his third squad had a banner year. The Pioneers, as they were called at the time, went 20-5 and reached the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) District 31 playoffs in the spring of 1972. It was the first time any Rutgers–Camden team had won 20 games, and it earned Wilson recognition as the NAIA District 31 coach of the year. Wilson would have similar success with his 1974-75 team which went 20-4 and placed second in the playoffs.
Wilson was named the NAIA District 31 Coach of the Year (1971-72) and the Rutgers–Camden Coach of the Year (1983-84). Under his leadership, Rutgers–Camden expanded from five varsity sports to as many as 14, opened a state of the art gymnasium, and added women’s sports to its athletic program.
An accomplished athlete in his own right, Wilson was a three-sport star in football, basketball, and track at both Haddonfield Memorial High School and later at Virginia State University, where he was the 1954 NAIA long jump champion.
Among his many honors, Wilson was inducted into the South Jersey Track Club Hall of Fame (1985), the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association Hall of Fame (1989), the Virginia State University Hall of Fame (1989) and the Haddonfield Memorial High School Sports Hall of Fame (1993). He also was the first name enshrined in Rutgers–Camden’s Circle of Honor on February 19, 2000.