Former Hawkeye Dave Gunther Passes

IOWA CITY, Iowa – Former University of Iowa men’s basketball All-Big Ten forward Dave Gunther passed away on March 16. He was 86.

Gunther, a native of Le Mars, Iowa, was a three-year letterwinner as a Hawkeye, scoring 1,188 career points and grabbing 690 career rebounds from 1957-59. He is one of 28 members of the 1,000-point and 500-rebound club in program history. Upon his departure from Iowa City, Gunther shared the distinction as Iowa’s all-time leading scorer.

During the 1959 season, Gunther earned first-team All-Big Ten honors after averaging 21.9 points and 12.2 rebounds. He ranked in the top 20 nationally in scoring. In 1958, Gunther was a second-team All-Big Ten selection after averaging 19.8 points and 10.2 rebounds.

Gunther, who was a three-time team Most Valuable Player, led the team in scoring and free throw percentage all three years and in rebounding and field goal percentage twice. He had six career 30 point games and his 18.0 career scoring average ranks sixth all-time.

Gunther was selected in the 1959 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia Warriors before electing to join a tour in the U.S. Army. After returning to basketball, he enjoyed a three-year professional career and eventually reached the NBA with the San Francisco Warriors in 1962. He was the EPBL Rookie of the Year in 1961.

Following his playing career, Gunther began a coaching career that spanned more than three decades. He coached at Wayne State (Nebraska), North Dakota, Buena Vista and Bemidji State. He was head coach at North Dakota for 18 seasons, leading the program to 332 career wins, five North Central Conference titles, eight NCAA Division II tournaments and three Elite Eights.

Gunther was inducted into the UND Athletics Letterwinners Hall of Fame in 1987.