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Ed Wachter

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Edward A. "Ed" Wachter
Biographical details
BornJune 30, 1883
DiedMarch 12, 1966
Playing career
1902-1903Maynard New England Basketball League
1902-1904Ware Wonders Massachusetts Central Basketball League
1903-1904Haverhill New England Basketball Association
1904-1905Lowell–Haverhill New England Basketball Association
1904-1905Schenectady Company E team Independent
1904-1905Troy Columbias A.C. Independent
1905-1906Schenectady Company E team Independent
1905-1906Brattleboro(VT) Independents Independent
1905-1906Troy All-Americans Independent
1906-1907Winsted (CT) Independent
1906-1909Gloversville Co. G Independent
1908-1909McKeesport Tubers Central Basketball League
1909-1910Gloversville Co. G Independent
1909-1911Troy Trojans Hudson River League
1911-1915Troy Trojans New York State League
1914-1915Troy Trojans Independent
1915-1916Utica Utes New York State League
1915-1916Kingston Pathfinders Interstate Basketball League
1916-1917Hudson Company F New York State League
1918-1920Windsor (VT) Namcos Independent
1919-1920Springfield Gunners Inter-State League
1920-1921Albany Senators New York State League
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1915-1916New York State Normal College at Albany
1915Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
1916-1920Williams College
1920-1933Harvard College
1935-1938Lafayette College, Advisory Coach
Head coaching record
OverallHarvard College 121-81
Accomplishments and honors
Schenectady Company E team National AAU Basketball title 1905

Troy Trojans Hudson River Basketball League championship 1910

Troy Trojans Hudson River Basketball League championship 1912

Troy Trojans New York State League championship 1912

Troy Trojans New York State League championship 1915
All-League center, Western Pennsylvania Basketball League 1900-1902

All-League center, New England Basketball League 1902-1904

All-time All-American basketball center 1928
Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 1961
Autograph of Ed Wachter

Edward A. Wachter, Jr (June 30, 1883 – March 12, 1966) was a professional basketball player and college coach. Wachter was born and raised in Troy, New York, the third of seven children to Theresa and Edward A. F. Wachter. Wachter did not attend high school or college and never married.[1] Wachter served as City Assessor of Troy, New York from 1912 to 1920.

Professional Basketball[edit]

Wachter began playing professional basketball in 1899.[2] Wachter played for several professional teams in his 23-year 1,800 game career including the innovative New York based Troy Trojans with whom he won four league championships.[2] Wachter was a dominant center and leading scorer for the Hudson River Valley and New York State Leagues from 1910 to 1915. Wachter did not play 1918-1919 following enlistment in the US Army and training in Fremont, California during WWI.[3]

Head Coaching career[edit]

Wachter was a college Men's Basketball coach for 35 years beginning when he played with the Utica Utes in 1915. Wachter was hired by Williams College as head Men's basketball coach in 1916.[4] Wachter was head coach of Harvard Men's Basketball from 1920-1933 compiling a record of 121-81 (0.599).[5][6][7] While at Harvard, Wachter also served as the Harvard Men's sculling and crew coach.[1]

Basketball innovation[edit]

With his brother Lew Wachter as well as Jack Inglis, Bill Hardman and Jimmy Williamson, Wachter was instrumental in pioneering offensive strategies such as the bounce pass, screens, 5 man offense and long passing.[8][9] The Wachter brothers introduced the rule that free throws are taken by the player fouled rather than a designated foul shot player.[10] While at Harvard, Wachter authored "How to Play Basket Ball" in 1926. Wachter also wrote about how the game of basketball could be improved through uniform regulations, rule interpretations and acquiring fundamental skills.[11] In 1927 Wachter voiced strong opposition to the existing one bounce dribble rule.[8] In 1958, Wachter designed an experimental six game basketball tournament at Union College in Schenectady, New York.[12] Four teams from Union College, Hamilton College, Siena College  and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute competed  with a rim raised to 10 foot 5 inches and 20 inches from the backboard.[12] Wachter noted that the changes to the rim “minimized the inordinate advantage the tall player now enjoys”.[12]

Life after coaching[edit]

Wachter returned to Troy following coaching at Harvard College. Upon his return, he was appointed by the Troy School District as director of physical education. By 1936 he had become the Commissioner of Recreation for the city of Troy.[1][13] Wachter retired from his Commissioner duties in 1958 after 22 years of service. He was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame as a player in 1961.


  1. ^ a b c "Mar 12, 1966, page 2 - The Reporter Dispatch at Newspapers.com". Newspapers.com. Retrieved 2024-05-14.
  2. ^ a b "Dec 17, 1920, page 14 - The North Adams Transcript at Newspapers.com". Newspapers.com. Retrieved 2024-05-15.
  3. ^ "Apr 15, 1936, page 21 - Wilkes-Barre Times Leader at Newspapers.com". Newspapers.com. Retrieved 2024-05-15.
  4. ^ "Dec 07, 1916, page 10 - The North Adams Transcript at Newspapers.com". Newspapers.com. Retrieved 2024-05-15.
  5. ^ "ED. WATCHER TO COACH REVIVED MINOR SPORT | News | The Harvard Crimson". www.thecrimson.com. Retrieved 2024-05-14.
  6. ^ "Feb 25, 1929, page 18 - The Boston Globe at Newspapers.com". Newspapers.com. Retrieved 2024-05-14.
  7. ^ "Jan 29, 1933, page 29 - Hartford Courant at Newspapers.com". Newspapers.com. Retrieved 2024-05-14.
  8. ^ a b Porter, David (2005). Basketball A Biographical Dictionary. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. p. 492. ISBN 0-313-30952-3.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: date and year (link)
  9. ^ Peterson, Robert W. (2002). Cages to Jump Shots: Pro Basketball's Early Years. Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press. pp. 46–68. ISBN 0-8032-8772-0.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: date and year (link)
  10. ^ Wager, Paul (2018-01-07). "Upstate N.Y. Sports Lore: Wachters put Gloversville on basketball map". The Daily Gazette Family of Newspapers. Retrieved 2024-05-15.
  11. ^ "IRREGULARITIES LESSEN POPULARITY OF BASKETBALL | News | The Harvard Crimson". www.thecrimson.com. Retrieved 2024-05-14.
  12. ^ a b c Newell, Pete (1961). "It's Time to Raise the Baskets". Look. 25: 79–87.
  13. ^ "Dec 27, 1939, page 18 - The Record at Newspapers.com". Newspapers.com. Retrieved 2024-05-15.

External links[edit]