LARAMIE -- Do you ever see a number on a Wyoming basketball jersey and think of all the great players to wear it?

Yeah, me too.

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In this summer series, I’ll give you my take on which Pokes’ hoopster was the best ever to don each number. The criteria are simple: How did he perform at UW? What kind of impact did he have on the program?

 

The 1933-34 Wyoming basketball team: Back row, left to right: Lloyd Dowler, Edward McGinty, Arthur Haman, Haskel Leuty, John Kimball, Leslie Witte, Oliver Rollins. Front row, left to right: Jack Bugas, Willard West, Willard “Dutch” Witte (head coach), Poss Parsons./ UW Athletics media relations photo (Denver Post Sports Editor), Leonard Kuiper, Stanley Christensen, Ray Christensen.
The 1933-34 Wyoming basketball team: Back row, left to right: Lloyd Dowler, Edward McGinty, Arthur Haman, Haskel Leuty, John Kimball, Leslie
Witte, Oliver Rollins.
Front row, left to right: Jack Bugas, Willard West, Willard “Dutch” Witte (head coach), Poss Parsons./ UW Athletics media relations photo
(Denver Post Sports Editor), Leonard Kuiper, Stanley Christensen, Ray Christensen.
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No. 7 - John "Jack" Stephen Bugas

Forward, 1930-34, Rock Springs, Wyo.

 

Résumé in Laramie

* UW Athletics Hall of Fame (member of 1933-34 Helm's Championship team)

 

Why Bugas?

We don't know a ton about the playing career of Jack Bugas, but the Rock Springs native was a member of the first of two "National Championship" teams in Wyoming history.

Why the quotes around those two words above?

Well, a traditional national title winner wasn't crowned in those days. The Helms Athletic Foundation, which rounded up a number of experts to rank and retroactively recognized a champion, determined that the Cowboys were the best college team in the land during the 1933-34 season.

Bugas and Co. went 26-4 that season. That included a 24-game winning streak. Those four losses came against Piggly Wiggly (three times) and the Diamond (Tulsa) Oilers. That last setback came in the AAU National Tournament.

Aside from that pesky Piggly Wiggly bunch, Wyoming went undefeated in Rocky Mountain Conference play, sweeping more traditional names like BYU, Colorado and Border War rival, Colorado State. This was the first Cowboy team to win 20 games in a season.

Back to Bugas.

Though we don't know his stats, we do know the Wyomingite led a pretty incredible life. Even as a player in Laramie, Bugas studied law. He also carried two jobs, working as a forest ranger and a trucker. Did we mention he also played baseball and ran track for the Pokes?

He parlayed that hard work into a gig at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, where he became a headache for Detroit mob bosses and foreign spies.

Henry Ford, President of Ford Motor Company, eventually made Bugas his right-hand man.

Bugas, a Laramie High School graduate, spent time between his duties in Michigan and maintaining his sprawling ranches in Wyoming. He owned a 20,000-plus acre ranch in Sunlight Basin in the northwest part of the state. It's so picturesque it was used as the site of the Marlboro Man cigarette advertisements.

Bugas rubbed elbows with some of the biggest players in American politics and economics. You can check out more of Bugas' story at these links below:

* John S. Bugas is dead at 74; was top executive at Ford

* The American Axis

* John S. Bugas - Wikipedia

 

Who else wore No. 7

James Collins (1943), John Hughes (1951-52), Fred Weishoff (1952-53, 53-54), Dave Bradley (50's)

 

Look who wore the No. 6 best right HERE.

Check out our "Who Wore it Best" football series right HERE.

All available rosters provided by the University of Wyoming Athletics Department. If we missed a player who wore this number, please email cody@7220sports.com

A number of players wore different jersey numbers during their careers. From the 1930's through the 50's, players were issued a home and an away jersey.

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